CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Rite Stuff (Bi-Rite Creamery -- San Francisco, CA)

There was a time that Jon and I lived within walking distance of Delfina. Then along came Tartine. And, of course, there was always Bi-Rite market.

We had a love/hate relationship with Bi-Rite. The love part was the part where I could walk there and get all sorts of pretty organic ingredients (again, I do cook at home sometimes). The hate part was the fact that their aisles are 1.5 inches wide and are filled with people, 90% of which usually seemed to be assholes. On top of that, Bi-Rite seemed to charge about 45 times as much for a peach as any other organic grocer in the city. But it was convenient for us and their staff was sweet as pie so we kept going there.

These days I don't get to Bi-Rite as much, even though I'm only 8.5 blocks away. Mostly because I'm now only 2 blocks from Rainbow, which has a wider selection of organic goodies for much lower prices, not to mention a kickin' cheese section. (Rainbow has shortcomings of it's own, mind you. Jon and I keep begging them to open a meat annex, and I could do without the idiots who don't know how to get out of the fucking way in the bulk sections). Still, I bring my canvas Bi-Rite bag to Rainbow to take home my groceries. I like to mix it up.

But I digress.

I'm still in the neighborhood a lot. For a few reasons (listed in the opening paragraph of this post), none of which include groceries. And then Bi-Rite gave me one more reason: Bi-Rite Creamery, which has ice cream that is so good you just want to fucking kill yourself.

The first time I went, I asked for a small cone of the salted caramel. Since, like it's parent establishment, it was overrun with fucktards who are not at the top of their class (seriously, people, the creamery is TINY -- do not bring your double wide stroller up in there while your spouse waits BY THEMSELVES outside; it wasn't no emergency, yo), the nice conemaster almost forgot to make my creamy treat after presenting Jon with his sundae. So what did he do? He gave me a ginormous cone for the price of my itty bitty one. Nice, nice ice cream man.

About that salted caramel. I just about stuck my entire face into the cone. The ratio of salt to caramel was super duper. Salt in caramel is so uber-trendy right now that I should be sick of it if it wasn't so perfect. Honestly, all caramel should just be salted caramel.

Now Jon was all about the sundae. Specifically the coffee sundae made with Ritual Roaster's coffee ice cream with caramel and stuff and more stuff. Seeing the climax that sundae brought him, I knew I needed to get me some sundae action.

My choice was as follows: Mint chip ice cream, hot fudge (where they got this, I don't know but it is the best I've ever had, hands down), whipped (Straus) cream and a topping of my choice. I chose the fleur-de-sel nuggets. You heard right, Sparky. Recchiuti has taken fleur de sel crystals and coated them with chocolate for the Bi-Rite folk. Completely delish. They also have lots of other scrumptious toppings like carmelized almonds and crushed cookies that are made in house (all of Bi-Rite's baked goods are made at the creamery). One topping they had on my first visit but haven't seen since are what they called Valrhona pearls -- rice crispies individually coated with Valrhona chocolate. For the love of God, bring those fuckers back!

If you're not sold yet, you can also get ice cream sammiches made with their ice cream and cookies, cakes, pies and popsicles. Plus you can take your ice cream and hang out in Dolores park on the 3 nice days a year that we get here in SF so what more could you ask for?

As I am all about the ice cream these days, I will likely see you there. I'll be the one with my face in the ice cream.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated

My site was nominated for Best Food Blog!

Well will you look at that? That's just about the most fucking cool thing I have encountered all week. It appears that I have been nominated for "Best Food Blog" in the Blogger's Choice Awards. As several of my fabulous friends have been nominated as well, I'm sure this puts most of you in a conundrum. Still, if you are motivated to show me the love, hop on over there and vote.

For some reason, the best way to find my site amongst the 53 (!) pages of food blogs nominated is by searching for

Have a super duper weekend, and get your drink on for me.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Did Someone Say Vegas? Oh, And How About An Art Show?

Jon and I will spend the lovely holiday weekend in the city of sun and sin. Since we've both been working like dogs for the past several months, stopping only to attend weddings and such (well, ok, there was Mexico), we will be taking full advantage of the delights of LV.

Except when we are attending another wedding.

I shit you not.

Since my cousin actually *lives* there, he's getting married there. So in between the dining and the rub downs and the pool time and the shows and the craps shooting, we will be placating my totally batshit mother and praying for no family drama. (And here I am not able to drink. Or take any valium.)

