May 2009

May 26, 2009

photos by Mathew Sumner

Love is many things. I will tell you one thing that it definitely is: when your sister returns from New Orleans and brings you back "hog's head cheese" and boudin from the Bourgeois Meat Market in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Yeah, baby, any place with the motto of "Miracles in Meat" (since 1891) is my kind of joint. Other meat miracles this weekend included the smoked wild suckling boar porchetta wrapped in pancetta that Palio chef-owner Dan Scherotter made for a barbecue on Sunday afternoon. Made one hell of a sandwich, topped with a mix of shoulder and guanciale that slow-cooked for 12 hours in a combo of pineapple, tomato, and chile, and all placed in a bun I dressed with some porchetta jus and mustard. Trust, I didn't eat anything else until 14 hours later (when I returned home from dancing at 3:30am Sunday night, to be exact)—it took that long to get hungry again. Suffice to say Monday morning was all about my green power smoothie and tofu salad for lunch.

Getting excited for the tablehopper wine tasting next week, on Wednesday June 3rd with Alex Fox at The Cheese School of San Francisco. We have a few spaces left, so if you want to come taste ten Sicilian wines and more, get your ticket here! And now, a menu item teaser for you: James Stolich of CookWithJames will be preparing some pasta con le sarde, a beautiful Sicilian pasta dish with San Marzano tomatoes, white wine, currants, capers, pine nuts, olives, anchovies or sardines, and hot pepper. Bring on the vino with that one! I hope to say ci vediamo and cin cin with you.

This Thursday May 28th, I am emceeing a cooking demo with Steve Scarabosio of Scoma's at the Dine About Town launch party in the Cellar at Macy's Union Square. The event kicks off at 6pm. If you think I'm enthusiastic, wait until you meet Steve. This guy is like a power station. Positively beaming. The evening includes a walk-around tasting of bites from local restaurants and wines, perhaps I will see you there? $20, and it includes a glass.

Guess what? I got possession of my tablehopper Twitter name! (Thanks again, mysterious and benevolent name squatter who I will never know!) Unfortunately, I couldn't transfer over all of you who were originally following it, so you'll have to follow it again. Sorry for the extra step.

Wanna enter to win a free dinner? Of course you do. Read all about it in this week's sugar mama. And I'm also highlighting a few events in this week's socialite that will be held in warmer climes, so you can escape the summer fog in pursuit of good vittles and more.

Hope to see you out and about,

May 19, 2009

photo by Stuart Brioza

Yup, I finished the three-week cleanse. And not a moment too soon, since I was able to heartily enjoy my first glass of wine at the always-fantastico Meals on Wheels event on Sunday night. It was hard to still be eating as a vegetarian while surrounded with beef tongue pastrami from Stuart Brioza (who took this nice picture of Daniel Patterson of Coi's dish of new harvest potatoes, cucumber, sea beans, agretti, and ice plant flowers) and Nicole Krasinski; sushi from Ken of Hana and Go Fish; and my favorite dish from Mark Dommen of One Market, the smoked Tasmanian ocean trout "mi cuit" with potato rösti and quail egg. This town has mad talent, what can I say. But I was not going to jump back into meat and booze all turbo-like, in fact, I didn't want to. So thanks for all your encouragement this past month—I have received such supportive emails and suggestions from a bunch of you (meow), and certainly fielded plenty of cleanse questions at the event on Sunday.

Now, conducting the historic cocktail crawl in North Beach on Saturday was another matter entirely—fortunately I had Cantina's Duggan McDonnell (aka Shotzi), H. (Elixir), and Jeff Hollinger (Absinthe) there to drink for me and share their extensive cocktail history knowledge. (Big thanks to Camper of Alcademics for writing up all the bar backgrounder history—you can read more cool SF cocktail history here.)

Since I haven't thrown a tablehopper event in a while, it's high time for a get together. Enter: the first tablehopper wine tasting! Take a look in the socialite for more on a special Sicilian wine, food, and educational event I am hosting on Wednesday June 3rd at The Cheese School of San Francisco with Alex Fox—it's gonna be maggiore. We'll even be pouring a wine that's made in amphora! I'm also emceeing the third Edible Pursuit event on June 7th—always a blast.

Ready Freddy? Let's hop to it.

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia)

May 12, 2009

Whoa, who is that girl bringing her own grain sausage and vegetables to a birthday barbecue, and making curried tofu scramble (thank you Heidi Swanson for yet another delicious recipe) for Mother's Day while everyone else is eating bacon and French toast and drinking bubbles? Yeah, that would be me. I've become that vegan chick at the party who doesn't drink and snacks on carrot sticks while everyone eats cheese and mini meatballs and drinks beer. Truth be told, I'm finding it hard to reconcile my usual tablehoppin' life and being vegan and sober, so I've been happily hermiting at home, and writing writing writing.

