John Birdsall

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    Prime Your Palate for Litquake's Food Events

    Every year, Litquake brings together a veritable orgy of events for writers and readers, and anyone whose soul is a little bit thirsty for some literary juice or a chance to worship at Dave Eggers' feet. This year there are some seriously stellar-sounding food events programmed into the lineup as we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    Slow Food's $5 Challenge Made Alice Waters Cry

    People are apparently quitting Slow Food USA over this.​On this week, former SFoodie editor John Birdsall came out with a shocker of a story. Slow Food USA is losing members, upsetting core supporters, and laying off staff, Birdsall reports. Why? Because it's changing its focus to address ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2011

    The 10 Sweetest Things in San Francisco

    Albert Law/porkbellystudio​San Francisco may be known as the capital of vegetable-loving, sustainability-obsessed dining, but that doesn't mean this town doesn't eat enough sugar to bake a scale model of AT&T Park out of red velvet cake. Today, we've decided to recap 10 of the sweets that sent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2011

    Announcing the East Bay Express's New Food Critic

    ​The East Bay Express has just made the official announcement: They've hired a new restaurant critic, and it's none other than former SFoodie editor John Birdsall. Birdsall, who has lived in Oakland for a decade and was the paper's restaurant critic in 2006-07, will be returning to write a weekly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Chef-Crushing on London, Discovering Anda Piroshki: This Week in Food Bloggery

    Nick Vasilopoulos/StoqqGialina's Atomica.​ Highlights from the blog this week:1. Laura Beck eats at Ubuntu, faints, then interviews chef Aaron London as soon as she recovers. London reveals that he does indeed work 100 hours a week and strives to make every part of the artichoke edible, which is p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2011

    Cold Ice, Hot Tofu, and Fresh Croissants: This Week in Food Bloggery

    John BirdsallStarter Bakery croissants.​Highlights from the blog this week:1. SFoodie bloggers locate two dishes I've been curious about for a while: Luis Chong finds Taiwanese-style shaved ice in the Outer Sunset, just in time for a mini heat wave, and Sean Timberlake writes an SF92 post about th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2011

    Starter Bakery: Ex-S.F. Baking Institute Teacher Rolls Out Perfect Pastries

    John BirdsallKouign amann: flaky, salty, caramelized-sugar breakfast pastries from Starter Bakery.​Further evidence that the Bay Area is deep into a renaissance of pastry brilliance: four-month-old Starter Bakery, which is producing amazing scones, Provencale kouign amann, and the finest crois ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2011

    Kati Rolls, Three-Fingered Gamblers, and Holy Cannoli: This Week in Food Bloggery

    Amanderson2/FlickrA kati-roll vendor in Kolkota.​Five highlights from the blogs this week: 1. John Birdsall interviews Annamika Khanna from Kasa about the closing of her Marina branch, learns why she's doing weekly vegan dinners at the Corner if she eats dairy herself, and gets the sad news that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2011

    Cookie Busts, Modern Pan Dulce, and Trick Muffins: This Week in Food Bloggery

    joseybakerbread.blogspot.comWould you buy bread from this man? You should.​Five highlights from the blog this week:1. We SFoodie staffers felt like we were running so many stories about local vendors launching their products at the Haight Street Whole Foods (examples: Azalina's kaya, Hapa SF's pin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2011

    Turns Out Apocalyptic Korean Tacos Aren't Bad

    John BirdsallDon't get this one, get the other one.​What are the odds? What should park outside the immaculately tended offices of SF Weekly today but Pyongyang Express, the taco truck hired ― like a motorized cable car facilitating a bachelorette booze crawl ― to drive around the city. Oh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2011

    Another Cupcake Competition Is Headed to Town

    John BirdsallIn this corner, Mission Minis.​SF Cupcake Challenge Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie (at Mint Plaza), 625-8880 When: Sun., Mar. 6, 1-4 p.m. Cost: $40 The rundown: In a big nightclub accustomed to nocturnal events, civilian cupcake lovers will join a media panel (including yours tr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2011

    Eat Grilled Cheese, Get Toasted

    John Birdsall​Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Pairing Where: American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, 1 South Park (at Second St.), 243-0107 When: Sun., Feb. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost: $30 The rundown: AGCK is commemorating SF Beer Week with a sandwich and brew matchup, but unlike at stuffy wine pai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2011

