Holiday Gift Ideas for Foodies

Aside from the classic gift card to any number of amazing Bay Area restaurants for the foodie on your list, here are a list of great local(ish) places from which to procure yummy holiday treats for all the stockings you’re preparing to stuff.

~~STOCKING STUFFERS (SMALLER GIFTS)~~

TCHO Chocolate

Touting themselves as “The New America Chocolate“, this locally made and conscientiously sourced chocolate is a delicious treat anytime. For the holidays, they have a few great gift options that are as cute as they are yummy.

Lai "Ornaments" Holiday Chocolate Gifts - Starting at $6.95

Lai “Ornaments” Holiday Chocolate Gifts – Starting at $6.95

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B&C turns 5!!!

Everyone says how kids grow up so fast. No one says this about blogs. Blogs usually sputter and fade over the months and years, unlike a growing human who, at five years old, would be wholeheartedly (or halfheartedly) attending soccer practice when she’s not at kindergarten or hanging out with Amy, her first BFF. (Although, seriously, Amy can be kinda bratty sometimes and WILL NOT share her Legos, and, honestly, her Elsa costume this year was just ew.*)

courtesy of librarything.com

Yes, this is a round of cheese with candles, courtesy of librarything.com

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Review: The Square Bar & Kitchen

I would like to hereby welcome one of North Beach’s most recent additions to the restaurant scene: The Square Bar & Kitchen. Just across the street from Washington Square Park (see what they did there?), and taking the place of the former Bottle Cap (and even more former Washington Square Bar & Grill), The Square opened in March of this year serving upscale, creative takes on classic American dishes.

Delicious homemade bread starter at The Square

Delicious homemade bread starter at The Square

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Artistic butter.

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News: Michelin San Francisco Bay Area 2015

Michelin has recently released their annual listing for star rated restaurants in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, and once again my mouth waters with desire. The only place I’ve been on the SF list is State Bird Provisions, though I’ve certainly perused many of the other winners’ websites longingly in the past.

Deliciousness from State Bird Provisions

Deliciousness from State Bird Provisions

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Giveaway: Diestel Turkey Roast + $50 Whole Foods Gift Card

Update: And per the internet’s very best random number generator… the winner is Alice Williams of Honestly Fitness! Congratulations Alice, I hope you enjoy the roast and gift card! Thanks to everyone for entering. :)

Wow, the mother of all giveaways, right? Free things from Whole Foods Market — yeay!

combo pics

Just because I don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean that you don’t — and if you do, you may as well eat meat which was raised humanely and thoughtfully using no antibiotics or hormones. In addition to a variety of other poultry and meat products raised on GAP-rated farms in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Diestel offers a boneless natural light/dark roast that’s hand-netted and ready to cook to perfection in your oven…. 

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Review: Pier 23

Let me tell you why I love Pier 23. The food is decent, the cocktails are mediocre, and the service can be sporadic. Ok, those are not reasons I love Pier 23, but I keep going because it’s such a cool place despite all these things.

The front of Pier 23, as shown on their website

The front of Pier 23, as shown on their website

Pier 23 is one of those places in a big city that feels like is has history. It’s got an old-fashioned, super casual vibe to it, but it’s popping with patrons young and old, so it still feels alive and fun. It’s small and oddly-placed along the vast waterfront full of cavernous, mysterious pier buildings — a welcoming oasis along this often inaccessible-seeming stretch…. 

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Giveaway: Blaze Pizza!

Earlier this year, Blaze Pizza caught fire in the Bay Area, just one of many places where the flames are spreading around the nation. The concept is simple: home-made, thin crust dough; artisanal choose-your-own toppings; 180 seconds in their open-flame oven for “fast fire’d” perfection. Sounds good to me.

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From the Blaze Pizza facebook page

If it sounds good to you too, and you’re ever around the Fremont area, they’ve kindly given me some gift cards for one free pizza each. Leave a comment below or email me at brocandchoc@gmail.com and you can try your own pizza for free. Yeay!… 

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Short Review: Padrecito

I had dinner at Padrecito last weekend — a newer, stylish Mexican restaurant in Cole Valley. My experience was so-so. While the decor, atmosphere, and menu are well done, I simply wasn’t terribly impressed with what I ordered, nor with the service. As this was my first time in the restaurant, I’ll give the latter the benefit of the doubt, but my lack of enthusiasm probably won’t have me returning terribly soon.

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Upcoming Event: The PopUp Dinner SF

Have you heard of pop up restaurants? This is usually where a small gathering of people share a meal cooked by a well-known or amateur chef in a temporary location. They are often relatively impromptu, and generally focus on community and hospitality. The PopUp Dinner hosted by Handmade Events takes this concept to a whole new level by gathering thousands of people together to share in a picnic dinner for one evening of the year. The catch? The location is not disclosed until 3pm on the day of the event.

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