Food and Drink

Outerlands: Serving sunshine by the seashore

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Speaking with surfing-baking co-owner Dave Mueller about the Outer Sunset hotspot

I’m on the southeast corner of Judah Street and 45th Avenue—roughly five blocks from the cold, churning sea—on a bright winter morning. Outerlands will open for lunch in an hour, and the restaurant’s chef and a couple of employees are swiftly making preparations. Dave Muller offers me a cappuccino, which he whips up seamlessly, and asks if we can chat outside in the sun.

Muller co-owns this cozy Outer Sunset eating space known for its savory soups and sandwiches, handcrafted bread, and earthy atmosphere with his wife, Lana Porcello. Muller and Porcello had teamed up on visual art and music projects before Outerlands, but Muller calls the restaurant their most 50/50 artistic collaboration.

Noticing a need for food in this remote San Francisco neighborhood pressed up against the Pacific, Muller and Porcello set out in 2008 to design and build a soup kitchen of sorts. “We planned on serving a few soups a day and fresh-baked bread,” Muller says, smiling. “Simple.”

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Look smart

Catch a fly hamburger at 21st Amendment Brewery

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Hedgehog's in the tub, watching one preseason baseball game on her cell and listening to another on her laptop. Which is nothing. By the end of the season last season she was streaming four games at a time, screaming at umpires in her sleep, and requesting hot dogs for breakfast.

This year, I don't know what she's going to do about the buns.Read more »

Lunch hour

Pheasant hot pockets, beef cheek ramen, and inventive veggie fare -- your mid-day meal just found flair

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Lunch-hour quality advances around town with a slew of notable openings or recently launched lunch menus. In a two part series (click here for part two), here are some of the best new mid-day meals.

NOMBERead more »

New prohibitions

The brand new can't -- and taking Homeroom home

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS "Rice noodles," she said. She said, "Rice."

I couldn't look her in the eye.

"Corn tortillas," she said.

I pushed my food around with my fork, added pepper, then hot sauce, then pepper. Then hot sauce.

"Quinoa," she said.

Neither one of us could clean our plate. From the outside, I thought, this must look like a bad date.

It wasn't, really. From a strictly romantical standpoint, things were fine between me and Hedgehog. Never been better, from a standpoint strictly romantical.Read more »

Sideswise

On the trail of Mississppi barbecue -- and hitting the rotissary at the Castro's Morning Due

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS So happens that Hedgehog's birthday coincided with Mardi Gras weekend this year. And she had just finished filming her first ever co-wrote TV show. And Isabella Rossellini, into whose beautiful mouth Hedgehog had "put words," gave her a hug when it was done.

Meaning: by the transitive property of hugging, I hugged Isabella Rossellini!Read more »

Gitane

Gypsy-spirited Gitane continues to be the Bay's go-to for adventurous cocktails and sexy atmosphere

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE While I miss the sophisticated, out-of-the-box cocktails of former bar managers Carlo Splendorini and Alex Smith (they both continue to craft excellent drinks, Splendorini at Michael Mina, Smith at Honor Bar), I am pleased to say Gitane, one of the sexiest spots in all of SF, is still a drink-worthy location. I'd be remiss not to likewise return to the Moroccan and Spanish-influenced menu that chef Bridget Batson has been rocking for years.Read more »

15 lipsmacking cocktails for $5 and under

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Screw on your drinking hats, cheapos -- we tracked down 15 watering holes that'll leave you toasted, in a financially stable kind of way. 

1. Tempest Bar’s $5 boilermaker

A shot of Jim Beam in a pint of PBR. Is this a terrible idea? Yes. Should you do it anyways? Yes. 

431 Natoma. (415) 495-1863 Read more »

Maven

Superb cocktails and eclectic, well-paired dishes at this new destination restaurant in Lower Haight

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Ice Cream Bar's soda fountain revives the '30s jerk

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In this week's Appetite food and drink column in the paper, I relished the opportunity to return to a time of delicious handmade fountain drinks at Cole Valley's new Ice Cream Bar (albeit with some innovative contemporary flavor twists). In between sips of wild cherry phosphate, I got to talk to Russell Davis, the bartender who developed the fantastic soda fountain program, about the soda jerk revival -- and got him to share some of his sassafras secrets.

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Kicky kitty

Storming the field -- and tasting the rainbow at Haltun

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS There was a soccer game on TV. There was a cat on the pitch. It was running around, stopping, staring, licking, looking not-at-all confused and very much in every way like a cat. Except that millions of people were watching it, tens of thousands of them right there: laughing, clapping, and carrying on.

And who were all these sweaty men in striped shirts and high socks?Read more »