Tonight I'm planning to emerge for a bit so I can attend a reading at Booksmith for the launch of The Ramen King and I; True Sake will be pouring free sake tastings but darn, I'll have to pass on that part (in case you want to come, it starts at 7:30pm). And really, what a week for me to be on the wagon—it's SF Cocktail Week. Looking forward to leading one of the tours to the (sold-out) historical cocktail crawl this Saturday—can't believe I'm doing it sober.

And what a way to end a cleanse, because Sunday is the annual Meals on Wheels event. That's like going from 0 to 60 in three bites. I'm going to take it easy—maybe I'll go from vegan to vegetarian. I will say I'm looking forward to a glass of bubbly. And a Four Barrel macchiato, but that's for another day.

Speaking of drinks, this week we have a hardhat that's all about Eve, the new bar/lounge opening in SoMa this spring. There's also an awesome ladies-only “Gin and Gen” event this Thursday—read all about it in the lush (and it's free, so RSVP quickly!). Oh yeah, and a special two-night event with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski guest cheffing at Coi is coming up at the end of May! Keep on reading below in the chatterbox.

Too much news, actually, so no review this week. For the record, I'm gonna start being merciless on the news and event bits, it's getting way outta hand over here. Over 7,000 words this week, WTF.

Lastly, here's a save the date for you: on the evening of Wednesday June 3rd, I'll be hosting the first-ever tablehopper tasting, a guided wine tasting event of Sicilian wines with Alex Fox! And there will be other culinary surprises, don't you know it. All the details, including the where and how to buy tickets for this limited event will be released next Tuesday! I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to it. I wonder why…

Cin cin!

May 5, 2009

There’s nothing like going out on a Monday morning to move your car for street cleaning and finding your roof all slashed up (two foot-long holes), plus a botched attempt to pry off one of my speakers (sorry lame robber dude, my friend drilled those puppies in tight so they wouldn’t leave). I think the %$#* thief must have gotten pissed that I hid my radio faceplate so well that he decided to jam something into the radio anyway so neither of us could enjoy it. Grrrrrreat, now that’s messed up too. You know a big F word was yelled. (Maybe two.)

Why am I sharing this? Well, I have been searching Craigslist for a garage space for my sweet little Alfa for months and months, to no avail. And the slashed roof has put me over the edge. So if anyone knows anyone with an enclosed garage space to rent near Broderick and Fulton (and less than $175 a month), we’d both be so stoked. Beep beep. Hey, you never know…

As for my other preferred mode of transport, I wanted to give you a heads up that May 14th is Bike to Work Day! I work from home, so I really don’t need to ride anywhere, but in case you’d like to look into it (and I hope you do), here’s the link on how to get a bike buddy, and more!

So I am moving into week two of this cleanse and feeling great—check out the health nut for more. But just because I am on a cleanse this week doesn’t mean you are, so I thought I’d write up a recent meal that was the complete and utter opposite of how I’m eating these days. Yup, a big-ass steak dinner at Harris’. Read all about it in the regular. Plus we have a wino this week since I’m not drinking. See, it’s like you’d never know I was a (temporarily) teetotaling and abstemious vegan!

Although when I bopped into Nopalito last week for lunch, co-owner Laurence Jossel obviously got the memo about my carnitas-free life: he was more than happy to greet me with a special cleanse-friendly plate, just for me. Awwww, thanks, LJ.

Hey fabulous readers, thank you all for the incredibly kind and congratulatory notes about my book deal last week. Your support means so much! I was especially happy to get these suggested tablehopper book titles from one reader (who happens to be my dad’s Vietnam War buddy)—thanks Bob J. for the ideas! They were so damned funny I thought I should share:

You want SOMA This?!?
I Left My Carbs in San Francisco
Sippin' at the Dock of the Bay
Get Fed Up and Enjoy It!
You Only Live Once, but You Can Eat a Lot!
The People of La Mangia
Bitchin'Â From the Kitchen
No Room for Slobs on the Nob
Fork Your Way Around The Bay

Really, how can I top those? Bob, you’re a veritable powerhouse of ideas. And funny as hell.

Speaking of the other F word, have fun tying one on for Cinco de Mayo tonight. And Happy Mother’s Day to all our beloved mothers and grandmothers out there! Oh yeah, check out the socialite for a Dine About Town event I’ll be emceeing on May 28th—you can start getting tickets this Thursday.

In tofu I trust,

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia, yo)

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