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Monday, May 4, 2015

Cinco de Mayo: Mixing Mezcal in Honor of Mexico

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

The Smoke & Fire Fashioned - MONTELOBOS
  • Montelobos
  • The Smoke & Fire Fashioned

Ahh, the misunderstood perplexities of mezcal. The trademark flavors of tequila's smokier, more sophisticated sibling are the result of agave roasting over a pit fire for up to three days. Although these unctuous tonalities lend themselves to comparisons with scotch — and bring with them similar hesitation among casual drinkers — mezcal is a surprisingly accessible drink. In fact, the same robust characteristics position the spirit of Oaxaca as a powerful player in advanced mixology. In the right hands, with a proper supporting cast, mezcal is winning over many skeptics north of the border. Today's celebration of all things Mexico provides a perfect excuse to explore the country's other agave-based export. 

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When Is a Craft Beer a Craft Beer?

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 2:15 PM

JOSHUA RAINEY PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock

When Wal-Mart goes organic, does it alter the distribution systems of organic produce? When restaurants that employ off-site commissary kitchens say they make things “in-house,” is that really truthful? And when a brewing  giant enters the craft beer market, does it undermine the integrity of the term?

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Starbucks Express Debuts

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

BOCMAN1973/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Bocman1973/Shutterstock

Starbucks has opened the pilot store for Starbucks Express in Lower Manhattan.

In case you want coffee without the ambient sound of people typing, or diehard fans of capitalism crowing about the stolidity of the New York Stock Exchange, it’s a pared-down shop. There are no tables, no blenders to make time-consuming Frappuccinos, and an assembly line POS system that shaves precious seconds off the re-heating of a sandwich. This Starbucks Express caters to people who want a cup of coffee, and want it now, and it’s located very near to multiple transit lines.

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SaloonBox Is Like a CSA, But For Booze

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM

ANDREW BRODHEAD
  • Andrew Brodhead
If you’ve ever found yourself looking to shake up some cocktails but a little flummoxed by a single shriveled-up lemon in your fridge and a cupboard that contains only Fireball and T.G.I. Friday’s Mudslide mix, there is a solution on the horizon. Not unlike a CSA for gin instead of rainbow chard, SaloonBox aims to make home mixology easier by delivering weekly boxes full of everything you’ll need — because nobody likes running to Safeway for olives. Nobody.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Sofi Nominations for Papalote, Hey Boo, and Other Bay Area Companies

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click image Sofis definitely resemble the Oscars. - NASFT
  • NASFT
  • Sofis definitely resemble the Oscars.
The sofis, oft referred to as the “Oscars of the food world” are calling for some Bay Area companies. Being in the running for a sofi — out of a whopping 2,715 entries equals big recognition from the Specialty Food Association, which represents a $109 billion industry. The word “sofi” stands for "Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation." I tried most of these products at the busy Winter Fancy Food show in San Francisco in January.
Bay Area nominees include: Papalote’s roasted tomato salsa, Hey Boo’s delectable small batch coconut jam, Bay blue cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese company, whole milk ricotta and crème fraiche by Bellwether Farms, Haig’s cracked wheat salad and the avocado and greens drink from the Forager Project.

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You Have Until 7 p.m. to Enjoy a Free Affogatto at Sightglass

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 2:08 PM

Affogatto (front) and Coffee Float (rear) - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Affogatto (front) and Coffee Float (rear)

You have approximately five hours for the best thing to happen to you all day (unless it’s pay day for you, or you’re participating in a march for social justice, or you scheduled a sex date with a hottie for later). Barring any or all of those circumstances, you have until 7 p.m. to get to Sightglass Coffee on Seventh Street for a free affogatto.

If Homer Simpson were particularly worldly, he might tilt his head back and drool, gargling his own words: “Mmm ... affogatto.”

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In DIY Food News: Blaze Pizza Is (Finally) in San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 11:01 AM

From L-R: a build it yourself pizza with spicy red sauce and a white pie - BETTY WANG
  • Betty Wang
  • From L-R: a build it yourself pizza with spicy red sauce and a white pie


San Francisco's very first Blaze Pizza is in the Stonestown Galleria, where the former Williams Sonoma used to be. While we have a number of places for one to design one's own sandwiches (Subway, or any neighborhood Safeway deli), burritos (Blaze is being touted as the "Chipotle of pizzas"),  for some reason, fast food renditions of DIY pizza are actually a little more sparse than the aforementioned items.

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Block Party at Bluxome Street Winery

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

BLUXOME STREET WINERY
  • Bluxome Street Winery

Everybody loves a good street party, and seeing as they’ve got an event space inside their urban winery, the vintners at Bluxome Street Winery are no exception. Because their little corner of Soma is a less-than-heavily trafficked alley, it only makes sense that the Bluxome team could shut it down and turn it out.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Aktun, Baby!: Mayan Restaurant Takes Over Former Emmy's Space

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 4:00 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

When Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack vacated its original location on Virginia Avenue in Bernal Heights for a bigger location on Mission Street, it left a big old pile of nothing behind. That’s unfortunate, because the space has a secret passageway via the conservatory from Clue into El Amigo, the unassuming corner bar that just so happens to serve one of San Francisco’s finest margaritas.

And now that space is set to be taken, by a restaurant whose concept comports even better with salted rims than garlic bread does. (No shade at Emmy, whose menu does include a Mayan-style prawn ceviche.) Mayan-Yucatecan Aktun, whose kitchen is currently in the soft-opening phase as the dining room gets built out, is a project by Emmy’s brother Joe Kaplan, who has owned El Amigo since 2011.

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Between Two Slices: Naked Lunch

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:00 PM

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli

Around the corner from the city’s worst-slash-best-slash-worst-again strip clubs lies the cleverly named Naked Lunch. If you fancy a decadently sinful lunch hour, you can stop in for some skin, or you can just cheat on your gastroenterologist and stop in at North Beach’s Naked Lunch for my favorite kind of sin: Sandwich porn!

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