Many hamburger places are at some pains to keep you from seeing, or wondering, exactly what's going into — as opposed to on top of — your burger. So I was rather surprised to find, at Bullshead Restaurant (a West Portal spot that recently opened a branch in the Castro), a glass display case near the entryway, laid out with various high-end-looking cuts of meat along with a selection of preshaped burger patties, as at a butcher's shop.
"Is this stuff for sale?" I asked.
A staffer behind the counter nodded.
"Even the buffalo burgers?"
"Yes. They're $10.95 a pound," she said. Read more »
CHEAP EATS A picture begins to develop: dating, for the chicken farmer, is turning out to be a sort of exercise in quantum romantics. Things are happening and not happening at the same time.
I'll start out being totally, over-boilingly in love with a complete stranger, and this gets gradually perfected to a sweet, simmering, and in a couple cases, cuddly friendship — miraculously without me ever getting my tits licked, which is all I really want, really. Read more »
Doctrines of infallibility are for popes and neocons, and need I say more? The rest of us lowly humans must make do with the doctrine of fallibility, a splendid coat of many colors. If you screw up in the kitchen, you add some mustard or vinegar — pancake makeup for defaced or deformed dishes — and hope for the best. Or phone out for emergency pizza. If you screw up in print ... well, there it is, as the tin-eared Emperor Joseph was wont to say in Amadeus. Errata have a way of accumuutf8g, like spatters on a chef's apron, until finally a laundering is in order. Read more »
Reincarnation is a sketchy proposition, even if you're a restaurant. True, you won't come back as a rabbit or a mosquito — a couple of the less juicy possibilities human beings have to worry about in anticipating their next go-round in life — but you will certainly be stuck with a past that, even if punctuated with interludes of glory, has to have culminated in some sort of gloomy closure for you to be available for reincarnation at all. The truth is that the names of successful restaurants don't recycle easily. Read more »
CHEAP EATS Hold on a second. Let me call and ask her ...
OK, it's OK to tell you now: Crawdad de la Cooter is pregnant! I had to keep it a secret for a long time because that's what pregnant people do to you — they tell everyone, and they tell everyone not to tell anyone. So we all go around bursting at the seams and looking at each other, wondering who knows what. But now I can write restaurant reviews and songs about it and everything. Crawdad's going to be a mama! Her new guy, Crawguy de la Peter, is going to be a daddy! Read more »
When I write about seafood these days, I cringe a little, wondering whether, by describing the eating of fish, I am in effect abetting the collapse of the world's maritime ecosystem. That I would be doing so in a rather tiny way makes no moral difference; nor does the fact that I personally will not buy or eat any seafood other than what I know to have been taken from sustainably managed (and usually local) populations — and this is a very brief list.
Historians of the future may well regard the 21st century as the interval in which the fate of this planet was decided. Read more »
If, like me, you associate the letters K and L with wine — as in K and L Wines — you might have to do some expectation adjustment when you step through the doors of KL Restaurant, a Hong Kong–style seafood house in the westernmost Richmond. Despite the heavily maritime menu, the only alcoholic drink on offer is beer, and the only beer is Heineken. No Tsingtao? Not even Sapporo or Tiger? Unheard of. Not that there's anything wrong with Heineken.
The restaurant's winelessness did not come as a complete surprise. Read more »
What am I grateful for?
Bacon. Fried chicken. Butter. Barbecued chicken. Butter. Bacon fat. Eggs ... None of which you will find by the way at my new favorite restaurant, Café Gratitude. I went to the one in Berkeley with my old blackberry pickin' pal and new favorite massage therapist NFC, and even though I couldn't find no chicken-fried steak on the menu, I have to admit to having had one of the Times of my Life.
Has the chicken farmer lost her mind?
No! My old pal NFC has, because I would have taken her to Chez Panisse or even House of Chicken and Waffles ... Read more »
In the Thousand Years' War between beer and wine, beer has long enjoyed an advantage on the party battlefield, mostly because of the keg, the bunker buster of party drink delivery. Oh yes, kegs do run dry, they must, but has anyone actually seen it happen?
Wine, on the other hand, comes in bottles, and while some of these bottles are, in theory, party sized — the jeroboams and nebuchadnezzars that hold massive amounts of champagne spring to mind — they are unwieldy, lacking the keg's convenient tap. Could wine's secret weapon in the struggle for party preeminence be the box? Read more »