Appetite: Sweet ribs, buckwheat pancakes, Monterey abalone, bagna cauda dip, and more

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news

Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter,, shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here.

Wexler's delight. Photo by Virginia Miller.

Wexler's Saturday Night Cookouts Commence
I've been to Wexler's a few times now, wrote about it in Appetite last month, finding it a delightul addition to downtown for gourmet Southern food and Carlos Yturria's excellent cocktails. Saturday they launched Saturday Night Cookout, a weekly $26, 3-course feast meant to be ordered by the entire table. Chef Charlie Kleinman is purported to smoke some sweet applewood-smoked Baby Back Ribs, which you'll each get ½ rack of (add $8 for a full rack) as your main course, accompanied by house BBQ sauce, BBQ-baked Cranberry Beans, Corn Bread with spicy honey butter and Creamy Cole Slaw. Though the menu changes, this Saturday offered first courses of either Smoked Nante Carrot Soup with lime zest and Fresno Chili (which they use a lot of here) Sour Cream, or a Little Gems Salad with house-made ranch, smoked cippolini and cornbread croutons (picking up on the smoked theme?) Dessert is your choice of berry short cake with creme fraiche biscuit, whipped cream and berries, or Hamada Farm's heirloom watermelon topped with fleur de sel and house chili powder. Wine pairings are an additional $15 and different wineries and winemakers will be featured. Is your mouth watering yet?
568 Sacramento, SF


Southern Comfort: Gussie's Chicken & Waffles debuts in Lower Fillmore
When it comes to chicken and waffles, I miss the classic Roscoe days of my youth, hitting the Sunset and Gower location after shows on the Sunset Strip. Haven't found a comparable Bay Area joint, though there are some good chicken & waffles here. Gussie's Chicken and Waffles opens today with an owner who once worked at none other than: Roscoe's. Sidewalk seating for waffles, whether they be buckwheat, banana pecan, sweet potato, or buttermilk (I need NO other reason to go but these), or add crispy fried chicken, maybe even gravy and onions? Bliss. They rope me in further with a long list of classic Southern sides, including grits, mac 'n cheese, black-eyed peas, red beans and rice, candied yams, collard greens. Other dishes include Buttermilk Fried Chicken Livers, Louisiana Fried Catfish or Red Snapper, Grandma's Chicken Salad, home-made Chicken Noodle Soup, or desserts like Southern Red Velvet Cake ("done the right way", per the menu) or Miss Pearl's Banana Pudding made with 'nilla wafers. The calories may not be comforting, but the food surely will be.
1521 Eddy Street

Saison - a once a week dinner at Stable Cafe
A beautiful website reflects the ethos of our latest non-restaurant dinner: Saison Sunday nights in an actual rustic, historic stable behind Stable Cafe (making use of a grand gallery room and orange tree-studded garden patio) for a four-course, $60 dinner from Joshua Skenes (of Chez T.J. in Mountain View) and Mark Bright, co-owner and wine expert of Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant.

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