As every longtime San Franciscan knows, the pattern of warm weather that occurs in early fall, known as Indian summer, is the perfect time of year for picnics in the city. This weekend promises 2012's first real taste of autumnal awesome, and for scores of city dwellers, Saturday's projected 80-degree high will mean packing up a picnic and heading to Dolores Park. Here are some suggestions for medicating your picnic basket:
1. The Pot Truffle Guy
Since we are on the subject of edibles and Dolores Park, we have to mention the Pot Truffle Guy, who can be found on any sunny weekend at DP. He's an institution, and God bless him, but I tend to get my edibles from a more quantifiable source, like a trusted dispensary. Just sayin'. But if you're feeling adventurous and you're not concerned with, oh, I don't know, minor issues like dosage or strains or standards or hygeine, you can check out the wares in his easy-to-spot kettles as he makes his way across the park. Yay convenience.
2. Butter Brothers Crackers
While en route to the Mission, it's easy enough to make a stop by the Love Shack Collective on 14th St. This dispensary has been around for a while, and customer care and selection are chief reasons why. For my beer and nitrate-soaked picnic, I'll want something not too incapacitating, so I'll be lucid and ready to go when the sun goes down behind the hill and it gets cold. Butter Brothers' snack crackers are a great accompaniment for my meat 'n' cheddar. They come in Pepper Parmesan and Jalapeno Cheddar, which pairs well with a perky pilsner. They get a bit crumbly out of the package, but that actually makes dosage pretty easy, especially if you're not trying to get overloaded.
3. THCafe's Mango Lassi
If you're avoiding an alcoholic beverage for your picnic, you can quench your thirst for liquid while getting your medication with an ice cold mango lassi from Harborside Health Center. Unfortunately, since my review of this product back in June, HHC was forced to shutter its brick-and-mortar storefront business, but they still offer delivery and take-out service. This mango lassi is absolutely delish, and would be a refreshing (and potent) addition to a medicated picnic in the park.
4. Sweet Relief Drink Mix
If you're coming over from Oakland or have some time on your hands (and since San Francisco doesn't all the sale of medicated beverages), another thirst-slaking option is to drop by the Purple Heart Collective near Jack London Square and pick up a packet of Sweet Relief Drink Mix, which comes in a variety of flavors. Pre-mix some and pack it into a thermos with some ice, and you have yourself a tasty alternative to the boozy beverages you'll find on most DP denizens.
5. Hashy Salted Caramels
You'll want a dessert for your picnic, and Love Shack's Hashy Salted Caramels make excellent afters for your post-pilsner palate. These sweet and salty treats will also cap off any picnic, whether you're sipping on a civilized syrah with some goat cheese or pounding PBR while munching on Spicy Nacho Doritos. And remember to clean up after yourself, for crying out loud. Pack in, pack out.