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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pavement Cuisine: Friday Night Street Supper in the Mission

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge The real Mission street food - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • The real Mission street food

For the last several weeks, a dead-end block in the Mission (which we'll protect for the sake of the underground) has been host to a Friday night street supper. Last week, we arrived 15 minutes after it began and found nearly 50 people there already. And most of them, it seemed, had signed up for some Thai green curry with chicken or tofu ($5), made fresh on the spot by Magic Curry Man.

click to enlarge Doug Zimmerman - THE MAGIC CURRY MAN
  • The Magic Curry Man
  • Doug Zimmerman

Generously portioned and served over rice in a to-go container, it had a nicely spicy kick and luxurious creaminess.

"I don't want to be known as a chef," said Magic Curry Man, who we hear is actually a psychoanalyst by day.

"Nope, you're a magician!" we replied. He smiled affirmatively, then mentioned he'd been thinking about recruiting an actual illusionist to perform magic tricks while people wait.

click to enlarge Magic Curry in action - DOUG ZIMMERMAN
  • Doug Zimmerman
  • Magic Curry in action

Monsieur Amuse-Bouche, who often greets morning commuters at the 24th Street BART station with what he calls the "original, recession-buster breakfast" (a mini-muffin and hot-beverage-filled Dixie cup for $1), was offering zucchini muffins and Turkish black tea, which he swore wasn't strong, but was stiff enough to put big-time pep in our step for the rest of the evening. We also tried a heavenly strawberry tart ($3) while gazing longingly at bubble-like pita pockets stuffed with feta. We're still kicking ourselves for not getting one.

click to enlarge Monsieur Amuse-Bouche - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Monsieur Amuse-Bouche

We didn't expect to see fresh shrimp spring rolls ($3) for sale, since we don't think its proprietor has a Twitter page yet. But they were a welcome addition, tasted as good as they looked, and the green onions -- left long on purpose -- formed beautiful tails.

click to enlarge Fresh spring rolls - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Fresh spring rolls

Magic Curry Man's brother Crème Brûlée Man, who we've met before, offered us a choice of four flavors (vanilla bean, Bailey's, chocolate, and White Russian, all $3). SFoodie was so excited about the sugar that we didn't hear them all, and stupidly left the White Russian out of our order. They were sold out by the time we realized our mistake. Turns out he had made almost twice the amount that he did the week before, and they were still gone in under two hours, at an average rate of more than one sold per minute.

click to enlarge DOUG ZIMMERMAN
  • Doug Zimmerman
Doug Zimmerman

Crème Brûlée Man lights up the night

This is not the spot for those who just want to eat, or are short on patience; we were there close to two hours while that lovely curry was made up, three batches at a time. But if you've got the time to wait and are amenable to a social, block-party-esque experience, this is something special for sure. Catch 'em this Friday at 7:30 p.m. (check their Twitter pages for the exact location of this and other foodventures) before they take a planned hiatus for a few weeks. The break will allow Crème Brûlée Man to honeymoon with his sweet little dish, who told us it'd been quite a feat to stay away from his treats long enough to fit into her wedding dress.

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Tamara Palmer

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