July 2012

July 31, 2012

The beginning of a “ladies” lunch at Sam’s Grill. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Every week, I tell myself, “I’m going to write less. Today’s issue is gonna be short.” And every week, a ton of news and events and cool stuff flows into my in-box and on Twitter and Facebook. So, yeah, today’s issue is a biggie. Again. Me lo siento.

And whoa, it’s a busy week, with SF Chefs officially under way. There are a bunch of events, from seminars to the tasting tent to this Wednesday’s Mexican feast at Mijita. See you on the track. And don’t forget tablehopper readers get 10 percent off of all events (just use this code at checkout: tablehopper 12).

Today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I talk about the molto tasty take-home lasagne at Marcella’s Lasagneria and Cucina in the Dogpatch. Yeah, go ahead, blame me for the weight gain later.

Welcome back to all the liver-fatigued bartenders returning from Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. We missed you.

You ready to high-dive in? In honor of the Olympics, okay, let’s do this.

Marcia Gagliardi

July 27, 2012

This is what mad flavor looks like. The “Malaysian chilaquiles” from Azalina’s. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh, hello Friday afternoon. I never thought you’d get here. Damn, what took you so long? What’s on your docket this weekend? Here’s something to consider: the newly launched brunches at Maven, Old Skool Cafe, Pera, Parallel 37, or Hopscotch in Oakland, if you’re looking for something new.

Last night I was fortunate to attend the preview party for the SF Street Food Festival at Fort Mason. The room was packed with food vendors who will be serving their specialties at the festival and at the exciting new addition this year, the night market. I think my favorite part of the night was having the time to talk to the vendors face to face, to learn about their dishes, and to hear their stories and where they come from. Sure, the SF Street Food Festival is exciting and full of crazy-delicious food, but it’s important to remember each person’s dish has such a personal story to tell. Many come from so far away, like Ethiopia or Japan or Colombia—or they’re longtime SF locals—but all have such pride and care for their dishes, their spices, their mother’s recipes, their ancestors’ traditions.

Every person in that room last night is working so hard to create a successful food business, many of them starting with very little. As a member of the media, you become acutely aware of how much a story about them (and their product) could make a difference in their business. And as consumers, how much our support matters, whether we hire them for catering or buy their tasty hummus at Whole Foods Market (who works closely with La Cocina to carry products from their incubator businesses).

The other thing that really touched me is just how excited everyone was to feed you. To tell you about their dish. To ask if you liked it. I was just overwhelmed with how much heart goes into it all. So next month, when I’m waiting in line at the festival or night market for the “Malaysian chilaquiles” from Azalina’s or the panucho from Chaac-Mool or the moi-moi from Chiefo’s Kitchen, I’m going to remember the pride and excitement each of these vendors has to be participating in the event, and most important, I’m going to think about their dreams, which is basically to feed people their wonderful food. It’s profound. Deep soul. I know, I’m a total sap, but I was really moved last night.

I want to do a shout-out to Caleb Zigas and his amazing team (and volunteers!) at La Cocina who all work so hard at this, and each year keep making this festival bigger, better, and even more bodacious. We’re being exposed to so many unique things through this event, we are so damn lucky. All while helping so many women-owned businesses get the exposure and support they need. Thank you.

And I also owe a thank-you to the readers of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, for voting tablehopper the best food website. Like, wow. Thanks, yo!

Have a marvy weekend, all.

Marcia Gagliardi

July 24, 2012

The pulled pork banh mi from Soup Junkie. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, fabulous people. Well, after all that excitement last week launching my late-night dining app, I hit the road on Friday with my sis and headed up to our family cabin in Lake Tahoe. Yeah, what a difference a couple of days in the mountains can bring. Was so nice to hang out with the ‘rents, eat rotisserie chicken off our 50-year-old grill, catch up on my magazines (and some sleep), and, of course, go for some swims in the big blue. It was torture to leave the beach Sunday afternoon and head back into the mayhem. Lock and load. One look at today’s newsletter and you will see.

So since I’m back in the cit-tay, let’s talk about things like this hilarious Mixologist video (from the folks who did “It’s Getting Real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot”). Just wait for the chicken foot.

More video action: today I’m talking about why I think people should contribute to Hapa’s Kickstarter campaign to open Hapa on Fillmore. Please check it out—there are only eight days to go. And take a look the “free ramen for a year” option! These are the moments when I wish I was crazy loaded with cash.

Meanwhile, over on 7x7.com, I have this month’s list of five newly opened places to check out. And on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I talk about new spot Craftsman & Wolves (last week’s episode featured Cassava Bakery + Café).

Quick housekeeping note: if you’re planning to attend Noisette on Saturday August 4th, please note the venue has changed to Public Works. Mmmkay?

Okay fine folks, let’s tuck in here. Ya ready?

