Side Dish

Special Sauce, Dear Michael, Leviathan, Sold Upstream, A League of Their Own, and Royal Flush

Special Sauce
No, that wasn't a couple of old drag queens being filmed flipping burgers at Hamburger Mary's. Jacques Pepin and Julia Child (she's a favorite of cross-dressers the world over) put on aprons and fired up the grill at the city's oldest and only counterculture roadhouse. After working up a sweat behind the line, this terrific twosome sat down for a meal of Mary Burgers and Anchor Steam.

Dear Michael,
Oh, please, say it isn't so. The ill breath of rumor is swirling about town that you, the major-domo, nay, the crown prince of San Francisco foodies, are packing your matching luggage for windier cities. “Go west, young man” was the call of our forebears, so why head back east? To slip out past the seared ahi and sage brown butter sauce in search of that perfect steak and potato dinner? (Sniff.) You'll leave behind thousands of dedicated diners who hang upon your every word. (Sob.) There will be an empty space in the front windows of our restaurants, a space reserved for your review, the review that never came because you, you, you (gulp)… moved away.

If you haven't heard about this yet, then it's time you dug yourself out of that hole: Tight-lipped Gene Tartaglia of Mecca is involved in a top-secret new project in the watery region of the new ballpark. I know, I know, another new thang by the ballpark — that's all we've been hearing about for the past year — but this one is big. And remember, naysayers pooh-poohed Mecca when it first opened, but no one can deny that it's now the key swank spot in the Castro/Upper Market area. The new space won't surface until next spring, which gives you plenty of time to pull your preparedness kit together.

Sold Upstream
Gordon Biersch, the Palo Alto-based chain of upscale brewpubs, has sold all but its San Jose outlet to Red River Restaurants of Chattanooga. The name will remain the same, and the local boys will still be brewing the beer, but don't be surprised if you notice a bit of that old-fashioned corporate homogenization among the bocks and märzens.

A League of Their Own
Gail Deferrari's second annual Universal Care Coalition breast cancer event was a huge success at the Presidio Bowling Alley — she helped raise $150,000 for a group of beneficiaries including the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, and the Destination Foundation. Each of the lanes featured a different theme, with the ubiquitous Brown Twins heading up the San Francisco icon team and lotsa fruit headdresses in the Latin lane. Denise Hale and Dominick Dunne took a breather from the social scene to bowl a couple of frames. Food was provided by Gail's restaurants — Universal Cafe and xyz.

Royal Flush
The honor of being the first contender in Harry's Ostentatious Outhouse Pageant goes to the bathroom at JohnFrank. The gently sloping granite trough of a sink in sedate and sexy browns really puts the heaven back in hygiene. E-mail me your entries for sexiest stall or cutest commode.

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

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