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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day Trippin': A Taste of England in the North Bay

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Alexis Katsilometes
  • The Pelican Inn

I adore San Francisco; it may actually prove to be the love of my life. I love it for its abounding array of activities; I love that there is a restaurant for every half a human being (or something like that); I love the constant influx of new establishments and the ability to eat and drink in this seven-by-seven area until the Zombie Apocalypse rolls around. But every once in a while, I find myself resenting even nice, unassuming people named “Karl,” having wild fantasies about men wearing appropriately baggy jeans, and entertaining the idea of inflicting physical harm on that mustachioed hipster taking seven minutes to make my artisanal coffee. Like so many others in our sustainable and organic bubble, I don’t leave nearly as often as I should. But, in keeping with my “Do cool shit” resolution that I recently made on my 30th birthday, I will be setting out to do exactly that in this piece. I will drive, bike, hike, and walk (never run), to eat and drink at locations unfamiliar to me. Because let’s face it: Getting out of the city holds far less appeal unless there is food and booze involved.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Evolution of Mission Chinese Food's New York Counterpart

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Inside Mission Chinese Food's Manhattan location. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Inside Mission Chinese Food's Manhattan location.

Not that we're a total Mission Chinese Food groupie or anything, but when the restaurant opened a second restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan last May, we were literally the first customer through the door. It opened with about 80% of the same menu items as what can be found in San Francisco, but a fresh visit almost a year later finds the East Coast counterpart working toward defining its own identity.

See also: In Praise of the Peas at Mission Chinese

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Not Too Late To Book a Chef's Holiday Dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

How can you not want to go to The Ahwahnee in winter? - KENNY KARST
  • Kenny Karst
  • How can you not want to go to The Ahwahnee in winter?

Itching for a snow outing with magnificent views of Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls ... and an easy drive? Consider Yosemite instead of the usual Tahoe run. Hotel options can be Pricelined as low as $65 a night in neighboring Mariposa or you can pretend you are in your own personal Downton Abbey and stay at the more cushy Ahwahnee Hotel, which has hosted dignitaries since opening in 1925. The Yosemite area is snowy and beautiful right now, and on a New Years Eve visit, we were pleasantly surprised to find the park was light on other guests -- minus multiple deer and fox sightings.

See also:

- Top Chefs and Restaurants Come Together for Two Charitable Events

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Maker's Mark Pilgrimage: 24 Hours in Louisville, Kentucky

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

  • Lou Bustamante

The story of how I got into spirits begins with bourbon in the 1990's. I had wanted to learn more about wine, but found the commitment to drink a bottle and the expense a significant barrier for a lone bachelor. A friend of mine had discovered whiskey and insisted I give it a try, and bought me a bottle of Maker's Mark. I loved its sweet flavors (from the wheat) and the fact that opening a bottle didn't require having to finish it to enjoy it at its peak. I had never made the pilgrimage to Louisville, so when Marker's Mark invited me to fly out and visit the distillery for a quick trip, I couldn't say no.

See Also:

- Picán Royale Bourbon Society Kicks Off

- Cyrus Noble Bourbon Returns to San Francisco

- Fifth Floor's Deal for the Masses: Burger, Bourbon, and Beer

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Mendocino Beer, Wine & Mushroom Festival Starts Today

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Mendocino Beer, Wine & Mushroom Festival

Where: Locations throughout Mendocino County (check here for full festival schedule)

When: Nov. 2-11

Cost: Varies, but many events are free

The rundown: If you're considering a road trip up to Mendocino County, consider going in the next week and a half during this annual celebration of fungi and light alcoholism. Wineries, brewpubs, and other businesses in the area have planned a plethora of events to consider. Activity levels range from passively drinking and tasting (several events) to paddling a kayak for three-hours to look for mushrooms (Nov. 3).

