August 2012

August 28, 2012
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Krondill poached lobster Skagen at Pläj. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy! By the time you read this, I will hopefully be relatively close to passing through the Burning Man gate in Nevada. Isn’t technology amazing? Heh. What’s even more amazing is I will be completely away from technology for a week: no phone, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook! There is nothing like being completely wired and then going completely off the grid.

So please, if you can hang on to that burning question or pitch and refrain from emailing me so I don’t come home to 1,000 messages next Tuesday September 4th, I’ll be a happy camper. Thanks muchissimo.

There will be a very short tablehopper issue next Tuesday the 4th, but that thing is already written, so please, no pitches! (As you can tell, I get way too much email.) Things should be back to “normal” and I should be all caught up by Tuesday September 11th. Bon? Bon.

I hope you all enjoy the empty city, and have a fab Labor Day weekend. I’ll be sure to kick up a little dust for ya. Hell, a lot.

Giddy up!

Marcia Gagliardi

August 24, 2012
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Goat and al pastor tacos from El Norteño. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Sun, is that you? I hardly recognize you. It’s about time you showed up—you have been missed. Welcome back. I thought I was going to have to wait until driving to Burning Man next Tuesday to even see you at, oh, say Vallejo. What I do know is that Burning Man has exploded all over the inside of my apartment—it looks like a drag queen, a furrier, a cowgirl, a ’70s diva, and a kaftan-wearing bohemian emptied their closets onto my floor and ran away. It’s a pileup.

Today we have an update on all the excitement happening at Michael Mina, along with an action-packed 707 Scout update from Heather Irwin, in case you feel inspired to embark on a weekend getaway into some warmth. Another option: you can head to Mezzaluna in Princeton-by-the-Sea/Half Moon Bay for an Italian feast (it’s a Gagliardi family favorite)—you can hear all about what to order in this week’s episode of You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio.

I also want to point you to my post this week on 7x7.com, with my monthly roundup of five new restaurants to check out in case you need a reminder of what’s new! So. Many. Openings.

Okay folks, enjoy the weekend, and I need to get back to preparing for this monster trip! It’s always such a doozy. Thank GOD I got out of jury duty—I was sweating bullets on that one. At least I got to tuck into some El Norteño goat and al pastor tacos across the street from the Hall of Justice, pictured here! All hail the chivo.

Ciao!

Marcia Gagliardi

August 21, 2012
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From the Night Market: Juhu Beach Club’s super-fantastic vada pav. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hola amigos! Considering there were 80,000 people who attended this weekend’s amazing SF Street Food Festival, I am assuming many of you attended. What a day, right? Kudos to the incredible La Cocina team (and all the volunteers!) for putting on such a stellar weekend full of events. The mind reels with all the details they had to manage to put this all on. Bravi!

And huge thanks to everyone who swung by my table to say hi and check out the new tablehopper T-shirts on Saturday! Can I just say how much my readers rock? Yes, you. Dana, my fab editorial assistant, and I were blown away with your kindness and enthusiasm. While we had to (wo)man the table all day, we did manage to sneak out for a few bites here and there—and also got styled by some deliveries from Il Cane Rosso, Wise Sons Deli, and Almanac Beer (thanks gang!).

The Night Market on Friday night was really fun—loved the selection of beers from Whole Foods’ Potrero store, the cocktails from Rye, and the fact that Ryan Farr (as part of the Bone & Gristle Boys) was out to kill us yet again with The Boss Hogg. Check out my photo album from the weekend here.

So the madness doesn’t stop. I’m actually preparing to leave for Burning Man in less than a week. Yes, I’m one of “those people“—and have been since 1996! It’s a magical event, and this year is going to be particularly special because my sister and I are bringing our father out there for his first time. Yeah, the Gagliardis are going to be in full effect—it will be one for the books. So I am going to be in a serious crunch the next week trying to get the hell out of Dodge, wish me luck and please forgive me if I don’t return your email for a couple of weeks. (I’m also doing a daily prayer to the jury duty goddess, praying I don’t have to come in this week. Two free days down, three to go. Talk about inconvenient timing, oy.)

Two more things for your radar: first, in the spirit of radical self-expression, I have to point you to this captivating video homage by Bill Cunningham of the inimitable Anna Piaggi, may her colorful spirit rest in peace. And speaking of memorable women, are you aware of the fundraiser for Marian and Vivian Brown, otherwise known as “the twins” here in our fair city? Ends up they are going through a hard situation, and it’s time for SF to show how much we take care of our own.

Cheers my dears!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 14, 2012
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My sassy sis getting ready to take down some Little Skillet chicken-and-waffle love at Outside Lands. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whoa, that was quite the weekend: two incredible days of music at Outside Lands, with a whole crunch of work in the middle—not my ideal sandwich cookie, but at least it wasn’t the other way around. Love discovering new bands to listen to (Electric Guest, Washed Out, Yacht, Tennis, Tanlines [no, I am not making these up)], Bomba Estereo) and seeing some seriously fabulous performers live (Santigold, Jack White). Oh yeah, and then there’s STEVIE freaking WONDER. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people sing along, it was heart-melting. And I had a veritable backup band of Irish girls behind me singing their hearts out.