    Food Truck Drama, Sushirritos, and Bacon Hot Dogs: This Week in Food Bloggery

    greenkozi/FlickrBacon-wrapped hot dogs: Too illegit to quit.​My favorite stories from the blog this week:1. Food truck drama episode no. 1: John Birdsall talked to the owners of Twirl and Dip, the ice cream truck, about how the city's paperwork-screwup got them kicked them out of a park space they ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2010

    The Five Best Things We Had for Lunch in November

    John BirdsallStar Stream's pork conserva sandwich with citrus-fennel salad, $7.50.​Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Smothered antojitos, vegetable pop tarts, a couple of very good sandwiches, and nubbly falafel: Five memorable things we lunched on in November, reprised here in SFoodie's "Eat This" ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2010

    Scream's Sorbet Sandwich

    John BirdsallScream's coffee almond sorbet between molasses gingersnaps, $4.75.​Monday, November 22, 2010 John Birdsall​Scream's Temescal retail shop ― two doors down from Bakesale Betty and its daily crush of fried chicken sandwich fanatics ― has come together slower than a major S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2010

    Crabs, 'Bangers, and Tobacky: This Week in Food Bloggery

    Jonathan KauffmanDestination Bakery's Challah, $4.​1. John Birdsall has been tracking the opening day of commercial Dungeness crab season, and reports that it will be Monday or Tuesday. It astonishes me that opening day isn't a bigger deal here. Perhaps the problem, as Birdsall suggests, is that t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2010

    Buckwheat Crêpe from Crêperie Saint Germain

    John BirdsallThe Number 3, cheese, ham, and egg, $6.95.​Thursday, October 28, 2010 John Birdsall​You take a bite of the Number 3 (cheese, ham, and egg, $6.95) and your teeth squeak against the thickish slice of deli ham swathed in a double-fold of spongy-soft buckwheat crêpe. Crêperie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Chicken Tacos from Gaby and Liz

    John BirdsallFrom left, carnitas, chicken, and carne asada tacos, $1.75 each.​Friday, October 8, 2010 John Birdsall​SFoodie's roundup of O.G. trucks ends at the southeast corner of Jackson Park, with the whirr of the Acme brewery in your ears, and at 2:30 p.m. on a Thursday, kids from D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    Kitchenette's Short Rib Sandwich

    John BirdsallSauerbraten-style short rib sandwich with braised cabbage, bronze fennel, and apple butter, $8.50.​Thursday, October 7, 2010 A short rib sandwich minitrend is gripping the city, San Francisco! Maybe nobody's done it quite so good lately as Kitchenette. Off the loading dock Monday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2010

    The Summit's 28 Hour Short Rib Sandwich

    John Birdsall28 hour short rib sandwich on house-baked weck, $8.50.​Wednesday, October 6, 2010 Desi Danganan's week-old third place all-day hangout on Valencia aims to be, well, whatever you want it to be: morning coffee house, daytime port for essential FB updates, dinner place, dessert salo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2010

    Rice Ball Trio from Onigilly

    John BirdsallLunch Set: chicken, eggplant, and hijiki onigiri, with daikon pickle and edamame, $7.​Thursday, September 30, 2010 Young dudes Kan Hasegawa and Koji Kanematsu noted Americans' bottomless appetite for the rainbow roll, but wondered why onigiri ― seaweed-wrapped rice balls fused ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2010

    The Five Best Things We Had for Lunch in September

    John BirdsallHRD's burrito with kimchi fried rice, pork, and kiwi salsa, $5.75.​Tuesday, September 28, 2010 Two sandwiches, a couple of tacos, fried chicken, and a burrito hefty enough for two meals: Five memorable things we lunched on in September, reprised here as SFoodie's "Eat This" honor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2010

    The Dagwood at Crown Burgers

    John BirdsallThe Dagwood, a quarter-pound cheeseburger with hot link, ham, and egg, $7.50.​Wednesday, September 22, 2010 John Birdsall​The back wall's a shrine to the doomed (Marilyn, Michael Jackson, Jesus) in framed, faded prints that look thrift-store campy, until you realize they pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2010

