The Other Critics

Kauffman Goes On a South American Soup Tasting; Hirsch Hits Pikhana’s in Richmond

Jonathan Kauffman shops around the Mission for the best sopas, pozoles, and caldos this week, in a story idea that must have sounded better weeks ago when the promise of winter starting seemed imminent. Alas, it’s still pretty balmy! But Kauff takes us on a tour of South American eateries via their broths. His favorites: the sopa de albondigas served on Tuesdays at SanJalisco; the pozole at Gallardos, “with its murmuring chiles and braised-pork depths”; and the “elaborate” sopa de gallina made from slow-braised chicken at Palacio Latino. One he still hasn’t tried because it’s always sold out when he gets there: the “rare” sopa de chipilín (herb soup) served on Wednesdays only at Bernal Heights Salvadoran place La Santaneca. [SF Weekly, SFoodie]

Across the Bay, Jesse Hirsch ventures up to Richmond for the East Bay’s only Brazilian churrascaria, Pikhana’s Steakhouse. It’s actually part of a Texas-based chain, and much like SF’s Espetus, they serve the food in the continuous, all-you-can-eat rodízio style, coming around to your table with “a never-ending grilled meat barrage” carved fresh onto your plate. But unlike the much pricier Espetus, Pikhana’s is only $22 per person! Hirsch provides a handy survival guide for the onslaught, noting you should avoid the “worthless carbs” on the hot buffet, and to ignore the stern menu warning about a $10 charge for not cleaning your plate (it’s a lie). Also, he recommends the chicken hearts, and recommends demanding the less over-done cuts of meat. All sound advice. [EBX]

Kauffman Goes On a South American Soup Tasting; Hirsch Hits Pikhana’s in