Tag Archives: cocktails

Oprah Winfrey-Approved: The Five Best Moscow Mules in San Francisco

24 May

On Wednesday, May 25, Oprah will no longer be seen in her 4 p.m. time slot. Our afternoon bestie for 25 years will exist no more, fled for her own cable network. Her 30-day countdown and goodbyes from famous friends has seen us shedding a few tears. The best thing to dry those tears? Booze! SFoodie has set forth on a countdown all our own: the top five places to get Oprah’s favorite cocktail, a Moscow Mule (vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer, traditionally served on the rocks in a brass cup).

We grabbed our best girlfriends (none as cool as Gayle) and did all five in one night. You get a Moscow Mule, you get a Moscow Mule, you all get a Moscow Mule! Our booze-soaked findings follow.

5. Elbo Room

Elbo Room easily has the biggest Mule for your moolah, coming in at just $7. Plus, the lighting is dark, so anyone can shed a tear on the sly. After all, Oprah taught you that it was okay to cry, but not to break into the “ugly cry.” (Oprah says she did it only once, when she met Mary Tyler Moore.) You may have thought the photobooth in the corner could only double as a makeout closet, but it can also be the private crying room for when the end comes.

UP NEXT: Battling our food addiction at the Tipsy Pig.

4. Tipsy Pig

Oprah introduced the world to the idea of food addiction, thanks to discussing her own battle on air. Which means she should stay far, far away from this place. If you do feel like eating your emotions, the Tipsy Pig serves up a fries with cheese sauce and bacon mac and cheese. It also has a very decent version of the Mule for $9. We’re not sure whether pigs and mules interact much in real life, but here they go together like Oprah and Gayle.

3. Hog & Rocks

Just ask Oprah, whose steady squeeze, Stedman, measures 6-foot-7: size does matter. Sometimes you just want a lot of booze, and thankfully Hog & Rocks allows you to purchase your Moscow Mule by the pitcher at $32 a pop. We thought this version was more puckery than the rest, perhaps due to the fact that it uses fresh lime juice that was squeezed that morning. Still, we’re bitter that Oprah is leaving us, so there’s some catharsis in sipping the sour.

2. Heaven’s Dog

 

We had heard that Heaven’s Dog serves up the best Mules in town. So imagine our surprise when they weren’t on the menu. Have no fear: Dion (easily the hottest bartender of the night) will whip one up for $10. This was the best Mule of the night — and the only one to provide a sprig of mint, which we are sure Oprah would appreciate.

1. Café des Amis

Was Café des Amis the best Mule of the night? No. But it was by far the best experience. First, we were bummed that we missed $5 Mule happy hour special between 3 and 6 p.m., but then everything else went our way. The Mule was a pricey $11, but when we checked in on Foursquare we got the most awesome special offer ever: a free glass of sparkling wine and a free brownie. We literally got brownie points! Our Mule arrived in the classic copper cup that we were hoping for, and we totally got the whole big O experience. In a day or so, we may no longer have Oprah — but at Café de Amis we had her favorite cocktail, champagne and brownie freebies, and even a celebrity guest. Elisa Donovan, (Amber from Clueless) showed up! It may just be the Mule talking, but she’s, like, so totally nota full-on Monet: “Seen from far away, it’s okay; but up close, it’s a big ol’ mess.”

Elbo Room: 647 Valencia (at 18th St.), 552-7788
The Tipsy Pig: 2231 Chestnut (at Pierce), 292-2300
Hog & Rocks: 3431 19th St. (at San Carlos), 550-8627
Heaven’s Dog: 1148 Mission (at Seventh St.), 863-6008
Café des Amis: 2000 Union (at Buchanan), 563-7700

Original published on sfweekly.com – Original Post

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My Serpentine Tongue says, YUM! SF Food Bloggers Unite