The food was also pretty fantastic (lamb poutine for the win) and I wish I could drink the Sierra Nevada Outside Lands saison all year. It’s all about arriving on two wheels. (Friday night I was on my friend’s motorcycle, and Sunday was by bike—who knew so many people had bikes in this town? Awesome!)

Which brings us to our next weekend extravaganza: the SF Street Food Festival! It all kicks off Friday night with the Night Market (did you catch the special tablehopper deal on tickets?), followed by the actual festival on Saturday. Here’s a handy-dandy map so you can see what’s up.

I’d like you to pay particular attention to CC-1 (between 22nd and 23rd streets), which is where you will find the tablehopper table, right across from Hawker Fare! No, I won’t be serving food or booze, but you will be able to check out the complete and brand-new line of tablehopper T-shirts! There are five styles, all featuring vintage San Francisco restaurant and bar logos, on supersoft cotton! Yeah, they’re pretty damn sweet. Plus there is a hoodie too (a mandatory item in our chilly city). We don’t have an online store up yet, so we’re just doing in-person sales for now—come on by and be one of the first to rock a tablehopper tee!

Let’s count from 1 to 100: first, big congrats to State Bird Provisions for being named no. 1 in Bon Appétit’s Top 10 list of America’s Best New Restaurants! So very exciting and well deserved. And tomorrow would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday—I shall raise a roasted chicken leg in her honor (and an adult beverage). Save the liver! Cue Dan Aykroyd.

Lastly, did you catch my piece on 7x7 last week on five of my favorite hangover cures? Also, today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I share my love for Ajanta in Berkeley.

Enjoy the week, dearies.

Marcia Gagliardi

August 10, 2012
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Plancha bread with pickled plums, Mt. Tam cheese, and arugula at Rich Table. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

You ready for a sunny weekend? All of us attending Outside Lands, clap your hands and say yeah! While I’m fired up for Stevie Wonder (seriously, wow), it’s the presence of Beer Lands, Choco Lands, Wine Lands, the brilliantly named Outside Lambs, and the monster list of local food purveyors that totally have my head spinning. Way to turn a music festival into a gourmet par-tay. San Francisco is cracking me up right now with its food-obsessive ways. (I know, I am one to talk.)

Last night was a thought-provoking INFORUM panel at the Commonwealth Club called Climbing the SF Food Chain, with Craig Stoll of Delfina, Pizzeria Delfina, and Locanda; Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen; Iso Rabins of ForageSF; and Anthony Myint of Mission Street Food and Mission Chinese. It was moderated by Valerie Luu of Rice Paper Scissors. They all shared stories and insight about how they each are forging their very different paths in the San Francisco culinary scene—in case you missed it, you can listen in later on the podcast.

The panel was followed by dinner at Foodlab, sponsored by graffEats and featuring dishes from some of the panelists. I lucked out with an interesting table of folks to sit with. Speaking of tables, I can’t believe the buzz about Rich Table in Hayes Valley. I went by for dinner after the San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay party on Wednesday evening (for evidence, click here) and at 8:15pm the place looked like a busy Friday night at Nopa. Seriously, wow, good for them. That place is poppin’ (and crazy delicious).

More deliciousness: today I have a review of Troya Fillmore for you and some 707 scout updates.

Have a swell and summery weekend.

Marcia Gagliardi

August 7, 2012
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The grilled pork bao at Brasserie S&P. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello there. So did you survive SF Chefs this past weekend? I only got to visit the Friday night tasting tent (and the after-party at E+O) since I left early on Saturday for my cousin’s wedding in Tahoe. Based on all the tweets and Facebook posts, it looks like y’all did a fine job. Kudos to everyone who participated in this year’s event.

And now coming up this weekend we have the three-day (and sold-out!) Outside Lands music and food and wine extravaganza. I am particularly excited to check out Outside Lambs (no joke!). Oh yes, and Stevie Wonder on Sunday is going to be epic.

And then the weekend after that (Friday August 17th-Sunday August 19th) we have the SF Street Food Festival very rapidly approaching! You can hear me talk about it (and the new Night Market!) today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio.

Did you see this awesome New York Times piece on restaurant lingo and codes? It’s like trucker-speak, but for restaurants. Reminded me of these two short-order cooks I met on a road trip 20 years ago in Atlanta. They had me and my friend in stitches all night with their renditions of how they talked at work: “Fire up that QOD! [quiche of the day].” And then the call and response of “How’s it workin’?” “Workin’ haaaard!” or the less desirable “Hardly workin’!” To this day, I still crack up over those two guys and their kitchen talk, total characters.

Okay, well, today I am workin’ haaaaaard, so let’s hop to it.

Marcia Gagliardi

And since I was greeted as “Marsha!” a couple times on Friday night, I’m going to repeat: Marcia rhymes with Garcia.

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