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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

As the SFoodie's 92 Winds Down, a Few Thoughts

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2011 at 8:58 AM

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Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

Today, we're down to the last four dishes on the SFoodie's 92, the second year we've been coming up with a countdown of our favorite dishes in San Francisco. The list isn't arranged in hierarchical order. (Can you imagine ranking your favorite foods? We're not that obsessive.) Rather, it seems to unfold over the course of the four months that all of us come up with it.

For all the research it entails, I love working on the SF92 (as we refer to it in-house), because it brings me back to restaurants I haven't visited for years and gives me the excuse to check out places I haven't been to, investigating rumors and Yelp cults. The list gives SFoodie writers a chance to show some love to restaurants that we wouldn't review. Every restaurant, I think, has at least one dish that brings us back there, over and over again.

At the same time, the list has its limits. It's much easier to pick dishes out of restaurants with static menus -- the chefs who practice intensely seasonal, local cooking are the least suited for a "best dish in town" roundup. (Bar Jules? Canteen? Practically impossible.) Then, there's the problem of balance: The semolina cake soaked in honey and orange-blossom water I ate at Cafe Zitouna last week was fantastic, but the SF92 was skewing heavy on sweets, so it didn't make the cut. Don't be surprised if it shows up in 2012.

How can you not be thrilled to reach the end of a four-month-long project? I'm looking forward to getting back to some other blog projects I was working on. Of course, if you didn't see your favorite dish on this year or last year's countdown, let me know. I'll add it to the long list of dishes I mean to try before the SF92 begins again in January.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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