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The Week in SFoodie

Monday, August 8, 2011

WIC Turns Corner Stores Into Real Markets

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 8:18 AM


There's a lot of talk about "food deserts" in food policy circles these days -- impoverished areas where residents have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Corner stores in poor neighborhoods tend to be one of the major sources for food, but they stock nonperishables: chips, sodas, and processed meats and cheeses. Get better grocery stores into these neighborhoods, the argument goes, and you'll see healthier neighbors. But pilot programs that have just introduced fresh vegetables into poor neighborhoods haven't taken off. That is, until the government got involved.

​Last week, the University of Berkeley's Journalism School -- where Michael Pollan teaches -- launched The Ration, an online magazine about farming and nutrition. The standout article in this issue is by Annie Mathews, who wrote about a new initiative from WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) to turn corner stores in food deserts into full-scale markets with fresh produce, whole-grain breads, and healthier foods. Two years ago, Mathews writes, WIC changed the focus of its benefits from milk and cheese to fresh vegetables and fruits, and now offers incentives for corner stores to change what they stock.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 5:30 PM


Highlights from the blog this week:

1. Caroline Chen discovers that huge numbers of San Francisco restaurant staffers are working illegally. The San Francisco Health Code declares no one with a venereal disease -- or bubonic plague, for that matter -- should be allowed to work in a restaurant. Somehow, we think this law isn't enforced often.

2. This week's top five: SFoodie's favorite hot dogs in San Francisco. Missing from the list: We couldn't get in to AT&T Park in time to verify that our favorite ballpark frank, at the Hebrew National stand, was still there. Giants fans?

3. Laura Beck discovers that ladies are a special group of people worthy of their own lady gin. Also, that she loves the floral taste of lady gin. SFoodie wants to know: Is Bloom strong enough for a man, even though it's made for a woman?

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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Defeat of Mickey D's, Caffeine Jitters, and Duck Eggs: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

From this week's slideshow of the Peruvian Food Festival - JOSEPH SCHELL

Highlights from SFoodie this week:

1. W. Blake Gray checks out Le Cordon Bleu, which claims to be San Francisco's first Vietnamese restaurant (opened in 1968). It's now owned by a Chinese-American woman who's never been to Vietnam, but Gray says the meat sauce is still is good as ever.

2. Ben Narasin likes to use the duck eggs he buys from the Alemany Farmers' Market for waffles and omelets, but if you're going to go all duck for your baking needs, a conversion chart may be needed.

3. W. Blake Gray declares McDonald's decision to healthy up its Happy Meals as a victory for San Francisco and our meddling progressives. Supervisor Eric Mar, who pushed for the original Happy Meal ban, must be an awfully hard man to live with right now.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Doughnut Burgers and Durian Pastries: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

The meatloaf at Presidio Social Club. - JRODMANJR/SF WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
  • jrodmanjr/SF Weekly Flickr pool
  • The meatloaf at Presidio Social Club.

Highlights from the blog this week:

1. W. Blake Gray goes and names San Francisco's five best ice cream shops: No-brainers like Humphry Slocombe make the grade, but so do a few curveballs.

2. Carina Ost hits the new Little Griddle (not to be confused with Little Skillet) in the Civic Center area and orders the Lucifer: one hamburger patty, one slice of cheese, and a doughnut for a bun. Stunt food!

3. I finally wrap up my series investigating what it takes to start up a food related microbusiness in San Francisco. Selling at the Underground Market (R.I.P.): $50. Selling at a real farmers' market: $2,205.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Stupid Kids, Truth in Advertising, and Vegan Cons: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Pork roll from Hiyaaa! - ALBERT LAW
  • Albert Law
  • Pork roll from Hiyaaa!

Five highlights from the blog this week:

Luis Chong announces himself a fan of Fins on the Hoof, Todd Middleton's new food truck -- though he disappoints SFoodie by realizing that the truck doesn't serve exotic genetically modified seafood.

Tired of lists proclaiming Buca di Beppo San Francisco's kid-friendliest restaurant, W. Blake Gray determines which of San Francisco's restaurants are least family-friendly. Next time you want to hit Alembic for a couple of cocktails and some bone marrow you'll need to tie up your 3-year-old outside.

