#ateit

Screw manners

It was a spring day in 2002 when I made a promise to myself to leave the South and never look back — a massive family history — mostly Biblical list of men who married women and begot children who begot children — her newly freed slaves — never a whisper about slaves — We’d rather opine about barbecue sauce — the pledge of allegiance to the Confederacy — By the middle of January, he stopped eating popsicles — can’t help but be haunted by the ghosts living in our land and our food — Screw manners — screw acting like history of the South isn't about white pride.

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RIP Salsipuedes, long live Belotti

Salsipuedes might have been my favorite simply for its commitment to serving weird shit — Belotti is unequivocally Italian, and is in no way trying to be weird — I almost felt like I had brought some cheese and nuts out to a garden and plucked lettuce leaves up one by one to eat with the toppings — served in the stupid good Parm-beef stock reduction that coats every nook and cranny of the pasta — every piece of stone fruit in the universe is still rock hard in April — somewhere in here, we ordered more wine — Belotti served the suckling pig skin on, shellacked in some kind of gelatin-rich stock-balsamic sauce — give me more pork skin — but don't steal my window table.

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SF Dining Notes: WesBurger n’More, Hoffmann’s, Kin Khao

I didn’t take a single picture — no Edison bulbs, no flashy stark white shit — the tots come deeply golden brown and crisp and fucking delicious — it tasted like a burger, not a steak. And that’s a good thing — free gummy burgers because why not — it’s all just very … normal — crisp, very salty skin — Jesus christ, whoever was prepping that fennel needs a vegetable lesson — I have been stubborn about wanting to like it — Stir fried choy sum was perfect — it had a rich earthiness and a dark grey color to match, but those were the only real hints as to what you were eating.

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Don't rush it

A rapid-fire publishing company that publishes books based on big data algorithms (Bay Area!) — yes, the idea was tempting — because we all have extra time to be our own publicists when we work two jobs and are testing five to ten recipes a week — constantly checking items off of a massive to-do list, and able to keep my mind away from longer, lingering, harder tasks — sometimes, these things I jump into turn out to be wonderful surprises — falling for someone I met on the internet — I probably knew Facebooking for a paleo blogger was never going to be a good idea — also, writing is hard.

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Friday tally, #sorrynotsorry

Call me distracted — crazy delicious wild boar albondigas in a creamy-cheesy tomato sauce and frizzle-fried Brussels sprouts with grapes — the soba was pretty fucking boring — live and learn to better embrace tonkotsu broth — I KNOW it is not technically called BAR bar — Wine, broth, tomatoes, milk, cream, burble burble — Trout cooked in brown butter is also never bad — a turkey sandwich on semi-crappy sliced sourdough — ate this for the next three meals in a row.

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Here's what happens when you go to a free media dinner

Arrive to the restaurant 20 minutes early — of course, there are neither peanuts nor cashews in the kitchen. (This is a Japanese dinner.) — Do a quick scan and realize that you are going to destroy your palate in about 30 seconds — Taste the nori. It is, indeed, delicious — Think about networking. Go to the restroom — Say something awkward. Drink more — This is the dish cooked by the (famous!) Top Chef contestant — listen to another woman brag about her old NYC job — bright, briny uni pop on top of this quiet background — Only in California, bitches! — offers you a ride to your next rendezvous, saving you about an hour of Muni transfers between the restaurant and the Tenderloin — white beans (??) — You don't finish your plate, not even the spinach — a magical concoction that tastes just like the tasty goo that oozes out of properly roasted yams — about to take a post-service shot — walk out into the foggy chill of the city.

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October went by quickly (on cookbooks)

LIFE! IT CONTINUES TO HAPPEN! — branching out from my Internet hole — Ina Garten does not need to publish any more books — most of the food I prepared blurred together — far too much kale, pork fat, stupidly fancy and hard to source vegetables, obscure spices, coconut, roast chicken with sumac/za'atar/smoked paprika — don't require $200 in Amazon Prime purchases to begin a basic recipe — They are not written by mommy bloggers.

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Whaddup, pigs?

Next time you come, we'll take you squirrel hunting — wildfires singed the mountain rims surrounding the town — Everyone's got a grow operation of some sort on their property — Keating grows pigs right now — dusty-tan and full of prickles and burrs — It's an El Niño year after all — prime acorn territory, and a dream summer home for the pigs — it feels almost like Oregon, lush and moist, even in the absence of rain — 12- to 15-foot marijuana plants barely concealed by camouflage-colored tarp walls — a fast money-maker that will likely self-destruct when pot becomes legal — he flips a switch and scares the shit out of whatever's creeping onto the land — plans for carnitas — there's a story about a real life Noah Cross figure in Hayfork, who controls the water, the mill, the gas, the town.

