CHOW Tour
Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness.
See Where We've Eaten!
Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Drinking, Naturally, at Terroir

Drinking, Naturally, at Terroir
Terroir Natural Wine Merchant & Bar is filling a unique niche: supporting small wineries (mostly French and Italian) that produce wines "naturally." The way Terroir defines natural, says co-owner Dagan Ministero, is wine that is organic or biodynamic, and fermented naturally with native yeasts that are found on the grapes or in the cellars. Ministero says that the biology of a place is just as relevant to the idea of terroir as rain or the soil. (more...)
Friday, July 2nd, 2010

French Symbiosis in SOMA

French Symbiosis in SOMA
A vol-au-vent filled with shrimp cooked perfectly and sauced in a rich, creamy curry is not something that screams out food truck fare. Neither does foie gras torchon, or anything involving a truffle emulsion. But the Spencer on the Go! truck does it, and does it well, serving upscale French food in a parking lot by Oil Can Henry’s, an oil change business at Folsom Street and Seventh. (more...)
Friday, July 2nd, 2010

This Is What a Snuggie Tastes Like

This Is What a Snuggie Tastes Like
What the hell is going on here? It’s a wine bar, and everybody’s drinking out of Mason jars. A sign says “Order at the counter,” but when you sit down, several different servers wander by, asking if you’d like to order. No origins or varietals are listed on the wine list, but rather descriptions like: “Softer than a Snuggie.” Polanski’s Knife in the Water is being projected on the wall, but generic ’90s alterna-rock is blasting from the speakers. Don’t overanalyze it. It’s called Heart, not head. (more...)
Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Like It, Lick It

Like It, Lick It
Jake Godby, the deadpan owner of Humphry Slocombe ice cream in San Francisco's Mission District, says he doesn't try to be "weird for weird's sake." Nonetheless, he's taking risks with ice cream flavors. Not always with totally positive results. You never know if you're going to get the best ice cream you ever ate (like the Magnolia Thunderpussy beer flavor he did during San Francisco Beer Week), or something too edgy to be truly palatable (like the aggressively spiced pineapple sorbet I ate when we dropped by this time). But the raw, totally experimental feel of the business makes it that much more endearing. (more...)
Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Green Fairy in the Biscotti?

Green Fairy in the Biscotti?
Before eating at the market vendors outside of the Ferry Building, we stopped by Blue Bottle, inside, to get caffeinated. But the item that caught my eye wasn't the coffee (though it was good), but biscotti made with olive oil, sesame seeds, and absinthe from local distillery St. George Spirits. Absinthe in a cookie sounded weird for the sake of being weird, but when I tried it, it made total sense, just giving it a traditional anise flavor. The cookie itself was a little too soft and crumbly for me, but the idea behind it was creative and worked.
Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Happy Birthday, Thursday Farmers’ Market!

Happy Birthday, Thursday Farmers’ Market!
Our lunch today at the CUESA Thursday Farmers Market at the SF Ferry Building nicely coincided with the market's one-year anniversary. Balloons were flying, a happy-birthday sign was hanging on the market info booth, and vendors were festive: RoliRoti was giving away tangy charred corn salad, and Tacolicious had a mariachi band to liven things up. (more...)
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Upscaling the Doughnut

Upscaling the Doughnut
The Monte Cristo sandwich doughnut at Dynamo Donut & Coffee is somewhat flatter than a normal jelly-filled, and its yeasted dough contains minute bits of ham and shredded Gruyère cheese. Bite into its powdered-sugar-dusted body, and blobs of strawberry jam fall out. And that’s just the beginning. If you’re the type who feels strongly that doughnuts should not cost $3 apiece, and definitely should not contain things like rose water, five-spice, Gruyère, or thyme, stay far, far away from Dynamo Donut. (more...)
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Trying Our Hand at Video

Trying Our Hand at Video
CHOW Tour: Innovation has to live up to the name. And that means that our reports from the field aren't going to be just static old letters combined into words. We haven't managed to develop the Smell-o-Vision for this iteration of the tour, but we have learned how to use a camera. We've got some great interviews with chefs lined up along the way that we are looking forward to filming. In the meantime, here's a little more background. (more...)
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

CHOW Tour Approaches, Anticipation Rises!

Lessley and I are a couple of days away from officially embarking on the CHOW Tour: The trip starts July 1. We've been organizing and planning for weeks, and the anticipation is high. Let's get this tour on the road already! (more...)