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Besides chowhound, is there any other good food blogs/discussion forums you follow?

I want to broaden my food knowledge. I am wondering what other food blog/forum folks follow for food recommendation in SF bay area. Thanks!

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  1. Tasting Table. Jonathan Kauffman is the best reviewer working around here these days.

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    1. Joe Pastry.

      You probably already guessed that it's pretty much baking. But you get your (amazing) baking with history, sociology, current events and laughs.

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      1. re: rainey

        I enjoy tablehopper. Marcia Gaglardi's writing style is quite breezy but she is humble and fair in her assessments, calling out places for underachieving but lauding good efforts. I also like that you can sign up for her newsletters to come straight to your inbox.

        1. re: grayelf

          I prefer reviewers who don't get their meals for free especially when they don't disclose that.

          1. re: tjinsf


            Pretty straightforward about sometimes getting paid to dine out, actually.

        1. re: Joel

          Both "Noodle Frontity" and "Geezericious" are fantastically interesting. Both are done by CH Gary Soup, and should be winning awards if they haven't already.

        2. Well, to touch on a few reference points from the full spectrum of Bay Area food media (some of them venerable):

          Bay Area Restaurant Guide preceded Chowhound (you might never even have heard of Chowhound, had BARG's creator not found offshoot ways to make a lot of money, around 1996) -- and for instance Y*lp, avowedly or not, is basically an updated variant of BARG, using different ways to make money.

          Much older than any of those, and still operating though not what it once was, is the newsgroup ba.food, easy to find on HTML reflector sites, or you can do the traditional thing and download a newsreader. (Newsgroups, begun 1979 as an offshoot of email, were the main format of Internet text forums until the pointy-clicky tools appeared in the middle 1990s.) Until the mid or late 90s, ba.food carried basically _all_ of the Bay Area's public online food discussion, many good people participated, and I still sometimes check good content archived from then. BUT, it's unmoderated and like many unmoderated forums, developed the customary pack of a few self-appointed regulars, trolls, and random people with personality disorders (listed in the DSM), so it has not had its former quality, audience, or significance for many years; despite all, it does sometimes carry some unique news or discussion.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eatzalot

            I think ba.food's main accomplishment was to prime local foodies to adopt Chowhound.

          2. From the Jan. Saveur 100 best issue by Paolo Lucchesi (SFChron):

            (not only SF, but he includes the Nopa blog)


            1. eGullet is where I go if I want to learn about modernist cooking techniques. Chowhound just doesn't seem to have a lot of users who e.g. use sous vide or bought the Modernist Cuisine books.

              ulteriorepicure is the only food blog I read, and while it's become increasingly difficult to identify with the author's experiences (he started, I think, as a lawyer or law student who just liked travelling and eating and has become what seems to be a professional food photographer who's comped everywhere) I still find it a great way to learn about what's happening worldwide in high-end dining. And the photography's gorgeous.

              1. eGullet is the place for cooking advice esp modernist techniques...food safety...menu planning

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                1. re: sal_acid

                  I agree that eGullet carries some good discussion of general topics, food sciences, food literature etc.

                  However, the OP here asked about sites for Bay Area food recommendations and in that particular, eGullet has been conspicuously weak. eG (itself NYC-centric in origins and in some details) started a single forum for "California" (later divided to separate restaurant discussion from other topics) and when eG was a phenomenon several years ago, it had a California forum host based in the N. Bay whose chief qualification, reportedly, was to've been in New Jersey until two years previously. At one point I was informed of a petition to eG's management by something like 40 regular California readers, requesting a change of host. Many of those regular readers later left, and that forum ever since is relatively moribund, thinly used.

                  (To be fair, it was less spectacular than the meltdown a few years ago of eG's _wine_ forum where in rapid succession, first a ham-handed eG moderator squelched a respected wine expert complaining about dumb automated eG software -- he left in disgust, expressed elsewhere online; then that forum's two volunteer hosts quit, and an international wine journalist who'd hung out there followed; and many regular online wine geeks who posted in multiple sites gave up on that one.)

                  1. re: eatzalot

                    Interestingly enough, eGullet is something of a spinoff from chowhound.com. It was founded by Jason Perlow and Steven Shaw after they were kicked off chowhound by Jim Leff for arguing with him -- an experience I shared with them. I also eventually was kicked off eGullet (but not by Perlow or Shaw) for dissing foie gras and its supporters too vigorously.

                    Other Chowhound-spawned sites (started by disgruntled Chowhounders) include mouthfulsfood.com and Chicago's excellent LTHforum.com

                    1. re: soupçon

                      Are you sure about that, soupçon? "Other Chowhound-spawned sites ... include mouthfulsfood.com"

                      I saw Mouthfuls in its early days; former eGullet regulars ran and filled it, and the site all but defined itself by contrasts with eG. There were arguments between the two sites' managers.

                      That was part of a larger situation. When eG was getting established and rapidly expanding its enrollment ca. 2003-04, it also alienated many good contributors, who left. A few of them formed competing sites. A common complaint was eG moderator behavior (as petty, self-serving, or whatever). When moderator behavior itself generates considerable comment, and moderators squelch that in turn, it snowballs. I thought this all reflected amateurishly on eG's management, given that there was then already 20 years of history of internet forum dynamics, and extensive documentation on effective moderating, for anyone professionally interested. eG later posted a proactive policy against discussing eG's own practices there; yet applying that policy ineptly, even to people giving helpful feedback, caused further faux-pas -- I mentioned one that wrecked eG's wine forum in 2007. Some folk offended off of eG had stature and credibility (dwarfing that of any eG insiders); people who knew this judged eG accordingly.

                      1. re: eatzalot

                        When I look back on it, I think you may be right about it being disgruntled ex-eG people, not ex-CH people that founded mouthfuls. That would make it a second generation spinoff, so to speak.

                        As a side note, I was once felt out by Jason Perlow for the moderator role for the Chinese food forum on eG but was warned off by Ed Schoenfeld who had previously had that role and couldn't take the aggravation from eG higher-ups.

                2. Nosh or Bites at Berkeleyside provides excellent news on East Bay restaurants: http://www.berkeleyside.com/nosh/

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: judge dee

                    True, though Diablo often scoops everyone else on East Bay restaurant news.


                    1. Thanks everyone for the excellent responses!

                        1. re: TonyC

                          Eater's not food-centric enough and what they do have is mostly recycled from harder-working sites.

                        2. For my time, Patricia Unterman is still the best restaurant critic in town. She is even better now than during her tenures at the Chronicle and Examiner. Her posts are infrequent (she is usually in the kitchen at her own Hayes Street Grill) but the results are worth the wait to really understand what and why you will be eating.


                          I enjoy Luke Tsai's What the Fork for east bay news.


                          A weekly wrap up is in the Express but this has more info.

                          His weekly reviews are extensive and informed. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland...

                          And one of the terrific things the print edition of The Express does is a reminder of other restaurants in the same category with brief reviews. They also list summaries of recently reviewed places for the previous few weeks.

                          I know reading print isn't everybody's favorite way to get info and this might be found online but not so easily.