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Friday tally, #sorrynotsorry

I lasted about an hour at the annual Eat Real Festival last weekend — an excuse to day drink and get sunburned — perfect drinking snacks, hot, creamy, and funky — fucking delicious Golden Gate Gose from Almanac — let's just say a little thank you to the taco gods for giving those of us who work in downtown Berkeley a new place to go that doesn't suck — trying all of the offal tacos — Here's what happens when I come home late from the yoga studio and haven't eaten since like 11:30 — back the fuck off Asian food police — I'm at Woods now almost as much as Missouri Lounge. Not sure what that says about my priorities — I watched a group of food justice activists basically tell white people like Dan Barber to fuck off — I love Iyasare, btw.

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KronnerBurger, sigh

I'm not totally sure why burgers are still a thing — we got distracted by ramen and cronuts — layered like a beefy mille-feuille — think pieces on Shake Shack — so tired of the pop-up fetishization of big, bold, shit — I don't want to eat a 30000 calorie dinner just because Thrillist told me to — He's also fairly good looking for someone who maybe only eats burgers all day long — luckily, when your line cook over-cooks a rare burger by a minute, it is still a juicy medium-rare — The BD was the salt — I like both melty cheese and mayonnaise (a lot) — I am still not convinced that a house-ground dry-aged burger needs extra meat — the toast was totally soaked in some kind of delicious citrusy butter situation — I'd eat a wedge salad and a fancy dessert for dinner.

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We didn't eat grasshoppers but Calavera was still pretty good

everyone was talking about the grasshoppers — Hooray! Yay! Bugs! — The salt air thing was more confusing — I was picturing some kind of smoke sphere like they have at Alinea, but, like, on top of a margarita — very good drinkers —  would probably pay someone to keep these tortillas coming to my mouth every five minutes for the rest of my life — why don't more restaurants serve ceviche with chips? — I know what that shit costs — super fucking delicious braised goat in a magical goat sauce — no slime in sight — translation: probably agar — they'll serve it with orange slices and worm salt if you ask — The servers haven't totally gotten it yet — maybe gotten some gratis grasshoppers, but, you know, a girl can only dream.

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What to drink in wildfire country

I could see the smoke as soon as my plane took off the runway — It wasn't a great time to go to Montana — like walking into the world's largest cookout — you're still hacking it up five days after leaving — the liquid stuff is amazing, but the solids, well, not so much — Free pretzels helped to mitigate my quickly decreasing sobriety — "Don't go alone or stare at the locals" — "BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE" — far too many pitchers of Kokanee — any of the 51 local residents can pop in, walk behind the bar, grab their personal coffee mug, and help themselves to the carafe of coffee sitting next to the cash register — they were mostly rice-free (!) and extra greasy — kinda like my weekends at home, but with way better views and more altitude exhaustion — because I am a half person who could die from eating peanuts — But, like, they also have papazules on the menu — it is very easy to get drunk in Montana.

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Michael Warring is a badass

I am not a stranger to eating at strip malls — This is not E-40 Vallejo — luxury golf courses don't sound badass — lots of masking tape — Have you ever tried to cook a dish out of a Thomas Keller cookbook? — he mostly just juiced beets — IT IS A LOT OF WORK — it is sphere-ified root beer, which sounds fucking disgusting — I felt like a huge baller eating so many dollars worth of truffles — super into sumac like the rest of the culinary universe — a big ass piece of crazy-buttery brioche that Warring also made in the morning — Bring a designated driver, for sure — is certainly not going to get Lucky Peach's panties in a wad — When was the last time you had food like this for less than 100 bucks? Never? Exactly.

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Friday tally, #sorrynotsorry

two kinds of salt because I'm an asshole — less than $20 at Trader Joe's — IMM Thai, however, is totally not bad — the beer looked like beer — my new friend "Grandpa Tupac" — racing back to the bar at 6:59 to get another cheap pour — certainly not worth the fat stack — I rescued out from under several bags of frozen chicken bones — Is "Lower Pac Heights" really a neighborhood? — a legit Disney princess — just drink La Croix.

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Here's why Overland is a great bar

one cannot live on high end manhattans made with smoked vermouth alone — a huge fucking frozen margarita machine and free line dancing lessons — beer bellies, cowboy hats, and lots of bottle blondes — I want to drink tall boys of Hamm's or whatever — mysterious dude at the Chron — needed to do something ridiculous while wearing cowboy boots — five different varieties of Red Bull —  potent and syrupy sweet potion that will simultaneously invoke mishap-filled high school spring breaks and also that stomach ache you got from housing too many Skittles — crazy-hot ghost pepper jack cheese — for extra gluttony — if you don't already know what you're doing, you'll still feel silly and fuck up a lot — We looked like idiots but laughed for 2 hours.

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Best food city?

Bon Appetit named San Francisco the best food City in the country "right now" — each dish gets its own hashtag — Even in fucking Vallejo — Salispuedes means something like "get the fuck outside and have fun" — a way funkier ocean under Krauss's direction — crazy MSG-filled Kewpie mayo — wasn't really anything like cioppino — Always more roe — I don't even like ice cream that much, but I ate the shit out of this — Give me more new, unique shit, Oakland.

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