The San Francisco Diet

Publicist Andrew Freeman Eats Fries With His Steak Tartare, and Popcorn With His Peanut Butter

Andrew, second from the left, with several of the drag performers at this year's SF Chefs gala.
Andrew, second from the left, with several of the drag performers at this year’s SF Chefs gala. Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Freeman & Co.

We’re continuing our dietetic tour of San Francisco (and beyond) through the words and meals of various food and beverage industry professionals, and this week we come around to that most voracious and talkative of professions: the restaurant publicist. New York- and San Francisco-based publicist Andrew Freeman is no stranger to rich dinners, but sometimes his schedule gets so nuts that he’ll be in four restaurants in one night and still never eat dinner – after which he’ll have his “dinner of champions”: popcorn and low-fat peanut butter in bed with the TiVo.

Tuesday, August 31
It was my first day back at home after a trip east to visit family in New Jersey. Just after waking up I made my Yorkies, Tulip and Daisy, their breakfast – a unique combo of two cans of dog food, chicken, lamb strips and kibble. I swear, they eat better than I do.

I stopped at Peet’s like I do every morning since it’s right downstairs from my condo (I’m lucky to live right above Faletti’s, Delessio Market, Nopalito, and Peet’s), for my ritual, extra-hot, non-fat latte. They know my drink as soon as I walk in and they call me Andy - which I love because I haven’t been called that since grade school.

That day I had a lunch meeting at Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera. Chef Scott Howard had just added some new dishes to the menu, so we tried them. I had the rotisserie chicken salad, but I also tasted a cold tomato soup, a new pasta dish and the fish n’ chips. Desserts were the most decadent butterscotch pudding and a chocolate mousse cake.

That night I made my way to my trainer Zain Elmarouk, and on my way home I stopped at Golden Natural Foods for my favorite tuna fish salad from their great salad bar. Another Tuesday night ritual.

Wednesday, September 1
Another extra-hot, non-fat latte, and this time a bag of the mixed fruit & nuts (another daily standard). I eat the cranberries and the almonds; but I never eat the cherries (too chewy for me). Another salad for lunch — Shaolin, my fabulous assistant, runs over to Whole Foods and makes me a salad from the salad bar, mostly good-for-me stuff, but she always gets me a little pasta salad which I eat first.

We had our regular meeting at Grand Café and I had to snag one of the macaroons. I couldn’t resist. Then that night we met Dominique Crenn and her business partner at Luce. I had a glass of Pinot Grigio (another staple). We nibbled on olives and the risotto croquettes.

I’ve been hearing so much about Café Des Amis, so a friend and I headed over to check it out. It was packed, and the bar was humming. We snagged some seats at the bar and had the steak tartare and the fries — my unique bar snack version of steak frites.

Later that night I stopped by Smuggler’s Cove for a goodbye party for one of our interns. I said a quick hello, sipped a few of their cocktails but didn’t stay too long.

Home at 10:45. Damn, I wished I had some more of that tuna salad. Still, I was hungry, so I made an interesting concoction of low-fat granola mixed with Mott’s cranberry apple sauce – delish.

Thursday, September 2

I began my day with another latte from Peet’s, then I was running around all day from meeting to meeting, so lunch was just a peanut butter Power bar. We keep an emergency stash at the office. Usually the interns have candy or chips at their desks, and I go on my daily hunt for something to hold me over. That day, Roche our bookkeeper made amazing homemade oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies – another major weakness of mine. I had to have one.

We had an afternoon meeting at Wayfare Tavern, so we shared the butter lettuce salad, an heirloom tomato salad with black-eyed peas and fries too. Californians should be proud of their tomatoes too – especially in the hands of Tyler Florence.

