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Thursday, July 7, 2016

All Buzz, No Crash With Il Morso

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM

ERIC PRATT
  • Eric Pratt
It sounds crass even to laugh at it now by way of condemnation, but in the 1970s and '80s, there was an appetite-suppressing confection, or "reducing chocolate," called Ayds. That's right: Get yourself some Ayds, and the pounds will just melt away.

Admittedly, any comparison with that will sound unfair no matter what, but the point is that claims to derive magical benefits from eating chocolate have a checkered history (at best). Not so with Il Morso, a year-old Oakland company that makes individual dark chocolate bites containing 18 milligrams of caffeine. The name simply means "the bite," so there's little risk of unfortunate wordplay, and the instructions read, "For Instant Coffee, Just Add Mouth." Cute but not cutesy, Il Morso's packaging is pretty good — a pale robin's egg blue printed with winged coffee cups with bite marks. (They're not unlike that army of flying toasters from the '90s, if you'll pardon a reference that's almost as dated as Ayds.)

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Friday, April 1, 2016

EAT THIS: Nitrogen-Cold Popcorn at Jasper’s Corner Tap

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Can you see the nitrogen off-gassing from this bowl of caramel popcorn? - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Can you see the nitrogen off-gassing from this bowl of caramel popcorn?
Smitten Ice Cream famously uses liquid nitrogen to make its scoop-at-a-time ice cream. (Founder Robyn Sue Fisher won’t divulge every last secret about her method, but that nitrogen has to be colder than -230 degrees Fahrenheit, or it would boil away.)

Chef Adam Steudle at Jasper’s Corner Tap in the Tenderloin has gone down a similar Mr.-Wizard’s-Supermarket-Science route with his liquid nitrogen caramel corn ($8). Why? Chilling popcorn down to subzero temperatures freezes the caramel which, instead of returning to a Cracker Jack-like quality upon coming up to temp, becomes buttery and smooth again. (You don’t need to worry about a filling coming out, although you might have to eat through the fear.) Like virtually every salty-sweet popcorn creation, it’s impossible to resist wolfing it all down, and the serving size is neither bar-snack skimpy nor as large as the giant mixing-bowl portion of kimchi popcorn at the Alamo Drafthouse.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

EAT ME: Central Station Deli's "The Don"

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM

The Don - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • The Don

I’ve made my peace with the fact that $10 is now about as cheap as a decent (non-banh mi) sandwich is going to be. It’s depressing to think of 10 bucks as the floor for the quintessential lunch option, but there you have it. I’ve still yet to meet the $18 sandwich that wowed me, but $11? That I can work with.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Food is Foreplay at Our Gourmet Life Erotic Dinners

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM

FROM OURGOURMETLIFE.COM
  • from ourgourmetlife.com
Dinner parties can be a stuffy affair, particular when none of the guests know anyone beyond the person with whom they came.

As we all know, a good way to break the ice is to have servers gently caress diners, encouraging them to delicately spoon-feed their partners an array of culinary treats, which is exactly the concept behind Our Gourmet Life Erotic Dinners.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Coming Up: The Fancy Food Show

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 3:00 PM

FROM SPECIALTYFOOD.COM
  • From SpecialtyFood.com
Get your pinkies ready San Francisco, because it’s time for the annual Winter Fancy Food Show.

Sunday, Jan. 17 kicks off the first of three days where attendees can explore over 80,000 specialty food products from 1,400 vendors, making the free samples at Costco look like child's play. Seventeen days should be long enough to comfortably convert any new year’s resolution-related weight goals into fancy food goals, including (but not limited to) “eat more fancy foods by the end of 2016.”

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Eat This: Pupusas at Liquor Express & Deli in the Richmond

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Pupusa plate: the pork on top, the zucchini and cheese on the bottom. - BETTY WANG
  • Betty Wang
  • Pupusa plate: the pork on top, the zucchini and cheese on the bottom.


Last week, I discovered that delicious pupusas could be found right in my own neighborhood in the Richmond, and in a small nondescript liquor store (Liquor Express & Deli) no less. The Richmond District blog reports that the owners are new. However, a quick Yelp search yielded a smattering of results that indicated the spot had been slinging homemade Salvadorian deliciousness for years now, perhaps with different proprietors? Whatever the case is — maybe just the power of a sandwich board with "PUPUSAS!" scrawled on it for me — it was a done deal. Regardless of how timely this announcement may be, it still stands that if you haven't yet tried a pupusa, from here or in general, they are delicious and you need to.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

What to Eat at Treasure Island Music Festival

Posted By on Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Not food, but I went gaga over this Frida Kahlo luggage. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Not food, but I went gaga over this Frida Kahlo luggage.

Granted, it's not known for its food like its younger sibling Outside Lands — to my frustration, a list of food vendors isn't included on the paper program — but the Treasure Island Music Festival isn't 100 percent about music. Tens of thousands of people have got to eat. Among the well-known names, generic purveyors of fried things, and grossly overpriced wine and cocktails ($14 for Jack Daniels' Fireball knockoff? No, thanks), we found a a couple of standouts.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Flavor of Afghanistan in the Bay Area

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 8:02 AM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman
Not all of us are blessed with wallets full of VC money, which can make semiannual foreign trips out of the question. Fortunately for us moderate-income folks, people from foreign countries come to the Bay Area, and they bring their food with them, giving us a portal through which we can glimpse their culture.

I’ve always known there had to be more to Afghani culture than the narrative I was sold growing up as an American in the 2000s, and it was eating food in Fremont’s “Little Kabul” that helped confirm this for me.

When Ahmad, an Afghani friend of my brother-in-law, heard I was interested in exploring Afghani culture, he enthusiastically offered to take me to his favorite restaurant for his culture’s food. I’d heard from a few people that De Afghanan on Fremont Boulevard was the place to go for authentic Afghani food, so I wasn’t surprised when that’s where Ahmad asked me to meet him.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Old School San Francisco: Alfred’s Steakhouse

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 12:00 PM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman


Walking into
Alfred’s Steakhouse on Merchant Street is like entering a time capsule. Only instead of worthless baseball cards, you’re transported back to a time when San Francisco was an industry town full of toughs who came to places like Alfred’s to make handshake deals with politicians.

At Alfred’s you are greeted by two things:

One is Marco, the Maître D’ and part-owner, who relays upon you the lost fine art of hosting. He doesn’t simply arrange for your reservation or hand you a menu, he takes time to get to know his customers regardless of how frequently they visit.

The second is the scent of meat that fills the air, as a freezer full of aging beef cuts sits just at the front of the restaurant. There is no question about what you are doing in this restaurant: You are here to eat meat.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Eat This: Miso and Cream Cheese Salad at FuseBOX

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:15 PM

Red miso, cream cheese and other delights adorn a salad at West Oakland's FuseBOX. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • Red miso, cream cheese and other delights adorn a salad at West Oakland's FuseBOX.

It’s a funny thing to go to a place that consistently gets such high praise as West Oakland’s FuseBOX — cue The Who, because sorry, the name always makes me think of Squeezebox — and come out raving about a salad.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"