Early Bird Special: Jonathan Kauffman Revisits Some Old Faves

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b b./Yelp
Macaroons from La Boulange: Still packin' the old magic?
An early nibble from the Weekly's Wednesday food review.

Sometimes it takes an outsider to tell you that the food places in your neighborhood are as good as you always thought they were ― or not. In tomorrow's SF Weekly, new restaurant critic Jonathan Kauffman revisits the foods he loved when he called the city his home, before moving on to Seattle in 2006. In an epic 48-hour orgy of eats, Kauffman takes a nostalgic journey from the Outer Sunset to the Inner Mission. What's still delicious? What's drifted into the land of meh? Find out later today at SFWeekly.com. In the meantime, check out our excerpt of Kauffman's look back (after the jump).

As the day progressed and I crisscrossed town, nostalgic memories of dishes or the passage of time sometimes failed me. The dense, unevenly shaped pistachio macaroons at the original La Boulange (2325 Pine at Fillmore) ― a decade before Parisian macaroons trended high ― have lost their magic. The curtido (cabbage slaw) on the pupusas revueltas at El Zocalo (3230 Mission at Fair) is less biting than I remember, though the memories of 2 a.m. meals surrounded by club kids, mariachi musicians, and three-generation families seem fresh. And was the rice in the veggie kimbap at Woo Ri Market (1528 Fillmore at Geary) ― a $2 meal (now $4) that fueled many Friday-night shifts in the kitchen ― mushier than I remembered? But the powdered-sugar-dusted alfajores at El Perol in the Mission Market (2590 Mission at 21st St.) are as miraculously crumbly as they always were; a few seconds after fishing the cookie out of the bag, I already looked like Lindsay Lohan leaving a toilet stall.

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