Caroline Chen takes in the roar of press releases surrounding the opening of a Calbee store -- S.F.'s first branch of a Japanese snack food chain -- and then does a little calculation. Are Calbee's veggie snacks really healthy? Uh ...

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Monday, June 27, 2011

SFoodie Has a New Editor: W. Blake Gray

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM

W. Blake Gray
  • W. Blake Gray

SFoodie is pleased -- more than pleased, actually -- to announce that we have a new blog editor: W. Blake Gray. If you've been following the local food press, you'll be familiar with his name. Blake has been writing about wine in the Bay Area for more than a decade.

He's been a staff writer and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, and Decanter, too. For the past few years, he has also blogged at the Gray Report; this year he took second place in two categories (Best Editorial Wine Writing and Best Investigative Wine Story) in the Born Digital Wine Awards. As we make this announcement, he is chairing a meeting of the Electoral College of the Vintners Hall of Fame.

Don't worry: dude knows food, too.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Curry-Leaf Gin, Vegan Smoothies, and Rice Plates: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Citizen Cake's Pride cookie, $3.
  • Citizen Cake's Pride cookie, $3.

Highlights from the blog this week:

1. Jake Swearingen delivers some very important news from Mayor "Run" Ed Lee: 2011 is Soda Free Summer

in San Francisco. From a public health perspective, this is very good

news, though it sounds about as dreary as the Inner Sunset at dusk right


2. This week, I begin a new project I've been scheming up for months: surveying Chinatown restaurants, block by block, rice plate by rice plate. The project started with a whimper (from me) at Kam Po, followed by a bang.

3. Lou Bustamante previews the new cocktails debuting at Dosa next week -- some of which incorporate a new gin Blade Gin has distilled for the Indian restaurant, using cilantro, star anise, and curry leaf. Intriguing.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Classy Des Jardins and Butter-Bomb Desserts: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM


Highlights from the blog this week:

1. Peter Jamison talked to Iso Rabins about the Health Department's shut-down of the Underground Market, which may be permanent. But the market attracted New York Times coverage! And thousands of people! Uh...

2. Carina Ost interviewed Traci Des Jardins, who didn't win this season of Top Chef Masters, but earned $30K for La Cocina and showed herself a total pro from start to finish. Which, frankly, is just as good as winning the title.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

French Beef, Better Ramen, and Olive Garden: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Banana display in Chinatown. - JEREMY BROOKS/SF WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
  • Jeremy Brooks/SF Weekly Flickr pool
  • Banana display in Chinatown.

1. Today is the last day that Laura Beck serves as interim SFoodie editor before flying to Europe. A huge thanks to Laura, not just for keeping the blog alive, but for writing posts like a guide to the best chain restaurants in the Bay Area. Yeah, she name-checks Olive Garden. Tell your grandparents they've been right all along.

2. Lou Bustamante reports on the opening of Olivier's Butchery in Dogpatch. Butchers who work with sustainable meat we have. Butchers from France who will carve that grass-fed beef into bavettes and entrecôtes? Very handy.

3. Luis Chong, tirelessly working the ramen beat, has been tracking Hapa Ramen since its early, complaint-filled days, when people didn't get that Richie Nakano wasn't trying to reproduce "authentic" anything. Chong reports that Nakano's constant experimenting has paid off: His ramen seems to get better every month.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Noodlemania, a New Local Ham, and the Return of the Bees: This Week in Food Bloggery

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The sandwich counter at Ted's Market. - RËD/SF WEEKLY FILCKRSTREAM
  • Rëd/SF Weekly Filckrstream
  • The sandwich counter at Ted's Market.

Highlights from the blog this week:

1. Luis Chong, our noodle correspondent, has been on a tear this week. Not only has he reported on the improved ramen at Kasumi and the noodles at Chotto, he also stuck his head into the new SOMA location of Turtle Tower to give us a preliminary report.

2. Alex Hochman tracked down Dan Jablow, whose Jablow Meats has just begun selling smoked bacon, pastrami, and ham at underground markets near you. It's not often a man asks himself, "How can I put my stamp on meat?" and comes up with 15-hour pastrami smoked over mesquite and cherry.

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