Posts for May 23, 2012

Miller Likes the Tequila Cocktails at Comal and Copita; Bauer Dislikes Your Rookie Hostess

Virginia Miller is back at one of her preferred beats this week, sampling the cocktail menus at new Mexican restaurants Comal in Berkeley and Copita in Sausalito. She finds Comal's duck mole coloradito enchiladas go especially well with the Black Daquiri (Pampero Aniversario Rum, Averna, lime, sugar, and Chiapan coffee tincture). And at Copita she says the tequila flights are "enjoyable," and she loves the spin on the margarita, the Prado (Corazon blanco tequila, Luxardo maraschino liquor, lime, egg white). [SFBG]

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Drink Some Farmer’s Market Cocktails Tonight at the Ferry Building

It's spring and therefore time again to toast the season with some specially prepared cocktails using seasonal fruit by a dozen of the Bay Area's better bartenders. It's the May Flowers party at the Ferry Building this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. Your $40 ticket gets you drinks from people like Alex Smith of Emeryville's Honor Bar, and Claire Sprouse from Rickhouse, as well as bites from 15 Romolo and Fifth Floor, among others. Also, we hear, The Ice Cream Bar will be in attendance and possibly giving us a hint of things to come with a boozy fountain drink of some kind — we're still waiting for them to get that liquor license. Tickets are still available, and will be available at the door, though advance purchase is encouraged.

More New-Fangled Doughnuts Arrive in Oakland With Donut Savant

The Chocolate BombPhoto: Courtesy of Donut Savant

Doughnuts are having a moment, it seems, especially the kind that are filled with unusual, gourmet fillings. We warned you back in March about the impending arrival of Doughnut Dolly in Oakland's Temescal district, which is now aiming for a June 1 premiere — owner Hannah Hoffman has been doing regular pop-ups in the meantime, including one this Friday at Cosecha. Today from Thrillist we learn that another shop doing similar, though not the same kind of filled doughnuts just opened in Oakland's Uptown district: Donut Savant (1934 Broadway at 19th). Chef-owner Laurel Davis is doing some crazily decadent creations, like these dark-chocolate cake doughnuts filled with Irish-whiskey ganache and topped with Guinness and Bailey's glaze (pictured); or the Schokaladenkuchen, which is a German chocolate cake doughnut stuffed with coconut-walnut filling. And just in time for swimsuit season, no less.

Donut Savant
- 1934 Broadway, Oakland - 510.972.8268 - Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kitchenless Chefs Russell Jackson and Aaron London to Pop Up at FoodLab

Yesterday we brought the news of Sol Food, the Puerto Rican pop-up from the San Rafael restaurant of the same name that's doing lunches at the new FoodLab space at the Renoir Hotel (Market and 7th). Today the Scoop tells us they've got some chefs already on board to do evening pop-ups, including former Ubuntu chef Aaron London, who's still trying to lock down an S.F. spot for his own restaurant; and Russell Jackson, who returns to the pop-up scene after two years of running his recently shuttered restaurant Lafitte. Also making appearances in June will be former Frisée chefs Brett and Nathan Niebergall, who currently run the Southern Sandwich Co. truck, who'll be doing Southern-inspired dishes every Friday night. Check for more on the FoodLab calendar. [Scoop]

America’s New ‘Oldest Italian Restaurant’ Is in South Philly

Theodore Roosevelt used to dig Ralph's red gravy.Photo: Courtesy GPTMC

There’s no doubt that the closing of San Francisco’s time-honored Fior D’Italia is a huge drag. It first opened its doors in 1886, and had been regarded as the country’s oldest Italian restaurant until it went dark after dinner service on Monday, according to KGO-TV. Seems several relocations, fire and a sagging economy sealed its fate. On the bright side though, the end of its run gives the City by the Bay the opportunity to hang its “oldest” marker in a new place. And it also gives our nation as a whole a brand new oldest Italian restaurant. Those bragging rights now belong to Ralph’s Italian Restaurant in South Philly, which has been slinging red gravy since 1915, and counts former president Theodore Roosevelt, and Frank Sinatra as devotees. [KGO-TV]

Earlier: Oldest Italian Restaurant in the Country, Fior d'Italia, Closes Tonight

Six Privacy-Violating Technologies Bars Should Employ

Prepare to have your private parts scanned.Photo: Marianna Massey/Getty Images

The announcement of SceneTap, an app that uses facial detection software to count how many men and women of various age ranges are presently in bars and clubs, is creating quite a stir in San Francisco and elsewhere. Perhaps it was unwise to pick privacy-paranoid S.F. as one of their launch markets? The CEO just penned an open letter to the entire city insisting that the software doesn't identify anyone, and it's not creepy at all because it merely detects the gender and possible ages of bargoers so that people can quickly determine where the part-ay is at. (Let's ignore the obvious fact that if you are checking an app to identify which bar has the coolest crowd, you are going about things all wrong.) But we say why stop there? There are far more invasive technologies that bars could employ that would be way more useful for revelers.

