Debating organics, praising McDonald’s (?!!??), drinking mezcal and MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
This chinchilla is wearing a boy! This boy is wearing a chinchilla! Who’s the boss? With animals who have not been domesticated for very long, like chinchillas, you never can say. Just stay very still and marvel at how light they are compared to how dense they look. [photo credit: I have no idea, sorry. Let us know!]
Exciting vegan-style events!
Hey L.A.! This weekend Keep is having a sample sale, where you can save up to 60 percent on all kinds of super-hot sneakers. Be at the Keep offices at 418a Bamboo Lane today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for shoes shoes shoes.
Tomorrow, Saturday May 15, BAARN will participate in an international day of awareness for marine mammals in captivity, and protest in favor of the retirement of Lolita, the oldest orca in captivity (and also possibly the loneliest—her companion of 10 years basically committed suicide in 1980 and she’s been on her own since). There will be two events from noon to 2 p.m.: one at the entrance of Pier 39, near the Embarcadero and Stockton Street in San Francisco; and one at the Berkeley Marina, at the first parking lot on the left in the south sailing basin. BAARN asks that you email here for further information.
Next Thursday, May 20, Rocket Dog Rescue is having a fashion show fundraiser, with vegan snacks and drinks and clothes and all kinds of good times! Be at Mayes at 1233 Polk St. at Fern Street (hey Polk Gulch!) at 8 p.m.—RSVP here first and it’s $10, without an RSVP it’ll cost you $15. But who cares, the money goes to Rocket Dog! For more information about the designers and sponsors, visit the Avant-Gardist.
Items of varying degrees of interest!
So how did the foie gras protests at Thomas Keller’s restaurants go last weekend? According to Eater, “rowdy,” “timid,” and “calm,” depending on location. CNN seems to have just cottoned on to the notion that some people find foie gras reprehensible.
Edible Geography explores the community gardens of New York City, which have never been studied before? The maps and photos are great!
Lebanon made an obscene amount of hummus and falafel, beating Israel’s obscene record of hummus and falafel, and uncomfortably get all nationalistic for reasons we don’t understand. Still: hummus and falafel, yum yum yum.
The Chronicle’s Cellarist blog thinks that mezcal will be the big new liquor. I say, YES PLEASE. I had the most amazing cocktail in Mexico City made with mezcal; it was smoky and a little fruity and a little sweet, wicked strong and so delicious, and I’ve never been able to find a recipe online that makes sense. And no, vegans, mezcal does not need to contain a drowned worm to be authentic.
Mark Bittman is agog because distance runner Scott Jurek somehow manages to eat “5,000 to 8,000 calories a day”—as a vegan! What what what?!??!! Isn’t vegan food all super-low-calorie and super-healthy? Doesn’t everyone eating a vegan diet lose 50 pounds, like, one week after starting it? Aren’t all vegans super-skinny, struggling to get enough calories as regular, non-athletes? HOW IS SCOTT JUREK MEDICALLY POSSIBLE?!??!!!
“Environmentalism must become an economic vision.” “Theses on Sustainability” by Eric Zencey in Orion Magazine.
Meanwhile, the Independent tries to convince us that McDonald’s “has been a positive force for change.” Still “killing lots of mass-produced animals”? I’m not convinced. Get your blood pressure down with an interview with Grist’s Tom Philpott on the role of class in “the food debate.”
An SPCA-run animal shelter in Ontario, Canada will euthanize over 350 of its animals due to an outbreak of an especially virulent case of ringworm that has spread to staff members.
Back in April, the National Research Council released a report stating that genetically modified crops weren’t all bad—mostly right now what’s bad is the way they’re being used, and monopolized, and how we the public have no trust in them. I will agree that I don’t trust them, and Monsanto is the devil, but that’s about it.
Sorry about being totally tardy to the party here, but a couple weeks ago there was an awesome fight in Foreign Policy that you guys will totally love. First, Robert Paarlberg gets all snotty about how “the organic movement” is a big waste of time, only for rich jerks, and if we really want to feed the world, we have to follow the rules of industrial agriculture. Second, Anna Lappé totally smacks him down with a perfect deconstruction of his silly arguments, explaining how truly organic farming could feed the whole world much more efficiently and sustainably. It’s so good.
Review: Old Jerusalem! »
While I’ve already declared the best falafel in the city to be found at Sabra Grill, there are certain obstacles to attaining this heavenly food that prove sometimes insurmountable. To wit: mandatory closings on the Sabbath and all Jewish holidays, location, lack of delivery services. So what does a person do when she wants a tasty falafel on a Saturday afternoon, or a Tuesday night? Especially if she lives in the Mission, or Bernal Heights, or Noe Valley?
The answer is Old Jerusalem. It offers hands-down the best falafel in the Mission, the moistest and tastiest, plus they make two varieties: regular, and stuffed, which has fried onions, roasted pine nuts and sumac in the middle. You can substitute the stuffed falafel for the standard in the falafel sandwich, which I recommend because the stuffed ones are much, much tastier than the regular, and better overall than any other falafel I’ve had in the city, Sabra’s aside, of course.
