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Alissa Merksamer

Holiday Cheer at San Francisco’s Top Hotels

Each year, San Francisco’s chicest hotels compete for most yuletide cheer.

Calling All Non-Cooks: Where to Get Thanksgiving Delivered

Cornish Game Hen from Jessie et Laurent

Thanksgiving is a beast of a holiday. From the bird to the butter-soaked sides, it requires a ton of planning, even when hosting a small crowd. If you dislike cooking or need a few supplemental dishes, check out the menus from several local catering companies.  

Don’t Hate the Walmart Peach and More Highlights From ‘Food For Thought’ Conference

“I want people to think about all the choices that are involved to get your food on your plate,” said Steve Boilard, executive director of the Center for California Studies at California State University Sacramento (CSUS). Last Friday, the center hosted the 24th annual Envisioning California Conference in Sacramento.

Four Reasons to Eat Macarons this Fall

La Boulange macarons

When the macaron wave crested from New York to San Francisco a few years ago, we wondered if cupcakes had finally ended their reign as the nation’s trendiest treat. Ongoing interest in gluten-free foods continues to buoy the appeal of these dainty sandwich pastries (the French do not call them “cookies”), with their shells made of almond flour and typically ganache-filled centers. Autumn brings new reasons to fall for a plate of these colorful confections. 

Where to Pour Your Own Olive Oil in SF

Olive oil canisters

It’s easy to get in an olive oil rut once you find a blend you like. No one wants to commit to a $45 bottle only to discover it’s too grassy or too buttery or just doesn’t taste right drizzled on your daily loaf. “Taste Before You Buy” is the invaluable mantra of the self-serve olive oil shops that have emerged over the last few years. Some provide empty bottles. Others require you to bring your own and will reward your eco-friendliness with a rebate. 

Get Crunchy With Five Great Local Granolas


Though it was created as a health food more than a century ago, granola has devolved into a sugary excuse for a balanced breakfast. Several Bay Area companies are bringing the healthy back with an emphasis on local sourcing and high quality taste.

Big Crimes, Big Appetites: Eat Like an Alcatraz Inmate

It’s lunchtime at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1946. Two hundred and fifty of the most dangerous criminals in America wait in single-file line for their meal.

Five Tips and Truths About California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cali Olive Oil

Consumers unwittingly collect olive oil as they would wine, decorating their counters with lean, dark bottles emblazoned in elegant labels to be used sparingly over the next year or more. However, reports of an influx of counterfeit extra virgin olive oil from overseas have buoyed local producers' efforts to show shoppers their California product is not only pure, but fresher and tastier.  

Summer Licking: Five Ice Cream Sundaes with a Twist

Tin Roof Humphry Slocombe

Hot weather has never been a prerequisite for devouring ice cream in San Francisco. If it were, we’d hardly eat any. July marks National Ice Cream Month, making it the perfect time to indulge in a scoop or three.

How to Eat Sushi the Right Way

Chaya sushi

“People eat sushi the same way they drink wine,” says Jason Kwon, executive chef and owner of Joshu-Ya Brasserie in Berkeley. “They know about it, but they don’t know about it.”

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