Man, I Need a Drink. Meet me at Bar Agricole.

Rating: ★★★★★

I’ve lived in San Francisco for the past four years, a period of time which I fondly refer to as my prime drinking years. I don’t say this to give the impression that I’m just a drunken party animal, at least not all the time. I’m pointing this out because when you think about it, there’s a pretty large drinking evolution that takes places from your early to mid-twenties. For example, I used to call Blondies and Beauty Bar my favorite bars in the City. I also used to pre-party, down shots, and not know what the hell a “well drink” was. But like most people, my appreciation for good wine, thoughtful cocktails, and bars where you can move without getting mauled by some sweaty, drunk chick, has grown. Not just grown, it’s blossomed. After four years of trying a majority of the City’s most respected bars, I’m now happy to say that I have a go-to spot where the cocktails are crafted and the people are adults. That bar is none other but Bar Agricole…Continue Reading

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The Best French Onion Soup Recipe Known to Man

Survey: raise your hand if you’ve ever ordered French Onion Soup from a restaurant envisioning a bowl of richly flavored broth, filling the room with the smell of caramelized onion, and topped with all the Gruyere your little heart could desire. Now raise your hand if, instead of a bowl of ambrosia, you received the equivalent of a slightly more aromatic chicken stock topped with a few sad, half-melted strands of pre-grated Safeway Swiss, alongside a chunk of day-too-old baguette. If you associate French Onion Soup with chain caf├ęs, believing that this is a quintessential example of this dish, you probably haven’t been super motivated to attempt it on your own (sorry Panera Bread). Or maybe you’ve never thought of it because, frankly, it just doesn’t sound that interesting – I mean it is just onion, bread, and cheese in a simple stock, right? WrongContinue Reading

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The Mission’s Best Deli that Nobody Has Ever Heard Of

I’ve lived in the Mission for over three years now, and for whatever reason, last night it hit me: for the number of restaurants the Mission has to offer, it’s shocking that an amazing sandwich shop, specifically one that stays open past lunch, is almost non-existent. Peruvian food? No problem! Indian food? The city’s best is just a few blocks away! Japanese food? Yakitori or vegetarian, take your pick! Italian food? Obviously. But a killer, simple sandwich? Somehow that has almost slipped through the cracks. AlmostContinue Reading

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Cupcakes Part 2: Sibby’s Cupcakery

To all of the cupcake fanatics out there, who have been anxiously awaiting part 2 of my epic cupcake saga, you can now leave all of those sleepless nights behind and breathe a sigh of relief. The time has arrived to reveal the West Coast rival to Magnolia Bakery. A bakery that not only rivals Magnolia, it may even surpass it. If you didn’t already guess it’s name from the glaringly obvious hint located within this article’s title, then it’s time for the big reveal. The answer to all of my cupcake hopes and dreams is a little shop aptly named Sibby’s CupcakeryContinue Reading

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Cupcakes Part 1: Magnolia Bakery

First, a bit of history. 2007 marked the first time that I visited New York City with a single, clear mission: eat the entire city. Seeing as how that was slightly unrealistic, I focused on finding anything in the New York food scene that, at that time, could not easily be found in the Bay Area. This meant two things: grand, luxurious, metropolitan fine dining, and cupcakes. At the time I thought the latter sounded just as silly as it does in that last sentence, but thanks to my little obsession with SNL’s Digital Short “Lazy Sunday,” I had to see what all the fuss was about. And I knew where I needed to go: Magnolia BakeryContinue Reading

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My Hot and Healthy Dinner Date with Local Mission Eatery

Rating: ★★★★☆

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…..That’s me, breathing a sigh of relief. After many months of somewhat lackluster meals, meals which led me to depend on my all-time favorite restaurants to get me through the holidays, I finally stumbled into a dining experience that revived me from the dining dead. Thank you Local Mission Eatery for reminding me how exciting even a casual weekday meal can be when the menu is thoughtful, the ingredients are fresh and well-sourced, and every plate is perfectly executed. At last, I’ve found the motivation to write!Continue Reading

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The Industry All-Stars: Bobi Adle

A good server has an attentive eye and a “customer is always right” attitude. A good server facilitates your meal, is there when you need him to be there, and otherwise leaves you alone so you can enjoy your dinner without much interruption. A great server goes further than this. A great server has an uncanny ability to read his tables and adapt to the vibe they’re giving out. A great server understands when a table wants to be left alone, or when a table wants him to engage and liven up their meal. An exceptional server goes further than this. An exceptional server has a killer sense of humor – pushing the bounds of what’s PC in the workplace, but never offensive. Because, again, an exceptional server can read his audience perfectly. Bobi Adle is an exceptional serverContinue Reading

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Croissants at Knead Patisserie: The Root of all Things Evil and Delicious

Whoa 2012, slow down! It’s already December and all year, I haven’t written about the one thing that makes my life complete. That single thing that gets me out of bed every morning (seriously). This year would not be complete without posting an article (or in this case, more like a love letter) to my all-time favorite bakery, whose name any regular KelsEats visitor should know by now. Yep, you guessed it! Knead Patisserie.

Before proclaiming my love for this bakery once again, I browsed through my previous articles, wanting to ensure that I didn’t repeat anything I’ve written in the past. Although I’ve publicly given most of Shauna des Voignes’ pastries piles of compliments, there is a noticeable, gaping hole: I left one MAJOR item out of all of my writing. Therefore, I’m dedicating this piece to the #1 pastry Shauna does better than any other patisserie in the world: the croissantContinue Reading

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The Industry All-Stars: Tara Payne

For three years, my writing has been almost exclusively focused on food – literally taking the things I eat off of the plate, and changing them into words on paper. By doing so, I often don’t bring enough attention to the hundreds of other facets of the food industry: the dining atmosphere, larger industry discussions a la Michael Pollan, emerging new trends, or the people who make it all possible.

As I was getting my daily morning coffee from Philz, it suddenly hit me: one of the most important reasons for why I keep going back to this place, or any place for that matter, is because of the happiness I feel whenever I interact with the people working at these establishments. It’s part of what makes San Francisco feel like home; it’s like Cheers – there’s nothing better than getting a warm welcome from people who know you’re name…and they’re always glad you came. So right here and now, I’m starting a new series of posts that puts the spotlight on some of my favorite people in the San Francisco, and what makes them so damn awesome.…Continue Reading

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Buns that Wow: Chairman Bao

Rating: ★★★★★

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus partly because of work, but also partly because of the fall television season starting again. Not to mention my determination to watch Lost, the entire series, for a second time. But the good news is I’m back now with something I’ve been meaning to write about for many, many months. What I’m trying to say is, it’s about damn time I talk about my unconditional love for Chairman Bao.

Alright, so it’s not quite unconditional – there is one condition: their Bao buns must always taste amazing. Luckily, they’ve got that on lock, so I’ve had no problem continuing my love affair with what is arguably the best food truck in San Francisco…Continue Reading

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