Catherine Nash

I grew up in the South where it was common for a meal to include more platters of food than people. I survived on a childhood of sausage biscuits, fried chicken, fried clams, ham rolls, shrimp cocktail, pickled peaches, homemade ice cream, and lemon tarts, and I thought that getting your tomatoes from a paper bag your neighbor left on the doorstep or knowing the name of your favorite corn was normal (Silver Queen was mine). Now I'm a San Francisco-based freelance food writer who's been published in Olive magazine, Best Food Writing, the Oakland Tribune, The Onion, Northside San Francisco and other local publications. As most of my attempts to reproduce childhood favorites in my own kitchen have ended in crushing disappointment, I eat out four to five times a week and cook healthy meals when I'm at home.

Salumi Stars at Bar Bambino

The thing that struck me speechless was the salumi. I know what you’re thinking. “Salumi?” you’re thinking. “That is so, like, 2006.” Maybe. But when it’s as good as it is at Bar Bambino, it never goes out of style. The small salumi plate ($9.50) was the first thing my boyfriend and I settled on … Continue reading Salumi Stars at Bar Bambino →

Snack Attack

I have always been a snacker. When I was a kid, I preferred white bread spread with cold butter and folded in half, or an oatmeal creme pie. In high school, my snack varied according to whether or not I was on a diet; when I was, I munched Wheat Thins and grapes, and when … Continue reading Snack Attack →

What’s the Story, Morning Glory Chai?

One sip is all it took to hook me. Intent on feeding my caramel fixation one recent morning, I stopped by the La Cocina stall at the Ferry Plaza farmers’ market for some alfajores. As I made my purchase, culinary director Jason Rose handed me a miniature paper cup filled with steaming Morning Glory Chai. … Continue reading What’s the Story, Morning Glory Chai? →

B Star Bar Attempts Burmese Fusion

Last week, a friend from cooking class tipped me off to B Star Bar, the month-old offshoot of Burma Superstar that’s located two blocks away on Clement Street. B Star Bar offers a blend of Burmese, Asian, and Western dishes, and though it doesn’t outshine the Mother Ship, it’s worth a visit if you can’t … Continue reading B Star Bar Attempts Burmese Fusion →

Essencia Shows Peruvian a Light Touch

A few weeks ago, I wrote that the culinary mafia had named Peruvian the new “it” food. With the mid-May opening of Essencia following closely on the heels of Piqueo’s, it’s starting to look like the pundits were right. Anne Gingrass, one half of the duo behind the former Hawthorne Lane, has partnered with Juan … Continue reading Essencia Shows Peruvian a Light Touch →

Against the Grain

I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to whole grains. You know the ones I mean: Amaranth. Millet. Quinoa. Teff. They sound faintly exotic, like semiprecious jewels or new colors from the Pottery Barn paint collection. But they also have a hippie-dippy air about them, and I like my food full of flavor … Continue reading Against the Grain →

First Impression: Piqueo’s

Note: A write-up of any restaurant that has been open less than a month is considered a “First Impression.” Meaning, we want to bring you the latest and greatest from around SF but acknowledge that new spots may have some kinks to work out. We keep that in mind, and you should, too. Is Peruvian … Continue reading First Impression: Piqueo’s →

Cafe Majestic Lives up to its Name

When I received an email inviting me to a new restaurant with an unknown chef serving local, seasonal Cal-French cuisine, what did I do? I yawned. Shuffled a few papers. Clicked over to Perez Hilton to read about Britney’s rumored lipo. That kind of menu is a dime a dozen in this town. But then … Continue reading Cafe Majestic Lives up to its Name →

Presidio Social Club: Hostess with the Mostest

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf Maybe. But sometimes it’s more important to have fun. When it is, Presidio Social Club is the place to go. It offers revamped American classics, most of which don’t merit more than a shrug, but the atmosphere makes it … Continue reading Presidio Social Club: Hostess with the Mostest →

Good Germs

I am what is known as a germaphobe. (See also: obsessive-compulsive disorder.) During cold and flu season, I never venture out without my purse-sized hand sanitizer. Sick friends know to bow out of dinner if I’m hosting, and I have been known to disinfect seatbelts and radio knobs after a cold-ridden colleague rides in my … Continue reading Good Germs →

Pres a Vi: The Black Sheep of the Family

A small bit of research reveals that Pres a Vi, one of the new restaurants in the reinvigorated Presidio, has its roots in the suburbs. (Va de Vi, its older sibling, is located in Walnut Creek.) Unfortunately, a small bit of dinner will tell you the same thing. I made my way to Pres a … Continue reading Pres a Vi: The Black Sheep of the Family →

TWO: Second Time’s a Charm

I’ve always thought reincarnation is an interesting concept. You live, you die, and you return smarter and thinner and full of snappy comebacks that are always ready right when you need them. (Or something like that; check with the Hindus for a more complete explanation.) These days, restaurants are as eager for a second chance … Continue reading TWO: Second Time’s a Charm →