Food & Drink

The power of meat

Taiwan restaurant
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By L.E. Leone

le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I'm not really going to no wimmin's music festival in Michigan this summer, don't worry. It costs money — are you kidding me? And I'm not camping out at no Camp Trans, either, to protest. I already gave up on political actions, restroom-related or otherwise.

Y'all can have your fucked-up ismicistic world.

I have chickens. I have fire and wheels and weird words that nobody knows but me. Ismicistic means everyone's got to be a somethingist and embrace somethingism. Read more »

Death drove a cliche

Please, no more!
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With the mayor's race opening up rather unexpectedly, the power-involved now have a little something extra to think about: should I or shouldn't I, come autumn? I shouldn't and won't — though I love autumn — but if I did, my platform would include some provision to the effect that writers who use clichés should be put in prison. Well, not really. As a society, our fetish for putting people in prison is matched (and perhaps exceeded) only by our fetish for objects and acts military. Read more »

Mussel systems

Aqua
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paulr@sfbg.com

When last we looked in on Aqua, the prospect seemed rather marbly and banklike, and the menu included paella. Paella is not a dish you should order even at most Spanish restaurants, let alone at a high-end seafood house, but a member of my party went ahead and ordered it anyway — in the heedlessness of youth — and was afterwards disappointed. Read more »

Me and my bitches

Mexicali Rose
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I have long, pretty, curly hair, and there's always food in it — and often branches and leaves and stuff — because I'm a chicken farmer. I spend my days crawling around in the bushes, looking for eggs.

At the famous Womyn's Music Festival in Michigan, trans women (MTFs, women who were It's-a-Boyed at birth) are not welcome. I knew that. What I didn't know, until Bitch magazine told me, is that trans men (FTMs, men who were It's-a-Girled at birth) are welcome. Read more »

A gourmet ghetto

Noe Valley ups its taste quotient
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Although Noe Valley has become quite tony in the past decade, the neighborhood's commercial district seems to be developing a slight case of schizophrenia, at least in the matter of comestibles. On one hand, chic little food shops abound, selling fancy cheeses, coffee, gelato, baked goods, and wine — but on the other, there is an area of darkness at the center of things, on the main drag between Noe and Sanchez streets.

On the south side of 24th Street, we find the corpse of the Real Food Company, which unceremoniously shut down in August 2003. Read more »

Lemongrass and old grease

Rasha Restaurant
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paulr@sfbg.com

The Bad Planner's Guide to the Galaxy is a little thin in the Valentine's Day section. It could be that the Bad Planner isn't very romantic, or it could be that the Bad Planner just isn't a very good planner — doesn't get on the stick weeks or months in advance to make restaurant reservations the way our society's many compulsive, air-traffic-controller types do. The result is often, on the enchanted evening in question, an interlude of sweaty panic: Where to go? Who will have us at the last minute? Read more »

Practical aggression

Chilli Cha Cha
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS The reason I keep a dream journal is not because I think my dreams mean anything. It's because where else do you get to write a sentence like He's always so brittle when he comes back to life and not even blink?

Cheap Eats!!!

This week's dreamy food-for-all begins on the baseball field. Big Rec, Golden Gate Park. A beautiful summery day for July or August. For early February, it was surreal. Read more »

When the lights go down

Why are menus so hard to read?
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Now that our winter festivals have ended, taking their candle-lighting rituals with them, we are left with winter's deep and early darkness. We are left with it even in restaurants, many of which seem to be increasingly dim and shadowy, and how are you supposed to read a menu in such brown-out conditions? If you're lucky, your table is set with a votive candle, which you can pass back and forth, like boys in a tree house sharing a flashlight to ogle purloined porn. Read more »

See you in Assisi

Ristorante Umbria
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paulr@sfbg.com

Umbria is the center of Italy, pretty much, and that isn't an easy thing to be. The country has an unconcentric shape, for one thing: a long, booted shank poised to kick a lumpy ball called Sicily, with aloof Sardinia looking on and a curious glanslike flaring in the north, where the peninsula's long-ago collision with the rest of Europe raised the Alps. Italy is, like California, hot, snowy, mountainous, and flat; it is a land of butter, rice, pancetta, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. It is close to Switzerland and Africa. Read more »

Reorientation

Little Thai
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Earl Butter said it was the dumbest thing he'd ever heard, and that was when I knew I was back. I wish I could remember what I'd said, to mark the spot, something about ... something, I feel certain.

We were sitting around a couple of square tables in the back room at Mollie's truck stop, former home of the 12-egg omelet and current home of the only chicken-fried steak omelet that I know of. Read more »