Food & Drink

FEAST: 9 meat-free marvels

Vegetarian sandwiches take over the world

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culture@sfbg.com

The sandwich, like the wheel, is an timeless invention that keeps us rolling. But if you be a vegetable lover, or just someone who fantasizes about two pieces of bread cradling things other than animal carcass, you must plan ahead — or risk finding yourself stuck with a woefully dull cheese and lettuce number. Lucky for us, here in the Bay we celebrate all sandwich orientations — some with brassy beets, others laced with sweet and spicy barbeque sauce, all ample reasons to raise our veggie flags high as we chow down.

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FEAST: 5 tapioca delights

The little pearls get their due in classic and contemporary SF dishes

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diane@sfbg.com

When it comes to tapioca pudding, levels of neurosis tend to equal levels of nostalgia, with the haters depicting the starchy little pearls as "gummy, scary fish eyes" and the aficionados invoking Mom patiently stirring vanilla extract into the sweet milky mixture over a prairie Wedgewood.Read more »

FEAST: 8 intriguing entrees

Breakfast and dinner are great times for a change

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virginia@sfbg.com

Forget that gourmet mac 'n' cheese, leave behind another night of Neapolitan pizza — it's time to consider a meal that has yet to be repeated all over town. Here are a few that have really turned my head of late.

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FEAST: 5 gourmet gross-outs

"Say what?" menu items that are weird in a good way 

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diane@sfbg.com

From the design world to the fashion world, there are things that go and things that don't go (yes, you — guy in the striped shirt and madras Bermuda shorts ensemble; and you too, street scrounger hauling off that hideous oversized floral-pattern couch). But the truth is, these principles remain fixed only until some genius comes along and voila! isn't everyone on the runway looking sharp in stripes and madras? And doesn't that flower-power couch look great with that Marimekko wallpaper?Read more »

FEAST: 7 brunch cocktails

Why be sober when you can sparkle?

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FEAST: 10 contemporary kitchen essentials

All you need to shift your cooking from serviceable to superb

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By now, you (hopefully) know the basic building blocks of good eating: fresh, in-season vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and — for the carnivorous set — lean, unprocessed meat and fish. Awesome. But unless you're an adherent of the new Paleo diet fad, which mimics the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it's going to take a bit more to transform this no-frills foundation into something you'd want to sit down to. Here are a few kitchen essentials that can quickly shift your cooking from serviceable to superb. (Emily Appelbaum)

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FEAST: 6 best breakfast bets

Up before noon? The Guardian counsels eating

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SF: a brunch town if ever there was one. The life of the alternative journalist is such that we're rarely awake at sunrise, wondering from where the hell our next hangtown fry will materialize. But there are times when it behooves one to dine at 8 a.m. on a weekday (occasions that usually correspond to the appearance of a mother or father). Set that alarm, sweetie: here's where you'll find Guardian staff dragging to before a big day.

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It's 6 a.m. somewhere

Seize the day with drinks before dawn

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ruggy@yelp.com

RUGGY'S YELP On my 21st birthday, I wanted to suck every single ounce of inebriated enjoyment out of the milestone occasion and tipped back my first airplane bottle of 99 Bananas schnapps at 5:45 a.m. outside one of San Diego's premiere 20-hour bars, the Silver Fox. Before arriving, I was convinced I'd be the only patron crazy enough to enter when its doors opened at 6 a.m., but I found myself among 10 to 15 others queued up, awaiting an 80-proof wake-me-up with trembling hands.Read more »

La vida vegan

A panel of animal product-free Bay Area-ites tell it like it is

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caitlin@sfbg.com

DINE It's a wild, woolly world when you won't eat its cheeseburgers. Or so I discovered last autumn when I read Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals and found that my inner logician could no longer justify consuming products from the loins (and udders, and uteri) of animals that spent their lives experiencing the systematic abuse of factory farms.Read more »

Speak easy of the theme bar

The Wilson's snob-lite cocktail wins over a new convert

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virginia@sfbg.com

THE DRINKING LIFE Born as it was into a speakeasy family, Bourbon & Branch's newest younger sibling is characteristically confusing to locate. Trek to the same scruffy block of Jones Street that B&B calls home, find the barred window labeled "Wilson and Wilson Private Detective Agency." (Hint: it's next to a wooden door sporting a peep hole.) Do not enter here. Potential tipplers must detour through Bourbon & Branch be granted audience to The Wilson.Read more »