    Tofu-Kimchi Tacos from TaKorea

    John BirdsallFrom left, on the hood of a stranger's truck parked on Brannan, TaKorea's vegetarian, chicken, pork, and beef taco, $2 each.​Friday, September 17, 2010 John Birdsall​Mr. Cho's Korean fusion truck flaunts a Kanye West bear clone in samurai armor and sunglasses, fronting a ta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2010

    Tofu Banh Mi from Ebbett's Good To Go

    John Birdsall Shredded Hodo Soy Beanery tofu with pickled carrots, cucumbers, piquillo peppers, spicy pesto, and sriracha mayo, $8.​Monday, September 13, 2010 John Birdsall​Like Nancy Botwin, East Bay moms Suzanne Schafer and Shari Washburn wanted to do something that would guarantee th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2010

    More Food Trucks, More Korean-Mexican Fusion, and Other SFoodie Highlights From This Week

    Kim Jong Grillin'/FacebookBest. Name. Ever.​Highlights from the blog this week:1. The biggest SFoodie news of the week: SF Cart Project's Matt Cohen finally got Rec and Parks, the various permitting agencies, and the trucks together to launch two more "Off the Grid" street-food gatherings in the U ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    HRD Coffee Shop's Kimchi Burrito

    John BirdsallBurrito with kimchi fried rice, pork, and kiwi salsa, $5.75.​Thursday, September 9, 2010 John Birdsall​The guy shitting in Taber Alley breaks his concentration long enough to give you the death gaze, like, Dude, you do NOT want to be here. Meanwhile, the South Park workers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2010

    Fish and Chips at Citizen's Band

    John BirdsallBeer-battered California rock cod, house-cut fries, and malt vinegar aioli, $9.​Wednesday, September 8, 2010 Revising the diner canon is tricky business. Cut and paste the original with too many pristine ingredients using too polished a hand, and it yields something fatally remov ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2010

    Lil Wayne, Paula Deen, and Iced Coffee: This Week in Food Bloggery

    John BirdsallBecause we just like looking at photos of ramen (this bowl's from Hapa Ramen).​This week's highlights from the blogs:1. Have you read the essay SFoodie editor John Birdsall wrote this week about how street food has exploded in San Francisco, and why? Because you should. 2. The biggest ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2010

    Show Dogs' Indian-Style Fried Chicken

    John BirdsallShow Dogs' fried chicken, served with house slaw and rosemary Yukon Gold potatoes ($12).​Thursday, September 2, 2010 Brian B./Yelp​Just as they do at Foreign Cinema, Show Dogs' John Clark and Gayle Pirie take inspiration from a cookbook shelf of international influences. Wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2010

    Humpday Hookup: SFoodie's Top Five Best Bites

    John BirdsallB³'s burger ($10), with fried Petaluma egg ($1) and Manchego cheese ($3).​Wednesday, September 1, 2010 This morning, we present five memorable things we've tasted over the past three weeks, our "Eat This" honor roll of recent finds, arrayed in no particular order: 1. Burger at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2010

    Six Bites from Eat Real

    John BirdsallPair of tacos al fresco from the Taco Guys.​Monday, August 30, 2010 The weekend's Eat Real Festival has faded into the sting of a sunburned neck, a pair of stained jeans in the hamper, and the memory of six bites that made us taste twice: 1.Kurobuta pork and chile verde taco (l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Carnitas Taco at El Rancho Grande

    John BirdsallCarnitas (left, $2.55) and fish tacos ($3.55).​Friday, August 27, 2010 John Birdsall​Maybe the best thing about this month-old, hyper-yellow taqueria is that its carved out a place on an otherwise under-taco'd stretch of Divis. It's the kind of relentlessly well-lit place y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    Zero Zero's Panouzzo

    John BirdsallPanouzzo with mortadella, prosciutto cotto, soppressata, and provolone ($11.95).​Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Its origins in Gragnano, a city just outside Naples, shouldn't fool you. The panouzzo at Bruce Hill's Zero Zero ― which began serving lunch this week ― is, at heart, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2010

    The B³ Burger

    John BirdsallBurger ($10), with fried Petaluma egg ($1) and Manchego cheese ($3).​Friday, August 20, 2010 ameer n./Yelp​This is a damn good burger. Kevin Ahajanian, fitted with the Keller halo from time spent at Bouchon, has stacked up something with the bones of Cali quintessential. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2010