In the meantime, let me tell you about a little event that I heard about from Julia, a server at my favorite. She's also the events coordinator at The Red Poppy Art House, a community arts space. They are doing a big showing for the artists next week, and the reason you (and I) should go is there will be food (the chefs are from Chez Panisse, Delfina and Radio Africa Kitchen) and Delfina is donating a fuckload of wine. The important deets are as follows:

an unusual auction experience
June 1st, 2007
6:30pm - 7:45pm Silent auction, food, performance
8:00pm - 9:30pm Live auction
Mina Dresden Gallery
312 Valencia @ 14th street
San Francisco
Tix are $30 and include food, wine, entertainment and more wine.

Further information can be found by clicking on the Red Poppy Link I provided above (it's all on the home page).

So this weekend get the hell out of here, or stay and barbecue or whatever but NEXT weekend when the holiday weekend fun is all gone, hit up the Red Poppy. Got it?

In the meantime, I need to take care of some important business before I jet off. That's right folks, Bi-Rite Creamery is calling my name.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Something's Cooking

I think I get the award for suckiest blogger of the year. You've been waiting for El Bulli, Part 3 for a trillion years (although in all fairness I waited for the damn reservation for 10 months). I've been throwing out crappy ass tidbits to mask the fact that I haven't done a proper restaurant review in quite some time. I've claimed to have an excuse. Well my friends, here it is.

While you have been busy hating on me, I have been busy spending some quality time with my head in the toilet (or on really special days, simply vomiting in the shower will do). I have also been sleeping a lot. And avoiding wine and sushi because I have to, and chicken and rice because they repulse me right now.

That's right, kids, I'm knocked up. Without going into too much detail, this was intentional.

Now if you are not up for the heavy stuff, skip the next paragraph.

Quite frankly, I could not have wanted anything more than the current sitchy. Twice before this I began writing this post, and twice before my hopes and my heart were severely crushed. Fortunately for Jon and me, we were simply unlucky rather than unhealthy. Still, it sucked and if it weren't for a select few, I'm not sure how I would have endured those terrible times.

But here we are now, 15+ weeks in (due date is November 9) and there have been some really fucking cool things I've experienced while pregnant:

1. The French Laundry will do non-alcoholic pairings that are so fucking amazing that I might not ever order wine there again. OK, who are we kidding? But still, it was great.

2. My best-midwife-ever says I can eat sushi as long as I know the fish is really fresh. Jon's got the folks at Sebo all armed and ready for me when I finally drag my rapidly growing ass in there. (I actually wrote my Sebo review after finding out about my spawn -- that's how much lag time we've got going on up in here.)

3. Craig said they'd deliver food to me in the hospital (need I say again how much I love them?)

4. Maternity pants have a lot of give, and now that I want to eat again I'm pretty happy about that.

5. Having friends in the restaurant industry earns you a free breakfast simply because you had some sex.

Now what does this mean for you? Well, it means that now that I'm semi-functional I might actually start writing again. A few years ago, I expressed concern to a friend that we might not be able to dine out as frequently once we had Diner #3. My very dear friend, A, promptly responded with "Who the fuck are you kidding? You guys will still go out all the time." And she's right. Because I can't wait to share the amazing culinary mecca we have here with our new addition.

So that's the scoop. This will not become a baby blog, I promise. I might not be able to post about cocktails (I'll take Jon's word for it), but if you wanted to read about stretch marks then you wouldn't be here. I'm fully aware that the stirrings of my uterus are of consequence to me, Jon and the OB staff at UCSF and that's about it. I'll probably post a PSA once we are 3 instead of 2 but other than that, expect all restaurants all the time.

The first thing I'm registering for is training chopsticks.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Keep My Promises

For those of you keeping score, El Bulli part 3 did not go up this week because Sam and Amanda's total contributions were not doubled (your fault, not theirs). I did manage to open the menus and formulate some thoughts, though, so that is a start.

As for the rest of my sucking, I have explanations and excuses galore. To be honest, I've been working on some pretty fucking exciting things lately. I will come clean about them shortly, but I can't spill the beans just yet. Let me just say that it's going to get pretty darn wacky around here soon.

I also have several places I want to write about (especially Bi-Rite creamery which occupies 98% of my thought space on a daily basis -- holy fucking balls I would kill your grandma for some of that dairy love), but I simply haven't had time. April screwed me with travel, and May is screwing me with my students' upcoming show. But really, you are always on my mind and I will have a significant shift in the amount of time I have to write in the very near future if you even care. Or if anyone even still reads this at this point. I'm also hoping to get in on this whole fridge photo thing before it passes me by...

Love you. Mean it.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld