The Nature Stop & How to Be a Pimp

14 08 2013

I have taken to pimping out the natural foods store near my house. Literally.

berryIt’s a Thursday evening. I stand outside the natural food store near my house. I hold in my hands a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables which I purchased at said store. They’re fresher than what you can get from the farmer’s market. They’re as delicious as anything you could grow in your own home. Can you grow them? No, you live in San Francisco. So you’re looking at me.

A man walks by on the sidewalk. I hold out a basket of strawberries. He glances at them, then looks at me, never breaking his stride. I wink menacingly. He breaks eye contact and hurries on. It was obvious he wanted them though. He’ll be back.

A young woman strides by in yoga pants and a baggy, gray knitted sweater. She has a gym bag. She’s wearing sunglasses even though the sun’s almost set and it’s cloudy and cold. I whip out two cobs of fresh, sweet, white corn. I thrust them toward her. She dodges, frowns. She’s obviously not in the mood tonight; I move on.

I’ve moved to the corner. I hold my wares in plain sight: two oranges, the corn, the strawberries, a bunch of kale, and four avocados. A car slows as it passes. “You lookin’ for a nice meal?”, I ask. The passenger and driver exchange a glance. “How much?”

I ask what they’re looking for. They say they have pasta and they’re looking for a nice green to go alongside. I tell them in a soft voice that the kale is perfect. Pick the leaves off the stem, drizzle a bit of olive oil and salt, and bake at 380 for eight minutes, toss, then bake for two more minutes. It will go perfectly as a finger food alongside any carb. I give my best smile as we make the exchange.

Shortly after, an older woman walks by on the other side of the street. She sees me and checks out my goods. She looks both ways — whether she’s looking for oncoming traffic or just looking to see if anyone is watching is anyone’s guess — and crosses the street to my side. “I’d, um, I’d like those oranges”, she stutters. “Of course you do, sweetheart”, I purr, handing them over. She paid twice what I normally charge — it was obvious she was really needing that Vitamin C, if you know what I mean.

Pretty soon all my goods are gone, and I’m back at the store shopping for more of what the people want. A girl’s gotta make a living, right?

This is a story. I made it up. I don’t scalp fruit or veggies in my spare time. Nor am I an actual prostitute, except probably in some metaphorical, corporate sense (Insert: “We all work for the man!” and other idealistic ranting here). I do, however, patronize the fabulous natural food store down the street from my house perhaps too frequently. Apparently, to my surprise, it even has a name. It’s called The Nature Stop. Isn’t that cute?

The Nature Stop isn’t cheap, but everything is so good. The fruit, the veggies — it’s always fresh and extremely good. I’ve bought things at the farmer’s market thinking they would be tastier; they were not. Lesson learned. The fruit is seasonal and so are many of the veggies (though not all — I realize tomatoes aren’t technically in season year-around, though I appreciate their continual stock).

They have a huge variety of cheese, a good selection of wine, the best salsa, fab yogurt, ice cream and other desserts, bread, canned foods (the best artichoke dip!), cereal, crackers, and obviously fruit and veggies. It’s a small store but it has everything I need. They don’t sell meat except deli meat, and they don’t always have absolutely everything in stock (veggie sausage — come back!), but it’s a great store.

My only complaint — they should have Acme bread. I mean it’s what Wile E. Coyote would eat, isn’t that a good enough reason to stock it? Anyway, that would totally complete the vibe and I would never need to go anywhere else, ever. Except for when I go to Trader Joe’s to save some dollar signs… local natural food shop ain’t cheap. But still, go. And don’t buy any produce from the lady standing outside. She hella shady.





swf refrigerator

10 03 2013

Shameless plug for my new tumblr: swf refrigerator.

Is it a philosophical commentary on a person’s state of mind through the eyes of their refrigerator? Is it a realization of the social implications of gender roles and family values in the current state of our society? Is it an intermittent and admittedly poor advertising campaign for Trader Joe’s? I dunno, it’s my fridge. And it makes me laugh.

swfr

I will be updating sporadically and accepting submissions from other swf’s (and sf’s of any ethnicity, really). Mom, will you do me the honor?





State Bird Provisions – WTF?

24 10 2012

I cannot review SF’s newest addition to the list of “must eat”s. This is because I cannot get a reservation. And I bet you can’t either.

Welcome to San Francisco. We have amazing food. And you have to either wait 2 hours to be seated or 60 days for a reservation. Grrr.

State Bird Provisions is a tiny American food restaurant that serves their reportedly heavenly fare on dim-sum style carts that roam the microscopic aisles. Or so I hear. Because they haven’t yet let me inside the doors. Harumph.

SBP has a reservation list on their website that is updated in real time. You can reserve up to 60 days in advance. But there’s never a reservation spot. It’s like World Series Giant’s tickets just went on sale every single day. It’s a veritable online elbow fight to get a seat. I have yet to win.

Ok, fine. Doing some research, I see that this place is not only good, it is hailed as the best in the land. Like, nationally, apparently. Best New Restaurant in America. Jesus Christ. That’s a lot to live up to. Now I almost feel sorry for them. Are my hopes too high?

In the meantime, I will keep refreshing the webpage at work to see if I can get a reservation at any other time besides 10.30pm on the Saturday before Christmas. Or maybe I should just start scooping up rezzos and scalping them out front? I bet I could make some serious bucks that way… (and only at the small cost of dignity…)

State Bird Provisions… you will be mine…





Eat it, 30.

15 07 2012

Hi, I’m 30. I don’t even think I’m going to go by my name anymore, just refer to me as 30. Since it seems to be important. You turn 29 and people are like, “eh”; you turn 30 and people say the following:

My boss: “How old are you?”  Me: “30”  Boss: “Wow, I thought you were older.”  (Yes, this actually happened.)

Dad: “OMG, you’re 30?!! That must mean that I’m like… 40…”

Sister: “Jesus.”

Birthday Card: “Wow, you’re OLD!”

You get the idea. “What are you doing for your THIRTIETH birthday?! I did a trapeze lesson for mine!” “How do you feel now that you’re 30?” “Dirty thirty!” “Thirty is the new twenty!”

I don’t know how I feel about landmark birthdays.  I guess I don’t much care. I was 29 and 364/365 last week, the only change is a tiny fraction. Hardly worth mentioning, really. Regardless, I took this opportunity to eat good food for about four days. It was my birthday, I do what I want. These were my historic, amazingly memorable, landmark 30th birthday foods of choice:

Day-of Birthday Foods, July 5: Sens for lunch (thanks Jason!), The House for dinner (thanks Lita and Smalls!)

Lunch: Seared tombo tuna from Sens Restaurant

Lunch: Butternut squash manti from Sens (we shared)

Before dinner drinks at Comstock

Dinner: Calamari appetizer at The House

Dinner: Fish, noodles, green beans at The House (shared with Mala)

Dessert: Chocolate cake from The House

Dessert: Coconut creme brulee from The House

Weekend Birthday Foods, July 7: Dinner at Little Star Pizza (thanks friends!)

I didn’t take a picture. This is a picture of Little Star deep dish pizza courtesy of their website, http://littlestarpizza.com/. We had two deep dish pizzas and one pesto thin crust. It was wonderful.

Weekend Birthday Foods, July 8: Brunch at Park Tavern (thanks Quinn!), Dinner at Wayfare Tavern (thanks Mom and Dad!)

Brunch: Crispy polenta cakes, poached eggs, wild mushrooms from Park Tavern

Dinner: (appetizer) Deviled eggs with fried shrimp from Wayfare Tavern

Dinner: Mac ‘n cheese from Wayfare Tavern

Dessert: Chocolate cream pie from Wayfare Tavern!

Note that a birthday meal is defined as one that someone else purchases for you as a celebratory gift for your birthday. And for that reason, I suppose birthday meals can really take place any time of year, though they are known to occur on/about the week of one’s actual day of birth. Maybe I should make a wikipedia entry regarding this matter.





Conversation with My Stove

8 01 2012

Summary: New apartment. First use of stove in this apartment. First use of any stove in months.

Conversation I just had with my stove:

—-

Me: You’re making weird noises, what does that mean? Are you on? I guess so, the big coil at the bottom is all red.

