The SF Pride people estimate 1.2 million people will rally for this weekend's festivus. It all begins—officially, at least—tomorrow at noon in the Civic Center. Then Sunday's parade marches from The Embarcadero to City Hall. And you can bet your boxers the Castro will be blowing up all weekend long. Although many restaurants are simply hoping to survive the weekend influx, some of them are striking out with special offers or just happen to have prime seating. Here's a list of possibilites, across the SF scape.
1. Ike's Place (3489 16th St.) owner Ike Shehadeh says "I'll be working in my boxerbriefs...we are bringing back the "Pride of Castro" sandwich (Ham, Turkey, Melted Brie, Dirty Secret Sauce) for Fri, Sat, Sun. [sic]"
2. Lower Haight organic ice cream shop, Three Twins (254 Fillmore St.) has gone in with the Castro's iconic Hot Cookie (407 Castro St.) on a new cookie chunk-studded ice cream flavor for the weekend. There will be a few other special additions available through Sunday, including Salted Nuts, a sweet cream base riddled with homemade "nut bark" and salted caramel swirls.
3. Show Dogs (1020 Market St.) has front-row seating for the parade on Sunday, which ends just about two blocks away at the Civic Center. Go early to stake out a table and grab Sunrise Showdogs for brunch, a pitcher of beer from the tap, fried chicken sandwiches or all of the above.
4. Criolla Kitchen (2296 Market St.), the new Soul food restaurant that's replaced Castro staple Bagdad Cafe, will be offering its new Southern fried chicken recipe until 2 a.m. all weekend long. Chef Randy Lewis has asked the kitchen to toss it in the house's hot sauce, then serve it with celery sticks and the house-made buttermilk dressing. Criolla also added breakfast and lunch service this week.
5. Gingerfruit (2029 Market St.) has come on to the scene with a buy-one-get-one-free cocktail deal that'll be going down from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. We heard the Mary Magdalene, a combination of vodka, fresh melon, ginger and basil, is pretty good.
7. If you're doing the Dyke March, make a picnic out of a rotisserie chicken from the Due Drop In and some extras from the 24th St. Cheese Co. (3893 24th St.) or Bi-Rite (3692 18th St.), if it's not too crowded. Then drop into Kasa (4001 18th St.) for half-price pitchers of Kingfisher and Anchor Steam all weekend long.
8. Chow (215 Church St.) expects to be pretty busy for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Take advantage of the weekends-only quiche Lorraine or the crowd-favorite Marion's cake, a fluffed pancake capped off with loose raspberry jam and lemon curd. Wash it down with one of the joint's popular wine mojitios.
Have a favorite Pride perch? Share it freely in the comments.