Best Dishes Worth Hunting Down - 2011
By Jonathan Kauffman and John Birdsall
Since the summer of 2009, when a profusion of food carts sprouted up around the city, smartphone-enabled San Franciscans have become nomadic eaters. Give them a few hours' notice via Twitter, and they'll bike far afield of their normal foraging sites, lining up for half-hours at a time at their favorite street-food source until they've exhausted the cook's supplies. Then they migrate to the next site, leaving trash cans swollen with crumpled napkins and biodegradable spoons in their wake. Here are a few of our favorite hard-to-find foodstuffs:
from Casey's Pizza
www.facebook.com/caseyspizza, Twitter: @CaseysPizza
Baking on a couple of modified Weber grills, Casey Crines puts out Neapolitan-style pizzas with light, char-speckled crusts that rank up there with Una Pizza Napoletana, Tony's, and Zero Zero. He also appears indoors at Vinyl Wine Bar (359 Divisadero at Oak).
from El Buen Comer
You'll have to visit the Saturday morning Noe Valley farmers' market (3861 24th St. at Vicksburg) to find Isabel Caudillo's pork tamales, whose pale, fine-grained masa has the lightness of a just-whipped mousse and whose filling is braised in a vibrant red-chile sauce.
from Rocky's Frybread
Wheeling his propane-fueled cart around to Mission bars, Rocky Yazzie gives away hot, puffy rounds of frybread, the crisp rounds inflated with air and sticky with drizzled honey or agave syrup. (Don't be a tool, though. Give the man a donation.)
www.sataysfied.com, Twitter: @sataysfied
Feldo Nartapura's Indonesian pork skewers are so glossy, you'd swear he has dipped the meat in molten glass. No, it's just his stellar marinade, which after a few minutes on the grill transforms into a potent rush of spices, caramelized sugar, and pork fat.
from Sweet Constructions
www.sweetconstructions.com, Twitter: @sfcookies
It's hard to predict where Mindi Canner and Kate Kuckro's innocuous-seeming cookie case will appear, but if you spot it, home in on the plush, friable sandwich cookies — coconut wafers with waffle-weave surfaces and, in between, homemade raspberry jam kept in place with a piped-in ring of vanilla buttercream.