Early this year 7×7 Magazine (a San Francisco-focused fashion, food, and entertainment magazine that has become somewhat of a guide for the yuppie crowd) released “The Big Eat SF- 100 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Die” It’s a list of 100 exceptional dishes or drinks in San Francisco put together by the editors of the magazine. As soon as the magazine hit the stands (or cyberspace), there was a mad, excited rush throughout and around the city as everyone raced to try everything on the list and earn the ultimate bragging rights. Below are the items from the list that I have had a chance to sample:
- Tea Leaf Salad at Burma Superstar: One of the best dishes you might ever taste. A unique blend of ingredients and spices, it has my mouth watering for hours afterwards every time I order it.
- Pizza Margherita at Pizzeria Delfina: Excellent pizza- I love the thin crust. This might be the best you can get in San Francisco. But bottom line, it’s not the best you can get everywhere. Any corner pizza place in New York City could potentially equal it.
- Giant Pretzel with Mustard at The Monk’s Kettle: Fairly unremarkable. A tasty snack, but again, you could get a better one at any sidewalk cart in Philadelphia (and I have).
- Apple Fritter at Bob’s Donuts: This place is a neighborhood institution. Especially on weekends as the bars get out around 2am, there’s nothing better than joining the crowd at Bob’s, saying hi to Aya at the counter, and picking up a buttery croissant, a creamy eclair, or, of course, an apple fritter. The donuts are truly yummy, but it’s more the sense of fun and community that keeps us all going back.
I know, I know- this is a pathetic proportion of the list of 100. But cut me a little slack, I’m a poor vegetarian. It is interesting, however, that even experiencing such a small amount of the dishes on the list, I didn’t feel that they were all “must eat” Do I just have the worst food taste in the world?
Of course not.
As I mentioned above, with the release of this list many in San Francisco went a little manic trying to check off every item. One of my friends even has a shared Google doc with her coworkers to discuss their experiences. She told me one story of ordering one of the drinks listed by the magazine, and having the server urge them to try something else, something that turned out to be much better. “I don’t know why they put this drink on the list,”the server said. “It sucks”
What’s wrong with this picture? There’s obviously a disconnect between those making the lists and those using them. With the onslaught of user-generated content revolutionizing business with successful examples like Amazon book reviews, FriendsEAT on food, Epinions on electronics, why should we still leave food criticism to a team of experts instead of doing it ourselves? I say, take back the lists!
If you live in San Francisco, tell me what you think about this list, what doesn’t belong, and what’s missing. If you live elsewhere, what lists have disappointed you? What are some of your favorite “must eats? Comment on what you can’t live without in your area, and I’ll choose my favorite 5 comments to feature in a future blog post. It’s time for foodies to fight back!