Small Plates and Drinks

Green Apple is constantly spreading the good word about local-ism: shopping at locally owned independent stores leads to many good things, like more money re-circulating in the local economy, a strengthened tax base for local government, support of local families, etc. And readers of tablehopper have all presumably read The Omnivore’s Dilemma (if not, don’t eat or read anything else until you do) and know all about buying locally produced food. And you clearly are already interested in supporting locally owned restaurants.

Which long-windedly brings me to today’s bookworm: you can do right by local publishers, bookstores, and restaurants by buying either or both of today’s featured books, both by local authors, restaurateurs, and publishers (and 20% off for tablehopper readers at this locally owned bookstore).

Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition

Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition
Gerald Hirigoyen

First up is Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition by Gerald Hirigoyen, chef-owner of Piperade and Bocadillos (published by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley). Included are 75 popular recipes from the restaurants that are adapted for the home kitchen. They range in complexity from the simple (the spring-appropriate fava beans with crème fraîche and mint) to more complicated items (like cold and spicy tomato broth with chopped vegetable salpicon). The book is a handsome hardcover, clearly written with adequately mouth-watering color photographs throughout. And it’s only $24.95, which is really a pretty good deal for a book of this quality, and cheaper than a visit to either restaurant, for sure.

Bixology: Cocktails, Culture, and a Guide to the Good Life

Bixology: Cocktails, Culture, and a Guide to the Good Life
Eve O’Neill and Doug “Bix” Biederbeck

The other ultra-local book of the month is Bixology: Cocktails, Culture, and a Guide to the Good Life by Eve O’Neill and Doug “Bix” Biederbeck (published by SF’s Chronicle Books). The selling point on this sharp little faux-leather book is its voice. Like the restaurant, this book has character, from the page of “Nautical Drinking Terms” to pithy introductions to drink recipes, like this one before Irish Coffee: “Here’s a convenient way to combine your addictions.” Otherwise, it’s a basic (but not comprehensive) bartending guide with a strong voice. A fun little gift or bathroom book for those who like their sauce.