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Go-To Shops for Mother's Day Gifts

With Mother’s Day less than a week away, graduations looming and summer wedding season just around the corner, we’ve got a gift list that’s growing by the minute – and we’re pretty sure we aren’t the only ones. And while we’d like to summon up the perfect gift idea for every single occasion, sometimes we need a little help in the inspiration department. Below, the go-to shops we hit up whenever we need a special something for a special someone:

Lavish: With shelves carrying a diverse array of girlish delights ranging from James Jeans to J. Mendocino ceramics to children’s books and apparel, this Hayes Valley shop is an ideal place to find a gift for mom, whether she’s new to the game or a seasoned pro.

More Pizza Now: Flour + Water Is Almost Open

If there's any food that incites spirited debate amongst food-lovers, it's pizza. Thin-crust, deep dish, New York v. SF, Di Fara v. Franny's, Pizzeria Delfina v. Pizzaiolo—the throw-down runs coast to coast and knows no limits. And though we'd be inclined to say that San Francisco is fast approaching pizza saturation, we'll admit to being very curious, and very enthusiastic, about Flour + Water, the Mission's latest addition.

We Heart the Mission Saturday Stroll

Despite the hipsters, drug addicts, and occasional puke-spattered sidewalk, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone in the city that doesn't have a little place in their heart for the Mish. Why? The food, unique shops, and independent spirit keep everyone coming back. Show your love this Saturday by popping into some of your favorite neighborhood haunts in support of We Heart the Mission, a "midwinter stroll" featuring  sales, parties, and all sorts of incentives for keeping it local. For instance, you'll find 10% off everything at BellJar or 20% off in-store purchases at Rare Device...

Cheap Eat of the Week: Phat Philly

Now, let me be perfectly clear: I haven't actually sampled the wares at Phat Philly. Yet. Unfortunately I, like so many of you, have been gripped by the post-holiday need to eat only leafy greens and garbanzo beans. However, when I recover from this brief stint of healthfulness, I plan to march right over to Phat Philly for a cheesesteak ($6-$10), because it seems like they're doing it all right. Amoroso rolls imported from Philadelphia, natural antibiotic-free beef from Niman Ranch and Creekstone Farms, and, in addition to the de rigeur cheese Whiz, they also have housemade cheddar-beer sauce.

American Apparel Saga Heats up in the Mission

The brouhaha over the arrival of American Apparel onto Valencia Street has grown in recent days from small rumbles to an all-out hipster vs. hipster verbal slugfest on the local blogs.

An all-American meal at Mission Street Food

I'm guessing that if you're reading this then you didn't spend the Inauguration in Washington. In that case, let me bring to your attention the slightly belated inauguration dinner hosted by the Mission Street Food crew at Lung Shan restaurant in the Mission tomorrow (Thursday) night.

Cheap Eat Of The Week: Balompié Cafe

What if I told you that the best meal that I, someone who dines out four or five nights a week, have had recently cost only $9.95? True! Last Friday I headed to Limón Rotisserie in hopes of getting a good, cheap meal within a one-block radius of my house. The crushing mob of people with that same idea (and the one-and-a-half hour wait) deterred me, so I soldiered on to Balompié Café, one of my favorite restaurants.

Extra Coating: Candystore Collective Winter Coat Drive

Generally speaking, the well-known maxim of give, and you shall receive refers to the intangible feelings of good will that come with helping, reaching out and extending oneself for the sake of others. We love those feelings. But sometimes, if we’re being completely honest, we appreciate a carrot. You know, an extra little bit of get-up-and-go to take us from wistfully pondering all the ways to do good in this world to, um, actually getting up and doing one of them. Candystore Collective’s Winter Coat Drive is just the mid-January kick in the pants we need to lend our support to a worthy local organization. Through Jan.

Olive-Oil Ice Cream Comes to the Mission. Really.

And what's even more surprising, it's good. What's not surprising is the fact that the place—Humphry Slocombe, owned by Jake Godby, formerly of Coi, etc. etc.—is using McEvoy Ranch olive oil. The result reminds me of times I've had real, super-expensive balsamic vinegar dribbled onto vanilla ice cream...not shockingly savory but subtly vegetal, in a good way.

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