Monday, March 14, 2005

San Francisco Food Lover's Guide: Review

You might have noticed all my caveats about the Zagat Survey the other day. I have none to report for the fourth edition of Patricia Unterman's San Francisco Food Lover's Guide. As the last edition did, this one shall sit right next to the Zagat on my desk. In some ways it is almost the opposite of the Zagat, it is not a guide of popular opinion but rather one very enthusiastic eaters' opinion.

The guide is a staggering 562 pages and includes markets, bars, butchers, cafes, and a handful of recipes. A true guide to food in the Bay Area it also has many indexes that include where to eat after 10 pm, with kids, a seasonal produce guide, etc. In addition to San Francisco there are smaller sections on Berkley, Marin and the Wine Country. But the real reason to buy the book is the restaurant reviews. For years friends and family have called me for restaurant suggestions, owning this book is like having Unterman at your beck and call. Far from comprehensive, this is just an excellent selection of the best of the Bay Area.

For those who don't know, Patricia Unterman is a fixture in the Bay Area. She owns the beloved Hayes Street Grill, one of the best places to get seafood in San Francisco. She also writes restaurant reviews for the Eats section of the San Francisco Examiner where she routinely uncovers hidden culinary gems. She is also one of the founders and a board member of the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market.

At under $20 bucks this is a great gift for anyone who loves the Bay Area whether they are natives, newcomers or just here for a visit. And by the way, papa, if you're reading this, you can have last years edition.