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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Diamond Head General Store, Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine, Teske’s Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 18, episode 13, airs Thursday, February 1, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Tucked along San Bruno’s El Camino Real, Diamond Head General Store pays tribute to humble Hawaiian markets, bringing colorful shave ice, kalua pork and the Aloha spirit to the Bay. Then, nary a food scrap goes to waste at Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine in San Francisco, where upcycled ingredients and sustainable proteins are in the spotlight along with seasonal pizzas and small plates at this funky, maximalist Mission spot. Finally, tucked away in downtown San Jose, the family-owned Teske’s Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden serves up hearty plates of sausage, schnitzel and spaetzle, bringing the best of Oktoberfest vibes all year long.

Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Vanessa Silva, Daniel Osers and Cindy Wong-Zarahn from KQED in San Francisco.

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My name is Leslie Sbrocco, and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I’ll share my tasting notes about the wine, beer and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.


Seedlip Garden 108, Non-Alcoholic Spirit
United Kingdom $32
If you’re looking to curb or cut alcohol from your drinking repertoire, I recommend tracking down the Seedlip line of N/A spirits. For a company launched in 2015, there is basis in history for this young English producer. Owner Ben Branson discovered that more than three centuries ago doctors would distill medicinal spirits making herbal remedies without alcohol. Branson began experimenting with some old recipes using herbs grown in his garden. From there, Seedlip came to life. They make a variety of spirit-like sips including the Garden 108, which is a minty blend of Rosemary, Thyme and Spearmint. A guilt-free delight.

Griffo Scott Street Gin
Petaluma, California $35
If Gin is your jam (like it is mine), then this elegant yet complex spirit belongs at the top of your shopping list. Based in the bucolic Sonoma County town of Petaluma, Griffo Distillery crafts a selection of unique spirits to enjoy. Their Scott Street Gin is a California take on traditional English gin. It’s distilled with botanicals such as wild juniper, sweet Meyer lemon and spicy coriander in a dry London style. The local water from Russian River Valley imbues purity and smoothness. It’s perfect for a classically bright Gin & Tonic but also for savory, herbal take on a Negroni.

2022 1000 Stories Sauvignon Blanc
California $19
It’s said that every wine has a story and that’s the mantra this California brand embraces. Winemakers Sebastian Donoso and Margaret Leonardi make unique wines including Bourbon-barrel aged Zinfandel and American oak-aged Pinot Noir. Their crisp and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc sourced from cool climate vineyards in Arroyo Seco and Mendocino County, is blended with a dash of Viognier. This gives roundness and floral undertones to a delicious citrus-laden, zesty white. Give it a try with fresh salads, goat cheese and pesto pasta or spicy Thai curry. The wine is sure to inspire stories of your own.

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find more of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here.

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