Five Things We Learned From Savor Oakland's Chinatown Tour

Ferron Salniker
Guilin noodles at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles
It's a beautiful thing when strangers come together on the street to devour warm pork buns in a downpour. Last Saturday, I braved the rain with Savor Oakland Food Tours and a few kindred spirits for a three-hour walking tour of Oakland Chinatown. The husband-and-wife team launched about two years ago, and have been charming locals and tourists alike with a winning formula that combines historical narrative and cultural context to explore Oakland and its food.

See also: Oakland's Champa Garden Brings Laotion Food to Ingleside

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Congrats to the Bay Area's 20 James Beard Award 2014 Nominees

Categories: Local Flavor

The James Beard Foundation Award finalists came out this morning, and the Bay Area has a strong showing in several categories. State Bird Provisions chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski got a nod for regional Best Chef along with Corey Lee from Benu and Daniel Patterson for Coi; A16 got recognized for Shelley Lindgren's excellent wine program; David Kinch of Manresa is on the short list for Outstanding Chef; Slanted Door is up for Outstanding Restaurant; Belinda Leong was nominated as Best Pastry Chef for b. patisserie; and more.

Check out the whole list of winners on the JBF website, all local winners are highlighted after the jump. Awards will be held in NYC in May. Congratulations to all the nominees!

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Chicken Run: 1,800 Rescue Hens Looking for New Homes After Egg Farm Shutters

Categories: Local Flavor

How can you say no to a face like that?
A Chico egg farm has gone out of business, leaving a few thousand hens homeless and almost certainly headed for death. But Animal Place, a farmed animal sanctuary that claims to have saved more than 12,000 chickens since its 2010 inception, has teamed up with the Sonoma Humane Society to find these 1,800 abandoned chickens homes in Northern California.

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

Facebook/Eastside Bagels
The latest entry in the annals of San Francisco line-waiting came over the weekend, when many waited for more than an hour in the rain for a chance at a day-old bagel. The bagels in question had pedigree -- they'd been overnighted from New York's legendary deli Russ & Daughters by pop-up chefs Sonya Haines and Wes Rowe -- but the Eastside Bagels team wasn't prepared for the crowds that showed up at Dear Mom on Saturday morning, and a clusterfuck commenced.

Then again, it's no secret that San Franciscans like to wait in lines. In light of this latest entry, we've ranked the city's food and drink lines*, taking into account such factors as line location, ratio of tourists to locals, swiftness of line movement, and greatness of reward at the end. Behold, the clearly definitive, soon-to-be-gospel list:

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Tired of the Same Old Stories on $4 Toast? Here are 16 New Approaches!

josey baker toasted bread.jpg
Anna Roth
Every day I think we've reached Peak $4 Toast Think Piece and every day the Internet proves me wrong. Edible SF's latest cover story is just the latest in a long, illustrious line of journalistic meditations on the trend. There's Pacific Standard's much-shared article tracing toast's origins to Trouble Coffee; CHOW's response to Pacific Standard; our November feature on artisanal flour; Venture Beat's story on how $4 toast is ruining S.F.; SFist's response to Venture Beat ... the list goes on. (Full disclosure: I wrote my first-ever article for SF Weekly, back in July 2012, about $4 toast.)

See also: The Year in Review: Cronuts, Ramen Burgers, and the Rise of BuzzFood

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Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Your Foodie Friends

Flickr/ KieuvyNguyen
Food-loving friends can be hard to shop for. They seem to already own every kitchen gadget imaginable, have shelves full of cookbooks and a stocked bar. Lucky for you, they're always hungry for more. So here's our last-minute gift guide that will satisfy your friend's never-ending appetite.

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Circus Comes to Town, Gets Its Own Ice Cream Flavor

Step aside cotton candy and popcorn, there's a new circus snack in town. Mission ice cream shop Humphry Slocombe recently released an ice cream flavor in honor of Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, in town through January 12th. The flavor is creme fraiche with a blueberry swirl, and it will be on sale for the duration of Amaluna's run.

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Pop-Up Planner, Nov. 12-19: Tequila-Braised Baby Octopus and Superhero Cocktail Hour

Tango & Stache
Second Course: Tequila Braised Baby Octopus Sopes, Blistered Salsa and House-Made Creme Fraiche.
This week's roundup of San Francisco's best pop-ups and temporary restaurants.

Tango & Stache
When: Tuesday, Nov. 19; seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Where: Naked Kitchen
Cost: $95 per person (includes dinner and cocktails)
The Rundown: Joshua Oakley is at it again. Celebrating cooking traditions of Jalisco, the dinner is part of a travel series of exploring the vibrancy of different regions throughout Mexico. The four-course meal will also feature cocktail pairings from Jen Ackrill of Rye. Continuing his style of spirit-driven cuisine, Oakley's menu will spotlight dishes like tequila-braised baby octopus sopes, blistered salsa, and house-made creme fraiche paired with Ackrill's traditional frozen margarita made with Espolon Blanco Tequila, Heirloom Pepper Granita, Jalapeno Tincture, Meyer Lemon, Candied Fresno Chile and Smoked Masa Salt. Buy tickets on Eventbrite.

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

John Birdsall
Hazelnut-finished pork in a sub at Tails & Trotters is a good example of PDX's democratic approach to food..
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.

This year's Feast Portland was a very good food festival. Last weekend in Portland, a whole bunch of people came together to taste and get drunk, to cook under impossibly hard festival conditions and to slip each other business cards. By the time I flew back to Oakland Sunday night, on a prop plane that offered the kind of view of San Francisco Bay that makes living here feel like privilege, I felt like I had an overview, not only of what makes Portland's food essential in the national conversation, but what's depressing the soul of ours.

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Notes From a Forager: Making Seaweed Pickles

Batch Made is a new column from forageSF and Batch Made Market founder Iso Rabins, chronicling the ups and downs of the San Francisco foraging lifestyle.

Why make seaweed pickles? It's a good question. There are so many easier things to pickle, and some that, I have to admit, do taste better. I like beet pickles way more than seaweed. Kohlrabi, dilly beans, corn, radish, grapes ... I'd even say pickled turnips are better than seaweed (though not cauliflower; pickled cauliflower always just tastes like raw veggie with vinegar, for some reason it's never quite right).

See also: Notes From a Forager: Abalone Diving on the North Coast
Notes From a Forager: Making Your Own Prosciutto
Behind the Scenes at ForageSF's New Batch Made Market

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