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Monday, March 8, 2010

You Got Questions? I Got Answers. Or Know People Who Do.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 9:15 AM

click to enlarge You need to know stuff; we can hook you up. - LEO REYNOLDS/FLICKR
  • Leo Reynolds/Flickr
  • You need to know stuff; we can hook you up.
We're going to try a new weekly installment here at SFoodie: Ask the Critic.

Dining out in San Francisco can be like, well, driving down the street in San Francisco: Full of potholes. You have questions about restaurants, booze, unfamiliar cuisines, baristas and coffee culture, how to deal with waiters, or other strange requests you're too shy to ask your foodie friends about? I promise honest answers. For example:

You: I'm at dinner with friends who know about wine and I want to order a glass that doesn't make me look like a fool. What varietal should I look for? Me: Tell the waiter what dish you're having and ask her for the wine that would best go with it. Look like you're going to be judging her on her response. Guaranteed you'll get a decent glass. Treating the waiters like they're pros is always 10 times less risky than bluffing.

Or here's another one:

You: I want to ask this guy out on a date but I need a place that's

inexpensive, romantic, somewhere near the Mission, and, oh, vegetarian

and gluten-free. Me: The first place that comes to mind would be

Udupi Palace ― if you sit in the back, the dim, pinkish light isn't too

harsh on the features, and if you avoid the rava (semolina) dosas and

just go with the regular crepes and uttapam, they're all made with a

fermented rice-lentil batter. Plus, food is always sexier when you eat

it with your fingers. Okay, maybe not oatmeal.

If your question is

more obscure or you're just looking for someone to ask it for you -- Is

there anyplace serving Armenian food in the Bay Area? How do I

pronounce this "nduja" that all the foodistas in town are crazy for and

what makes it creamy? How do I eat with a fork and a serving spoon when

I'm in a Burmese restaurant? ― I'm not afraid to call up food pros,

university professors, or random strangers to make sure both of us get

an accurate answer.

Hit me up.

E-mail your questions to Jonathan.Kauffman@SFWeekly.com. Oh, and follow me on Twitter: @JonKauffman

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Jonathan Kauffman

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