Jewish Delis: Eating at Schwartz’s and Saul’s

The documentary film, Chez Schwartz, enjoyed a quiet if savory U.S. premier at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center earlier this week. It has yet to be picked up for wider distribution, but keep an eye out for it. Or, if you can’t wait, order a DVD and see for yourself why this little “Charcuterie Hebraique” is the place to eat in Montréal.

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Donuts to Diesel: SFGreasecycle

As someone who keeps containers of bacon fat, duck fat, chicken fat, lard and butter along with rank-and-file bottles of olive oil, sesame oil, chile oil, grape seed oil and good ol’ peanut oil always handy by her stove, I was delighted to learn a new term this week: FOG.

No, not the lovely mist that sweeps over our city from the sea.


Unfortunately, in addition to carrying flavor and adding texture, these staples of the kitchen can be as bad for our sewer system as our bodies. Multiply thousands of restaurants by dozens of gallons of FOG and very quickly, the mess builds up.

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Eating on the Street: Taco Trucks and Korean BBQ

Taco Trucks
The next time that craving for carne asada hits, check out this new taco truck map for the nearest snack stop near you. It’s only a couple of days old, and already, the entire state of California is dotted with promising forks-and-spoons. Help the cause and add your own favorite source for tacos. Then, print out a map of a neighborhood near you and venture forth!

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Breaking Fast

Breakfast bowl

The most important meal of the day is too often ignored, lost amidst the grooming and rushing, a mere afterthought to caffeine. It takes hungry, curious children to remind us to slow down (acorn pancakes!) or friends visiting from afar to convince us to unearth our skillets.

As someone who grew up slurping big bowls of soup before heading off to school, I still haven’t learned how to enjoy cold cereal or dry toast. Give me some leftover rice and a runny fried egg, though, and I’m ready for anything that Monday wants to throw at me.
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A Full Table at Vung Tau II: Random Vietnamese Food

A recent lunch with a caravan of hungry friends reminded me of the insurmountable difference between eating in America and eating in Vietnam. Even when the food is excellent, even with folks I love, even when the weather is as freaky hot as it’s been this week.
Expansive menus, with dishes numbering into the three digits, and the a la carte approach to dining in the West culminated again in an experience that’s difficult for me to reconcile with Vietnamese food: every single person at the table was eating something completely different.

My bowl of noodles was wedged between a dish of curry on the left and grilled beef with rice paper on the right. Across from me were fried frog legs, and at the end of the table was a pile of pork chops. When such radically different dishes are slung onto a table, the spirit of the food itself is lost.

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