Stove:

Me: Ok, it looks like you’re heating up my pizza. How the fuck do I use this timer? Forget it, I’ll just use my phone.

Stove:

Stove: BEEP

Me: Oh god, are you going to blow up? Why would you beep? Did I set a timer by accident or something? Why is the coil getting dimmer?

Stove:

Me: Oh. I’m a tard. You’re pre-heated. To the temperature I set you to. That’s what the beep was for. Now I’m supposed to start cooking my food.

Stove:

Me: I am not good at this game.

—-

I think the stove may have rolled its eyes at me. I don’t really blame it.

Blog-related note: Restaurant reviews to re-commence soon; I haven’t gone entirely insane (yet).





I Love Food, but…

6 03 2011

…I don’t really love to cook. There, I typed it. I’m a food blogger who doesn’t love to cook. Will you still read my blog?

It’s not that I hate to cook, I just typically find it tedious and I’m really not that great at it. What I really like to do is eat. You may have noticed this. I love food. Love, love, love. I just really want someone else to make it for me. Is that so wrong?

The real problem: Boyfriend is out of town for four days. Between the existence of cereal and restaurants, I have managed not to have to face the stove as yet. But this will surely change before he returns. I exert a small whimper.

If there’s one thing I dislike more than cooking, it’s cooking alone and for myself. I swear, anything I touch tastes worse than if I hadn’t personally supervised its creation. Maybe I should just cook blindfolded. Things would at least turn out more interesting…

You really notice how much tasks are delegated in a relationship when your significant other isn’t around. K is in charge of the cooking, the laundry (generally), and typically anything technical or mechanical. The flash on my camera wasn’t working yesterday and I had to figure it out by myself when I would have normally handed it to him. Another whimper.

I could continue to tell you about how, since he’s been gone, I’ve needed things off the top shelf, how I embarrassed myself struggling with my tripod, and how I laughed out loud at a song that came on the radio that reminded me of an inside joke we have, but instead, I’m going to go eat some cereal. Sigh.





I will make you a website for $100

29 12 2010

To all the restaurants out there that don’t have a website: I WILL MAKE YOU A WEBSITE FOR $100. No, seriously. I’m sick and tired of looking up information for a restaurant (location, proper name, hours, menu) and having Yelp and AllMenus.com and Urbanspoon be my only window into your facility.

I am grateful that you have dedicated all of your resources and money to the process of creating and maintaining your facility and striving to please the customers who patronize it. Really, I am. But the internet is a proverbial untapped mine of customers, an unsailed ship of knowledge, an unused soap box outside the biggest train station in the world for you to preach the goodness of your business. And for some reason you’re not using it?

Why?

Because it’s expensive to make a website? Because it’s difficult? Because you don’t have the time or money or effort to deal with it? I beg you, please let me make you one. There are tools and resources now that allow pretty much anyone to make a simple website, no fancy coding or savvy internet knowledge required. Here, see some websites I’ve made. All free. All designed using templates and drag and drop buttons. Easier than the pie you serve every weekday.

  • Website #1: Is for a new bar about to open in Hayward
  • Website #2: Documents a trip to Tasmania
  • Website #3: Showcases my totally awesome writing business
  • Website #4: Is for an engineering firm in San Luis Obispo

Every business should have a website. Even if it’s crappy. Even if it’s bare bones. Even if it cost nearly nothing. If you’re scared of the interwebs, just don’t have the time to figure it out or don’t want to pay someone $1000 to make you a sweet custom site, I will help you. For $100 I will make you a site that functions, looks decent, and has the basic information your customers want. I will show you how to use this website so that you can make changes later. For a little bit extra, I’ll drum up some snazzy words to make you sound as great as your food tastes.

I do this not to solicit business for myself. I have a job. I do this for the good of the community. We need you to have a website so that we can hear from you exactly what you serve, when you serve it and how the heck to get to your restaurant. Please, for the good of the internet and for the sanity of your customers, put up a teeny tiny, mildly informative, barely functional website so that we can all get a minuscule glimpse into your place before we get there.

Thank you.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.








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