Food and Drink

Urban homesteaders forge ahead, despite lack of ®

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For years, the Internet has provided a second home to a community of urban farmers diligently tilling their carrots and tapping away on their keyboards about the experience. These people lived with all the peace and prosperity attendant to backyard chickens, rooftop apiaries, and tomatoes canned in plain sight of sidewalks and skyscrapers – until some of their own went rogue.

Pastoralists the blogosphere over erupted in rage this February when the Dervaes Institute, a long-time Internet presence and self-proclaimed authority on the subject of urban farming, sent not-quite-cease-and-desist letters to sixteen other institutions and small businesses, forbidding them from using the term “urban homesteading” without including the fact that the term is the Dervaes' intellectual property. Read more »

WonderCon diaries: Chris Cosentino is... Wolverine's new buddy!

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I had seen chef Chris Cosentino (of Bay Area offal ground zero Incanto, also a The Next Iron Chef contestant and host of the Food Network's Chef Vs. City) in person for the first time a few weeks ago – he'd just made an incredible multi-course meal for a bunch of beer journalists at Anchor Brewery and was racing around, saying hi to people and describing his thought process on the various beer-food pairings. My tablemates, friends of Cosentino, told me he had a comic coming out at WonderCon, or something. So I gave him a shout – hey, dope local angle on the convention, since I knew I was going anyway.

Maybe I should have known when I saw the massive poster of Cosentino in the Ferry Building at the stand of his other business, Boccolone Tasty Salted Pig Parts (signed by the man himself, “pork is the new vegetable,”), a few days later that this was going to be no mere small press comic release.   Read more »

3 reasons to drink Don Pilar tequila

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1. A backstory you can cheers to

Yes, Don Pilar is actual tequila, which means it must be made in Jalisco, Mexico in the lowlands and highlands surrounding the town of Tequila. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to highlight that Don Pilar (a.k.a. Jose Pilar Contreras) is a Bay Area entrepreneur and all-around Latino success story. Read more »

Live Shots: Whole Beast Supper Club Rabbit Tasting Dinner, 3/18/2011

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Growing up, my best friend Suzy Q (then and now) used to raise bunny rabbits in her backyard in Pacifica. In the spring, there would sometimes be two or three new litters at the same time, and we would set up a tent on the lawn and let the dozens of fluff balls run around us in circles. Although many of the bunnies were sold once they got big enough, there were some extremely special ones, like Mr. Casey, who used to ride around on Suzy Q's shoulder like a parrot and who I became the loving godmother of at a full-blown bunny baptism. So, you can imagine my tangle of emotions when I spent last Friday night at a pop-up rabbit tasting dinner at La Victoria Bakery, for a meal with the Whole Beast Supper Club.

The concept of this dining group is absolutely righteous. Eat the whole animal and also try out new parts of plants that you might not have thought of before as edible. The rabbits for the meal were provided by Devil's Gulch Ranch in Nicasio. The farmer, Mark Pasternak, was also at the dinner to see for himself what an all rabbit meal would be like.

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Pie attack? Bike Basket Pies delivers

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See video

Get your fork ready: SFBG videographer Ariel Soto grabs some piping hot slices with Natalie Galatzer of Bike Basket Pies in the Mission

Secret cajun kitchen discovered, evidence of gumbo

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Those who enjoy strolling amidst a certain vibrant stretch of  24th Street in the Mission might be under a common misguided belief that the world is flat and ends east of Potrero Avenue. But just as Christopher Columbus proved the world was round by sailing west, I confirmed this is false by sailing east -- one block east of Potrero, that is. What I found was Tasty’s Creole Cajun Kitchen, a new world filled with rare goods and spices. Among them, signature po’ boy sandwiches, southern brunch specialties, gumbo, red beans and rice, hush puppies, sweet tea, even French rolls flown in from Louisiana. What wonders the new world holds!

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All roads lead to tandoori: Lahore Karahi's Zulfiqar Haider speaks

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I spoke with Zulfiqar “Guddu” Haider, the man behind Lahore Karahi, late one Wednesday evening. The last customers were making their way out the door of his unassuming Tenderloin Pakistani restaurant after a busy night, the kitchen staff had begun to clean up and head home. Haider led me over to one side of his dining room, a wall lined with glowing Yelp and Zagat reviews, and newspaper features with pictures of Haider front and center, dramatically holding out a steaming sautee pan and smiling boldly.

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Dad, Millennium. Millennium, Dad

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San Francisco is composed of many worlds: in one, men and women wear suits and whiz up high-speed elevators to the top of the Transamerica building (until recently, I held to the belief that the uppermost floor is built entirely from Lindor truffles and boasts a wine fountain). In a cross-town galaxy, "Transamerica" might be a documentary on one's downstairs neighbor.  

But the great thing about the city is that its various worlds frequently overlap – in laundromats, at last call, and in the occasional rare dining experience that leaves everyone happy and full, even in the wallet. Case in point: Millennium, an artful mash-up of hippie and high class. Read more »

"He will probably drown in his beer hat": the post-punk vegan hits SF

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Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a believer in the power of baketivism. Emerging from the wilds of Food Not Bombs mass meals and the New York City punk scene, Moskowitz started a community access TV show, The Post Punk Kitchen in 2003. Since then she's gotten five animal product-free cookbooks published, starting with the seminal Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (Da Capo, 168 pages, $15.95) and progressing to her latest, Appetite for Reduction (Da Capo, 336 pages, $19.95) -- a collection of low-fat recipes (a couple of which we featured over the holidays), the result of Moskowitz's doctor's suggestion she cut back on fat after being diagnosed with a hormone imbalance.

 She's vegging out in SF this weekend -- you can catch her doing a cooking demonstration and book signing at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market on Sat/12 -- and hell, read that bio again, awesome. So we interviewed her and now we know where to get vegan cheese that actually tastes good, among other highly salient points.

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Travels in a strange sushi

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Tanuki Restaurant on California and Sixth Avenue was my first taste of the Richmond and my millionth of raw fish. On a quiet block in unfamiliar territory far from Mother Mission, I saw her “Open Sushi” neon sign and walked towards the light. But before I go on, I should admit that my heart belongs to another: We Be Sushi on 16th and Valencia. Theirs is simple, clean, casual, and delicious fish. But as every baby bird must one day leave its nest, so must I leave my small, insular universe to discover nourishment in new land.

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