What could be more perfect than the combination of beer and sausage? It’s an old-as-time classic pairing, but I think I’ve found the solution to this basically unanswerable question. How about gourmet game meat sausages eaten with a ridiculously good craft draft beer?
In the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco there is a spot where you can have the best of both worlds, together. Butted literally right up against each other are Rosamunde Sausage Grill and a bar called Toronado. It’s a fairly well known fact that you can order sausages at Rosamunde and bring them right next door to eat in Toronado and this was precisely the plan. Ultimately though, it was pretty packed in Toronado, so we just ate our links in the sausage shop before heading right next door for some brews after.
Cioppino. Say it with me: CHEE-oh-PEE-no. Just as I was, you’re probably wondering what on earth that could be. I really don’t know how it happened, but somehow I had been blissfully unaware of this San Franciscan specialty until a friend insisted we go to Sotto Mare in San Francisco’s Little Italy, North Beach. He had been before and desperately wanted to once again experience the local dish that he’d been dreaming of since he first tasted it a few years prior.
Tucked away on the outskirts of Mountain View, CA you’ll find the lesser-known, tiny town of Los Altos. In this town, situated in a nondescript shopping center on the main highway there’s a restaurant called Pho Vi Hoa that serves phenomenal bowls of pho ’til 10 PM. When rain strikes in Silicon Valley, I’ve found nothing more comforting than a big, steaming bowl of Asian noodle soup and I thank Pho Vi Hoa for providing a great one to me.
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to coffee. I too am a bit of a snob and would rather cut myself than drink the burnt, ashy-tasting muck they serve at Starbucks. So, the San Francisco and New York based Blue Bottle has been a godsend for me. When it comes to coffee, they treat it more as an art and truly more like a science than anywhere else I’ve ever drank the stuff. This, of course, draws hoards of mustachioed hipsters who are happy to wait daily in long snaking lines, but Blue Bottle is one of the few places I’m willing to put up with it.
I drove 20 minutes across Silicon Valley to quench a Xiao Long Bao craving at Shanghai Dumpling and was sternly turned away at 8:35 by a strong “we’re closed”. The restaurant was still full and running at full speed, which led me to wonder if my blatant whiteness got me rejected from the nearly entirely Asian-filled restaurant. Um, hello, Yelp says you’re supposed to be open until 9:30 on Sunday nights! Way to be racist, Shanghai Dumpling. I acted quick on my feet and went elsewhere to get my Asian food fix that night.
As it turned out, this particular shopping center was a sort of Cupertino Chinatown with a number of Asian dining options to choose from. Directly next door to Shanghai Dumpling there was a similar looking restaurant called QQ Noodle. Sure, why not. It was bright and clean looking and had pretty standard Asian restaurant decor. I figured I’d give it a shot and try to remedy my Asian dinner dilemma.
After having a really great experience at Liquid Bread in Downtown Historic Campbell, I knew there was more great dining to be found. While there are many restaurants that line the main drag, I’m fairly certain that most are not worth my time or money, but if I looked hard enough I could find some gems.
Brown Chicken Brown Cow (best pronounced like “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”) definitely makes you look hard to even find it. Armed with Google Maps and their address and I still struggled to find the restaurant on this single-street downtown area. But it was worth the extra effort and their silly name is perfect for the downright pornographic I consumed.
I get strange cravings sometimes.
Escargot and Beef Tartare probably are not the first things you’d think of having on a hungover Saturday solo lunch, but I guess I’m a little different than most people. I knew what I wanted and I knew where to go to get it, so I took a fifteen minute walk from my Union Square hotel on a very grey, rainy San Francisco day to quench my thirst for fine French cuisine. Café Claude, whisk me away to Paris!
As a native New Jerseyan and current New Yorker, I feel like I’ve earned the right to hold pizza in other places to high standards. Usually I scoff at the idea of anywhere else in the US producing any such worthy slices of my patronage, but I’ll damned if I didn’t stumble across some truly excellent pizza in San Francisco at Golden Boy Pizza.
Sometimes I get a craving. A craving that can only be quenched by curry. On this particular evening, after finishing up work in Sunnyvale, I knew it had to be an Indian night. I searched the nearby radius and came across a highly rated Indian and Pakistani restaurant on the main drag in Mountain View called Shezan. Sold.