June 30, 2009

I don't really need to explain why this week's issue is royally abridged—things are heatin' up in manuscript land. Or at least are gettin' heavy. The first part of my manuscript is due Monday… eep. May stress-related temporary blindness or carpal tunnel syndrome be things I've only heard about.

Anyway, I was fired up to learn from a couple readers that tablehopper won "Best Bay Area Scoop" in the San Francisco Magazine The Best of the Bay Area 2009: Readers' Poll! Had I been able to attend last week's Best of the Bay party, I might have learned this myself. Glad someone is out there partying and reading on my behalf. Thanks for the votes, yo! Charmed.

One small break I had from burning up my keyboard (no joke, the comma and "A" buttons currently need to be replaced) was filming my first Eye On The Bay segment with Liam Mayclem on Friday. We did a full-tilt, no-tables-but-much-hopping tour around town, scouting out street food. It was like a five-hour lunch.

Photo: chicken and waffle from Little Skillet.

Our first stop was Kitchenette in Dogpatch (uh, if you ever see the Lexington-style pork BBQ sandwich on the daily menu, drop everything and head over there, stat); we snarfed some chicken and waffles (and biscuits and sausage gravy and red velvet cupcakes and shrimp po'boys and bacon-wrapped waffle dogs) at Little Skillet; then headed off for a sneak preview of Carte 415 (the croque monsieur is one of those sandwiches you have to suspend fat gram belief over if you're going to enjoy it—which I did); and finished with some fully-loaded Chicago dogs at Da Beef.

The entire afternoon was like an episode of When Animals Attack. I'd love to have Liam as my wingman in a professional tag-team dining competition; in the ring, his trademark move would be unleashing some "Mayclem Mayhem." Meanwhile, I'd be responsible for the "tablehopper Hoover Maneuver." Sunday Sunday Sunday! Anyway, I'll let you know when it's about to air, (naturally) we had a blast.

Otherwise my nose has either been to the grindstone, or in a menu. Last week was yet another tour de force(meat): a sunset dinner at Sutro's at the Cliff House, drinks and dinner at the bar at Michael Mina (did you know you can order a la carte off the tasting menu at the bar?), a slam-dunk meal at Contigo (can't wait to have the sardines and avocado on toast again), an intimate dinner at Olea (perfect for a quiet date or tête a tête), some killer chilaquiles at Los Pastores, and eggs Benedict while Sunday brunching on the oh-so-civilized garden patio at Magic Flute. Oh yeah, and revisits to Firefly and Street for my fried chicken tour, plus Globe, and Brazenhead. I'm gonna have to go to a fat farm when this manuscript is turned in, mamma mia.

And now, this week's issue of tablehopper lite: easy on your eyes, and the clock.

Have a Happy Fourth of July this weekend—may your briquettes burn evenly, your burgers be juicy, and your fleece remain in the closet.