This week's tablehopper: flavortown.

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Shakshuka with merguez sausage at Tasty n Sons in Portland. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello there, I’m back from Portland, where I managed to avoid getting caught in any rainstorms. I got to finally taste the famed Pok Pok wings (and other incredible dishes), had a fabulous canelé at the brand-new Philippe’s Bread, visited the brunch mothership of Tasty n Sons, and drank Ninkasi beers while enjoying my cousin’s amazing pulled pork. Put a bird on it! I was in Portland for a wedding, so it was great to hang out with my family and catch up, but I can’t wait to head back there and eat and drink my way through that town; so many good spots!

The day before I left town last week, a friend and I took a two-hour boat ride around San Francisco Bay with Bay Voyager—the weather this week is perfect for it! I have lived here for almost 20 years, but have never had such an exhilarating ride on the bay before. It’s an open boat—a 28-foot custom-built rigid inflatable boat (RIB)—so you catch a lot of water spray. Yeah, it’s a total blast. You get really close to landmarks and captain Charles shared a ton of interesting facts I didn’t know about the bay. Check my Instagram feed or Facebook page for some pics since Facebook doesn’t like to let you see everything I post. They offer a $39 one-hour sunset cruise as well, which would be amazing tomorrow evening, I’m jus’ sayin’. Pack some adult beverages! Pro tip: if you’re doing a day ride, I recommend a quick lunch at Sammy’s Aloha beforehand, and then you can walk on over!

Our gorgeous city isn’t the only thing heating up right now—there are a ton of openings coming up too. We have a few listed in today’s column, and this Saturday, 4505 Burgers & BBQ opens its doors at 10:30am. Smokestack (at Magnolia Brewery) in the Dogpatch is also slated to open on Friday; we’ll have deets on that one next week, along with a bunch of other openings, including Outerlands. Whew.

For those of you with your mother nearby, have you made Mother’s Day reservations yet? No? Well, my 7x7.com piece on five new brunches should come in handy right now (get on it!), and I will also be on KRON 4 this Saturday at 9:15am with my tablehopper hot list, talking about where to go.

Big congrats to the restaurants included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants yesterday, including Daniel Patterson’s Coi, which newly entered the list at 49. Saison was named “one to watch.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, can we talk about a small, female-owned business for a second? Yeah? Great, because this bums me out: our dear Azalina is running short in her fundraiser for a new commercial kitchen since she lost access to the one she was using. People, we all love her food quite a bit, can you please help her reach her goal? The fundraiser ends in four hours! Any amount helps, even $25. I for one would like to see her rock this fundraiser, please help a sister out.

OK, time to punch the clock and enjoy this weather. I hope you get to do the same this week.

Cheers!
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Apr 29 2014