Food and Drink

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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Daly City Burmese, please

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We found it only a couple blocks away from the Daly City BART stop on the corner of John Daly Blvd and Mission St: Little Yangon. The Burmese restaurant was almost completely empty when we came in even though it was almost 9 p.m. on a Tuesday. A restaurant with one waitress, my plus one, and I. Here there was no next-door table conversation about non-profits, no street artist bros before me on the waiting list, no hipster babies crying, and no scary lesbians except for me and my dining companion -- just deeply satisfying, affordable food.

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Fine (and found) dining with Wild Kitchen

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Wild boar, Monterey squid, light-it-yourself flambe -- local, wild edibles are foraged and transformed into multi-course gourmet meals, as ForageSF hosts underground restaurant Wild Kitchen. Dig in to this SFBG exclusive.

Chickpeas and kugel: two recipes for a very veggie Christmas

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I started seeing retail sales around town marked “last minute Christmas shopping events” a week and a half ago – who are these freakish people that think two weeks is not enough time to score trinkets for one's loved ones? 

I hereby present to you two holiday recipes from the hottest new vegan and vegetarian on the market -- with the explicit reminder that you have ample time to prepare them before a nice Friday night 'neath the Christmas tree, clutching bowls of chickpea piccata and vegan kugel, and munching in time to a bangin' holiday mix. Oh wait, I didn't get a tree yet either. No matter baby -- we got nothing but time. Read more »

Shroomin' at the Fungus Fair

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All photos by Erik Anderson

“See, it's starting to smell.” It's day two of the Mycological Society of San Francisco's winter Fungus Fair at Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science this weekend and the 'shrooms are getting a little funky. MSSF member Peter Wegner is showing us around the caps and stems and he sounds a little apologetic for the earthy musk that has descended on us as we enter the fair's specimen room. 

But he needn't be – the sight of the room's fungi, collected by society volunteers in the Bay Area over the past few days from 25 forage sites, more than makes up for any scent it emits. Not to mention the fair's culinary offerings, educational bonanza, and the 'shroom gnome hats so delicately worn by gung-ho clan members – this is the cardinal event of the country's largest amateur mushroom society. 

Fungus Fair, I think I love you. Read more »

Live from the lower east side: Bayview's best eats

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Bayview and Dogpatch rarely surface on short lists of culinarily acclaimed 'hoods in the city. Which is a shame, because one doesn't head out to the waterside neighborhoods to splash about in the waves of see-and-be-seen, but you can have a damn tasty time on Third Street and its surrounds.

Spotted lately: neighborhood staple soul food from a variety of cultures, tucked away industrial district gems that stay open through the witching hours -- not to mention the odd new hip endeavors by foodies hungry for the low cost overhead that the changing neighborhoods afford. Like the community that lives on their blocks, Bayview and Dogpatch's cuisines are far enough away from the city's hurricane of openings, closings, and established scenes that it can do its own thing. Which we like just fine. Read more »