11.) Cocktail Week: For one week, the entire city gets together to party while enjoying inventive drinks crafted by some of the most accomplished bartenders in the world. That’s just any week in San Francisco. But during Cocktail Week, mixology becomes mythology: epic.
10.) Off the Grid Ft. Mason: The ultimate food truck fest turned up the heat in 2011, offering more selections and introducing draught beer and cocktails into the mix. Friday nights in the Marina will never be the same again.
9.) Roam Artisan Burgers: If you’re wandering around in search of the most creative burger menu in the city, Roam is where the heart is. The locally-minded Union street favorite gained a cult following and was named SF’s burger of the year by Zagat.
8.) SF Beer Week: One of the biggest brew-hahas in Western Civilization continues to draw beer-geeks from around the globe. This year was no different as buzz via Facebook and Twitter generated hop-hype like never before–not to mention 4-hour long lines for speciality limited release beers.
7.) Brussels Sprouts: What could I possibly have been thinking as a kid? The once-maligned cabbage bud is now THE ‘it’ vegetable of the day. And they’re little explosions of excellence when cooked properly, as masterfully demonstrated by the chefs at Uva Enoteca in the Lower Haight and Southpaw BBQ in the Mission. Best of all, they’re as nutritious as they are delicious.
6.) Magnolia’s New Menu: And I do NOT make this statement lightly: Best Gastropub in San Francisco. Some of the most consistently satisfying beer brewed within the city is now accompanied by some of the most high-minded and well-executed pub fare that I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.
5.) Mission Chinese Food: Kung Pao Pastrami. There’s nothing else to say.
4.) Brews On the Bay: What was already an exceptional event got even better in 2011 with a food-truck upgrade and the addition of an oldtime folk band, well-suited to the nostalgic feel of this cozy boozefest on the Wharf.
3.) Umami Union Grand Opening: Patience was rewarded this autumn when Adam Fleischman finally brought his astronomically-adored SoCal burger chain to it’s first location outside of LA. Cow Hollow’s brand-new bastion of burgers is already a Union Street sensation as locals flock to feast on the fifth taste that makes Umami amazing.
2.) SF Street Food Festival: Folsom Street is shut down to traffic for almost ten blocks so that people can sit on the streets eating and drinking fare from some of the most imaginative and talented names in the local food scene. It’s every bit as glorious as it sounds.
1.) Outside Lands:
Music. Food. Wine. Art. The tagline for San Francisco’s premiere annual festival says it all and this year’s go-round delivered on all counts, like never before. With an eclectic assortment of headlining bands from around the world and some of the tastiest food from around the Bay, Outside Lands–like 2011 itself–was a time to remember.
What are your food and drink favorites of 2011?