    The Eat Real Lit Fest: Writers on Street Food, Gardening, and Storytelling

    ​Oakland's Eat Real Festival, the second of two back-to-back food festivals taking place over the next two weekends, isn't just about street food, though 80 carts and trucks will be in attendance. There are also urban homesteading demonstrations and competitions, a beer and wine garden, a farmers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2010

    The Crepe House's Florentine

    John BirdsallThe Florentine, filled with cheddar, onions, spinach, and cottage cheese ($7.95).​Wednesday, August 18, 2010 John Birdsall​Crepes are the pleated Dockers of the café universe: not cool, but comfortable enough to make you overlook the fact, as long as nobody you know sees y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2010

    The Summit's Kinko's-Style Guerrilla Marketing

    John BirdsallCalling all beanie-rocking, studded-belt-wearing art students.​Looks like Desi Danganan is engaging in a bit of old-school guerrilla marketing, Kinko's style. Summit, the ex-Poleng proprietor's café, restaurant, and art gallery slated for 780 Valencia, is due in September. Yester ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2010

    El Gallo Giro's Carnitas Tacos

    John BirdsallCarnitas tacos ($1.50 each).​Tuesday, August 17, 2010 John Birdsall​It may be named for a twirling rooster, but El Gallo Giro taco truck stays put outside the gates of Parque Ninos Unidos at Treat and 23rd Street. The vehicle's streetside mural looks like something from a k ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2010

    Grilled Tri-Tip Sandwich from Town Hall BBQ

    John BirdsallGrilled tri-tip sandwich ($9.50).​Thursday, August 12, 2010 Maybe it's the relentlessly gray weather, but Town Hall BBQ ― the summer-long lunchtime cookout behind the Rosenthal brothers' kitchen ― seems drained of some of the tasty it had back in April, when the season began. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2010

    Humpday Hookup: Our Top Five Best Bites

    John BirdsallLittle burger with Tillamook cheddar, caramelized onions, and crispy wedged potatoes ($6).​Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Behold,some of the most memorable things SFoodie has tasted recently, a sort of "Eat This" honor roll from the past two weeks, arrayed in no particular order: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2010

    Chicken Salad Sandwich at Café Divis

    John Birdsall Maryland chicken salad sandwich on brioche bun ($6.50). ​Monday, August 9, 2010 Christian Cisclé was the opening chef and manager of Farmer Brown spin-off Little Skillet, and put the place on the city's list of gotta-eat venues last year. In February, he had a parting of the wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    Mijita's Chilaquiles

    John BirdsallChilaquiles with refried beans ($6.75) and scrambled egg ($1.50).​Friday, August 6, 2010 Maybe, like egg salad or doughnuts, chilaquiles are never really bad. What makes them good: attention to texture, plus, as a starting point, a tortilla base that strives for more than the gre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    The Daily Sandwich at Goody Goodie

    John BirdsallCherry sandwich with tarragon and Crescenza cheese ($5.50).​Friday, July 30, 2010 John BirdsallGoody Goodie's Walk-up window on Folsom.​This week, a month after throwing open the golden shutters on her retail bakery window on Folsom, Goody Goodie's Remi Hayashi started hawk ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    Green Coriander's Chicken Korma

    John BirdsallChicken korma, vegetables cooked with coconut sauce, and brown rice ($13.95 as part of a three-course menu).​Thursday, July 29, 2010 Paawan Kothari rolled out her lunchtime Indian pop-up two weeks ago, in what would seem like just about the most random Mission venue she could fin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2010

    El Tonayense's Tripitas Taco

    John BirdsallCabeza taco (left) and tripitas taco ($1.75 each).​Monday, July 26, 2010 The good news for maw haters: tripitas are not tripe. The bad news: They're bits from a pig's lower intestine, boiled and fried, the chitlins of American soul food. In Bay Area taco trucks, along with buche, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2010

    51st State's Fried Quail

    John BirdsallCrispy cornmeal quail served with jalapeno cheddar cheese grits and spiced maple syrup ($9). ​Wednesday, July 21, 2010 Francesca Salcido, Nathan Smith, and Daniel Gutierrez conceived the taco-truck equivalent of high concept with 51st State, mapping out a seasonally changing menu ... More >>

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