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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beam In to Scarlet City, Emeryville's New Sci-Fi-themed Espresso Bar

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Since starting the Oakland-based Scarlet City Coffee Roasting in 2009, Jen St. Hilaire has won plaudits for her science fiction-inspired blends, like Warp Drive.

“I do medium or Northern Italian style, where the coffee is roasted to the point where all sugars are fully developed inside the bean and not extracted to the surface,” she says of her preferred roasting method. “If you don’t roast [the beans] to where the sugars are caramelized, your cup will be overly bright and taste like a sour fruit, and it won’t have the sort of depth and nuance.”

Since ’09, East Bay fans have had to seek out the beans and make their own espresso, but not any longer. Scarlet City Espresso Bar had its soft opening on Saturday and is open for business.

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Pop-Up Planner: Brandy, Brunch, Late Night Korean, Aug. 19 - Aug. 24

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Share some brandies with friends a bites from Bar Agricole. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Share some brandies with friends a bites from Bar Agricole.

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 8-10 p.m.
Where: Bar Agricole, 355 11th St., 355-9400.
Cost: $75
The rundown: K&L is teaming up with Bar Agricole to bring the first annual Brandyfest. The ticket includes access to unlimited brandy tastings, cocktails, and bites for either of the two sessions. More than 15 brandies will be showcased by K&L.

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What Happens When You Stick 4505's Best Damn Cheeseburger in a Kronnerburger

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Better than a Big Mac. - OMAR MAMOON
  • Omar Mamoon
  • Better than a Big Mac.

If you read my SF Street Food Survival Guide, then last Saturday you came to Folsom Street with an eating itinerary (an “eatinerary,” if you will). And with well over 160 possible bites, the combinations and permutations of food pairings were endless.

As I was planning my own personal menu the night prior, I realized I had a difficult decision to make: 4505’s Best Damn Cheeseburger or a Kronnerburger? To a burger beginner, 4505 simply sounds better on paper. Even to a calculated expert, the smaller 4ish-ounce patty would’ve been the wiser option given the precious stomach space it would have saved during the 8-hour, mile-long feeding frenzy that was #sfsff. But to this ravenous, gluttonous, unabashed burger buff, the only choice was no choice: I had to have them both. Together. At once.

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A Turkish Dish Goes Vegetarian at Troya

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 8:01 AM

  • Julie Kramer
Troya on Fillmore is the kind of place that makes you feel instantly welcome. Walk into the long, warmly-lit space – formerly occupied by Citizen Cake and, before that, neighborhood fixture Vivande Porta Via – and you’ll be welcomed by a host who seems genuinely glad you stopped in. There is a bar to one side, and on the other, simple wood tables; it is elegant without being fancy. The food, described as Turkish-inspired Mediterranean, is divided into mezes, Anatolian flatbreads, kebabs and larger plates.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Week in Vegan: Couture, Controversy and Pole Dancing Champions

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:05 PM

  • Just a reminder: The Humane Society isn't a vegan organization. While the org does a lot of good, it's also sponsoring a Colorado event charmingly entitled "Hoofin' It" which showcases the deliciousness of a different hoofed species several nights in a row. That's gross. JL Fields (huge fan!) contacted the HSUS and they reminded her that they're not just working to better the lives of animals, they're also working to end inhumane practices in the farming industry. I guess that's something, but, like Fields, I'm having a hard time justifying my support of the HSUS when they sponsor an event like this.

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S.F. Street Food Fest's Last Appearance on Folsom Did Not Disappoint

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Hungry, hungry people. - TIFFANY DO
  • Tiffany Do
  • Hungry, hungry people.

With more than 80 vendors, this year's S.F. Street Food Festival sponsored by La Cocina this past Saturday was the one of the busiest years out of the six, according to executive director, Caleb Zigas.

Because of the popularity of the fest, La Cocina plans on expanding it next year at a different location, making this the final year on Folsom.

"We don't think we can improve the event without more physical space," Zigas says.

He does promise some sort of an event if a larger festival doesn't pan out next year. 

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Farm Nerds Take Notice: Agriculture Journalism is Making a Comeback

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 10:57 AM

What are they planting? Now with the revival of the agricultural beat, we'll get all the facts. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • What are they planting? Now with the revival of the agricultural beat, we'll get all the facts.
As of late, food journalism has been mainly associated with restaurant reviews and news. The agriculture beat, or a reporter's specialized, reoccurring assignment, of yesteryear was forgotten but we're not witnessing its revival. Some names in the industry, such as the Chronicle's Tara Duggan, Civil Eats founder and editor in chief Naomi Starkman, and Modern Farmer's Andy Wright will be speaking at "Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence," a panel hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California. Sasha Khokha, KQED's Central Valley bureau chief will play moderator.

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Who Makes the Better Khao Mun Gai: SF’s Kin Khao or Oakland’s Hawker Fare?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Kao Mun Gai at Kin Khao, in San Francisco - KATE WILLIAMS
  • Kate Williams
  • Kao Mun Gai at Kin Khao, in San Francisco

First, a definition: Kao mun gai is a Thai chicken and rice dish made with gently poached chicken and schmaltz-slicked, broth infused-rice. The humble plate of poultry and starch is of Chinese origin, but it is likely best known in Singapore, where it is called Hainese Chicken Rice and is referred to as the tiny country’s national dish. Regardless of where it is served, kao mun gai falls into the category of healing comfort food; at its best it is a pure expression of chicken itself.

Kao mun gai barely made appearances on U.S. Thai menus until recently, but now the dish pops up on the menus of newer, foodie-focused Thai spots. (Portland’s food-cart-turned-restaurant, Nong’s Kao Mun Gai, might take some credit for this menu shift.) While traditionally made with a whole chicken, the plates of kao mun gai served in the U.S. are typically made with single, boneless chicken breasts. As long as they’re poached gently and served skin-on, chicken breasts are a surprisingly good choice; the rise of sous vide cooking has made it possible.

Kin Khao and Hawker Fare, two of the newest Thai and Southeast Asian restaurants in the Bay, both have a version of kao mun gai on their menu. Does one shine above the other?

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Celebrate Everything Bacon at Memphis Minnie's

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Served with white sauce, this bacon-on-bacon creation is something the Epic Meal Time dudes would appreciate. - MEMPHIS MINNIE'S

International Bacon Day is a gift from the arbitrary holiday gods and Memphis Minnie's Bar-B-Que Joint & Smoke House is your gateway to "swine dining," as their slogan promises. Their Facebook event says they'll be slinging bacon from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. but General Manager Tom Campbell tells us that the porky goodness will be available for as long as supplies last.

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Drink of the Week: Haven is Real

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Yuzu Sour cocktail - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Yuzu Sour cocktail

Last call: with this 142nd column, almost three years worth of drinking and writing Drink of the Week, it’s time for me to give up my seat at the bar. Thanks for reading and drinking along with me here, and keep an eye out for new drinks and adventures on my twitter feed and other articles here on SF Weekly. Cheers!

I always love finding places that are creating menus where the bar and kitchen work to create a holistic experience. The cocktails work with the food (not an easy feat), and the food is designed with higher-octane drinks in mind. Maven in the Haight has been doing that for a while now, going as far as designing its menu as a matrix with suggested pairings of beer, wine, and cocktails for each dish. Newly opened Dirty Habit built its whole concept around that unified vision, as did The European.

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