Food and Drink

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 »

Ice Cream Bar

Step into the Wayback Machine: this new Cole Valley spot serves a panoply of delicious soda fountain treats

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE I was born of another time. As much as I wouldn't trade the rights and access of today, I hunger for the romance, artistry, and intellectual pace of eras gone by. As a child, I grew up on classic films and whitebread shows like Father Knows Best, where youth hung out at soda fountains listening to the jukebox. Naturally, I was delighted upon hearing a retro-inspired soda fountain was opening near my home.Read more »

Junk bonds

Pho 2000 is the new bowl champion

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CHEAP EATS Yeah, ever since they shot Prop 8 tentatively down, I have had to hire grad students and interns to sift through all the marriage proposals. Their job is to weed out the ones with typos in them, suspected vegetarians, those that contain the words "growth" or "cicadas," and most importantly any that aren't from Hedgehog, the dyke of my dreams.

As you might imagine, it's grueling work. And since Hedgehog is not one to repeat herself, the "slush pile" is rapidly taking over our apartment.

Recycling comes on Friday.Read more »

State Bird Provisions

Jazzy flights of fancy (and a nice play on that eponymous bird) at this innovative, eclectic Fillmore newbie 

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Bike-borne tacos are coming! But not without your help

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Now, Rose “Slam” Johnson's Hot Bike would not be the first taco bike in the Bay Area. That honor, of course, is due to Alfonso Dominguez's El Taco Bike. But Hot Bike does have something going for it, besides the adorableness of its creator (one of our Hot Pink List designees from last year's Queer Issue). Where Dominguez's ride was merely the storage receptacle for delicious steamed tacos de canasta, Johnson's will serve as an actual portable kitchen on a Yuba Mundo utility bike. That's right -- vegan tacos made to order. 

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Something to celebrate: 4 local standouts from SF Beer Week's opening pours

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The first drinkers to make it into the SF Beer Week opening celebration on Friday, January 10 had the run of the taps, and with over 50 breweries pouring two to six beers apiece in this year's more spacious Concourse Exhibition Center venue, that counted for a lot. Yet, for some reason, the two guys at the head of the line were still speed walking. Maybe it was a preemptive strike against beer gut. 

Sorry gents, but it's a losing battle. Calorie counting was a loser's game on Friday, but for anyone interested in the best and brightest of San Francisco suds, it was a can't-miss situation. Here were some of the standouts -- all local SF brews: Read more »