Learn About the History of Jell-O on Thursday at Omnivore

Courtesy of Pam Elder, of Pat Monoco's collection
If you've eaten Jell-O recently, chances are that you've either a) been in the hospital b) only did so because there was alcohol involved or c) live in Utah, which sports a so-called "Jell-O Belt."

Though rainbow Jell-O molds and salads were a ubiquitous part of social gatherings a few decades ago, the food-like substance that begins as a dyed powder has fallen out of favor with most of us. It's a subject of mighty fascination for Pam Elder, a member of the Culinary Historians of Northern California who will be giving a talk about Jell-O at Omnivore Books on July 24, which will be accompanied by a Jell-O art contest.

See also: See Eerie Renditions of San Francisco in Jell-O

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Drakes Bay Oyster Co. to Close July 31, Unless Restaurant Lawsuit Miraculously Saves Farm

Categories: Controversy

Thumbnail image for drakes_bay_oyster_company.jpg
Josh Edelson
Workers at Drakes Bay Oyster Company, now set to shutter on July 31.
In a sad though not entirely surprising move, Drakes Bay Oyster Company announced last week that it plans to shut its doors on July 31.

See also: Shuck and Jive: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Forces a Redefinition of Environmentalism
Supreme Court Passes on Drakes Bay Oyster Company Appeal

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Week in Vegan: Beating the Dairy Business, Fake Tuna, and Being Vegan On Vacation

  • Soy dairy alternatives are becoming more and more popular. People are enjoying their Silk plant-based milks so much, in fact, that stock prices of the dairy alternative are now higher than the dairy company that created them.
  • Here's a great response to the idea that going vegan is depriving yourself of something. You know the only thing I'm depriving myself of? Those horrible stomach aches I got from eating red meat. (And also high steak prices.)

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Trick Dog Proves to be America's Best Bar Team at Tales of the Cocktail

A busy bar awaits the country's best bar team.

San Francisco's Trick Dog and The Bon Vivants have been awarded the 2014 Spirited Award for the best American bar team at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans Saturday.

This is the first year for the award that celebrates teamwork in the bar scene.

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Would You Wait Two Hours for Ramen? These People Did

Categories: Food Fests, Ramen

Pete Kane
At first glance yesterday, the Japantown half of the J-POP SUMMIT Festival appeared to be a well-run street party. There was a well-contained area for sake tastings and cans of Sapporo, plenty of toilets, a refreshing ratio of vaping to actual smoking, and all the Sweet Lolita fashion you could ask for. But after the obligatory detour through New People and a stroll around Peace Plaza, pretty much everybody wanted the same thing: a bowl of ramen, from any one of J-Pop's six purveyors.

Consequently, the lines running up Post Street were absolutely interminable, even when factoring in San Francisco's strange love of queuing up for commonly available foodstuffs. Ramen is delicious, particularly on a foggy day, but by 3:15 p.m., volunteers in yellow shirts were closing off the lines, fearing that people might not get served before the festival ended at 6. I asked five groups of people who'd waited a long, long time how they felt upon obtaining their quarry at last.

See Also: S.F.'s Longest Food and Drink Lines, Ranked

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Cocoa Prices Lead to Price Hike for Hershey, but Not Local Chocolatiers

Categories: Sweet Beat

Dandelion Chocolate/Molly DeCoudreaux Photography
According to Reuters, the country's top chocolate company, Hershey Co., raised its prices for the first time since 2011 by roughly 8 percent on Tuesday, July 15. The hike has been brought on due to "soaring" cocoa bean and butter prices.

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Who Makes the Better Ramen: S.F.'s Ken Ken Ramen or Oakland's Ramen Shop?

Kate Williams
Classic Hakata Style Tonkotsu Ramen from Ken Ken Ramen
San Francisco is one of the few places in which it is imaginable to crave hot, rich ramen in the middle of July. The incoming clouds and fog beg for something far more warming than summer's obvious choices: tomato salad, BLTs, ice cream. Ramen has exploded in popularity amongst the hip and food-obsessed in the last couple of years, and the newest joints offer such a mix of traditional and totally-out-there approaches to noodle bowls that it's hard to get bored. Pop-ups like Hapa Ramen are likely the best source of creativity in the ramen game, but this week we're looking at two of the most popular shops in San Francisco and Oakland: Ken Ken Ramen and Ramen Shop.

See also:
Who Makes the Better Banh Mi: S.F.'s Saigon Sandwich or Oakland's Banh Mi Ba Le?
Who Makes the Better American IPA: SF's 21st Amendment or San Leandro's Drake's?
Who Makes the Best Fried Chicken: S.F.'S Front Porch or Oakland's Miss Ollie's?

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Vietnamese-Inspired Urban Picnic Arrives in the Castro

Categories: Castro, Opening

Pete Kane
Roasted pork banh mi
The Castro already got its widened sidewalks, and it's about to get a Walk of Fame, rainbow crosswalks, and maybe a microdermabrasion. It's too bad such top-down beautification can't result in better food, because let's face it: There is room for improvement. Health-obsessed, Vietnamese-inspired Urban Picnic's second location is trying to rectify the situation for us.

See Also: Rice Paper Scissors' Brunch: Exactly As Good As You're Hoping

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Crushed: Recycling Facility Evicted by Safeway

Categories: Castro

A sight that no longer exists at Church and Market

Two delays and a group of protesters later, the Safeway Recycling Center at Church and Market has been evicted as of Thursday, Hoodline reports.

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Drink of the Week: Flora Cocktail at Trocadero Club

Lou Bustamante
You can sum up the American idea of schnapps in a single sentence: Cocktail training wheels for the brand new bar patron.

But in Germany, schnapps (which comes from the word schnaps and means to "swallow") is dry, high proof, and distilled from either fruit, like brandy, or beer, like unaged whisky. The intention of the distillers is to render the fruit's essence into liquid form. Intended to be sipped neat after dinner, they're nothing like the brightly colored, sugary, and artificially flavored mixers.

Since it's in the same category as grappa, its no surprise that even more experienced drinkers find the dry, intense, and potent liquor a little challenging. Even the harshest critics might reconsider the liquor after trying some cocktails made with the liquor at Trocadero Club, Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti's bar in the Tenderloin.

See also: Drink of the Week: Sugar Snap Pea Cocktail at 1760
Drink of the Week: Four Spots to Cool You Down This Week
Drink of the Week: Shrub Runner at Serpentine

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