Food, Glorious Food

Time for a break from all those political issues so we can look at what’s really important – the San Francisco Food scene in its summer glory.

Stone fruit season is still in its early stages but’s in full blast, so the farmers’ markets are awash in cherries, plums, pluots, apricots, apriums, and peaches and nectarines both sweetly white and flavorfully yellow.  See my Production Report for an account of what i’ve been preserving.  The irony is that even though i’m sitting at the mouth of a cornucopia and preserving like a farm wife, i rarely eat any fruit but yellow nectarines since their season overlaps almost everything else and i love them so dearly.

Not that i can eat too many.  When i came to San Francisco 39 years ago i was working out in the gym like a galley slave and eating like a horse trying desperately to get my weight over 150 pounds.  Now, after two years of working as hard as i can and starving myself like a prisoner of the Apaches, i’ve finally got my weight back down to 150 pounds.  Unfortunately, since ten pounds of upper body muscle drifted to my belly, i’ll need to be back under 140 pounds to be able to get my money’s worth out of that collection of Dockers i was wearing fourteen years ago.

Still, i do get to go out to eat occasionally, all the more enjoyable for its reduced frequency.  Mostly, i go to Company since i love the restaurant so much and am becoming a great fan of Karen, the new chef.

Here’s her Kale Chips with Cashew and Garlic:

Kale Chips at Company

They’re better than they look.


And the Bavette Steak with Parmesan Frites:

Bavette Steak with Parmesan Frites at Company


And yes, those frites represent three days’ worth of carbohydrates.


And now, a recent discovery:  Brandy Ho’s.  Oh please, you say.  The original Brandy Ho’s opened in Chinatown thirty years ago as one of the very first Hunan restaurants in San Francisco, and i have a vague memory of eating there back then.  And the Castro branch opened five or six years ago on 18th Street between Hartford and Castro, so how can i speak of discovering it?  Well, somehow i’d forgot about the original and had decided that there would never be any good Chinese food in the Castro.  So i never tried it.

My friend Dick suggested it for lunch the other day, and i was very pleasantly surprised at how good the General’s Chicken was.  Pretty presentation, too, and those broccoli flowerlets were just briefly blanched and downright crunchy, which paired off well with the voluptuous chicken:

General's Chicken at Brandy Ho's on 18th Street

I’ll go back.


And finally, in the current Harper’s Magazine there’s an interview with Richard Rodriquez about the new trend of eating à la Oscar Wilde at restaurants in dangerous locations where there’s the possibility of being killed on the way back to your car.  Better that, i say, than being killed as you approach the restaurant. 




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