Food and Drink

Appetite: Under the stars in Guerneville

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Amid towering redwoods, summer heat, and parties along the Russian River is the small town of Guerneville, one of Sonoma’s most unique towns, with its vibrant gay community, laid back river culture, and haunting redwood state park. On a recent idyllic summer weekend, barbecues and live, twanging bands added color to the bustling main street.

Foodies have a destination cafe-restaurant in Guerneville's Big Bottom Market, which was opened last summer by co-owners Michael Volpatt and Crista Luedtke (the latter owns neighboring boon hotel + spa and boon eat + drink restaurant). Read more »

Liver or leave 'er

Love in a pretzel at Salumeria

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Kayday came back down to town and for letting her stay in our bottom apartment, she treated Hedgehog and me to Chinese food, and just me to Japanese. The Japanese was at Izakaya Yuzuki, which I can see out my window right now cause it's just across the street, kitty-corner-wise.

Small plates. Big bucks. Not the kind of place I would ever dare to go to if there weren't at least a 67 percent chance of someone else picking up the check. In this case there was a 100 percent chance.Read more »

Live Shots: SF Street Food Festival 2012 preview

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The SF Street Food Festival has become such a delight in the summertime. (This year's takes place on Saturday, August 18.) A chance to sample wonderful treats from the around the world (many developed in the test kitchens of entrepeneurial incubator La Cocina), transporting your taste buds to the far reaches of yumminess. The festival can get crazy crowded, so to help you out, here's a list of some fave vendors to make a beeline for:

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Appetite: Southern taste adventures in Louisville, KY

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Kentucky: land of bourbon, the Derby and Mint Juleps. I’m ever delighted to return to the South, although I’m connected to some areas more than others (ah, New Orleans, my love). I recently spent a week in Louisville, on the judging panel for ADI’s (American Distilling Institute) annual awards. It was an honor to judge with key spirits and cocktail industry folk, spending days tasting (blind, of course) through the latest in a broad range of small US craft spirits – winners here.

In my off time, I roamed Louisville, from downtown to Bardstown Road. Louisville is a small city, not exactly visually beautiful or dense like other US cities, but its distinctly Kentuckian treasures do unfold. The historic Brown Hotel was my home base, its player piano welcoming me with strains of Gershwin and old world elegance in the beautiful lobby.

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Maverick

The seven-year-old favorite's New Southern cuisine improves with age (and a new chef).

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Opened on July 13 way back in 2005, Maverick is a longtimer by modern day restaurant standards. I'd posit that it's better than ever with new executive chef Emmanual Eng, brought on last year by owners Scott Youkilis and Michael Pierce (who is also the general manager and wine director). In contrast to its more casual, younger sister Hog and Rocks, Maverick's food has grown more sophisticated and focused over the years.Read more »

Eat these words

It's all a yummy breakfast hot mess at Little Griddle

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS One by one I am finding my old friends and hugging them. Last night at the Giants game, for example, I found El Centro, who — by the time you read this — will have sailed to Alcatraz and swum back to San Francisco. I'm so proud and impressed, and excited because, assuming she doesn't drown and/or get eaten by sharks on her way home, there's going to be a barbecue after at her house.

El Centro will be my second friend to have attempted this feat; not the barbecue, the swim.Read more »

Cheaplicious

Moving back -- and digging in at Tacolicious

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CHEAP EATS I can't tell you how beside myself I am to be back in San Francisco. I can tell you, but it will sound like it's coming from over there. It's not! I'm right here where I belong, typing at you from the warmth of my very own(ish) clawfoot tub in the bowels of my old dungeon-y hovel at 18th and Guerrero.

Upstairs, in the relative sunshine of our other, airier studio apartment, Hedgehog is pacing back and forth and saying to herself: We live in San Francisco. We live in San Francisco. Until finally she can't take it anymore and shaves off her eyebrows. Read more »

6 locally-made treats to snag at Bluxome's Meet Market

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Why does a new farmers market make us salivate so here in the city? Something something foodie frenzy, something something voracious next-big-thing-icitis. Fact of the matter is, such small-scale food resources keep popping up and we're going to go along for the ride. Tomorrow on Sat/28, Forage SF's Underground Market is back -- but if you can't stomach the lines or prefer a glass of red with your cover admission, head to urban winery and tasting room Bluxome Street Winery for its so-called Meet Market.

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Double visions

Inspired pairings: a recent spate of star chef collabs yielded gorgeous dishes

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Appetite: Bar talent and rare bourbon barrels on 16th Street

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Sixteenth Street between Valencia and Guerrero in SF is packed with good food and longtime dive bars. As classic cocktail dens and mixology menus are the norm rather than the exception in this town, it’s easy to forget that some of our great ‘tenders continue to serve the quality drinks we crave without fuss. On this stretch of 16th, there are two spots in particular that have a lot going for them, including cocktail talent.

As with any bar, who is tending makes a difference and these gifted few craft their own robust creations while nailing down boozy classics. Chat them up about what they’re working on lately or ask for one of these recent pleasures, including a rare, single barrel bourbon collection.

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