January 2022

January 18, 2022
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A San Francisco classic: Irish coffees at the Buena Vista. Did you know they have a big parklet? Head down to the wharf for some fresh crab and grab a coffee! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, friends. Hope you’re enjoying this nice break from the storms and getting outside for hikes and alfresco meals. (I enjoyed a bit of both over the weekend.) I actually worked allllll day yesterday, and it’s late, so I’m keeping this intro pretty short and sweet—I had way too much to write and am tired of being at this desk! (Fortuna is also over it, she wants more pets and playtime.)

Just a little reminder: if you’re looking for some new places to eat, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @tablehopper, I’ve been posting some pics from some great meals (and takeout) lately, like Estiatorio Ornos, Vico Cavone, Abacá, and Maison Nico! I’m also updating a new highlight with Lunar New Year specials and meals!

If you’re on social media, I hope you have noticed all the restaurants posting about today’s national day of action to save restaurants. The Independent Restaurant Coalition is sharing how we can all take action to call and demand that Congress refills the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Here are some stats from their recent survey: “more than 1 in 4 restaurants that didn’t receive RRF grants now face eviction while nearly 50% face bankruptcy, and nearly 60% of restaurants reported that sales decreased by more than half during the Omicron surge.” Thanks for amplifying the message, the restaurant industry has had a terrible start to the year and they need help.

Congrats to the 2022 Good Food Award Winners, 244 crafters in all. I always love seeing the list of winners, it’s a great way to discover new products and makers. You can find more than 100 of this year’s winners at the pop-up Good Food Shop at the Ferry Building, located inside The Epicurean Trader, January 15th-30th. The Good Food Mercantile for retailers returns on March 3rd, where you can meet and taste from 118 of the winners. This year’s Awards Ceremony is at the Palace of Fine Arts on March 4th.

Lastly, did you order your four free Covid rapid testing kits from Uncle Sam (who is no uncle of mine!)? They opened the ordering site today, a day early. Here’s to your health. Hope you’re hanging in there. Hugs.

Marcia Gagliardi

January 4, 2022
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Left to my own devices, look what happens over here! Beef dumpling/mandu mac and cheese! Recipe on @tablehopper on Instagram.

Happy New Year, friends! I know, should I put the “happy” in quotes? It has been a rough start to the year for anyone in the restaurant industry, with many places temporarily closing last week due to staff exposures during this beastly Omicron surge. So many restaurants made the hard decision to close for New Year’s Eve—the last thing they wanted to be doing—but they had no choice with such short-staffing and challenging access to and timing of Covid testing (and trying to keep their remaining staff safe). Some places are closing their dining rooms and moving to takeout-only right now, while others are choosing to close for a couple weeks to try to ride this out—shutting down a restaurant really takes a toll on the business (and all the folks who work there), it’s not like you’re just turning off the lights and saying, “See ya!” Try to show your support to places when they reopen, they need it.

This week’s column is my annual installment of the bore, which is different from my usual snarkfest, for obvious reasons. Watching this recent setback with horror and talking to industry friends about how they’re coping made me want to help speak up on their behalf. Thanks for reading.

I pretty much canceled all my plans last week, and was lucky to be able to enjoy a crabby New Year’s Eve dinner with my sis at our dear friend’s place, just a block away from us. Three tested beloveds hanging out at home, that was about all I could handle. This was my New Year’s Day Breakfast of Champions—the stay-at-home version.

Last week, I was basically hermiting with Fortuna, catching up on work and sleep and chores and cooking and movies (some favorites: “Zola,” “The Power of the Dog,” “The Sparks Brothers” documentary [a must-watch for any creative, even if you don’t know their music], “Sunshine Hotel” [oof, that was a tough one, but so powerful], and “What We Do in the Shadows” when I need a belly laugh) while watching the rain.

I’ve also been test-driving all kinds of new cannabis products, like these fast-acting Sparkling Strawberry Rosé Gummies from Garden Society, bringing me a functional and subtle, floaty mood lift with just 1mg THC and 5mg CBD. Yes, please. The Rose Delights Grenache Grape Singles Delights (just 1mg THC per edible) are another little magic friend who treads lightly. These Kikoko Boost mints (with 2.5mg of THC and THCV for extra oomph) have been great for house-cleaning, cooking, and exercising. And when it’s time to say nighty-night, these Papa & Barkley CBN Sleep Releaf Blackberry Elderberry Gummies have really been doing the trick (2mg CBD, 4mg THC, 1mg CBN). If you’re trying a Dry January, then my favorite Italian-style cannabis aperitif, Artet, is your new bestie. (Use code mymilligram for $30 off your first Sava delivery order!) Thanks for always getting me through, weed.

As we hunker down—again, ugh—I hope you can keep your spirits up, stay healthy, and keep checking in on your friends and family—even a love emoji text can brighten a crap day. We gotta take extra care of each other and our community…and ourselves. Sending big hugs. Treat yourself to some crab. Or caramelized onion Detroit-style pizza. Pizza fritta. Spicy beef tan tan udon. Don’t get me started!

XO
~Marcia

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