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John Birdsall

News, Feature Wedding March: The Reception Dinner Without the Ceremony

Wedding March: The Reception Dinner Without the Ceremony

Before marriage was legal, building a life with someone of the same sex was like rigging a house from random boards and lawn chairs scavenged from a beach. What you built felt amazing, the place you always wanted to live.…
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Dining, SFoodie Why Portland's Food Scene is Better Than S.F.'s Right Now

Why Portland's Food Scene is Better Than S.F.'s Right Now

A good food festival serves up the essence of the host city's food, in 2 ½ days of dinners, tastings, and partying. A very good food festival sends you home with a deeper understanding of the food where you live.…
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Dining, Eat De-Laming Pastry School: Q&A With SFCS's Nicole Plue

De-Laming Pastry School: Q&A With SFCS's Nicole Plue

Few chefs have lived through modern pastry's evolution like Nicole Plue. From an externship in the early '90s at Masa's that touched her like a calling, to opening the pastry department at Eleven Madison Park in New York, developing recipes…
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Dining, SFoodie De-Laming Pastry School: A Q&A with SFCS's Nicole Plue

De-Laming Pastry School: A Q&A with SFCS's Nicole Plue

Few chefs have lived through modern pastry's evolution like Nicole Plue has. From an externship in the early '90s at Masa's that touched her like a calling, to opening the pastry department at Eleven Madison Park in New York, developing…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Midwestern Smash Burgers Shine, Food Trucks Get Pushback

Fresh Eats: Midwestern Smash Burgers Shine, Food Trucks Get Pushback

Midwest SmashBurgers from a New Truck Headed to S.F. By John Birdsall Zak Silverman cooked at Berkeley's Elmwood Cafe and did a sort of apprenticeship with Suzanne Schafer and Shari Washburn onboard Ebbet's Good to Go, but it was all…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Nopa's Mussels with Harissa Leave Us Shell Shocked

Fresh Eats: Nopa's Mussels with Harissa Leave Us Shell Shocked

Mussels are tricky. Overwhelm them with strong flavors and you strangle their delicacy. Leave them alone — that is, simply steam them open with a little chicken stock or white wine — and they can seem too slack and fleshy,…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: From Scraps Comes the Perfect Steakburger

Fresh Eats: From Scraps Comes the Perfect Steakburger

We're a city of burgers: the homely, the grass-fed, the absurdly truffled. And while it's easy to put out a good-tasting burger if you've buried the thing under aioli, bacon, and onion jam, it's hard to do minimal well. For…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: A Morning Bun Better than Doughnuts

Fresh Eats: A Morning Bun Better than Doughnuts

One of San Francisco's best doughnuts has never seen the inside of a Fryolator. Okay, so the oven-baked morning bun ($3.50) at Pinkie's Bakery in SOMA isn't a doughnut, though it offers all the comforts of one: an all-over sanding…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Ice Cream Changes, Swensen's Stays the Same

Fresh Eats: Ice Cream Changes, Swensen's Stays the Same

Frozen in Time I was a kid growing up down the Peninsula, spending summers with my grandpa at the Bay Meadows racetrack, getting coached in how to bet a trifecta or where to find the three-fingered guy who seemed to…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats

Fresh Eats

The New Lumpia Lumpia Shanghai are the Pringles of the Filipino-American buffet table. No Filipino party would be complete without somebody's tita (auntie) having made hundreds of the pork-filled, deep fried mini spring rolls — so many that you eat…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats

Fresh Eats

The Rebel Within Know it or not, you're living through a golden age of San Francisco pastry. A generation of talented patissiers with the entrepreneurial urge is saying no to restaurant kitchens and working solo, in shops of their own…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Our weekly roundup of SFoodie news

Fresh Eats: Our weekly roundup of SFoodie news

The Dorian Gray of Local Eateries By Jonathan Kauffman It's been 19 years since Erin Rooney's Slow Club opened, and when I visited recently, it seemed populated with the same customers — not the exact ones, of course, but their…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: The State of S.F.’s Street Food

Fresh Eats: The State of S.F.’s Street Food

In May 2009, when I started as SFoodie editor, the first few carts in the Mission's new wave of street vending had just begun selling in places like tiny Linda Street. Later that summer, I described a typical scene at…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: We recommend Reverie's pozole and Ajisen's ramen

Fresh Eats: We recommend Reverie's pozole and Ajisen's ramen

EAT THIS: Cafe Reverie's Pozole Verde By Jonathan Kauffman When I need to escape the pull of the Internet, I occasionally work at Cole Valley's WiFi-free Cafe Reverie, a friendly place with comfortable seats, beer as well as coffee, and…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Saving the Gravenstein, enjoying the Wayfare's Hangtown Fry

Fresh Eats: Saving the Gravenstein, enjoying the Wayfare's Hangtown Fry

Saving the Gravenstein By Jonathan Kauffman To the people who know them, Gravenstein apples are pie apples. One of the first varieties to appear in the markets in late summer, they have a bright acidity and a gorgeous aroma that…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Eat This: Green Coriander's chicken korma

Fresh Eats: Eat This: Green Coriander's chicken korma

Paawan Kothari rolled out her lunchtime Indian pop-up two weeks ago in what would seem like just about the most random Mission venue she could find: the bistro La Provence. But then, Kothari has been using the kitchen there since…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: Shawerma at Zaytoon and panino at Arlequin

Fresh Eats: Shawerma at Zaytoon and panino at Arlequin

Esperpento Is Still the Happy Place By Jonathan Kauffman In 1992, Carlos Muela opened Esperpento, part of the great wave of tapas restaurants that ended up changing San Francisco dining forever. So-called authentic Spanish tapas begat global-fusion tapas begat "small…
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Dining, Eat Fresh Eats: SFoodie recommends fried chicken, tortas, and pre-Prohibition beer

Fresh Eats: SFoodie recommends fried chicken, tortas, and pre-Prohibition beer

EAT THIS Frisco Fried's Chicken and Waffle By John Birdsall Hard to believe Frisco Fried has been open only six months. At 2 p.m. one day last week, the Bayview soul-food restaurant felt like the kind of place that defines…
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Dining, Eat Nombe brings street food indoors, with mixed success

Nombe brings street food indoors, with mixed success

Saturday, just shy of midnight, and the squat sandwich board on the Mission Street sidewalk bears a wrinkled paper sign advertising street-food ramen. Like a strip club barker, Gil Payne is standing in front of Nombe's inset double storefront, looking…
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Dining, Eat Il Cane Rosso: Proof that locally sourced eating hasn't gone too far

Il Cane Rosso: Proof that locally sourced eating hasn't gone too far

It's been a rough couple of months for Northern California's native cooking vernacular, ever since David Chang called bullshit on local chefs. The chef of Manhattan's Momofuku mini-empire stirred up a shitstorm here in October after he deployed his infamous…
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