San Francisco Bay Area rss

Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the SF Chowhound community.

What Kind of Food Has Meaning?

My grandma was a really terrible cook, but she could bake. She made angel food cake with chocolate glaze that tasted the way playground bark smells, only sweet. And she made lemon cookies that were tangy and had white icing that dripped a little off the edges and while it was thick it also looked gauzy. I asked her for the recipe and she wrote it out for me on the white pad she kept near the phone. READ MORE

Kosher Soul: Michael W. Twitty on Freedom, Diversity, and the Passover Table

Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrating a journey of emancipation, symbolized by food on the Seder plate. That’s fertile ground for a culinary historian who also happens to teach Judaic Studies. Talking with writer, historian, and chef Michael W. Twitty is to pivot around several simultaneous conversations: Judaism, blackness, history, activism. Twitty susses these things out on his food blog, Afroculinaria. The site is dedicated to preserving and reconstructing the diaspora cooking traditions of the antebellum South, and looks into identity matters of being both black and Jewish (or what he calls “Kosher/Soul”). Pesach, the Hebrew word for Passover, translates as “mouth speak.” We thought it was the perfect moment to ask Twitty to mouth-speak his own thoughts on his favorite holiday, and what he plans to cook for Passover this year. READ MORE

Make Your Own Nacho Cheese Crackers

In part one of my cracker-making exploration, I showed you how to make classy Free-Form Herb Crackers to serve with cheese. Here’s how you make my other current favorite, sort of like Cheez-Its mashed up with jalapeño rings (they taste almost exactly like nachos and are much less messy). For the cheese powder, you’ll need to steal the flavor packet from a box of mac 'n' cheese. Cook and toss the naked macaroni that remains with butter and cheese, or save for a craft project. Up to you. READ MORE

CSA 2.0, the New Generation of Produce Boxes

Community-supported agriculture subscriptions have been around since the '80s, but they’ve become increasingly popular over the last decade. Now, an inspiring crop of online options has made CSAs customizable in ways that used to be impossible. READ MORE

4505 Meats, Opening Soon on Divisadero to Blow SF’s Mind

Good meat is a defining amenity of cities these days. There are butcher shops where you can buy goat chops, and restaurants where poutine comes with blood-pudding gravy, and tartare is just not going to be satisfied until it’s on every menu everywhere. Meat is lifestyle. READ MORE

Hudson Standard’s Pear Shrub, My New Cocktail Crush

Shrubs are homey drinking vinegars, tonics in the general sense of things consumed to invigorate. You can sip them straight, I suppose, though most people add fizzy water, or booze, or both. A friend of mine (Modern Farmer’s Jesse Hirsch, who used to live in San Francisco but now roams Hudson, New York) sent me this shrub a couple of weeks ago, a Pear Honey Ginger one from The Hudson Standard. It’s fantastic, sharp and sweet, with musky pear perfume and a peppery ginger burn. I mixed it 2-to-1 with bourbon and sipped over ice. Turned into a lovely afternoon. READ MORE

Hey SF, You Can Taste Stylish Food from Guam

All I know about Guam is that it has a lot of brown tree snakes. Oh, and once on TV I watched Guy Fieri eat some pretty sweet-looking Guamanian food from a truck in Portland (Guy called it the “Guam-Bomb-Dot-Com,” but that’s just Guy). Now I’ll be able to taste some pretty stepped-up Guamanian food in San Francisco. READ MORE

Why Alta CA Is the Zuni Café of Right Now

This is an essay about why I love bistros, disguised as a piece about a restaurant in San Francisco. You should pronounce Alta CA's name like I do, by saying just the first part, Alta, no cah or California, or if you're a stickler, you can verbally spell out the last part when you say it, Alta see-A. I mention this because Alta’s owner is Daniel Patterson, a chef I like a lot. Half of why I admire Patterson is that, after eating his food at Coi, I can say he is a man who thinks a lot about the details. A name with a silent ending is a clue to the quietness of the experience here, a restaurant with an understanding of both history and place, but where you can just get a burger at 1 a.m. and not have to think about much if you don’t want to. READ MORE

How to Cook Corned Beef, with Aaron Rocchino

This is the second part of our two-part corned beef recipe by Aaron Rocchino of The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley, California. Aaron’s a chef and a butcher, an advocate of whole-beast cookery, and the guy who provides meat to nearby Chez Panisse. See part one for information on choosing the cut, making a corned beef brine, and the virtues of a slow (12- to 16-day) cure. Here in part two, Aaron makes a poaching brine and tells you how to cook and serve your very own corned beef. READ MORE

SF Bar Is Pairing Girl Scout Cookies with Booze

A bar in San Francisco has found some wholesome inspiration for its new cocktail pairings: Girl Scout Cookies. At The Alembic Bar in the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, General Manager Greg Quinn developed a cocktail pairing menu for classic Girl Scout Cookies like Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-si-dos. READ MORE