I suppose a drawback is that Old Jerusalem doesn’t offer the eggplant or french fries that come standard in other falafel sandwiches. Then again, when those extras are fancying up what are bland, dry, crumbly falafels, then I will take Old Jerusalem’s sandwich of less diverse but ultimately way higher quality ingredients. So there.
Old Jerusalem has really long hours, and delivers, so you can have your Middle Eastern food without having to leave the house. If you live too close to justify delivery, call your order in ahead. On weekend nights especially the place is really busy; it’s tiny, and doesn’t take many people to fill up.
If you are for whatever reasons interested in other things than falafel, they make good stuff like ful—hummus made with fava beans instead of chickpeas—and fatta—hummus plus bread and olives—and of course, the Arabic salad, which you assume no place could get wrong, but some restaurants buy crappy tomatoes and ruin everything. Not Old Jerusalem, though. You can also get a vegetarian combo plate, and a lentil soup. They do make a great deal of meat dishes, lots of lamb, and yes that is disgusting! Still, not a reason to skip the really good falafel, especially when your choices are so few and far between around here. Honestly, I have had better hummus, on its own, but Old Jerusalem’s falafel sandwiches are quite good, and so available! Go, eat one, it will make you full and happy.
Review: La Méditerranée! »
La Méditerranée is a local Mediterranean food chain with three locations, two in SF and one in Berkeley. Vegans can get a variation of the Salad Méditerranée which is hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, Armenian potato salad, lentil salad and green salad. If you’re feeling extra hungry and you’re with another person or a group, you can get a vegan version of the Mediterranean Meza which is basically what everything in the Salad Méditerranée and dolmas too. Actually, I would skip that because it’s like $5 bucks more and you can only really add dolmas if you’re vegan. They also have falafel at lunch but it’s usually sold out by dinner. Always one vegetarian (usually vegan) soup too, which is probably something made with lentils and very good. The best part though is that they serve a VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE! It’s not marked vegan on the menu but it is! And it’s REALLY delicious, rich but not overly sweet. Very, very good and perfect end to dinner. They also can make their coffee drinks with soy milk. Overall, a solid choice for vegans if you’re feeling like Mediterranean food. It can also be a good date place in the evening, all locations are dimly lit and romantical. The Berkeley one also has a delightful heated patio in front.
A while ago I was eating there with a guy friend and this rather cute but obviously insane dude came up to me and said, “when you’re ready to dump this cheeseburger and get with a real man, you should call me,” and handed me his number. It was truly an act of crazy, not to mention REALLY the wrong line to use on me. Logically my response was, “?!??!!” and my friend, Dave, said, “I’m sorry, CHEESEBURGER?” The little dude, looking at Dave, said, “Uh yeah, cheeseburger?”—then, looking at me: “I know this is weird but you’re cute and if you’re not really with him, I’d love to take you out for a drink or a coffee or something?” and I’m all, “Uh, OK, thanks?” Dave is cracking up at this point and the poor little guy turned bright red(der) and walked-ran away. Where do dudes get the balls to do shit like this??? I can’t even make the moves on someone who is like, “Let’s have sex.” Anyway, I’ll always love Le Mediterranee in Berkeley for that awesome memory. And no, I never called the guy. That’s a lie. I called but totally chickened out when I realized it was a number for a U.C. BERKELEY DORM. I’m like 52. Knowing the statutory rape law in California as I do, I chose not to leave a message. Still not sure if I regret this or not. To this day, whenever I email or talk to Dave the conversation will eventually go back to, “Remember that dude who called me a cheeseburger?? That guy was amazing.” And he was. I hope he’s with some girl who thinks he’s USDA Quality Prime Rib. Ugh, I’m grossing out over here, I’ll stop.
[photos via yelp]
A native New Yorker’s guide to real bagels in San Francisco »
I’m in New Jersey right now, hiding out and hustling from my parent’s dining room. My mother bought me a package of bagels from New York and I have been slowly devouring them, with my coffee in the morning/afternoon (can’t quite get on East Coast time), which made me want to talk about where to get bagels in San Francisco.
Now, if you live in California and you’ve had the pleasure of biting into a New York bagel, let’s make something very clear: bagels in San Francisco are a compromise, a test of your true love. Your palate will adjust, but there’s nowhere on the West Coast that has bagels that are as good (something about the water, I hear?).
That being said, I only consider two places in town as bagel contenders.
Katz Bagels in several locations: Lower Haight, the Mission, and SOMA
The bagels themselves are OK; when eaten fresh they are doughy and satisfying, and certainly not as sweet as a Noah’s Bagel, but I mention Katz here because they are vegan-friendly. They carry Tofutti, including the Herbs & Chives variety, which you can then load up with vegetables if you wish. You can also get peanut butter or hummus on your bagel if the sometimes plasticky taste of Tofutti bugs you.
House of Bagels in the Inner Richmond
Personally, I like House of Bagels the best. They’re a very close approximation of a NY bagel and they even taste okay if you don’t toast them (I have never toasted a bagel until moving to California, TRUE FACT!). However, no vegan-friendly toppings here, so you’ll want to buy a dozen and take them home and do with them what you will. There are a few places in town that sell them, including Real Food and Rainbow, so you don’t have to go to the Inner Richmond if you don’t want to.
What are your favorite places to get bagels in town?
[photo by Rusvaplauke]