Food and Drink

Appetite: Oompah and bratwurst in Larkspur

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Think towering redwoods, smoky aromas of sausages, onions and peppers wafting from a grill, German beers on tap from a cooler, and a darling oompah band of elderly gentleman playing with spunk and skill. Enter the just-launched-this-week Biergarten at the Tavern at Lark Creek. For a short jaunt from the city to Larkspur, it feels worlds away.

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Buche on a bike? Dreams come true, courtesy of El Taco Bike

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Why does Alfonso Dominguez, owner of Oakland's Tamarindo, La Calle, and partial owner of Era Art Bar and Lounge, spend his free time hawking tacos from a bike? An avid cyclist and owner of six different bikes himself, we got the idea talking to him last week that Dominguez built El Taco Bike to prove it was possible in the first place.

We're in full support. Too few snack foods come off the back of bicycles these days. Read more »

Bluestem Brasserie

Sean Canavan's dishes are exercises in well-controlled forcefulness, and James Ormsby's deserts offer a delightful finish

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE In Bizarro world, dinner would begin with dessert — I know someone who truly hopes this particular sun will indeed rise in the west one day. And if your pastry chef happened to be James Ormsby, you not only would probably not get around to your savory courses, you might very well not be able to get up from the table. Ormsby, interestingly, is the pastry chef at the newly opened Bluestem, and he does not disappoint, though his confections are right where convention says they should be, at the end of the meal.Read more »

Of wings and thumbs

A Sang Tung disappointment, but a good save by Perilla

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Hedgehog has a favorite restaurant in San Francisco. No, it's not John's Snack & Deli, but only because you can't sit down in there, and so it's hard sometimes to think of it as a restaurant. Hedgehog's favorite restaurant restaurant is San Tung, the incredible chicken wing place.

We tried to go there during our Avenue Days. We did, we walked through the Golden Gate Park, past the De Young Museum, around that other thing, and then across the Big Rec baseball diamonds diagonally.Read more »

Parking on the park

Rec-Park proposes facilities for more food trucks in Dolores Park
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news@sfbg.com

In a steering committee meeting for the Dolores Park Rehabilitation Project on August 4, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) officials stunned the committee with a proposal to bring in more food trucks. The move came just two days after a ballot measure that would have banned more such leases in city parks was removed from the fall ballot.Read more »

Appetite: Orson cocktails -- worth a revisit?

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Orson bar manager Ian Adams shows inspired vision in his cocktails. He's having fun pairing them with a new four-course dinner, but even more so, his everyday cocktails shine with enough twists to keep me intrigued. Read more »

Sweet streets: Gelatin dessert art at this weekend's Street Food Festival

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As the foodie masses descend on the Mission for Sat/20's Street Food Festival, they'll be met with a diverse representation of what San Francisco eats. In this corner, fancy brick and mortar spots: Slanted Door, 15 Romolo, and Rye are but a few representatives of the eateries that are taking grills and spatulas into the fresh air this weekend. But for sheer culinary comeliness, the big guys have a serious contender when it comes to Sweets Collection arty gelatin creations. 

Graduates of the La Cocina street food incubator program will total a solid 50 percent of the 60 vendors in attendance at the festival. The varying styles of food preparation are meant to express the breadth of eats in San Francisco, but also to reinforce the fact that the huarache you buy at your local farmer's market has the culinary chops to stand up against many places that take Visa. Read more »

Munchies

Our new Herbwise column tells you what to smoke (and eat) for this year's SF Street Food Festival

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HERBWISE There will be things at this weekend's Street Food Festival that you will want to eat. Oh yes, very much so. And damn if there won't be things that you will want to look at — and then eat.

One of these things will be Rosa Rodriguez' Sweets Collection gelatin desserts: small, sweet cups in which three dimensional flowers bloom, taunting you to stick a spoon in them. I will take them over designer cupcakes any day.Read more »

Appetite: A mouthwatering preview of the SF Street Food Festival

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La Cocina's SF Street Food Festival keeps getting bigger each year. Gearing up for this Saturday's (8/20) third annual street food extravaganza, prepare for a takeover of numerous Mission blocks (free admission, with food for purchase under $8). This year there was an early sneak peek for media and select guests. There will be much to love at this year's festival. Many food truck and street food favorites return, plus Ferry Plaza stars like Namu. Just a few stand-outs the new-to-this-year front:

Wax moth larvae tacos from Don Bugito - These pretty, little tacos are laden with crispy larvae, garlic, pasilla chiles, and pickled onions. Some popped them in their mouths without realizing what they were, others turned away once they heard... but to taste them is to be converted. No need to fear bugs in the hands of owner, Monica Martinez. Plus, it's a great conversation starter.

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Behind the yuba: A trip to Hodo Soy Beanery's factory floor

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When I was fourteen, Snorkel Mom and I went to Japan to visit my Japanese “grandma” Kiyo. She lived in Tokyo and I remember one morning walking with her to a tiny, closet-sized building that had housed the neighborhood tofu shop in the very same spot for several hundred years. We took home a block of the freshest, most exquisite tofu I had ever eaten -- nothing like the hard blocks of flavorless tofu found at most stores here in the States. So when I heard that there was a small company making fresh, traditional tofu in Oakland, I knew it would be worth hopping over the Bay to see what they had to offer. Read more »