That evening began with the first ever Andrew Freeman & Co. Happy Hour at Theory called Network Schmooze, catered by E&O; Trading Co., with wines from the Wentes. I munched on Arnold Wong’s great Chinese chicken salad while I mingled with our guests. From Theory, we went to Harry Denton’s Starlight Room for a few drinks, I had white wine, and those over-the-top truffle chips – they are really addictive. After that Kimpton Hotels hosted a big LGBT travel writers party at Postrio, which was catered by the Blue Mermaid Chowder House, Puccini & Pinetti, Grand Café and Café Pescatore. Of course, Postrio also served a selection of pizzas from the wood burning oven. I spent so much time meeting and greeting, I didn’t really eat much but I will tell you that it is one gorgeous space for a party.

When I finally got home around midnight, I had my dinner of champions – two tablespoons of Skippy reduced fat super-chunk peanut butter, a bag of low-fat microwave Paul Newman’s popcorn, and a diet ginger ale. Well balanced don’t you think? And no salt or butter, I swear.

Friday, September 3
We had an early morning meeting at étoile at Domaine Chandon. We were late, so I missed Peet’s that day. Following our meeting (I’m so excited Chef Perry Hoffman - is going to be introducing an apple and pear menu this fall), we all shared a bowl of the chilled corn soup that Perry sent out for us to try.

On the way back we stopped at Starbucks for coffee, a low-fat raspberry muffin and one of those fruit and cheese plates that we munched on in the car on the way home. Back at the office, I picked up the country chicken salad from Safeway, and on the way home around seven did a quick stop at Zaré at Flytrap – Hoss sent out his new three cheese ravioli with roasted garlic and tomato water. Then headed off to the Castro to meet a pal at Toad Hall (shhh – I still drink Cosmos) and ended the night with a slice of mushroom pizza at Escape from New York.

Saturday, September 4
I stopped at Peet’s again for the usual after feeding and walking the dogs. Friends and I went up to Healdsburg for the Taste of Sonoma. Our first taste was the sparkling Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc. Which was followed by visits to Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar, which was serving shrimp with gazpacho sorbet – so refreshing on a really hot day! We also stopped by The Girl and The Fig for a gougère stuffed with cured guanciale and homemade port poached fig preserves, and John Ash made a delicious meatloaf slider with basil mayonnaise.

The crew and I then stopped in Petaluma for dinner. We had tacos from what I think was the only Mexican place in town. I don’t do spice, so I had a chicken taco; but my friends raved about the carne asada.

Sunday, September 5
My Sunday ritual: an egg white omelet followed by yoga with Rusty Wells - he’s amazing. Thankfully it was an actually gorgeous day, and I had friends visiting from out of town, so we took the ferry over to Sausalito and had a late lunch at Poggio. We sat outdoors and ordered a bunch of salads - we had beets with fennel, green beans and fiore sardo, the caprese, of course, bresaola with peaches, mint and arugula and my favorite was the radicchio with melon. The restaurant also sent out there schiaciatta, it’s not on the menu, but it’s popular with their regular guests. It’s essentially their pizza dough, brushed with olive oil and scattered with rosemary and salt which they then cook in the wood burning oven so it comes out blistery. We all ordered Tony’s Negronis to drink – Tony is famous for his Negroni, and justly so.

Monday, September 6

9:00 AM Breakfast was another Peet’s coffee and oatmeal with raisins and a banana. Lunch was my favorite sandwich from Courtney’s on Duboce, a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat.

That evening I invited a bunch of friends over for dinner. I purchased a bunch of salads and meatloaf from Faletti’s and Delice downstairs from my apartment. We had meatloaf, broccoli salad, potato salad and a mixed green salad. I transferred everything into my own serving dishes, set the table, the works. I told everyone I made everything myself – I wonder if they believed me.

Earlier SF Diets: Bar Star Brian MacGregor Likes a Good Slider, and Occasionally a Cocktail With Lunch [Grub Street]
The Cooking Channel’s Aida Mollenkamp Is a Girl Who Can Really Eat [Grub Street]
Timothy Hollingsworth Ate Some *Really* Spicy Sh*t in Sydney [Grub Street]
Chris Kronner Loves Sebo Almost as Much as Ryan Farr’s Burgers [Grub Street]
Where Didn’t Michael Bauer Eat This Week? [Grub Street]

Publicist Andrew Freeman Eats Fries With His Steak Tartare, and Popcorn With His