We Don't Need No Water, Let Tacolocious' New MF Hot Sauce Burn

Lou Bustamante
Inspiration is a fickle friend: sometimes it's sitting there waiting for you at your desk, and other times you have to travel halfway around the world to find it.

While consulting on a Mexican restaurant in Sydney Australia called Barrio Chino back in 2011, Tacolicious owner Joe Hargrave and chef Telmo Faria found that even the most basic products were simply not available there. At the bar, they wanted to mix up Micheladas, but couldn't get bottles of salsa picante like Tapatio or Cholula, so Hargrave and Faria decided to make their own. The quickly came up with a recipe that came close, finished the consulting job, but didn't develop their recipe any further -- until recently.

See Also:- Tacolicious's Achiote-Braised Pork Belly Taco
- Rum Pork Tacos at Tango & Stache
- Tagine Squash Tacos at The Taco Guys

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Welcome to the Mead-le Ages: Mead Company Comes to San Francisco

Categories: Food Find, Wine

Anna Roth
They say everything old becomes new again. I mostly associate mead with medieval times -- large halls full of burly men hoisting flagons of the stuff as they gnaw on haunches of meat and throw the bones over their shoulders -- but artisanal honey wine is making a comeback in the U.S. (of course). An S.F.-based company has just launched a local mead, made with honey from the Mendocino forest. The San Francisco Mead Company is run by husband-and-wife team Sarah Jones and Oron Benary, who have been making mead in Columbus, Ohio for the past few years and have expanded to the Bay Area.

I'd had mead once before, on a cold, windswept island in the North Sea at Lindisfarne Abbey, one of the more famous meaderies in the world. That was fortified with grapes and much sweeter than the version from San Francisco Mead Company, which is surprisingly dry, with a hint of caramel, vanilla, oak from aging barrels, and a deep woodsy taste from the Mendocino honey. All in all, it's a beverage you'd actually want to drink with dinner (Jones recommends pairing with spicy food) or order in a bar in lieu of a dry white wine or cider.

See also: French Bees Are Producing Blue Honey
Rock the Vote: Presidential Honey Ale Competition

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The Best Burger in the Mission Right Now

Mary Ladd
Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich on Texas Toast
Burger hunger games generally start with the basics: find red meat between bread. Province of the meat, prep method and fat content are open for debate -- wide, wide open -- and texture is ever important. Eyes are politely averted from folks who insist on Protein Style or order medium well on this quest, although queries around granulation are welcomed.

Of late in the Mission, the best burger is not a burger but more of the beef burger's saucy sassy cousin, hidden in plain sight at Hi-Lo BBQ. Chef Ryan Ostler's meatloaf sandwich is a square-shaped beef marvel that combines two thinly sliced smoked meatloaf patties made with American Kobe beef and the chopped fatty end of the brisket.

See also: Hi-Lo BBQ: San Francisco Gets Its Own Barbecue

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Peek Inside Duende's New Casual Bodega

Categories: Food Find, Oakland

Paul Canales duende.jpg
Molly Gore
Paul Canales in Duende's bodega.
"Nothing here was thought out at all," says Paul Canales, sweeping his arm across the massive, airy space of Duende. It's hard to believe. Duende in the mid-afternoon is beautiful--washed in daylight, the walls a raucous mash of beautiful and hectic Basquiat-esque canvases by Raymond Saunders (a friend of Canales), racks of house-pressed olive oil, and the rest an eclectic mélange of exposed brick, reclaimed wood, and roughed up stucco--an accidental byproduct of demolition that Canales loved. And there's something special about Duende, it's available in the daytime in a way few restaurants are. Meet the bodega: Duende's wine bar/café/social space that always feels like you've arrived to a friend's party just a little bit early.

