Appetite: Hot tamales, banana cookies, $1 martinis, and more

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Hot Tamales on Sun/26. See “Events” below

As long-time San Francisco resident and writer, I’m passionate about this city and obsessed with exploring its best food-and-drink spots, events and news, in every neighborhood and cuisine type. I have my own personalized itinerary service and monthly food/drink/travel newsletter, The Perfect Spot, and am thrilled to share up-to-the minute news with you from the endless goings-on in our fair city. View the previous installment of Appetite here.

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NEW OPENINGS

Anthony’s Cookies satisfies your cookie craving all day long
On the same Mission block as Suriya Thai (R.I.P.), is a new cookie kitchen that can help assuage the loss of my favorite Thai. Anthony (who has spent over 10 years perfecting his craft) and his staff give a friendly welcome as they bake, for now offering a half dozen cookies for $5, or $9.25 a dozen, eventually selling them individually. On the blessedly smaller side, they’re warm and about as homemade tasting as they smell. There’s toffee chip, banana (like banana bread in cookie form), cinnamon sugar, whole-wheat oatmeal cranberry, gooey chocolate chip, and maybe my favorite? Cookies and cream. Tastes like home.
1417 Valencia, SF
415-655-9834

www.anthonyscookies.com

Moussy’s brings French cooking classes, movies and Petit Dejeuner to Nob Hill/Polk Gulch
Downstairs from Alliance Francaise, there’s a new stop pre or post AF’s French language classes and film screenings: Moussy’s, an intimate, candlelit cafe for a morning croissant and cappuccino, or lunch time respite, serving salads, baked brie, and pot pies. They’ll soon be offering French cooking classes and film nights, too, ensuring that foodies, expats, bohemian artists, poets and aspiring cooks have a true Parisian cafe hangout.
1345 Bush, SF.
415-441-1802
www.moussys.com

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EVENTS

April 26 – Tamales (and margaritas) By the Bay at Fort Mason
Tamale lovers come out en masse to Fort Mason for Tamales By the Bay. Sample tamales and salsas from Nor Cal’s best in styles from Oaxacan, Yucatecan, Salvadoran to Chilean, and vendors like La Cocina and Rancho Gordo. Margarita Gladiators will be battling it out for best margarita, which you can, of course, also sample, while grooving to live music, demos and a raffle of prizes from JetBlue tix to a bottle of Partida Elegante Extra Añejo Tequila. Arriba!
12-4:30pm, $40
Fort Mason Center, Landmark Building A
Buchanan Street at Marina Boulevard
415-695-9296
www.tamalesbythebay.com

April 27 – Ministry of Rum Festival comes to Hangar One
Consider it a pre-Summer rum fest… Hangar One/St. George’s Distillery, home to beloved Hangar One vodkas and St. George’s incomparable spirits, is the hangar island site for all things rum at SF’s Ministry of Rum Fest. Vendors like Leblon, El Dorado, St. Bart’s and Ron Barcelo educate on their sugar cane spirits, while primo Bay Area mixologists like Martin Cate, founder of Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, Erik Adkins from Heaven’s Dog, Thad Vogler of Bar Agricole, Brooke Arthur of Range, and Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, showcase rum-based cocktail creations. There’s cheese pairings and door prizes to boot. Though plenty of free parking can be had at the distillery, those on foot or drinking (wait, won’t that be everyone?), are given rides with Bonjour Transportation from Oakland’s 12th St. BART station to the distillery continuously from 6-9pm, $50
2601 Monarch Street, Alameda
www.ministryofrum.com/sf2009.php

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DEALS
Hookah Happy Hours at Sens
In Embarcadero Center 4, spacious Sens restaurant, with regal Bay Bridge and Ferry Building views, started a Hookah Happy Hour for a weekday smoke along with discounted cocktails, wine and beer. For $15, you’ll have your own hookah set up on the patio with choice of apple, strawberry or peach tobacco, so you can puff away the twilight hours.
Monday-Friday 3:30-7:30pm, $15 per person
4 Embarcadero Center
415-362-0645
www.sens-sf.com

$1 Martini Lunch at Palio D’Asti
Palio D’Asti makes it WAY too easy to forget economic (or other) troubles with $1 martinis during weekday lunch. They shake up a martini with your choice of Stoli Vodka or Hendrick’s Gin, so order a Pizza d’Asti (with shaved asparagus, fontina Val d’Aosta cheese and thyme) or Agnolotti di Carciofi (artichoke and mascarpone-filled ravioli with sage and sweet onion ragout) and drink up!
Monday-Friday Lunch
640 Sacramento St.
415-395-9800
www.paliodasti.com

Three course meal at Michael Mina for $55
Michael Mina is special occasion dining (for most of us, anyway) at well over $100 a person, but they’ve jumped into the "specials" pool with an EARLY pre-theatre dining menu available until 6pm, plus a new lounge menu available all night. The first is three courses for $55, offering Mina classics like Ahi Tuna Tartare and unparalleled Lobster Pot Pie (this Mina staple is decadently good), and only $20 extra for three wine pairings from their award-winning list. The lounge menu includes Mina’s playful Lobster Corn Dogs as well as the Lobster Pot Pie, and cocktails so good, they alone are worth a visit.
Tuesday-Saturday, before 6pm
335 Powell Street
415-397-9222
www.michaelmina.net