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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sidekick: Cowgirl Creamery Offshoot Has a Milk Bar Inspired by Paris

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM

click to enlarge Sidekick's savory yogurt: carrot puree, Wallaby yogurt, and carrot-cucumber salad. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Sidekick's savory yogurt: carrot puree, Wallaby yogurt, and carrot-cucumber salad.
Last February, just after snagging the former Lulu Petite stall in the Ferry Building,

Cowgirl Creamery's founders absconded to Paris for a cheese show. Sue Conley told us she and Peggy Smith would brainstorm ideas in the City of Lights.

Yesterday, Conley and Smith unveiled their expansion, a Cowgirl prepared foods spinoff called Sidekick, which contains what might be the country's only milk bar. Baristas here serve up glasses of Straus, cold or steamed, with or without flavorings. Conley tells SFoodie Paris was indeed the inspiration. There was a milk bar at the agricultural show they attended last winter in Paris, though, as Conley acknowledges, it wasn't exactly designed for adults. "They had all kinds of flavors ― a lot of fruit flavors ― that they'd add to a small cup of milk," she recalls.

Sidekick offers only one fruit flavor (raspberry). But you can get milk spiked with Recchiuti chocolate (foods from Ferry Building neighbors are a theme here), spices, caramel, or coffee, the latter from Equator beans cold-steeped 18 hours. We had a slug dissolved in our steamed Straus milk this morning ($3.75) ― Straus barista milk, by the way, which is homogenized, yielding loftier foam.

click to enlarge Acme gougère filled with herbed fromage blanc. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Acme gougère filled with herbed fromage blanc.
The kitchen manager here is Laura McGrath. She works under Paul Buscemi, lead chef at Cowgirl's Point Reyes headquarters. The menu here is a collaboration by Buscemi, Conley, and Smith. There's no real kitchen here, so Sidekick contracts for food prep at Slanted Door.

Cowgirl's shrine to milk opens at 7 a.m., and the menu switches over to lunch at 11. We sampled two bites this morning, a beautifully tender Acme gougère piped with herb-flecked Cowgirl fromage blanc. And we liked the savory yogurt with Moroccan carrot purée, a foundation of sweet, moussey orange topped with Wallaby yogurt and a tangy, chunky salad of cucumbers, parsley leaves, and a couple of carrot varietals (Conley says all produce comes from vendors at the Ferry Plaza farmers' market).

Hours are limited now (the place closes at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. Sundays). Conley says by the middle of next week, it should stay open till 7 Monday through Saturday.

Sidekick: 1 Ferry Building #19 (at Embarcadero), 392-4000.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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