25 Aug

In Los Angeles, I found my dining crew. These were the people that never raised an eyebrow when my plate was photographed from multiple angles prior to being tasted. The same people that would never gasp at my need to have a cocktail, appetizer and dessert with every entree. These dining companions were comprised of food bloggers, Twits that like TwEAT Ups, Yelpers, and all around foodies. Friendships are fantastic but people to share reservations with are just as good. I was told very early on that food bloggers in SF didn’t have the same traditions. Blame it on the minimal PR dinners and the recipe bloggers versus restaurant bloggers in San Francisco. Anyway, the day on Twitter that we organized a food blogger and twEATer dinner was very exciting for me. I think I even marked the occasion with a hashtag saying #incestsurvivor in regards to making the SF food blogging community as close as the LA one. When choosing the restaurant for this very special occasion, I went back to a great LA find: Blackboard Eats. These 30% off codes at the hottest restaurants in town were almost always present at our blogger dinners and I made it an invitee at the SF version. I believe it was the day that I moved to San Francisco that Blackboard Eats San Francisco launched, am I lucky girl or what? We all decided on the restaurant Serpentine because none of us had ever been there and we had a valid BBE code.

I was the first to arrive and I ordered a cocktail, the Whiskey Smash, both excited and nervous to be joined by a table full of foodies. The second guest to arrive was The Dapper Diner, who has become my local #1 dining companion. The third was Tao of Pao who is an awesome food writer, runner, and burger enthusiast. And lastly was Kels Eats who covers Californian cuisine and is a self-described goat butter addict. We had all the pieces of the puzzle and in correct foodie fashion we all got started with a cocktail, appetizer, and entree to share amongst the table.

Well, I was never one to follow rules too correctly so on top of my regular appetizer I also ordered the Assortment of Pickled Vegetables. I am a sucker for anything acidic, remember I am the girl who has the dream of having the most extensive vinegar cellar in my home. The yogurt honey and pepper dip cut the vinegar perfectly and the veggies were nice and cool with that perfect crunch. I was so excited about this dish that I demanded that everyone try the cauliflower or the beet. It is always in these foodie setting where I feel most comfortable. When I say that I have always wanted to take a pickling class I get an understanding nod from across the table, I am not alone in my weirdness.

The other real joy in dining with nothing but foodies at your table is that you get to try it all. Both the Chickpea Battered Calamari and the Serpentine Meat Board were things that I want to try but they weren’t on my short list. With the help of more diners and people with big appetites, I was able to have it all. Some of the highlights on the meat board were the duck prosciutto and the pork pate.

The appetizer that I had my heart set on from the start was the O’Henry Peach & July Red Nectarine Salad with house-cured pancetta, mint, toasted hazelnuts, elderflowers, and champagne vinaigrette. It was the perfect summer salad and I was happiest that this plate was closest to me.

If there is one thing about SF dining it is that, it is all seasonal and local so it is more than common to see the same dishes on many menus. The Dapper Dinner and I were happy to see our new friends Blistered Padron Peppers on the menu. They are currently featured in nearly every restaurant I have entered recently. Each time I have to eyeball them for awhile, gain courage, close my eyes and take a bite and then utter, “That’s not too bad (spicy) at all.”

My final cocktail of the night was the Kentucky Buck and let me just say that their version blows Rickhouse out of the house.

When it came to entrees Dapper Dinner had the Harissa Rubbed Sonoma Goat Shoulder Roulade and the two girls had the Prather Ranch Hamburger. The burger was extremely memorable and for me it was all about the pickled onions and the delicious Acme roll.

For my entree I had the Grilled California White Bass, which was served with corn, almonds and a basil pistou. It was light, fresh, and even minty. Do certain tastes bring up certain people for you? For me, for obvious reasons whenever I eat mint or drink mint tea (which is daily) I always think of The Minty. She is my LA food baller/crawler team captain. This meal was days before her arrival to SF to visit me and it set the tone in reminding me how lovely it is to dine with foodies. I actually just returned from my own visit to LA where I got to dine at the newly opened Test Kitchen LA, which is probably the coolest concept restaurant ever. Chefs get to come in and takeover a space for a night or a few days and do whatever they like. The night that I went with the Minty I was overwhelmed by just how many people I knew in the restaurant. Food bloggers, restaurant owners, bartenders, foodies and more united. The excitement was palpable, the  LA foodie community is tight as hell and we are family. I don’t have this yet in SF but I will make it my Mission Fruition because dining with foodies is just more fun. Serpentine has the motto: Honest Food, Classic Cocktails. For me, that is a perfect formula for bringing people (mainly foodies) together.

Serpentine
2495 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhoods: Dogpatch
(415) 252-2000