San Francisco Pride Eats

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Bi-Rite Get Your Pride On
Photo by Wendy Goodfriend

Happy Pride! And what a day! A whole lot of New York caterers and wedding-cake bakers are very happy today, now that same-sex marriage is wonderfully, amazingly legal in New York, and without a residency requirement, meaning Virgin Atlantic and Jet Blue should be running bride-and-bride, groom-and-groom cross-country specials very soon, at least until the slow-moving wheels of justice finally get the right thing done out here. So, what do you eat, in between the Frameline35 LGBT film festival, the Trans March, the Dyke March, the parade on Sunday and all the myriad house parties, dance parties, comedy shows, performances, and more happening during this fine final week of June? Popcorn, probably, the celery, pickled green beans and olives in your Bloody Mary, and of course, whatever bacon-wrapped hot dog or meat-on-a-stick is being smokily, deliciously offered for a few bucks to the hungry, sweaty, beer-bathed hordes from now through Sunday.

This being San Francisco, of course, Pride is hardly confined to the Castro or Civic Center. We’ve got LGBT chefs, restaurant owners, bartenders, bakers, and ice-cream makers in every neighborhood, after all. As Pride Parade Honorary Grand Marshall Susie Bright says, “I must have my breakfast, and the best crab cakes west of the Orleans parish line are at Adrienne’s Just for You Cafe in Dogpatch.” Once the late-afternoon fog rolls in, then it’s time for a Blue Moon, not just a summer drink but the “ultimate lavender Liz Taylor’s eyes cocktail,” made from gin, fresh lemon, and Crème des Violettes, shaken over ice and served with a twist.”The color is breathtaking, it tastes sublime, and the violet aroma is real!” Order it at what Susie describes as her “latest swoon,” the Comstock Saloon in North Beach. “It’s like going into a Barbary Coast time machine; the attention to detail is intoxicating, and the food and drink are prepared with such panache. A one-of-a-kind experience!” she says. And while you’re feeling blue, you can also drop into the brand-new Bluestem Brasserie, where chef James Ormsby (Bruno’s, PlumpJack Cafe) has returned to the restaurant scene as consulting pastry chef, whipping up tasty treats like the “Honolulu Hangover” (chocolate coconut layer cake, toasted coconut marshallow meringue) and “Sealed with a Kiss” (vanilla ice cream profiteroles, strawberry rhubarb compote, crème rose).

What else? Take a tip from what our local Celebrity Grand Marshall and Top Chef Desserts winner Yigit Pura says in his It Gets Better video, “Have some dessert! Feel good!” (Keep an eye out for Pura’s own patisserie, Tout Sweet, coming soon.) Up in Pacific Heights, Elizabeth Falkner‘s crew at Citizen Cake are busy baking heart-shaped pride cookies splashed with spin-art rainbow icing, alongside with cookie sunglasses dotted with candy-sprinkle hearts. Down the street, at Fillmore and Haight, Three Twins ice cream has a dozen Pride-themed flavors happening this weekend, like Harvey Milk and Cookies (made with rice milk) and peanut-butter-laced Bear Bait. Prefer savory to sweet? Over in the Mission, Delfina Pizzeria is a sponsor of the 2011 Dyke March, selling a limited-edition t-shirt as a fundraiser for the cash-strapped parade. Instead of the restaurant’s usual red-on-black offering, the aqua-blue, $25 tee imagines the Golden Gate Bridge as a ring of rainbow-colored pizza slices. Given the topless, tattooed show that the Dyke March gives the Prosecco-clutching patrons of Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina every June, it’s clearly a case of, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and keep ‘em going for another year.

You can make a sandwich for your cooler or parade-side picnic with Project Open Hand‘s new peanut butter, now for sale in Whole Foods. 100% of the proceeds go to support Project Open Hand’s mission. Or, finally, you can take a little inspiration from Gertrude, Alice and Susie.

As Bright told us, “My main culinary memories of Pride can be summed up in two words: hash brownies. And yes, the Ghirardelli chocolate is up to the task.”

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, cocktails and spirits, events, holidays and traditions, politics, activism, food safety, san francisco

About the Author ()

Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen is a longtime local food writer, author, and cook. Her books include World of Doughnuts (Egg & Dart Press); Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food (Williams Sonoma); Honey from Flower to Table (Chronicle Books) and The Astrology Cookbook: A Cosmic Guide to Feasts of Love (Manic D Press). She has studied organic farming at UCSC and holds a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. She does frequent cooking demonstrations at local farmers’ markets and has taught food writing at Media Alliance in San Francisco and the Continuing Education program at Stanford University. She has been the lead restaurant critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian as well as for San Francisco magazine. Last year, she worked as an assistant chef at the Headlands Center for the Arts, an artists' residency program located in the Marin Headlands, and worked as a production cook at the Marin Sun Farms Cafe in Pt Reyes Station. She has lived in San Francisco for nearly 20 years, interspersed with stints in Oakland, Santa Cruz, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.