Faves and raves by Nathan Oyler
Click on the picture for photo gallery.
YEARS IN THE CITY: 2½
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hayes Valley
OCCUPATION: Web developer
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Originally hailing from Ohio, he’s a tuba-playin’, beer-brewin’, bread-bakin’, antique-hoardin’, fun-lovin’ kind of guy
FAVORITE AFRICAN RESTAURANT
WHERE: 2845 Geary Blvd., at Collins Street
WHAT: Delicious, inexpensive Eritrean food in generous portions
INFO: (415) 441-7083
Assab is one of my favorite places to eat in S.F. Eritrea is near Ethiopia, and the food is similar in style. It’s the most fun when we get a group of friends together and share a delicious, family-style platter of African cuisine!
FAVORITE HOBBY STORE
San Francisco Brewcraft
WHERE: 1555 Clement St., at 17th Avenue
WHAT: Everything for the homebrewer
INFO: (415) 751-9338, (800) 513-5196 or www.sanfranciscobrewcraft.com
I’ve been homebrewing for several years, and San Francisco Brewcraft has an amazing selection of specialty grains and yeasts. Best of all, they have Griz the owner, who is a wealth of knowledge for new and experienced brewers. They also hold a free all-grain brewing class regularly.
FAVORITE SPOT FOR A BARBEcUE
WHERE: Fulton Street and The Great Highway
WHAT: Fire rings on the beach
The north end of Ocean Beach has several fire rings, and nothing is more California than a barbeque on the beach. Get there early to get a fire ring since building your own is illegal, but many people are happy to share a corner of their fire with you.
FAVORITE PLACE FOR LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC
WHERE: 853 Valencia St., between 19th and 20th streets
WHAT: Intimate and unpretentious place to enjoy live music
INFO: (415) 970-0012
Everybody has a favorite dive bar, and this one is certainly near the top of my list. Not only do they have a tasty beer selection and wonderful staff, but you can bring in a musical instrument and join the fun on Monday night Bluegrass jam sessions.
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
WHERE: 1195 Evans Ave., Suite A
WHAT: Artisan ales and lagers
INFO: (415) 64-BEER-1 or www.goodbeer.com
It may be a bit of a haul to get down to Speakeasy’s Friday afternoon happy hour, but you’ll be glad you did. A brewery tour paired with delicious beer on their patio is the perfect way to end any work week.
Fatted Calf Charcuterie
WHERE: 320 Fell St., at Gough St.
WHAT: Organic, hormone-free meats
INFO: (415) 400-5614 or www.fattedcalf.com
This recent addition to Hayes Valley offers the area high-quality meats, butchering demonstrations and a tasty sandwich menu. Stop by on Wednesday evenings for a free glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres.
FAVORITE PIZZA JOINT
Little Star Pizza
WHERE: 400 Valencia St., at 15th Street
WHAT: Deep-dish and thin crust pizzas
INFO: (415) 551-7827 or www.littlestarpizza.com
This is the most delicious deep-dish pizza in The City. They also have the best wings in town. Rather than the oily, sauce-covered, deep-fried wings that most people envision, these wings are dry rubbed with spices that give them a peppery kick, then baked. Pure perfection.
FAVORITE PLACE TO ACCIDENTALLY EXERCISE
Buena Vista Park
WHERE: 498 Buena Vista Ave. East
WHAT: Oak-filled woodland
This park at the eastern edge of the Upper Haight is simply gorgeous. The mountainous trails are great exercise, and you really feel like you’re in the middle of the woods in some parts. The view from the top allows you to see from bridge to bridge, and beyond.
FAVORITE SPOT FOR A SUNNY AFTERNOON
WHERE: 18th St., at Dolores St.
WHAT: Urban oasis of grass and trees
This popular park is in the heart of the Mission, and people-watching on a warm day is one of the most fun activities I can think of. Several events are held there throughout the year, too, so pack a picnic and enjoy the show!