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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
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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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cochon 555's Heritage BBQ Hits Magnolia Dogpatch Sept. 13

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Cochon 555

Fans of all that is porcine have reason to celebrate.

Cochon555’s Heritage BBQ competition tour, promoting heritage breed pigs and global grilling cultures, will take place Sunday, September 13 at the Magnolia Brewery at Dogpatch. 

While their flagship event Cochon 555 — often held in Napa — is a well-known pork event, “This is the first year Cochon555 will be hosting Heritage BBQ in San Francisco,” Brady Lowe, co-founder of Cochon, told SF Weekly.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Drunk Review: Cockscomb

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:15 AM

  • Ali Wunderman
I ate a pig’s face this week. Not cheek meat, or some dish disguising the source of the meat. No: The actual face with its dead eyes, hopes, and dreams.

It all began when my foodie friend invited me to dine with her at Cockscomb, a newish restaurant on Fourth Street. Once I was through giggling at the name, I gladly accepted, blissfully unaware of the menu and the Giants schedule.

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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

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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BBQ with the Niners at Bourbon Steak's One Year Anniversary on Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Bourbon Steak Backyard BBQ - LEVI'S STADIUM
  • Levi's Stadium
  • Bourbon Steak Backyard BBQ

The middle of August signals the approach of yet another exciting season of NFL football. This year, it also marks the first anniversary of chef Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak at Levi's Stadium. To celebrate the occasion, the restaurant — located at the epicenter of Niners football — is hosting a Backyard BBQ this Tuesday, Aug. 11. Granted, for many S.F. residents, trekking an hour south to Santa Clara outside of game day might be a hard sell. Here's why this event might make them consider the commute. (Hint: it involves pulled pork, professional athletes, and unlimited beer). 

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

ThirstyBear Celebrates Brews, Ewes and BBQs with Nose-to-Tail Lamb

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Chef Robert McCarthy
  • ThirstyBear

Precious, little lambs. They are so cuddly and adorable. And delicious! But as one of the world's most heavily consumed meats, lamb is surprisingly underrepresented on American dinner plates. Seeking to change that, the American Lamb Board (yes, that's a thing), launches a national event next week, entitled Brews, Ewes & BBQs. Four chefs, one each from S.F., Seattle, Boston, and D.C., will tear down a whole lamb for the sole purpose of crafting a lamb-centric menu to pair alongside craft beer. Representing our city is chef Robert McCarthy of ThirstyBear. Here's an exclusive sneak peak of what he plans to shepherd into the SOMA next week.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

100 Years On, Remembering the Armenian Genocide With Soujouk

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Nadir Keklik

Every few years, my parents, Paul and Priscilla, host a party of extended family and friends to make a cured Armenian sausage called soujouk. It’s pungent, spicy, hard, tough, chewy, delicious, often nearly black, and takes over a month to make. As with  many Armenian foods, soujouk is not widely available outside of specialty markets, and if you want to replicate Grandma Nouritza’s, you’re better off making it at home.

Since it's only worth making in huge quantities, before throwing a party my folks will ask their guests how many pounds of meat they would like and multiply accordingly. Alongside bird-watching and Ms. Pac-Man, cuts of meat are one of my father’s specialties. His father was a butcher who owned Monument Market in Everett, Massachusetts, and as Dad grew up, he learned the trade. These days, he gets his meat from his butcher cousin, Nish, or from guys who Grandpa taught to cut, grinding it himself in the basement. Raw and cured recipes necessitate higher-quality meat than what’s found at a supermarket, usually requiring a visit to your local butcher. Luckily for San Francisco, artisanal meats are all the mustachioed rage, so it should be easy to ride to one by penny-farthing.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Get in Line Now: Austin's Franklin Barbecue Is Popping Up in S.F. in May

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 10:20 AM

It's just a typical morning — you're drinking your coffee, skimming your RSS feed — and then the world screeches to a halt when you see Eater SF's scoop that Austin's esteemed brisket-peddler Franklin Barbecue is coming to San Francisco for a few days in mid-May.

We've never waited in the hours-long line in Austin, though we have on good authority that it's worth doing at least once just for a taste of the ambrosial brisket. We've spent plenty of time drooling over money shots in magazines and its cameo in Chef. And now, like magic, it will be transported to S.F.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Does Berkeley's New Paleo Cafe Have Food for the Rest of Us?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Berkeley's Mission: Heirloom Cafe has a cozy patio in back with heat lamps. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • Berkeley's Mission: Heirloom Cafe has a cozy patio in back with heat lamps.
Since Mission: Heirloom Café opened its doors a few months ago, Yelpers of the Paleo persuasion rave about its healthy, clean, non-allergenic, non-inflammatory, grain and gluten-free, toxin-free food. Finally, they say, here’s a place they can go where they can eat almost anything on the menu. But the question is, does Mission: Heirloom Café serve food for the rest of us who could care less what our ancestors ate, have no particular dietary restrictions, and just want tasty food?

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Clove & Hoof: Whole Animal Butchery and Sandwiches Come to Temescal

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:13 AM

The fried chicken sandwich at Clove & Hoof - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • The fried chicken sandwich at Clove & Hoof

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to offer a fried chicken sandwich so close to Bakesale Betty, where the lunchtime line has become a common site on Telegraph Avenue. But it seems that the folks at Clove & Hoof, Temescal’s newest butchery and sandwich shop, have it.

This sandwich starts with a base of two, juicy thighs; it's then topped with a fish-sauce caramel, Old Bay butter sauce, apple celery-leaf slaw, and pomegranate seeds, which all sit on a French hero roll. It's size — the thighs amassing weight from being battered and friend — could easily feed two. Biting into it, the chicken is still a bit pink inside, rarer than many people may expect. Slightly sweet from the caramel, with bursts of tanginess from the pomegranate seeds, this was one sweet, salty, crunchy, and very delicious affair.

Those behind the sandwich are Analiesa Gosnell, general manager, and John Blevins, executive chef, who in addition to studying butchery in France, have a background at places such as Café Rouge and 4505 Meats.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"