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The Enthusiast

The Week in Food

This week in food: 2-for-1 pizzas, hoofing it out to a cool spot in Oakland, rolling south city for BBQ ribs, how to make chicken paprikash, and taco
night.

* Pizza happy hour at Pizza Inferno at Sutter and Fillmore: $3 drafts and 2-for-1 9" pizzas ($7-14). Not bad before or after a show at the Kabuki or Fillmore, although the decor is terrible, like a drunk schoolchild who imbibed a gallon of primary colored face paint vomited up a sports bar.

* BLT and mixed greens from Mama Buzz Cafe, an inexpensive, vegan-friendly, super-cool little cafe/art gallery/venue (with outdoor patio) at 23rd and Telegraph, a few blocks from the 19th St. Oakland BART station. Stop off at 12th St. Oakland BART, walk 20 paces, and dance off that bacon at the Golden Bull if you're lucky enough to roll in on a DJ night (Saturdays?).

* BBQ ribs and hot links, coleslaw, greens, corn bread, and sweet potato pie from Cliff's BBQ, where the food isn't quite as amazing as we hear Mozell's used to be (she's moving to Oakland), but it's a super old-school, out-of-the-way alternative to Big Nate's and Brother-in-Law's. Plus, the view from the sidewalk is a surreal, gigantic vista laden with green hills, train tracks, and the old lock factory.

* Cook for a rainy-day crowd: hot, creamy, Hungarian chicken paprikash over egg noodles with vinegared cucumber slices. Brown a bunch of skinless chicken pieces (3-5 leg/thigh combo pieces) with 1 big onion and a little garlic, then add 2-3 TBSPsweet paprika and cover with stock; simmer until meat falls off bone, then pull out bones (de-fat if you like!); add 1-2 TBSP flour and 8-16 oz. sour cream to creamify; heat to bubbling, serve on noodles! Best with side dish of peeled, sliced cukes that have spent the night in the fridge, covered in white vinegar.

* And don't forget the perennial lure of taco night. Especially if you get some Velveeta and Rotel salsa at Safeway and go all Texan-style on it. Beware the dinner guest who thinks the bowl of hot cheese dip is soup; he'll walk off with the whole thing. We've seen it happen.