Posts for May 1, 2012

Food & Wine Fetishizes S.F.’s Kitchenware Shops

The new issue of Food & Wine is encouraging people to come from all sides of the country to visit San Francisco's quaint and tony kitchenware shops, like Voyager in the Mission where you can buy a $70 hand grinder for coffee; or March in Pacific Heights where you can buy some $7,000 vintage tableware by the late California potter Beatrice Wood. Also, they love the Town Cutler, where they are currently selling a $1,900 knife with a walrus-ivory handle. [Food & Wine]

There’s Cameroonian Food In Oakland Now

Room 389

Who knew? Chowhound, of course, that's who. East Bay Express critic Luke Tsai went on the West Central African adventure which is available on Tuesdays only at Room 389 (389 Grand Avenue), and he says, "In short, the food is great." They serve the national dish of Cameroon, which is called ndole: a savory peanut-spinach stew. Also, they've got "some of the best [homemade] hot sauce I’ve had." [EBX]

Pig and Pie Due This Month on 24th

The former Discolandia.

In the space that was formerly home to a well loved record store, Discolandia at 2962 24th Street, there is coming a homemade sausage and pie place by the name of Pig & Pie. We broke the news about the place nearly a year ago, and now the owners have set up a Facebook page and are making the bold promise that they'll be open "sometime in May." Last we heard, it would be early March, but that had a big question mark next to it. In any event, they're keeping the sign, which hopefully won't get confusing, and the draft menu is here. As you can see, mostly sausage. We'll update you as we learn more. [Facebook via Tablehopper]

A Meal at Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay, Illustrated

Yesterday, Grub Street brought you this feature, now an annual thing, for which we sought out destination restaurants and taco shacks and whathaveyou around the country, with one for every state and two for California. For those of you in the Bay Area looking for a less ambitious road trip that still feels like a journey deep into the countryside, we'd recommend checking out our NorCal pick, Terrapin Creek, the little restaurant in Bodega Bay, just off of Route 1, which snagged a Michelin star last year for their excellent food. Today, we bring you a closer look at the food as it looks on the menu right now.

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Lahore Karahi Sold, May Never Be the Same

Lahore Karahi

Lahore Karahi (612 O'Farrell Street), which not long ago was named by newly not-faceless critic Jonathan Kauffman as his favorite Indian place in S.F., has been sold, and chef-owner Zulfiqar "Guddu" Haider is moving on. Eater uncovers the tale from a tipster, and apparently the new owner wants the place to attract a late-night taxi-driver crowd, which certainly is an important demographic. We hope he knows there are a lot of hipsters in the Tenderloin now too. As for Guddu, he may or may not open another place, but if he does he says it will be takeout only — table service really wasn't his thing. [Eater]

Yet Wah Definitely Gone for Good in Richmond

We already knew that dim sum favorite Yet Wah (2140 Clement Street) was closed as of January and looking for a new owner. But Eater spotted a new liquor license going in for the spot for the generically named Chinatown Restaurant, which of course may not be the real name. Anyway, no more Yet Wah. [Eater]

The Eleven Most Shockingly Gross Food-Industry Settlements

This week KFC's parent company was ordered to pay over $8 million in a settlement to the family of an Australian girl who suffered brain damage after eating the chain's chicken. The case is completely disturbing, but the scarier news is that it's hardly an isolated incident in the annals of fast food. In fact, it seems like every month we've got another good citizen falling prey to the industry's safety lapses and plain old stupidity. Here now, a look back at eleven such cases where food companies were pressed to settle with their victims customers, each one more disgusting and disconcerting than the one that came before.

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Exclusive: This Is Jonathan Kauffman

Mr. KauffmanPhoto: Courtesy of Tasting Table

Today is critic Jonathan Kauffman's last day on staff at SF Weekly, and as we learned a couple weeks back he'll be taking over as San Francisco editor of the daily newsletter Tasting Table starting on May 14. And so today Grub Street brings you the exclusive photo that every restaurant publicist and owner in town has wished they had for the past two years (and which also managed to stay out of the hands of any of Seattle's bloggers and journalists during his tenure as critic at Seattle Weekly before coming here). Yes, in this age of Facebook and cell phone cameras, Kauffman managed to remain anonymous throughout his career as a critic, which is no small feat. Even we (and some of the staff at the Weekly) didn't know what he looked like before today. But here he is, flesh and blood and a well-trimmed beard. And we had to ask Mr. Kauffman himself what he's feeling today as he finally gets unmasked.