Marcia Gagliardi

July 17, 2012

Langos bread with white turnips, anchovy, and chicken liver. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Yo. How you doing out there? Well, today’s a big one for me since I am launching tablehopper’s very first app! Yup, it’s called Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats in SF, and it has almost 100 places that serve food after 11pm! You can read more details below in the sponsor section (or just hop over to the app page on iTunes!). Many of you have been asking me for a tablehopper app for a while, so hopefully this is the first of many. That depends upon how sales go (WINK) and if you make it worth my while, heh heh. Anyway, check it out!

Apropos of the late-night dining topic, my second column for 7x7 was just posted online today with my thoughts about our local late-night dining scene. The original title in the July/August issue was The Night Shift: SF’s late-night dining scene is in a sorry state of affairs. So what’s the recipe for making it after dark?

So last night I played a bit of hooky and left my desk for a few hours—there was no way I was going to miss the guest chef appearance of Christian Puglisi of Restaurant RELÆ (Denmark) at Bar Tartine. Based on the who’s who of chefs and somms in the room, it was quite the industry night—I especially loved the reunion of past Bar Tartine chefs, cooks, and staff that was happening in front of the new oven (it was their own rumpus room). It was a spectacular meal, 12 courses in all, each dish so full of flavor and texture. Puglisi made our local ingredients sing. It was like a dream meal of appetizers, one after the other, many featuring Chad Robertson’s spectacular breads (including one made with kamut). Pictured here was a dish that was the height of collaboration: chef Nick Balla’s famed langos bread topped with a wickedly memorable combination of chicken liver and anchovy, layered with sliced white turnips that looked like fish scales. Pow. What a night.

Okay folks, let’s dive in here. See you tonight at David Chang’s talk?


Marcia Gagliardi

July 13, 2012

The burger at The WestWood on Valencia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Yes, I just quoted Loverboy. So what’s on your docket for the weekend? Are you celebrating Bastille Day on Saturday? Are you coming to CUESA’s Summer Celebration on Sunday? I can’t wait. (And don’t forget to come by my table for a chance to win two tickets to the Sunday afternoon grand tasting tent for SF Chefs!)

Today’s review is of Cassava Bakery + Café in the Outer Richmond, a place you can swing by for brunch this weekend! More places for your radar: on 7x7.com, I wrote up three new beefy sandwiches, and you have to check out the awesome pic of 1058 Hoagie. Sadly, we have to wait until the brick-and-mortar location opens. Yes, I love me some sandwiches. This is what happens when you grow up in a family of delicatessen (and pizzeria) owners.

Okay, my fingertips need to freaking FLY across the keyboard this afternoon, so ciao for now!

Marcia Gagliardi

July 10, 2012

The acorn grits course (served in the kitchen) at Dixie. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Bonjour, fine folks. Why the French? Well, this Saturday is Bastille Day, with all kinds of activities added to last week’s socialite listing, so check it out. Hell, I’ll take any excuse to drink Champagne. Oh, and since we’re talking wine, you might want to take a peek at this piece I wrote for 7x7.com last week on wine deals around the city. It’s all about Tuesdays, really. Yeah, that would be tonight. Have fun out there.

So who is coming to the CUESA Summer Celebration on Sunday evening? The lineup of food and drinks is NUTS. I will have a table near 4505 Meats and Campo de Encanto Pisco (yup, you might as well call it the rumpus room), so you should come by and par-tay with us. Not only am I giving away a pair of tickets to the Sunday afternoon grand tasting tent for SF Chefs, but I’m also going to have something else that’s very, very cool at the table. Hint: it’s foxy. Come by!

Looking for more entertainment? Today on You Gotta Eat This, I talk about some of the city’s latest awesome sandwiches at Machine Deli (currently a pop-up at Laszlo). Rawr.

Looks like we have 24 hours of sunny weather, get out there and boost your vitamin D while you can.

Marcia Gagliardi

July 3, 2012

When catering rules: the wickedly good fried chicken (grandma’s recipe!) from Tango & Stache. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Salutations, my fellow Americans. You fired up for the holiday tomorrow? We have a quick recap in the socialite for you on a few Fourth of July activities to consider. Just a piece of advice: be sure to call any restaurant before heading over tomorrow—a lot are taking the day (and week!) off. I’m just happy to have a day to get an exciting project wrapped up (more on this soon!) without my email inbox blowing up like a Roman candle.

Oh, and something to note: did you know tomorrow is not considered a holiday by the city as far as parking meters are concerned? Yup, those evil DPT mofos will be out in force in their Cushmans, ready to ticket your ass for falsely assuming that it was a holiday. Don’t give the SFMTA your money.

Today on You Gotta Eat This, I do a recap of the story I ran on Friday on how Acquerello saved their famous foie dish, the ridged pasta with black truffle and Marsala. You can listen in here.

Have a great Fourth!

Marcia Gagliardi

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