The restaurant scene is roaring back to life in the South Bay and a common theme among them is restaurants featuring a unique bar program paired to a dining menu equal in creativity. While the concept of bringing together your favorite bar with gourmet bar bites is no new feat, here are 15 top-notch gastropubs in the South Bay.
Archive for August, 2009
The film doesn’t sufficiently sell Julie’s decision to blog about cooking her way through Child’s celebrated book. That on-screen moment is weak, her impetus glossed over like ripples in a cake’s frosting. Once Julie gets going, her resolve blossoms into a slightly creepy, worshipful obsession.
A lot of books make a big fuss about technique, so much that anyone would be convinced that you need an advanced degree from Pie Crust U to turn out something worth eating. But I’m here to tell you that what you need is flour, butter, a little salt, and lard. Yes, lard.
Yes, Swish Steak.
Among my cookbooks, there is a recent acquisition I consider to be the jewel in my crown– a must-have for anyone who fancies herself (or, of course, himself) Queen of the Kitchen: The Gay Cookbook by Chef Lou Rand Hogan* (Sherbourne Press, 1965).
The Gay Cookbook: “the complete compendium of campy cuisine and menus for men… or what have you” was first brought to my attention by Celia Sacks of Omnivore Books on Food, who had a copy proudly displayed in her store window the last time I visited. She always seems to know what will pique my interest.
Some might say that lentil soup is an odd thing to prepare in the summer. That would be true in Sacramento (where I live). But in the Bay Area, where it is often cold and foggy, a lentil soup is just the thing to be enjoying on a back patio. I learned this basic recipe at Oliveto, one of many perks of working as a galley slave (intern).
Then, I started slipping.
The process was slow but steady and natural. Animal by animal, each meaty notch on my fork, the fresh flavors and the associated stories, people, and places, has marked my memory. I’ve returned again and again to this timeline of tines, to reflect upon my gradual path — from devout vegetarian to comprehensive meat-eater.
SF Chefs. Food. Wine. hit on a winning combination of accessibility to hometown celeb-status chefs, utterly delicious food, fine wine, education, and awareness of important issues in food politics. It was fun, multi-faceted, and full of passion. It was, in a nutshell, San Francisco.
When you look at the squat, rectangular and extremely hard seeds of fenugreek, you may wonder why anyone would take any trouble to work with it. But this unyielding spice is accompanied with a nutty, bitter and mellow flavor that could not be replicated by anything else.
This Portuguese dish is the forefather of Brazilian Churrasco, which goes back to the days when Portugal was a major world player (read: a very, very long time ago.) Espetada is typically served with skewers of tomato, onion, and/or zucchini or other squashes. This preparation deals exclusively with the meat. I however, think that onion and tomato are important to the success of this dish. Especially the tomato. Rub a bit of the charred stuff on some bread which has been soaked in the meat juice. You will thank me for it, I promise.
Novella Carpenter took over an empty lot next to her apartment in Oakland’s gritty Ghost Town neighborhood, and over the years turned it into a lush garden and farm complete with bees, chickens, rabbits and even pigs. Urban farms are popping up in even the most cramped corners of densely populated cities, fueled by a desire for good food and a closer relationship with what we eat. Carpenter joins Forum to talk about her new book, “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.”
After seven long years of planning, negotiating, and building, Berkeley Bowl has opened a new warehouse-style market just off Ashby in Berkeley near I-80. This is great news for anyone who loves what Berkeley Bowl has to offer but detests actually shopping there. With two large parking lots, a new and clean interior with pretty much everything the old store offers, plus a large café with ample seating, it’s the new go-to East Bay market.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with this buckwheat soba noodle recipe I spotted on one of my favorite healthy food blogs, 101 Cookbooks. The recipe is originally from Pomelo, a fresh little restaurant serving “global cuisine” in Outer Noe Valley and the Inner Sunset, and let me tell you, it is a keeper. I just cannot seem to tire of it. It’s healthy and light, yet substantial enough to make up a full meal. Plus, it’s a breeze to whip up…and the flavors!
We may be approaching gastronomic Thunderdome, a new quasi-post-apocalyptic condition of eating through recession, where restaurants, having struggled, gradually shutter and practically disappear altogether, surrendering the pitted scene to scrappy, subsistence-level free-agents — wagon-pushers and van vendors — with no regard for increasingly irrelevant health code regulations, much less entrepreneurial convention.
Pie Truck is one of the latest freelance foodie endeavors to garner city-wide attention and, as it turns out, it’s a lovely, deserving operation.