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The Slow Food Guide to San Francisco And The Bay Area: Restaurants, Markets, Bars (Slow Food Guide to San Francisco & the Bay Area: Restaurants, Market) Paperback – November 30, 2005

2.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...A wonderful reading experience, besides being eminently useful. It's already replaced my Zagat." -- Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, and others

"The Slow Food Guide is a trip and a treasure...I'm having a great time with this book." -- Boz Scaggs, musician

"The Slow Food Guide's nuanced, subjective tone prizes quality, sincerity, and the emotional values of honest cooking..." -- Gourmet Magazine

The Slow Food Guide’s nuanced, subjective tone prizes quality, sincerity, and the emotional values of honest cooking... -- Gourmet magazine

About the Author

Co-editor Eleanor Bertino serves on Slow Food USA’s board of directors. Sylvan Brackett and Sue Moore work in the culinary field and belong to Slow Food chapters in the Bay Area. Wendy Downing is a former chef and a member of Slow Food Portland, Oregon.
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Product Details

  • Series: Slow Food Guide to San Francisco & the Bay Area: Restaurants, Market
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green (November 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193149875X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931498753
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,009,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying that the New York edition of the Slow Food Guide is superb. It's like the notebook of a few exceptionally informed diners, sharing their best spots. The New York Guide even bested the highly-esteemed Michelin Guide to New York Restaurants, released the same year to much fanfare.

After moving to San Francisco, I immediately sought the SF edition to lean the culinary landscape of my new home. My first experience with the book was not so good though. A dim-sum restaurant marked inexpensive (dim-sum is usually cheap!) turned out to be very expensive. My friends were upset. I was upset. I'm not sure if this was because of a typo or just bad research.

One mistake is forgivable, but the subsequent recommendations I followed didn't fare much better. Some picks were just lackluster and some were less exciting than restaurants I had found on my own.

So it was time to start leaning on my foodie friends to show me the best eats in town. When I started finding really exciting places, just out of curiosity, I checked to see if they were in the guide. Had I missed them before? Nope. They're just not mentioned. After a while I quit consulting the guide and have relied on word of mouth since.

To summarize:
1. Sketchy research
2. Bland restaurants

So ultimately, I'm confused. I don't know how Slow Food could produce such a good guide for New York City and such a poor one for San Francisco.
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Format: Paperback
This "guide" is, in a word, disappointing.

The Slow Food movement is an interesting and compelling antidote to the antipathy many Americans show towards locally sourced, seasonal foods. Unfortunately, the Slow Food Guide to SF does not do anything to explain or advance the Slow Food philosophy.

While there are many minor flaws in the text, three major problems reduce this book to a mere lifestyle directory:

--Lack of a consistent voice in the reviews. A large number of contributors coupled with the absence of any discussion of the tenets of Slow Food have made it impossible to discern any common thread underlying the reviews.

--Poor fact-checking. There are many inconsistencies and factual errors throughout the book.

--Emphasis on style over substance. Many reviews focus on the scene and the clientele of a particular place, rather than the food.

If you are looking for a food guide with a clear, strong point of view and authoritative information on regional cooking and ingredients, this book is not a good choice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Handy reference guide for people who appreciate food the way it ought to be. Good way to branch out and try different restaurants or cuisines.
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Format: Paperback
'Slow food' has been a term utilized for crock pot cookbooks, so it's a little surprising to find it in the title of a culinary exploration of Bay Area restaurants. Rest assured, however: these authors aren't talking about crock pot restaurants but are referring to an international movement committed to sustainable agriculture and local food use: two elements fueling THE SLOW FOOD GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISCO AND THE BAY AREA: RESTAURANTS, MARKETS, BARS. This is third in a series of Slow Food City Guides and here provides outstanding surveys of multi-ethnic restaurants from all cultures, markets, and bars not only in the City but around the entire Bay Area. If only one traveler's guide were taken as a tote, it should be SLOW FOOD GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISCO AND THE BAY AREA: many unique, high quality small establishments receive in-depth description, including background and culinary insights.
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