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Javier Plascencia to Appear at SF Street Food Fest


Acclaimed Tijuana chef Javier Plascencia, who had this glowing profile written about him in the New York Times last year and who Rick Bayless subsequently called a "brilliant" chef, will be coming to San Francisco this August to man a booth at the fourth annual SF Street Food Festival. (Get a glimpse of some of his food at his restaurant Mision 19 here.) Eater brings the news, along with the just-announced date for the main festival, which will be August 18. It'll be even bigger this year, spanning eight blocks on Folsom between 20th and 26th with side blocks between Treat and Shotwell thrown in too. Also, new this year, there will be a night market modeled on the night markets of Bangkok on the Saturday before the fest, August 17. You can get pre-sale tickets for that here. [Eater, Slideshow from last year's fest]

Live Sushi Opens Third Spot in Excelsior

Live Sushi, which already has two locations in SoMa and Potrero Hill, has just recently opened a third location at 4808 Mission Street in the Excelsior, in what was formerly DaKine's Hawaiian BBQ. They're calling it Live Sushi Mission, even though it's not quite the Mission, and you can check out the dinner menu here. Expect your usual nigiri, maki, and temaki, as well as some special house rolls like the Bergschneider Roll (unagi and avocado topped with sake) and the SFPD Roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, imitation crab meat and avocado, topped with unagi). [Grub Street]

Addie’s Pizza Closes in Berkeley

Just shy of two years in business, Addie's Pizza Pie at 3290 Adelaide has closed. Berkeleyside has the news, and says the owners had to close despite decent support from the community. They already own several other businesses between them, including the nearby Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, which remains in business. [Berkeleyside]

Super Foods: Watermelons Can Save Your Life

Despite burger prices skyrocketing as cookout season approaches, there’s still some good news to report from the backyard barbecue beat: Watermelon is a lifesaver! Or it can be, anyway. Pakistani news outlet reports that watermelon is loaded with natural chemicals and compounds that researchers at Florida State University have determined are beneficial for all sorts of reasons. (Lower blood pressure! Improved artery performance!)

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Regarding the New, Allegedly Green, ‘Healthier’ McDonald’s in Berkeley

If you're McDonald's, what do you do in a place like Berkeley where people would rather paint targets on themselves and stand in front of Dick Cheney's house than condone formula fast-food in their town? The chain's marketing folk have come up with a new "green" angle they're trying out, and it's pretty hilarious. They've just revamped their location at 1198 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley with "local" lettuce and tomatoes on their Big Macs and "bioswales" in the parking lot in place of medians, and SFoodie provides a review of the place.

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Lagunitas To Open Brewery in Chicago, Tap Room With a View

The Chicago Tribune reports that Lagunitas Brewery has finally signed on a property in an industrial district on the south side of Chicago, with plans for a 250-barrel brewery system from a German company which will make it the larger brewer in the city, and a tap room overlooking the plant. As reported last month, Lagunitas owner Tony Magee looked at sales of the California-based beer in the midwest and realized that transportation costs would basically finance a midwest plant for his popular craft beers— "fresher beer with less diesel in it," as he tweeted at the time. He made it sound as if the Chicago plant was already a done deal, but the Tribune reports that the contract on the south side brewery (within a film studio complex where the Showtime series Boss, among others, is produced) has only now been finalized, and along the way it acquired another cool piece of news: although the brewery won't be operational until late 2013, the plan is to have a taproom built and up and running by November. And the taproom will be on the mezzanine level, with windows overlooking the brewery and the kitchen. So you can literally watch the brewery being built from the taproom over the next year or so. If that doesn't make it Chicago beer geek central, we don't know what would. [Tribune]

Controversia: Spanish-Language Pizza Deal Pisses People Off

People realize "pizza" is the same word in Spanish, right?

A Dallas-based pizza chain called Pizza Patrón plans to offer free pizza to anyone who orders in Spanish on the evening of June 5. The deal is called Pizza Por Favor, and according to USA Today, the order "can be broken Spanish. It can be first-time Spanish. But it has to be Spanish." Well obviously this is bothering people who think the deal is somehow discriminatory.

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Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Lucca Food Store See the menu

    “Billy's Philly”

    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

  • Le P'tit Laurent See the menu

    “Elegant Sauces & Fabulous Bread”

    It is the place me and my love go for every intimate moment.

  • Hidive See the menu

    “Are you kidding?”

    You have to be totally drunk to think that this is even acceptable as a public watering hole.


Jay Barmann
NY Mag