Big Jim’s BBQ entrances diners with a menu of tempting contemporary and barbecue cuisine arranged by chef Jim Modesitt. Like the annual westward migration of wood-smoking grills, the sauce-slathered bill of fare unites gourmet California treats with rustic southern cooking traditions, pairing juicy pulled pork, chicken, ribs, and brisket with hearty risottos, traditional cornbreads and beans, assorted cheeses, and crostinis. As clients sup on the tasty bounty or enroll in courses to learn the dark arts of cookcraft from the kitchen’s professional chefs and caterers, rich flavors and aromas lavish the nose and palate with a sensory celebration of fine food.
For La Strada's owners, Martino and Adriano, food lies at the heart of their business and their friendship. They first met while working various Italian restaurants in North Beach and immediately hit it off. Through the years, they'd daydream about opening their own restaurant, until one day a vacant restaurant space changed everything. After taking a look inside, they decided to take the plunge?and the first La Strada location was on its way to opening.
Their first restaurant flourished and soon they opened a second location right next to City Hall. This time, they outfitted the new dining room with fireplace seating, Italian archways, and murals of rolling Tuscan countryside. But they didn't change the one thing that made their first restaurant successful: the food. At both locations, they continue to serve their classic Italian eats, such as skewers of salmon, scallops, and veggies in a white wine garlic sauce and tender veal stuffed with prosciutto, sage, olives, and mozzarella.
Relish Culinary Adventures offers experiences that highlight Sonoma County's finest farms and ranches, bakeries, cheese makers, and other artisan goods. Though Relish Culinary Center in Healdsburg serves as headquarters for public and private events, a wide range of tours and hands-on cooking experiences take place offsite at a variety of local epicurean destinations. Focusing on seasonal, locally grown, and locally produced ingredients, the program's events match locations with skilled chefs to create cheese or craft elaborate meals.
From season to season, dedicated foodie and owner Donna del Rey works with chefs to alter the menus that fuel Relish Culinary Adventures' expeditions and classes. Special guests vary, including chefs Louis Maldonado of Top Chef and Spoonbar; Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery; producers from Bernier Farms, Twisted Horn Ranch, Preston of Dry Creek, and Valley Ford Cheese; and wine makers from Longboard, Kelley and Young, and Preston Vineyards.
When not dominating the awards table at local competitions, Dave Tendick enjoys cooking for others and catering events with his signature seasoned meats. Dave and the team at Smokehouse 10 have assembled a menu of heaping servings of St. Louis–style ribs, served wet or dry, as well as Texas-style brisket, Memphis-style pulled pork, and other barbecue favorites. An ambassador for flavor and the art of slow cooking, Dave also nurtures future chefs through extensive, daylong barbecue classes. Students immerse themselves in the science of sauces, rubs, and injections. Chefs at Smokehouse 10 have also mastered more eccentric fare, including cheesy corn casseroles and smoked alligator ribs.
Catch the Puff Truck: Pacific Puffs’ mobile food truck makes stops at corporate events, private parties, and street corners throughout the city. It also regularly attends Off the Grid events throughout the Bay Area. Keep up with the online calendar and Twitter.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Enjoy a fine meal at Gamine French Bistro (2223 Union Street).
After: Grab your pals and a dozen puffs and head to Marina Green Park to nibble on them while watching the boats come in.
San Francisco Fire Engine Tours & Adventures’ sparkling 1950's Mack Fire Engine carries passengers on themed adventures that combine the excitement of racing toward a fire with the fun of outwitting time. From the vantage point of the "Big Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine," guests catch views of the Bay Area while pretending to be important pieces of firefighting equipment. Tours run year round, and the crew outfits patrons with authentic fire gear to keep them warm while they explore the city on one of the themed tours. Winery tours cruise to Treasure Island, where guests enjoy tastes of signature varietals, while the Golden Gate bridge tour begins in Fisherman's Wharf before heading across the iconic bridge, through the village of Sausalito. Holiday-lights tours capture some of the city's most festive and decorated locations, and Halloween tours creep through Historic Presidio where ghosts are rumored to vacation.