Spaghetti with bottarga, the must-order at La Ciccia.
With the newly redesigned San Francisco magazine on the stands, we’re on to the August food issue. The irony is not lost on me that deeper I get into writing about our city’s fancy food scene, the more terrible the food is that I eat. In the name of leaving my desk as little as possible, I’ve choked down a flaccid, pseudo-gourmet microwaved wrap; I’ve had way too late in the day steam-table Chinese.
Luckily, the downward food spiral has ended at my desk.
After a workout on Saturday, feeling all good and healthy, I popped in to Cedar Hill in the Marina. It's just one of the many barbecue places that have sprouted up in the past year, from Southpaw to Cat’s Head. But I'd say that none of these places serve up such a fantastic pulled pork sandwich. In the name of trying not to reverse the calories I’d just burned, I planned on just eating just half of the porktastic, cabbage-slaw-y mess in front of me, which rose to a height certainly bigger than my mouth is wide. But once I doused it in even more vinegary barbecue sauce, there was no turning back. I wolfed it down, peppered with bites of a great little side dish of fresh corn with cheese, chilies, and summer squash, wishing I had had someone there to rave to other than the server. Calories out. Calories in—in a big way. No regrets.
Keeping with the Southern comfort-food theme, I just got back from the hours-old Pig and Pie which opened today in the old Discolandia space on 24th Street in the Mission (I was glad to see that they kept that classic covetable sign). Trying to lure in early diners when they first open at 11 am, they’re serving an individual skillet of baked eggs with grilled onions, roasted poblanos, chorizo and salsa verde—for all of an hour. Get it. And then get a sausage, in particular the spicy Italian which isn’t really all that spicy but is topped with a mess of collard greens cooked down with guanciale.
Pig and Pie chef Nate Overstreet has spent time in fine-dining kitchens as well as in the charcuterie department at Rouge in Berkeley, so of course he’s making his own sausages. Not to mention his own pickles, smoking his own jalapenos and bacon, and doing pretty much doing everything from scratch. It reminds me of Wise Sons, another newcomer and 24th Street hardcore DIYist. Overstreet’s girlfriend is making the pies, which have a delicate crust of lard and butter. There's blueberry and pecan laced with cayenne. But if the lemon shaker pie that I tried, bittersweet with whole slices of lemon, is any indication—her pies are all really delicious.
Pig and Pie is definitely good, if noble, drunk food. Take note hipsters spilling out of Pop’s just down the way: On Friday and Saturdays, this cute establishment is open until 1 a.m.