Posts for November 1, 2012

Mission Pie Scores Federal Funds for Solar Panels

Photo: Courtesy of Mission Pie

Late last year, Mission Pie began installing a solar panel array on the roof of their building at Mission and 25th. As co-owner Karen Heisler tells Grub Street, that made them eligible for a one-time tax rebate under the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "This funding made the project something that we, as a small business, could go forward with. If it hadn't been available, despite the state and city funding, I think we wouldn't have made the plunge." They've installed a meter in the dining area with some information to educate customers about how it works. And so far this year solar energy has helped them lop off 25 percent of their energy costs. Heisler was especially grateful today when they got the check in the mail for their rebate, just a month after they'd completed their filing for it. "This administration works hard and quickly on what matters," Heisler beamed, and just in time for a little election that's happening next week.

Meet Saveur Editor James Oseland at Three Upcoming Events

Top Chef Masters judge and Saveur editor James Oseland has got a new book out for this holiday season. It's called The Way We Cook, and it's a culinary tour of world cuisines featuring fifty recipes combined with photos and stories accompanying each one. For example: A food hawker in Muang Sing, Laos who spends the early hours of the morning preparing khao soi, rice noodle soup garnished with pork and blanched greens; or a Sicilian matriarch preparing Easter dinner for her family in Ragusa. On his book tour, Oseland — who's a Bay Area native — will be popping up at a few events next week, starting on November 9 at the San Francisco Cooking School, where he'll be in conversation with food writer Tori Ritchie.

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Mau Reopens as Mau Viet Kitchen

As we reported on Monday, new Asian-inspired restaurant Mau (665 Valencia) let go of chef Sante Salvoni last week. They reopened yesterday for lunch and dinner with new subtitle "Viet Kitchen," and posted their new menu on the website, and as the Scoop points out, it's suspiciously similar to the menu at sister restaurant Tin Vietnamese Cuisine, which is owned by Mau partner Hung Dang. The only difference? The prices are higher, because this is Valencia Street, not SoMa. You've got your spring rolls, noodle dishes, rice plates, and banh mi (at lunch only). Mau began with Salvoni's aspirations to put new spins on Asian street food, with no particular national cuisine dominant. But will your standard Vietnamese fare find an audience just a few blocks from perennial favorite Sunflower? Time will tell, and the owners obviously hope so. [Scoop, Earlier]

Miller Tries Out Sugoi Sushi and Elephant Sushi; Bauer Returns to Amber India

Virginia Miller pays a visit to two new sushi spots this week, Sugoi Sushi in the old Spork/Rice Broker space, and Elephant Sushi in Russian Hill. At Elephant she finds "succulent and buttery" walu nigiri, a.k.a. escolar, a.k.a. Ex-Lax fish, which despite its bowel-moving properties is "among the best walu [she's] ever tasted." She also likes the whimsical maki rolls, and the flaming presentation of sizzling mango sea bass. At Sugoi, she says that all the plates, including the sashimi platter "border on works of art." But she does find "a funky piece of fish or two." [SFBG]

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Bourdain Reflects on No Reservations Ahead of Its Finale

He just might be his own worst critic.Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

We’ve already heard plenty about what Anthony Bourdain doesn’t like about television’s food programming. And we’ve also heard almost as much about what he does like. However, what we’ve never gotten a definitive word on is what he thinks about his own show. Ahead of Monday’s big finale, he took to Tumblr today to reflect on just that. And based upon the sheer length of the post, it’s obvious that he put a lot of time into mulling over all 140 episodes. In his self-assessment, he gives high marks to last season’s holiday special, mostly because it fulfilled his goal of causing “terror and confusion” among network executives.

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Four Barrel Just Says No to Soy

You can't have anything "half-caf" either.

Milk has always been a bit of a sticking point at Four Barrel Coffee, where, from the outset, owner Jeremy Tooker only offered whole milk (no low-fat options, no half-and-half), and soy milk for adding to his company's coffee. That, along with the absence of wi-fi and his ban on tea, helped Tooker and Four Barrel gain a reputation for hipster snootiness. (See also last winter's "Shit Baristas Say" video, shot at Four Barrel.) Now, in the name of taste and politics, Tooker is taking it one step further and banning soy milk for good. "It's not that good for you, unless it's fermented," Tooker tells SFoodie, "and you've got this whole GMO problem."

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New Romney Ad Blames Obama for Barbecue Restaurant Closure

Thanks a lot, Obama!Photo: BBQ Geek

In a last-ditch attempt to appear human, Mitt Romney has exploited found a shuttering barbecue restaurant and managed to pin the blame for their downfall on President Obama. In a hard-hitting video, Bill's Barbecue president Rhoda Elliott tells the sad story of the Richmond institution's closure, pinning the blame on Obama's inattention to small businesses. "Bill's Barbecue couldn't take four years under President Obama. Can we afford four more?" the video demands. It's a tear-jerker. The video pans across empty booths, a barren countertop, and a vacant parking lot. The camera even lingers over a sad-looking pie.

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Check, Please! Rounds Out Season at Park Tavern, Roti Indian Bistro

The seventh season of our favorite local food show, Check, Please! Bay Area, finishes up with its twelfth episode this week, and we don't know where the time has gone. For the season closer, host Leslie Sbrocco welcomes several on-air personalities as guests, including Thuy Vu, host and producer of CBS 5's Eye on the Bay; NBC Bay Area anchor Raj Mathai; and Andrea Kissack, science editor for KQED and Bay Area Bites contributor. The restaurants in this episode are Roti Indian Bistro in Burlingame, where Raj loves everything including the extra-buttery naan, but Thuy thinks the prawns tikka could use less spice; Chop Bar in Oakland which is Andrea's pick, where "service comes with a smile and a lot of tattoos"; and fourteen-month-old Park Tavern in North Beach.

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The Corner Store Gets Some Journal Love

Featured in the Bay Area section of the Wall Street Journal today we have a little shout-out to The Corner Store and its "playful, 1950s vibe." Also, we learn that that nameless neighborhood where Masonic hits Geary, near USF, actually has a name: Anza Vista. [WSJ]

Charles Phan’s Hard Water Slated for December Opening on Pier 3


Way back in February we heard that the Slanted Door's Charles Phan was ramping up a new restaurant project at Pier 3, next door to The Plant Cafe, that was going to be New Orleans-inspired. Today the Chron brings word of the restaurant's name: Hard Water. Phan is aiming for an opening next month, in December, and it will be a first for Phan in terms of a non-Asian concept. It will also mark Phan's eighth business in the city, including his two locations of Out the Door, the upcoming cafe at the SFJAZZ center on Franklin, Wo Hing General Store, Heaven's Dog, and The Moss Room.

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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