Category: Dining

  • Wake Up and Smell National Coffee Day

    Wake Up and Smell National Coffee Day

    Americans consume 491 million cups of coffee every day, and a disproportionate amount of that is due to me. Had the National Coffee Association, who conducted the survey, called me, I might’ve helped get that number to a cool half billion. I’m one of the 65% of Americans who drink coffee every day, not because…

  • Automat Documentary Serves Up Lost History

    Automat Documentary Serves Up Lost History

    There was a time when, for the price of a nickel, diners could participate in a uniquely American food phenom. The Automat anticipated both the worlds of fast food and “self-serve,” became a social institution, then vanished into obscurity. Founded by entrepreneurs Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart in the late 1880s, their restaurant concept was…

  • Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Je dis ça, je dis rien is a French idiom that translates literally as, “I say that, I say nothing.” Its nearest English counterpart is the comparatively flip “just sayin,’” which is as close to a raison d’etre as I can presently muster for this column. You see, the problem with being a humorist during…

  • Quarantine Cooking 101

    Quarantine Cooking 101

    In the latest edition of my newspaper, I was compelled to pivot the “wining and dining” column a bit to dry out from all of the wine that’s spilled my way lately. The “dining” part of the beat is difficult to navigate at present, hence this foray away from restaurants and into recipes. Bon appetite!…

  • Alice Waters Cooks Up Greens Restaurant Anniversary Dinner

    Alice Waters Cooks Up Greens Restaurant Anniversary Dinner

    The Greens Restaurant 40th Anniversary Acclaimed Chef Dinner Series continues its impressive lineup of guests chefs this month. Several Bay Area culinary luminaries have been invited to create an all-vegetarian four-course prix fixe meal inspired by historic menus from the last 40 years of Greens. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse presided over a sold-out dinner…

  • How to Be a Restaurant Critic, Or Die Trying

    How to Be a Restaurant Critic, Or Die Trying

    When it comes to dining, I have admittedly provincial tastes. My gustatory galavanting ends a mere stonefruit’s throw past meat ‘n’ potatoes. I was anemic as a teenager because I refused to eat anything “with a face.” I instead tried to enjoy veggies and grains like my animal brethren. Then, I grew round in my…