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Chefs and Restaurateurs React to Last Night’s Mission Hoodlums

Many people in S.F. are pretty annoyed today with the destructive shenanigans of last night's protesters in the Mission, whose targets appeared to have to do with gentrification, but in so doing the original message of Occupy Wall Street — which had to do with the oppression of banks and corporations — got muddied once more. As restaurant owner and chef Craig Stoll angrily tweeted today, just as his restaurant Locanda celebrates its one-year anniversary, "Masked, coward occupy breakaway group egged, paint bombed Locanda. Attacked our manager. Pathetic." The question is, will there be more chaos tonight? Business owners are hoping that Occupy organizers can get a handle on the black-clad splinter factions who are being blamed, but after dark there could be further property damage in store.

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Bottled Cocktails Are Trending Around Town

The bottled gin and tonic from barman Joel Teitelbaum at the Starlight Room.

Barrel-aged cocktails? So two-thousand-late. The latest in mixology trends that your cocktail-geek friends will soon be crowing about is bottled cocktails. Virginia Miller takes note of current examples of these sometimes carbonated offerings on her blog The Perfect Spot, including a bottled Pimm's Cup at Jasper's Corner Tap, a couple of 750-milliliter options at Local Edition to serve the whole table, and a lineup of bottled drinks at Harry Denton's Starlight Room including a Phizzed Phosphate Daquiri and a delicious sounding pre-mixed gin and tonic with house-made tonic and distilled lime. [Perfect Spot]

Fall Into Line: The Case for the ‘Buffet Rule’

Total chaos.Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Like many Americans, I follow political news for the sole purpose of not being embarrassed during telephone civics surveys. I scan the headlines grudgingly and am easily distracted by things like college football and food. This practice has caused me confusion regarding the so-called Buffett Rule. In reality, the rule has something to do with taxes. But "Buffett Rule" is easily misread as "Buffet Rule," i.e., a reference to the method of distributing food that combines eating old scrambled eggs with the convenience of having to get them yourself. (The buffet proprietor's motto: "We're barely trying.") But during one misreading, it hit me: The buffet industry, currently regulated only by informal etiquette, could use some more substantive oversight of its own.

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Fig Newtons Sounded Too Laxative-y, Now Just ‘Newtons’

The Puff Daddy/Diddy of snacks.

Who knew? Fig Newtons have dropped the "Fig" and now go exclusively by the name "Newtons." “We needed to let fruit be the core of the brand as opposed to the fig,” said a spokesperson, alluding to various fig-killers like chewy strawberry and pomegranate. Also, the word fig is associated with "prune," which is associated with IBS and old people, “and that’s not good.” [NYT]

Farina, Bar Tartine, Four Barrel Vandalized in Pre-May Day March

Farina, adorned with fresh paint.Photo: Jay Barmann/Grub Street

A rally in Dolores Park last night, organized by Occupy SF and meant as a preamble to today's long-planned general strike, turned ugly after a band of 60 to 70 protesters and anarchists marched down 18th Street and then down Valencia, smashing glass and tossing paint bombs at businesses. Farina (3560 18th Street) was one of the first to be hit in what appears to have been a targeted attack on "gentrifying" businesses, with a big anarchy symbol painted on the restaurant's pretty glass front. Next came the Mission Police Station, which got a good helping of paint, and then a dude took a crowbar to a window at Bar Tartine (see below), and to the windshield of an Aston Martin parked nearby, outside Locanda. Luckily, Locanda had shatter-proof glass, and despite one protester's effort to toss the valet sign through one of the front windows, the glass wouldn't break, and diners proceeded to finish their dinners unabated.

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Rick Bayless Isn’t Feeling the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

"I'm studying Pellegrino list of World's 50 Best Restaurants 2012. Does anyone else think it's an odd collection&wonder how it's arrived at?" —Rick Bayless on yesterday's announcement, with Noma yet again being named best restaurant in the world. [Rick Bayless/Twitter]

KFC Ordered to Pay Millions After Customer Gets Chicken-Related Brain Damage

Don't lick those fingers just yet.

And you probably thought the Double Down was the most dangerous thing on KFC's menu: A judge ordered the chain's parent company to pay one Australian family $8 million AUD ($8.3 million USD) after one of its Twister chicken wraps gave a girl permanent brain damage.

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