This weekend I ate melted squid eyeballs, and I owe it all to Avedano’s, the steadfastly awesome Bernal Heights butcher shop. Although they’re mainly in the meat business, they also sell a small but excellent selection of seafood, including head-on squid which stares up at you in an empty, resigned sort of way. Never having cooked head-on squid before, I figured I’d fry them and then cut off their heads; little did I know that their eyeballs would liquefy upon contact with the heat. They created a milky, slightly gelatinous substance that was, to my great surprise, delicious in a briny, slightly alien kind of way. The rest of the squid was similarly terrific—plump, sweet, and tasting of the sea. I sliced it up and ate it with quinoa, salty black olives, chopped parsley and a couple of spoonfuls of neonata, a Calabrian hot sauce made from hot peppers, oil, and the ground-up bodies of tiny baby fish. It was a very visceral dinner. —R.F.M.
I used to be a regular at Rosamunde in the Lower Haight. Actually, an addict would be a more accurate description. I would double park, hazards on, for a spicy beer sausage with kraut and brown mustard. Since they've been open in the Mission, I've rarely been, but the other day I had a craving. The sweet pepper relish wasn't quite what it used to be, the buns are now different. But the sausage (pictured above) still has that snap to it, followed by a satisfyingly juicy and spicy bite. And now there are actual tables to sit at. —S.D.
Although I live nearby Craftsman & Wolves, I don’t get there often enough. So yesterday was a triumph of sorts: I stopped by to pick up a scone on my way to work. One of the things I love most about C&W is that innocuous breakfast pastries are used as Trojan horses for wildly creative and sometimes appealingly weird flavors. In this case, a mundane scone was endowed with fresh apricots, nuggets of crystallized ginger, and a pale green lemon verbena glaze. The dough was speckled with little flecks of black sesame; altogether, the color palette was very 1970s-suburban kitchen, in a good way. But the flavors were thoroughly modern, to say nothing of balanced—the sesame’s mellow nuttiness softened the tartness of the apricots, the lemon verbena contributed a distinct but unobtrusive herbal note, and the little pops of ginger added sweet spice. Texture-wise, it was all fluffy crumb and respectably sturdy crust. A great way, in other words, to begin a Wednesday. —R.F.M.
Earlier this week a friend and I ventured to Chinatown for lunch at the Anna Bakery (715 Clay St., 415-989-8898). While I’d like to believe there are many fine restaurants in Chinatown, this wasn’t one of them. But there was a bright spot amid the shitty service, lazily circling flies, and head-scratchingly bland food: the egg custard tarts, served from the bakery counter at the front of the restaurant. Warm, creamy, and just sweet enough, they’re encased in a soft, flaky crust. About four bites each, they encourage a return trip to a place that otherwise doesn’t warrant one. —R.F.M.
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