Thoughtul Gourmet Blog

Oro's zucchini soup with mint and vadouvan

Mint Plaza Redux –  What’s New and Happening Now San Francisco’s Mint Plaza, that L-shaped wedge of open space behind the old Mint Building at the corner of 5th and Mission, is bustling once again with restaurants, food trucks and events. Just steps away from the Westfield Center and Union Square, Mint Plaza is a […]


San Francisco’s taste for the flavors of the Southeast Asia shows no signs of slowing. New restaurants bring the food of Guam and Sri Lanka to the city while an established restaurant defines the food of Indonesia in elegant style. 1601 Bar & Kitchen Neighborhood: San Francisco, SOMA Located on a quiet stretch of Howard Street, […]

The Best Meatless Burgers in San Francisco

Burger Week 2016 is still six months away, but San Francisco’s appetite for burgers cannot be confined to a small parcel of days. With beef under pressure from water conservationists, the new “it” burgers in town defy the drought by skipping the beef entirely. Let’s call them alterna-burgers (veggie burgers are so 1989) for they […]

Fine Dining: The New Normal

Casual but upscale dining is a national trend that only seems to keep growing in San Francisco. These restaurants turn on the culinary firepower yet keep the setting refined, luxurious and low key. Great food, a fun vibe , and maybe even a Michelin star. It is all here. Chef’s Counter at Saison Neighborhood: SOMA Chef […]

It’s Time for a Different Wine

eau–de–vie: a clear brandy distilled from the fermented juice of fruit. French, literally, water of life, translation of Medieval Latin aqua vitae First Known Use: 1683 ( Bordeaux. Whether or not you are a wine drinker, the name Bordeaux is familiar and connotes a prestigious sort of French wine. Just north of Bordeaux, in Poitou-Charentes, […]

Get Happy at TAP 415

A day of power shopping at Westfield Center, San Francisco, requires regular breaks for sustenance and rest for weary feet. At TAP 415, retail therapy can be quickly and deliciously interrupted in as little as 20 minutes or as long as a baseball game (i.e. all day). Brought to you by the team that turned […]

San Francisco’s Benjamin Cooper Revivifies ZIMA

Do you remember ZIMA? ZIMA, the smash hit easy-drinking malt beverage delivered to the world from Coors Brewing Company (now Miller Coors) in 1994, is with us no more (Coors discontinued it years ago) but a mini-revival in the clear, citrusy beverage is well underway. To wit, Brian Felley & Mo Hodges, owners and drink-slingers […]

Italian Wines for Your Spring Holiday Table

With Christianity’s high holy days just weeks away, wine is on my mind. Wine, a part of Christian religious traditions since its earliest days, deserves a place at holiday tables. A wine made from grapes grown in and around an Italian monastery and used in religious feasts? Bingo! I recently sampled two wines made near […]