Having deviled eggs on the menu has become as much of a requirement for restaurants as having refrigeration, but so long as they’re like the ones I ate at Sweet Woodruff yesterday, then the more the merrier. They’re served three to an order, perched on a halved marrow bone like birds on a fence. The marrow goes into the eggs along with lemon zest and parsley. Their reconstituted yolks are topped with pickled mustard seed and dusted with sumac, and the result is as attractive as it is delicious. —R.F.M.
Last Sunday’s weather dictated a picnic, which is why I found myself sitting in Alamo Square in the very good company of Bi-Rite Market’s grilled eggplant and asparagus sandwich. While the vegetables in question, which include broccoli rabe, are grilled to velvety perfection, the genius stroke here is the house-made almond Romesco sauce—a spicy, peppery, smoky concoction so intensely satisfying that it would make a kitchen sponge palatable. Shellacked liberally over two slices of Josey Baker’s country loaf and seeping between the assorted vegetation and a smattering of Kalamata olives, it took me to a very happy place, one I hope to revisit as soon as possible. —R.F.M.
Can we talk about the magic that happens every time an avocado marries a piece of toast? It’s a beautiful, life-affirming thing, this marriage, and the only thing that makes it even better is when you bring in a poached egg for an extramarital ménage a trios, or, in the case of the avocado toast at Foreign Cinema, a plush chunk of house-cured sardine. It’s capped with a shaving of Cowgirl Creamery’s Mezzo Secco—a hard cow’s cheese—and finished off with a dash of Agrumato lemon oil. If you could put Northern California on a piece of toast, this is what it would look and taste like. It’s so good that I nearly cried, both with gratitude and the realization that in the space of four bites, it would be just a wistful memory. —R.F.M.
With these sweaty temps, the city is experiencing its late spring sweet spot—the season of carpe diem. Which means you better hurry up and get yourself a seat on the patio at the new 4505 Burgers & BBQ before Karl the Fog blows in. I did just that today and sat with a couple friends at the joint's oil-cloth covered picnic tables. We went deep on the barbecue plate. The ribs, with a simple dry rub, were most excellent, followed by the fatty-tender brisket and a pile of pulled pork. You can choose to grab the squeeze bottle of mustard-vinegar sauce (my personal favorite), but honestly the meat is good enough to speak for itself. Yes, there's chicken, but I call that wasted calories. Go pig or go home—unless that is, you're ordering a burger. Out of a window on weekends, 4505 will serve their famous cheeseburger until 2 am. —S.D.
Speaking of burgers, I've been getting the Slow Club burger now since about 1995—pre dot-com I or II—when I used to drive from my job in Jackson Square working on the Williams-Sonoma CD-ROM cookbook (yes, I said CD-ROM) all the way across town to the flats of Mariposa Street, which at the time had the perfect amount of thrilling, might-be-dangerous edge— just to eat a fat, juicy, dripping, horseradish-y burger in clubby, candlelit darkness. I probably had an Anchor Steam with it. I don't think I ever envisioned that one day I'd be bringing my children along with me, but that's what I did on Tuesday for dinner. Lots has changed in this city, but the Slow Club burger has stood the test of time. —S.D.
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