November 2007

November 27, 2007

Got your reindeer ears on? Or perhaps a full bottle of something brown and potent at your side? Hey, whatever will get you through the holidays. One thing that should be helpful is this week’s holiday edition of the bookworm from Green Apple Books’ Pete Mulvihill, who mentions a couple books I’ve been enjoying this past month (James Peterson’s awesome Cooking, and Cecilia Chiang’s Seventh Daughter). Be sure to take advantage of the 20% discount for tablehopper readers over the next two weeks if any of Pete’s choices catch your fancy, or will make good gifts, which I think they just might.

It doesn’t stop. The Hi Helens saga persists, with the latest reader additions of “Bingo Arms” and “Bingo Wings,” and the classification of them as one of the “seven deadly fats AKA UADD (under arm dingle dangle)! Others include back fat, thunder thigh and melon tit (eeeeek)!”

Eeek is right, and double eeek on the seven deadly fats (!), especially after the Thanksgiving feast my family put on this year. We made the stuffing this time with the additions of my dad’s homemade boar sausage and a splash of grappa, a total winner—it was so good I had leftovers (smothered with grandma’s giblet and hard-boiled egg gravy) two more nights in a row. Thank god for my trainers.

Chef Charlie did this week’s work for me again with another jetsetter installment (glad someone is out there eating on my behalf), but I thought I'd throw in a little breakfast for ya too, in the regular. Actually, a big breakfast.

Ciao chow,

~ Marcia

November 19, 2007

Whoa, Vegas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cranes in my life—it was like a cross between Berlin and Dubai. I'll be doing a jetsetter recap soon, but one highlight was attending the Michelin launch party and meeting the charming (and three star winning) Joël Robuchon—here’s a pic with yours truly plus Jean-Luc Naret, the Director of Michelin Guides. The party was a who’s who—even Thomas Keller was there. Another highlight: our four-hour (plus) dinner at Guy Savoy was so memorable—and chef was actually in the kitchen that night. What an experience, but I am officially on a strict diet (and a budget) for the next month. Random star sighting: a slightly scruffy Luke Perry at Planet Hollywood (where I was staying).

The chef-star sightings continued—an hour after landing at SFO, I got home, dropped of my bags, and hopped on over to the AIWF (American Institute of Wine and Food) dinner for Anthony Bourdain at E+O Trading Company. The tall and skinny cowboy-booted surly-talking Tony was actually seated at our table (lucky us) so we got to listen to him riff and rant on some topics ranging from why he won’t go to Burma (refuses to support the country while it's under its current regime) to life as a newly non-smoking dad while we scarfed on some dishes, like stuffed pig trotter. Sharon Nahm (E&O), Alex Ong (Betelnut), Chris Cosentino (Incanto), and Tim Luym (Poleng Lounge) prepared the family-style feast, with a spread of desserts by Boris Portnoy (Campton Place). Guess who made the trotter?

Speaking of feasts, for those of you still deciding what to drink with your Thanksgiving dinner (and I imagine there are some of you will mostly drink your dinner), I wanted to link to this wino article Carl Grubbs wrote last year. Cheers.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving—I adore this holiday for so many reasons. I am very grateful for so many things, and one of them is your support (and kindness and enthusiasm). I thank you, and wish you all the best.



P.S. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a week without the latest addition to “Hi Helens”/heavy upper arm jargon. This came in from a reader: prosciutto arms.

November 13, 2007

I’m so fired up! Getting ready to leave for a four-day trip to Vegas this Wednesday (yes, of course I’ll do a jetsetter recap—not everything will “stay in Vegas,” ha ha). As a warm-up, I’ve got a unique jetsetter this week, courtesy of the two former Fifth Floor chefs, Charlie Kleinman and Jake Des Voignes, who are on the road right now. Thanks for doing my work for me this week, guys.

Ya know, you are all a really funny bunch, because, the “Hi Helens” jokes keep coming. Not only do we have last week’s “Soup Coolers” added to the list, then there’s this: “My friend and I call the upper arm flabs ‘Morgan Fairchilds.’ We saw her on an awards show recently, thought her face and body looked great, but wait a minute, why aren't her arms as toned as the rest of her? Yes, a little catty, but... So now, it’s ‘Are you gonna cover up the Morgan Fairchilds tonight or go sleeveless?’” Ouch, ha ha, it hurts!

Also got this one in: “We used to call it 'teacher's swing' because all suburban teachers have the arm flab action. Almost as bad as cankles (calf-ankle combo for those not in the know).” I think I have inadvertently struck upon a goldmine of arm flab jargon. Time to submit these to Urban Dictionary—wow, Hi Helens are already in there!

Heck, anything to make me laugh in what has been the saddest week for our poor polluted Bay, and beyond. Heartbreaking. Poor crabs, and birds, and beaches, and oysters, and people. The entire thing is beyond nauseating. So much for eating local seafood right now, and supporting our hard-working fishermen.

And now for a public service announcement: last week I got a couple emails inquiring about Thursday’s sponsored email (the one from Yelp). The sponsored emails are advertising, and not unlike the ones that Daily Candy and Thrillist send to subscribers on behalf of their sponsors—theirs are just called “dedicated emails” or “allied info.”

Gang, this is how tablehopper will continue to exist: through the generous support of my sponsors. I can’t cover my costs and do all this work for free, and I don’t charge people to subscribe. So moving forward, there may (or may not) be a few non-Tuesday sponsored emails each month. They will always say “sponsored email” in the subject line, so you can simply delete them if you find them disruptive, or you have a few other choices: you can subscribe to the tablehopper RSS feed, or set up a email rule with your mail program.

Otherwise, I hope you’ll find future sponsorships relevant, interesting, and even worth a click—there’s a reason they want to advertise here. Thanks to you, and my advertisers, for all the support.

Keep on truckin’,


November 6, 2007

Yo, did you vote? You still have time, so go do it! I also thought this week would be an apropos time to write up a place offering its spin on an all-American favorite: the burger. Check it out in fresh meat.

I had a blast on the Martha Stewart Living Today radio show last Friday talking about what’s new in the San Francisco dining scene—if you didn’t get a chance to listen, here’s an mp3 of the show. Did I mention your favorite restaurant? Listen in and find out!

A quick note to you hotmail folks—hotmail blocked last week’s column—this wouldn’t be the first time, so please consider subscribing to tablehopper with another email if you have one. Sorry for the inconvenience! Pffft. Besides, aren’t you tired of all those Christian dating service and weight loss emails?

Oh, and in the funky humor department: a few weeks back I referred to “Hi, Helens,” those not-so-fabulous soft arm flaps women can get. Couldn’t resist passing this one on from a reader because I hurt myself laughing: “I meant to write to you last week to tell you what my sorority sisters and I used to call the flabs of fat on the upper arm, your “Hi, Helens”—Soup Coolers! As in, you are making soup, stirring the pot, and the flab from your arms is waving and cooling the soup as it simmers!”

Uh, yeah, can’t really beat that.

Let’s rock.


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