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On The Blackboard

Michelle Edmunds/SF Street Food Festival

Friday Night Fried Chicken Family Meal
Chow down on fried chicken for a cause, supporting La Cocina, the San Francisco-based non-profit that helps low income food entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Your ticket gives you access to unlimited eats and an open bar, where cocktails hold equal weight with craft beer. The number of times you can fill your complimentary flask—yes, flask—depends on what you pay for your ticket. A sampling of the food purveyors who’ll help you hold your liquor? Seattle-based Skillet Street Food, Austin-based food truck The Peached Tortilla, Oakland’s own Hopscotch, and more. The Friday night bash is a kick-off to La Cocina’s annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, which takes place on Folsom Street the next day. Consider this your pregame.

When: Friday, August 15, 6 PM–10 PM
Where: SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St., San Francisco, CA ‎94103

San Francisco Street Food Festival
Speaking of the San Francisco Street Food Festival, the sixth (and purportedly last) mile-long block party takes over the Mission District on Saturday, August 16. This festival is an all-out ode to all things street food, and since this is San Francisco, that means inventive, decadent, and downright delicious twists on globally inspired dishes. Last year’s highlights included deep-fried mac and cheese from 4505 Meats, and s’mores stuffed with TCHO chocolate and handmade marshmallows courtesy of Kika’s Treats. This year, more than 80 vendors have signed up, and attendees can expect bites like cotton candy from Sugar & Spun or ice cream sandwiches from Three Twins. The festival even has its own iPhone app to help you navigate the goodness. Everything here costs $10 or less, and proceeds support La Cocina. All you’ll need to bring is an appetite—admission is free.

When: Saturday, August 16, 11 AM–7 PM
Where: Folsom St. from 20th St. to 26th St.; 21st St. and 25th St. from Treat St. to Shotwell St.; Cesar Chavez Elementary School parking lot, Parque de los Ninos Unidos; and Jose Coronada Playground

Apertivo Hour at 54 Mint
The recently launched Apertivo Hour at 54 Mint is grounds for skipping work a little early—just don’t tell your boss. On the menu? Complimentary Italian-inspired bites—think house-made breadsticks and focaccia, plus chef Mattia Marcelli’s potato chips—2-for-1 wine and beer, and a selection of mouthwatering apertivos. Also making the cut are special $8 cocktails, including the restaurant’s twist on a Negroni and a ginger Margarita, both of which promise to whisk away the work week quickly. The deal lasts from 4 PM to 6 PM, which segues nicely into dinner, with a menu that focuses on Roman specialties—and you know what they say about Rome.

When: 4 PM–6 PM daily
Where: 16 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone: 415-543-5100

Pizzaiolo Summer Movie Nights
You won’t need a car to watch these alfresco films—screened every Wednesday at sundown on the restaurant’s back patio—but Pizzaiolo’s Summer Movie Nights still hark back to a simpler era. Make a reservation to enjoy Pizzaiolo’s full menu of freshly made Italian fare—imagined by Chez Panisse alum Charlie Hallowell—or walk in to snag a chair (or bring your own) in the bocce court. And just because you don’t have a table doesn’t mean you must go hungry; the concession stand serves meatball subs, Oreos, sangria, and beer. August’s theme is “Kids on Their Own,” with films that celebrate “the adventurous spirit of youth.” We can’t think of a better way to embrace it.

When: Every Wednesday in August at sundown
Where: 5008 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609
Telephone: 510-652-4888

Yappy Days at Skool
Bring your pup to Skool’s “Yappy Days” and he won’t even have to beg. For $3, dogs can nibble on fancy, canine-friendly treats such as gluten-free biscuits made with rice flour, carob, flax, peanut butter, and honey. (Only the best for Fido.) Meanwhile, bipeds can enjoy well-prepared treats of their own, like the Fish and Cheese - saba (mackerel) and mozzarella cheese breaded in an herbed panko and served with takana tartar sauce, or the nori and bonito-tossed Katsu Fries. House wines, sake, and seasonal sangria accompany the eats. And at $5 apiece for snacks and drinks, this deal’s bark lives up to the bite.

When: 5 PM–closing daily
Where: 1725 Alameda St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone: 415-255-8800

Eat Like a Chef, Drink Like a Somm
What do chefs eat when they have the night off? The team behind Stones Throw would rather show than tell with its ongoing dinner series, in which a guest chef takes command of the kitchen to prepare a special tasting menu for those who reserve a seat. On August 25, Commonwealth’s Executive Chef Jason Fox will take the helm. While the menu hasn’t yet been announced, $75 covers a five-course prix-fixe meal, gratuity, and tip. For an additional $50, guests can add exclusive wine pairings, made by sommelier Francesa Maniace. All proceeds benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that. Reservations can be made through Sosh.

When: Monday, August 25; reservations from 6 PM–8:45 PM
Where: 1896 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Telephone: 415-796-2901

Marla Bakery Sunday Supper
Joe Wolf and Amy Brown, the husband-wife team behind Marla Bakery, serve a feast to rival your family dinner at their outpost in the Outer Richmond. Every Sunday the duo brings a five-course, prix-fixe menu to the table, each with a special theme. In the past they’ve concocted such imaginations as “The Tale of Peter Rabbit in a White Wine Braise,” which included baguette crostini, summer gazpacho, and, you guessed it, white wine–braised rabbit with cherry tomatoes and crusted bread. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for upcoming menus, and be sure to purchase your ticket ahead of time so you don't miss out.

When: Sundays at 6 PM
Where: 3619 Balboa St., San Francisco, CA 94121
Telephone: 415-742-4379

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