See Also:

- Shroomin': 10 Facts About the Strange World of Mushrooms

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Love Apple Farms Offers Workshops for Kitchen and Garden -- and a Great Day Away

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

  • Love Apple Farms

Love Apple Farms is a biodynamic farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains that has become our default brain image of an idyllic garden ever since we visited last year. Renowned fine restaurant Manresa in nearby Los Gatos is the lucky beneficiary of much of the focus of operations, serving its produce exclusively every day. But Love Apple also generously opens its grounds to the public for special dinners, tomato seedling sales, and weekend workshops. If you're looking for a great day trip that will also arm you with solid kitchen and gardening techniques, this is your heaven on Earth, not too far from home.

See Also:

- Gardening Classes at Love Apple Farm, Source of Manresa's Magic

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Millennium Restaurant Hosts Special Dinner in The Field

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Millennium Restaurant will be recreated at Tierra Vegetables farm on October 28. - TIERRA VEGETABLES
  • Tierra Vegetables
  • Millennium Restaurant will be recreated at Tierra Vegetables farm on October 28.

Hosting a dinner with a farm is not a completely unusual idea for San Francisco restaurateurs, but such events often feature a lot of meat and animal products, whether a display of whole animal utilization or simply a showcasing of products such as milk and eggs. And so it is worth noting that S.F.'s Millennium Restaurant, a fine vegan establishment, is planning a cruelty-free supper on one of the farms that supplies much of its produce.

See Also:

- Vegansaurus Just Launched a Sassy App for Bay Area Vegan Eating

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall is Here, Bring on the Pumpkins

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

  • Stewart Putney

As we move into fall and the Great Pumpkin spreads its magic, pumpkin patches pop up all over the Bay Area. For both kids and foodies, Farmer John's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay is a good first stop. As owners John and Eda Muller note, "We are a pumpkin farm, not a pumpkin patch." And Farmer John's does forgo some of the touristy trappings of pumpkin patches, and instead features one of the largest selections of pumpkins, squash, and ornamental gourds in the Bay Area.

See Also:

- Tasting Blind, Great Pumpkin Edition

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

California Candy Festival Expects 20,000 Revelers This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Fairfield's Jelly Belly hosts the annual California Candy Festival on Sept. 22-23. - FLICKR/JVNUNAG
  • Flickr/jvnunag
  • Fairfield's Jelly Belly hosts the annual California Candy Festival on Sept. 22-23.

A 45-minute drive is all that separates you from Fairfield's annual cavity-causing celebration known as the California Candy Festival, which takes place Sept. 22-23 at Jelly Belly Candy Company Visitors Center and the Lots of Fun (One Jelly Belly Lane).

An estimated 20,000 attendees are expected throughout the course of the weekend. And while it's easy to make Willy Wonka-type proclamations of an event such as this, the California Candy Festival actually has an "Oompa Loompa Stage" which will feature Oompa Loompa dance performances every few hours.

See Also:

- Taylor's Tonics Unveils The Fizzary Soda Pop & Candy Shop

- See Jelly Belly Portraits of Your Favorite Historical Figures

- Bean Scene: In which we tour the Jelly Belly factory and gag on the Harry Potter flavors

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Wine Harvest Day Tripping in Sonoma County

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

  • Lou Bustamante

Harvest time in wine country is quickly approaching and it's time to start making plans to head up north to "help" -- drink wine -- with this year's harvest. While you may be thinking about Napa Valley with its sleek tasting rooms and celebrity chefs, unassuming and rustic Sonoma has just as much to love in a less corporate package. Thankfully, playing tourist in the Bay Area is easy, and discovering more of the region is a whole lot simpler with the Wine Road website and app.

A concierge of sorts for Sonoma County, the Wine Road is a hub for events, planning, and most importantly wineries in the Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and Russian River Valley. Pick up a tasting ticket from them ($25 for one day, $50 for three days) and get prepaid access and discounts at over 80 wineries. Even if you aren't sure what you want to do or what regions to explore, if the website can't help, they will.

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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.'"