Food & Drink

Sympathy for the (she) devil

South Pacific Island Restaurant
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> le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS They don't have kickoffs. They just start the game. It was the Lexington Club Bruisers vs. the Diablas, and we were the only two people in the stands. Again. Me and Twinkle Wonderkid.

Crocker Amazon. The weather: football weather, foggy and freezing ... I had every intention in the world of rooting for the Bruisers. I don't know, the Lexington Club just kind of feels like the home team to me. Plus I like the pink shirts.

However, there was a lot more pink on the field than there was blue. Read more »

The importance of being imported

Appreciating Portugese wine
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If you think of Mateus or Lancer's when you think of Portuguese wine, then you may soon be thinking anew. Portugal's food and wines have been overshadowed by those of Spain, its larger Iberian neighbor, over the last generation or so, but the Portuguese viticultural tradition has its roots in Roman times and produces wines that compare favorably with any in the world. Read more »

El pollo greco

The wonders of Athenian chicken
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Herbs tell stories, and the association of certain herbs with certain experiences can be specific and powerful. Basil, for instance, is summer and tomatoes, while sage is Thanksgiving and bread stuffing. Oregano? Its strong perfume is the smell of pizza — but it's also Greek. It is, in particular, the herb that gives Athenian or Greek chicken its bewitching character.

For years I tried without much success to create at home a plausible version of the Athenian chicken that we found so irresistible in Greek restaurants. Read more »

Esperpento

A theater of the absurd
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paulr@sfbg.com

Spanish food may have struggled for recognition in this country and will almost certainly never be as well loved as its near relation, Italian cooking, but in the last decade or so the Iberian peninsula has given us at least one big present: the tapa. Tapas, the little plates that could, are so big now that they're often not even remotely Spanish: we find Cuban and nuevo Latino and even American versions, while small plates from other cultures end up being called "tapas" for convenience's sake. Read more »

Making it

El Toro Loco
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS The Craigslist ad said "blood-soaked carnivore." And I wish I could remember the rest of it, because it was unusual and well written, but all I needed to know, really, was "blood-soaked carnivore."

By the letter, it wasn't even what I was looking for; it wasn't M or FTM or F (w/a SOD).... It was BSC. Blood-soaked carnivore.

That's my favorite kind of carnivore!

Talk about a hook with my lip written all over it.... It's almost not even fair. It's almost cheating. Read more »

Assault on batteries

Satisfaction in disposal
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The urban forager is generally looking for something to eat, but this does not have to be the case. While there is an undeniable pleasure in bringing edibles (blackberries, nasturtiums) home to the table from the metropolitan wild, there is also satisfaction in gathering up rubbish and disposing of it properly. And just as the city is a remarkably fertile place, so too is it rich in articles it would be better off not being rich in.

We have all seen the plastic water bottles rustling in the gutters like autumn leaves — husks emptied of their pricey elixirs and tossed away. Read more »

UB V2?

V2
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paulr@sfbg.com

The obvious question to ask about V2 is: what about V1? What happened there? Was it an experimental version that didn't quite pan out, like one of Hitler's 11th-hour rockets? Or is it still out there somewhere? Read more »

Love's labours

Taqueria Mexican Grill
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I'm a fickle fucking farmer, I know that. So ... sorry, Doc, I've got a new favorite person. Her name is Zidane de la Cooter, and even though she only weighs 6 pounds, 13 ounces, she just about broke Crawdad's back trying to bonk her way into this sad and blurry world.

I got to be there for part of it. Not that I was invited exactly, but that's where my press pass comes in handy. Read more »

The big town

Metro-rustic in Chicago
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From the air, Chicago in late winter looks like a giant crepe sprinkled with crushed peppercorns and minced scallions: a brown flatness textured with bits of black and white and wan hints of green. It's a cold crepe, of course; you land and you can see your breath, though within a day or so the temperature will have risen into the malarial mid-70s, and the sky will be filled with purplish green, swelling clouds right out of The Wizard of Oz. Read more »

Open city

Aperto
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paulr@sfbg.com

There could hardly be a more welcoming name for a restaurant than aperto — "open" in Italian, and Aperto is an Italian restaurant — except, possibly, Welcome. The north face of Potrero Hill is home to lots of restaurants, but Welcome isn't one of them, at least not yet. While we wait, we can wait at Aperto, which offers a handsome wooden bench outside the front door for the convenience of those whose tables aren't yet available and are too weary to stand. Aperto is small, and it is busy, and everyone seems to know about it. Read more »