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The Year's Hottest Food Trends

Churros and daiquiris and tendons. Oh my!

Churros at Haven.

 

It can be hard to keep up with the latest offerings in San Francisco's ever-changing food world. So we asked our critic Josh Sens for his picks of the best trends in dining in the last year. Here's what he said.

Fried Beef Tendons: If a shrimp chip and a chicharrón made love, their baby would taste like a puffed (that is, fried) beef tendon—an airy, crackly bite of meaty passion. Today, Alta CA is the place for your crispy tendon fix, as are Hog & Rocks and the newly revamped Alembic, where they'll be serving them too.

Parker House Rolls: Even in the face of the ancient grain movement, the Parker House roll—a pillowy monument of white bread—is having an uprising. At 4505 Burgers & BBQ (which gets its rolls from Pinkie's Bakery) and Smokestack (which gets its rolls from Marla Bakery), they’re a sponge for meat drippings. At the Square, they’re crusted with fennel seed and salt. And at Homestead in Oakland, they dissolve on contact with your tongue.

Daiquiris: Spring break has little to do with today’s daiquiris. Old-school simplicity is the common denominator in the classic recipes stirred up at Tosca Cafe and Urban Putt, where you drink while playing indoor miniature golf. But for a sip of endless summer, hit the Palm House, where the selection of daiquiris includes a prickly pear flavor, served frozen and topped with an umbrella.

Soft-Serve: It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, but our child within apparently can’t get enough soft-serve ice cream. At Chino (editor Sara Deseran co-owns this restaurant), it’s matcha-flavored and garnished with Fruity Pebbles and mochi; at Hawker Fare, it’s buried under Ovaltine fudge sauce; and at Alta CA, it’s paired with toppings such as malt balls, oats, and star anise.

Churros: In Oakland, Haven serves the Spanish cinnamon sticks with nasturtium cream and peaches, while over at Shakewell, they’re dipped in spiced bittersweet chocolate sauce. In the city, they’re accompanied by miso-caramel sauce at Dirty Habit, ride shotgun to buttermilk panna cotta at Bartlett Hall, and partner with chocolate at the Commissary.

 

Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco magazine

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