Food, Glorious Food

Just a grab bag of San Francisco food recommendations from the past month.  In order of my discovery, they are:

Olivier’s Butchery backs up to Gilberth’s, and they supply a good deal of the meat served at Gilberth’s.  Their door, alas, is on Illinois Street, which runs only a few blocks parallel to 3rd Street, so it goes from nowhere to someplace uninteresting and nobody’s ever heard of it.  I blundered onto Olivier’s because they were clever enough to put a sandwich board up at the corner of 22nd and 3rd, and i saw it as i Segwayed away from Gilberth’s on my first visit.  Mostly out of interest in getting a photo op of the industrial wasteland to the east, i rode down the block and around the corner.

What a pleasant surprise to find a boucherie with traditional French cuts of beef and an assortment of American cuts of other meats with charming and helpful clerks.  Didn’t really feel like planning a menu around one of the meats, but i picked up a pound of merguez to express solidarity.  May have been the best merguez i’ve ever eaten.  I took Sybil and Gloria in there after our visits to Gilberth’s, and they liked it, too.  I’ve also eaten their chorizo and found it excellent.

And while i’m talking about new butchers and sausages, i have to mention that i’d read some of the hype on 4505 and tried two of their sausages from their booth at the Bartlett Street Farmers’ Market.  Their other meats may very well be good, but neither of their sausages was even close to the two i’ve eaten from Olivier’s.

Commonwealth is Anthony Myint’s wildly acclaimed upscale place next door to Mission Chinese Food.  For the high end foodies who might be a bit nervous about leaving their Lexuses on the street in that gritty section of Mission, they even have a small parking lot, and their front door opens off the parking lot rather than directly onto Mission Street so as to avoid the ambiance of the street bums.  Jeff took me there for my birthday, and we had the tasting menu, which was a great bargain considering that much of the food showed the influence of Ferran Adrià and was highly technical and shockingly good.  That said, my favorite dish was sweetbreads of lamb, which i’d never had.  Wow.

And speaking of innards, i repaid Jeff by taking him to Incanto, where we shared a number of courses including lamb’s tongue, which was alas, too much like beef tongue, but the rest of the meal was as good as i’d expected.  Highly recommended, and like Commonwealth, a place i’d been wanting to go to for years.

Both Incanto and Commonwealth are a bit pricey for me now, so my next discovery, Eureka Restaurant and Lounge, was an enormous pleasure.  The restaurant is in the old Neon Chicken location and has been open for several years, but i’d given up on finding a good restaurant there again since nothing has succeeded in that spot since the Chicken’s legendary run.  Fortunately, i read an article about fried chicken livers that mentioned Eureka’s version favorably.  And since it’s right down the hill from me and easily accessible, i Segwayed down there yesterday.

Oh, my goodness.  I’d planned to just have a couple of their appetizers as a light supper, so i ordered the fried okra and the fried chicken livers for eight bucks each.  Then i noticed that i could have a side of garlic mashed potatoes for five bucks more.  They asked if i wanted them all at once and i said, Sure.  Fairly small plates, but piled high.  And all three were absolutely delicious.  Since i knew i couldn’t eat it all, i went ahead and finished the okra and potatoes and took about two-thirds of the livers home.  And yes, i skipped dessert.  This is a place where for sure i want to eat my way through the menu.

When my ankle heals i’ll go back onto a low-carb diet but for now i need some food that will fight my depression, and numerous medical studies have confirmed that the best way to kill depression is to smother it beneath a thick blanket of saturated fat and carbohydrates.

PhalaenopsisSpeaking of killing things, i thought i’d killed this Phalaenopsis that Jeff had given me, so i threw the carcass out onto the laundry porch last spring with the idea of salvaging the pot.  Was out there doing my laundry last month and noticed that i’d botched the murder, so i went ahead and brought it back into the office.

You behave yourself, and you can stay inside.

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