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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
Trader Joe’s, known for being really more of a snack emporium than a grocery store, can now be known for something else; buying tomatoes picked by people with basic human rights.
Feb. 9, it became the second grocery store chain-- the first was Whole Foods-- to sign an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group based in Immokalee, Florida famous for its successful Fair Food campaign.Read more »
“Ganache is proof that God loves us,” exclaimed a student with pink and purple hair, as Neo Cocoa founder Christine Doerr rapidly whisked a bowl of melted chocolate and poured it into a metal frame for cooling. We all stood around a huge table at La Cocina, learning how to make Doerr's award-winning chocolate delights, essentially the soft and rich insides of a classic truffle without the hard outer shell. After a quick demo, it was time to get to work ourselves, rolling the chocolate in our hands to form balls and then dusting them in all variety of coatings, from fennel powder to cacao nibs.
APPETITE An Irish whiskey with a Bay Area connection... Livermore, to be exact? It's true. January saw the release of a brand new whiskey, not a common occurrence in Ireland. What better way to initiate this new release than with a Bon Vivants party?
My recent travels through Ireland, particularly exploring whiskey production in County Cork (from pot still beauties like Redbreast to mass production Jameson), amplified my love for the smooth pleasures of Irish whiskey.Read more »