See also: The Science of Shopping at the New Bi-Rite Market
The Evolution of Mission Chinese Food's New York Counterpart

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Mourad Lahlou Unlocks The Art of Moroccan Beghrir Pancakes at Home

Categories: Food Find, Palmer

Tamara Palmer
Mourad Lahlou plays guest chef in the SFoodie home kitchen.
It's not every day that a renowned and dashing chef comes over to make pancakes, certainly not one named an international Culinary Ambassador by Hillary Clinton. But Mourad Lahlou, the owner of San Francisco's Aziza restaurant and author of the New Moroccan cookbook, was happy to make a house call to test out his new Moroccan Beghrir pancake mix, part of a full product line from Williams Sonoma, in a less-than-professional kitchen.

See also: Pancakes Are for Dinner at State Bird Provisions

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Raw Golden Healer Honey Sources Natural Candy From Stern Grove

Tamara Palmer
Stern Grove Floral honeycomb by Alla's SF Apiary and Raw Golden Healer Honey.
When we think of Stern Grove, we think of concerts and Shakespeare, but it's also a hidden source of some great natural candy. Raw Golden Healer Honey, in collaboration with Alla's S.F. Apiary, offers two sizes of honeycombs made from bees who chill in the park.

See Also:
- Jardinière Installs Rooftop Beehives
- French Bees Are Producing Blue Honey

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Hodo Soy Beanery's 5-Spice Nuggets Transcend Tofu Concerns

Tamara Palmer
Five Spice Tofu Nuggets by Hodo Soy Beanery.
Oakland's Hodo Soy Beanery has single-handedly transformed our opinion about tofu being nothing more than a placeholder in a dish. Founder Minh Tsai left a life in finance to start this company after having a deep inspiration to create the kind of soft and versatile tofu he'd get regularly with his grandfather when growing up in Vietnam. This is the gateway company to help tofu skeptics open their minds.

See Also:
- Get New Respect for Tofu at Hodo Soy Beanery's Monthly Tours
- Sampling Hodo Soy Beanery's New Soy Milks and Smoothies

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La Palma and Rancho Gordo Collaborate on Heirloom Corn Tortillas

Categories: Food Find, Palmer

Tamara Palmer
Corn tortillas by Rancho Gordo.
These new heirloom corn tortillas are the result of family-owned companies joining forces. San Francisco's La Palma, established in 1953 by the Haro family, makes them for Napa's Rancho Gordo, Steve Sando's farm mostly known for a wide variety of beans. The two are helping to keep a third endeavor on the path of tradition.

See Also:
- Berkeley Bowl Pasta Uses Beets as Magic Ingredient

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Berkeley Bowl Pasta Uses Beets as Magic Ingredient

Categories: Food Find, Palmer

Tamara Palmer
Uncooked and cooked beet pasta by Berkeley Bowl.
Among the in-house fresh pasta offerings at Berkeley Bowl are two varieties made with purple beets, including a fettucine-sized package and a slightly thicker cut noodle. After road testing them in the kitchen, we're comfortable declaring that this could be a great beet gateway for anyone who is shy on the root.

See Also:
- It's Winter -- Beet It

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Fresh Sugarcane Is On Special at Wah Fa

Categories: Food Find, Palmer

Tamara Palmer
Sugarcane from Wah Fa market.
Sugarcane pops up at various farmers markets around San Francisco, including the Alemany and Heart of the City Farmers Markets, but it's not easy to score at permanent places. Fresh pressed sugarcane juice is even a rarer find. Ingleside Vietnamese restaurant Ha Tien Hut (1109 Ocean) may be one of the only places within city limits to find it following the closure of Irving Cafe & Dessert in the Outer Sunset, a spot that favored the grassy green variety of sugarcane for juicing (there are close to 40 different species in all).

Luckily, Wah Fa (2165 Irving), a tiny Chinese grocery store near the former Irving Cafe & Dessert, currently has burgundy-hued sugarcane on special for 99 cents per pound.

See Also:
- Fresh Sugarcane Juice, the Final Frontier of Sucrose Addiction
- Heart of The City's Soul

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