She's smart and funny, carving out a solid beat sniffing at the back door of Bay Area food coverage. One-time SF Weekly contributor Bonnie Wach's been selling pieces regularly to the Chron, which doesn't quite know what to do with them-Wach's "Today's Special" column surfaces in pink section Siberia, somewhere near the Reno Fun Guide. This week Wach dissects the toast at Berkeley's Café Fanny. Marvel at co-owner Jim Maser's obsessiveness, and at Wach's sharp eye.
CoCo Times Throws Down on Polenta, Goes Hatin' on Lau-Lau
With a total budget that's probably half of Michael Bauer's monthly mileage expenses, CoCo Times food editor Nick Boer pulls off some deep coverage. Boer probes fall polenta dinners at Oliveto in a way that wallows through Wednesday food section cliché but ends up dropping lots of really useful information about ingredients and cooking technique. Think you want to make polenta? You gotta read Oliveto chef Paul Canales' argument for why letting cornmeal mush boil is a calamity on par with knocking your saucepan onto the kitchen floor.
We love it when a PR-driven piece turns unexpectedly honest. CoCo Times restaurant news contributor Chrissa Harley Ventrelle's run-down of East Bay Hawaiian BBQ joints turns interesting when the author notes that she basically despises them: "After lunching at a couple of these spots," writes Ventrelle, "I concede that this scurvy diet doesn't appeal much to me." Ouch.
Organic Baby Food: The Trib Gets Served
Last week, we got all snarky at the Trib's take at organic baby food for showing little interest in the one Oakland-based company on the list, Little Bug Baby Food. Tara Duggan made up for it in Sunday's Chron. A good story all around, probing deeper than the Trib did into parents' motives for going organic.
Every Wednesday, Express restaurant critic John Birdsall samples the best and worst of the Bay Area's food pages.
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