Food and Drink

Appetite: Whiskies of the World tastes and gin tales

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A better than ever year aboard the SF Belle at Whiskies of the World last month meant some fine, global pours of whisk(e)y from Scotland to Australia. Here were some highlights:

On the fun and interesting tip, Lark Distillery distills single malt whisky in Tasmania, an Australian island - and it's surprisingly solid. Distilled in copper pot stills, it's smooth with a modicum of peat, aged five years, yet with a bit of complexity. I appreciated returning to 10-year-old old Masterson's Straight Rye Whiskey. Aged in charred white oak barrels, this Canadian rye evokes whispers of pepper, vanilla, spice, and a soft sweetness.

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So close

Birthday time! But first, some gift-wrappy gold bags at Krua Thai

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS It's birthday season! Me, yeah, but more importantly:

Happy birthday to C. Chunk, 5. Happy birthday to K. Chunk, 4. I took the train home for C. Chunk's birthday, and now I'm taking it home for K. Chunk's. That's a lot of trains, in case you were wondering, and I'm starting to feel like I could write a Jimmie Rodgers song.

What rhymes with Amtrak?

Ah, nevermind. I think I'll play with my laptop.Read more »

Namu Gaji

Their new space may be smaller -- yet the adventurous Asian spirit of Namu's Lee Brothers remains

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Although Asian outpost Namu Gaji is brand new, the presence of Namu restaurant itself and owners the Lee brothers — Dennis, David and Daniel — has been felt in San Francisco for years. Since 2006, the Lees have been weaving Korean, Japanese, and other Asian cuisines with California spirit in the original, now shuttered Richmond restaurant and eventually Namu's Ferry Building farmers market stand on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In early April, the brothers opened their Mission incarnation, Namu Gaji.Read more »

O, queso! Delectable slices of Spain and Portugal

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“Don't. Eat. The. Cheese.”

I kept telling myself this as I stared down at my plate during the Cheeses of Spain and Portugal Class at the Cheese School on May 23. Nine slices of sweating, salty, pungent wonderfulness looked back at me, taunting. Thankfully, there were endless glasses of delicious white wine to drink before the class started.

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The Performant: All you can eat

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Wild Food Walks and Bal Littéraire satisfy imaginative appetites.

“First, the bad news,” says our guide and frequent forager Kevin Feinstein. “Foraging in the Bay Area is illegal.”

Well, swell, I guess it’s a good thing that I packed snacks. “If the land is private, and you have permission from the owners, you can forage,” Feinstein amends, which still doesn’t help me in planning my lunch, but good to know for future reference. I’m attending one of ForageSF’s “Wild Food Walks,” along with about 15 others, hoping to graze upon that freest of foodstuffs, the weeds in our backyards -- and yours.

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Brews and Boontling: Beer fest shots from Anderson Valley

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Photographer Allen David sent us these snaps from the May 12 Boonville Beer Festival, good old-fashioned weekend porn if ere we've some. Check them (and his prose below) out to kickstart your next mission outside city limits, using our 2012 Summer Fairs and Festival guide for additional inspiration.   Read more »

Whorls away

In the swim -- with not very many matzoh balls -- at Soup Freaks

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Way out in the water.

A severed head, a small treasure in gold, or drugs, my own death, fish, a baby in a basket, the murder weapon, the meaning of life, peace and quiet, a clue .. . A long time ago, when I was fearless, I swam toward something. That's how curious I was. It could have been anything, but I had to know.

Now, I can float. I like to think I can float.

Then, I was a pretty good swimmer. I could swim, see me swimming?Read more »

Sichuan healing

Hurting for the delicious no-frills delights of Sichuan Home in the Richmond

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Hedgehog tried to play flag football with my pink team, and before the game even started she broke her wrist, both bones, and had to have surgery.

All she did was trip over her feet and fall wrong.

Boom: Titanium rods.

The week that week was hard, and then it was Tuesday again and I was going to play flag football with my pink team without her, after dinner.

"Whatever you do," she said, over my first-ever attempt at a summer gumbo, "don't get hurt."Read more »

Appetite: 2 new Bay cheap eats spots

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In the spirit of my recent "new SF cheap eats" article, here are two noteworthy new cheap eats joints East and South: Berkeley and Palo Alto.

ASIAN BOX

Asian Box is a newer take-out shop (with one narrow communal table inside and a couple tables outside) in a mobbed Palo Alto strip mall. What could be just another casual Asian food joint has two key things going for it. One is two former San Francisco chefs behind it: executive chef Grace Nguyen, of Out The Door’s Bush Street location, and Chad Newton, who many of us followed at Fish and Farm (where he created one incredible burger).

The other is that Asian Box’s affordable food ($6.95-$8.25) is ultra-fresh and satisfying.

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Live Shots: Avital tours Mission District food hotspots

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Photos by: Bowerbird Photography

It was 11:30am on a Saturday morning, and we were tipping back salty oysters and chasing them down with sweet pink rhubarb cocktail, and then, just because pig meat tastes so good, ate some wonderfully cured, sliced Southern ham. The day was off to a great start and just kept getting tastier as our little posse made its way through the Mission, led by our knowledgeable and ebullient guide, Avital of Avital Tours.

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