Boz Scaggs Loves Bar Tartine, and Eats Many a Loaf of Acme Bread

June 02 - 2011

San Franciscans know Boz Scaggs as one of the partners who owns Slim's, the 11th Street music venue that plays host to everything from metal to Duncan Sheik. Like fellow local musician Les Claypool, Boz also owns a winery (he owns Scaggs Vineyard in Napa with his wife Dominique), and he's about to head out on tour with pal Michael McDonald, performing some of his greatest hits and some contemporary R&B stuff he's been working on. He keeps an apartment in S.F. within walking distance of both Slim's and Rainbow Grocery which serves as both his office and music studio when he's not on the road or up in Napa, and it's no surprise that the man loves his food. Last week Boz agreed to do some food journaling for the San Francisco Diet in which he makes it to a couple of his favorite Bay Area spots (Bar Tartine, and El Molino Central in Boyes Hot Springs). Take it away, Boz.

Tuesday, May 17
I was in the city that day, and breakfast was pretty much what I usually have. Acme cranberry walnut toast with almond-hazelnut butter, also some strawberries and blueberries. I live just a few blocks from Rainbow Grocery, and I walk over there almost every day. Strawberries and blueberries were big that day, and I'm a big tea drinker. I have a collection of Ceylon teas, usually four or five on hand at any time.

Lunch was Greens takeout counter at Fort Mason. Vegetable bean soup, green salad, and some bottled green tea. It's one of about three places I get takeout from. I drive across town to go there all the time, and I like to sit out on a bench and eat and look at the Bay.

For dinner I went to Bar Tartine, which is probably my most regular restaurant. I've been going there since they first opened, and I think I've been through about five chefs now. It was the first time I'd been back in five months or so, and the first time I'd had Nick Balla's food. I thought it was a great step forward. It was a really excellent meal. I also loved Jason Fox's food, and thought he had a great run while he was there, and at that time was doing some of the most interesting things in San Francisco. Chris Kronner really simplified things, made it more accessible, and that connected with people, and he really seemed to put the place on the map. But I love this new direction they're going in.

I had blood sausage with sauerkraut and dried cherry with smoked chiles and wild mushrooms. I've never had a better blood sausage. It was a remarkable, complex dish. Then I had a purslane and mizuna salad with anchovy dressing that was amazing. And for dessert I had a beet and blue cheese chopped salad. I noticed Nick's doing a lot of pickles now and they brought me out an assortment. On a whole it was more interesting than anything I see going on in town right now.

Wednesday, May 18
With some Tartine bread from the night before, I made breakfast toast with the almond hazelnut butter, and had more of the berries.

Lunch was back over to Greens, this time a romaine salad and a red curry stew which you can ask them to put over a bed of brown rice.

For dinner, right across from Slim's, is Juhu Beach Club, and the woman who started it, Preeti, was the head of the food program at Google [also a contestant on Top Chef], and a friend in the neighborhood had told me about it. Short menu, amazing. I went over there and I tried the Holy Slow-Braised Cow, which was braised short ribs with smoky black cardamom, served on an Acme bun with cucumber raita, with a bed of pickled chiles, beets, and garlic. With that she does a salad called the Navi Mumbai Salad which was a chicken salad with some spices, cucumber. It was all really great.

Thursday, May 19

Still in San Francisco. I had more Acme cranberry walnut bread with the usual nut butter, grapefruit, and Ceylon tea.

For lunch I went back to Juhu Beach Club and had the shrimp po'bhai. It's like a traditional po'boy but with fresh spring greens and ginger butter on the shrimp.

A friend of mine keeps a boat down at the Marina, and for dinner he and I got some takeout stuff from Out the Door at the Ferry Building. We got a few of the cooking kits: shaking beef, daikon rice cake, and caramelized shrimp, and we cooked those in the galley of his boat and went out and watched the sunset on the Bay.

Friday, May 20
Had my usual breakfast. Then I drove up to Napa and met Dominique in the late afternoon at Oxbow Public Market. We were having people up for the weekend and doing some shopping, and decided to have an early dinner there. We went to Hog Island Oyster Co., and I had a rustic seafood stew. We shared some oysters, some miyagis and some sweetwaters. And Dominique had a green salad. And we had some Pinot Gris, and did our shopping.

Saturday May 21
Had the usual bread breakfast late. Friends came up in the afternoon, and we feasted on oysters. My friend wanted to experiment with Sauternes and oysters, so we had some of that with our oysters. We bought some Basque sausages and duck crepinettes from Fatted Calf, and Andante goat cheese. Our friends brought some Tartine loaves, walnut levain and country loaves. We had fava beans from the garden, and made a purée, and we had a green olive tapenade. We also had some baby greens and arugula from the garden and we put the grilled crepinettes on top with a vinaigrette. For dessert, we had a strawberry rhubarb compote with biscuits.

Sunday, May 22
It was a free-for-all breakfast with four kids and six adults. A big pile of toast and omelettes. We spent the day by the pool, and on the grill and we did an onglet (hanger steak) on the grill, and we grilled some asparagus and had an arugula salad, and strawberries.

Then our guests left in the late afternoon and we had a friend in town from New York. Coleman Andrews. We had dinner at a Mexican café on the outskirts of Sonoma [actually Boyes Hot Springs] called El Molino Central. It's a place we go to a lot since we discovered it. The owner [Karen Waikiki] sometimes has a setup at the Ferry Building Farmers' Market selling her tamales, and this restaurant started out as her prep kitchen, and it's really just a takeout counter. She puts some tables out back, and in the winter there are some heaters. You can go across the street and get some beer. It's pretty casual, but it's become quite a destination. It's the best Mexican food I've had outside Mexico. One of the best spots in the Bay Area. We had chicken chalupas. Dominique had Swiss chard enchiladas, Coleman had brisket tacos, and we shared some chile relleno filled with fresh corn, cream, and beans. We drank beer and rosé.

Monday, May 23
Monday was a day off from food. We stayed home and ate some leftovers from the weekend. The Mexican food, leftover onglet, asparagus, half a loaf of Tartine bread. And we just snacked and sandwiched and recovered from the weekend.

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