Posts for November 27, 2012

Stock in Trade Set for January; Hog Island Takes Oyster Orders for the Holidays

Marina: Stock in Trade, the replacement tavern for the shuttered La Barca (2036 Lombard), is now due to open sometime in January. And there will be bocce. [Eater]
Upper Market: Chan Chan, a 17-year-old Cuban restaurant at the top of 18th Street, is calling it quits as of November 30. [Facebook via Eater]
Point Reyes: Hog Island Oyster Co. just started taking orders for Christmas and New Year's delivery of oysters, but they only have the capacity for 100 orders per holiday, so this sells out fast. [SFoodie]

Meadowood’s Twelve Days of Christmas Dinners to Include Talks at the CIA

Kostow plating during last year's series.

The Restaurant at Meadowood is getting set to kick off their annual Twelve Days of Christmas dinner series on December 7 with an event featuring guest chef Scott Anderson of Elements in Princeton, New Jersey. Along with the dinners this year, which benefit Share Our Strength, chef Christopher Kostow wanted to extend the collaborative experience with the visiting chefs by having some speak at the nearby Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. As Ulterior Epicure reports, Scott Anderson and chef John Shields (formerly of TownHouse in Virginia) are presenting together the first week; Stuart Brioza and Chicago chef Phillip Foss are doing a talk the second week, and with chefs Jason Franey, Matthias Merges, and Morihiro Onodera doing another at the end of that week; and Oakland's own James Syhabout will conclude the series in the third week. The talks are geared toward CIA students, but a limited number of public seats will be available. Look to Meadowood's Twitter and Facebook for times and locations. For reservations to the Twelve Days, for which there may still be a few seats, call 707-967-1205. [Ulterior Epicure, Earlier]

Hi Tops Opening Moved to Saturday

Attention Castro dwellers and gay sports fans: Hi Tops (2247 Market Street), the new sports bar going in to the former Lime, is now set to open Saturday, December 1, at 6 p.m., not Thursday as earlier reported. Adjust your drinking schedules accordingly. [Earlier]

Bocazote, the Mamacita Spinoff in Cole Valley, Delayed Until January

The former Eos space, still papered over.Photo: Grub Street

Alas, another of our Fall Preview shout-outs slips into the New Year. Bocazote, the new spinoff from the Mamacita folks coming to the former Eos space at Carl and Cole, is looking at completing their construction and finishing touches right around Christmas. So, as Tablehopper reports, they're pushing their opening off until after the New Year, exact date TBA. As discussed earlier, the concept is a somewhat more refined version of Mamacita, with beer and wine to start and an eventual cocktail component as well. [Tablehopper, Earlier]

Scream Sorbet Gets In on the East Bay Bagel Game

Joining the recently opened Beauty's Bagels and Baron Baking in the Oakland bagel renaissance is Scream Sorbet (5030 Telegraph Avenue), which has also been quietly selling their own house-boiled-and-baked bagels as part of an expanded breakfast menu, Wednesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It's being dubbed their Winter Café, because winter isn't a time when people crave sorbet, and the menu also includes other house-made baked goods and nut butters. [EBX]

Littlejohn’s, an 88-Year-Old Los Angeles Confectioner, Opens Near Civic Center

Pecan gadgets

Littlejohn's Candies, which was founded in 1924 in Los Angeles, just recently decided to expand operations to a second location in San Francisco. They just opened, in time for the holidays, in a former furniture shop space at 1422 Market Street (at Polk), not far from Twitter's new headquarters. They make their own English toffee, almond bark, various caramels, and a version of chocolate turtles they call "gadgets." As SFoodie reports, all the stuff they do is hand-dipped and made on site, and that hand-dipping makes for softer centers, and an artisanal quality that should go over well in artisan-loving San Francisco. Littlejohn's is owned by Chris and Mike Graves, who bought the business from the founding owners in the early eighties. See more of their products here, and note they will be adding a few more items to suit our NorCal tastes, including bacon-salted caramels. [SFoodie, Earlier]

Vaguely Vulgar Restaurant Name Has Chattanooga in a Tizzy

Say it three times fast.

The guys who own Aretha Frankenstein and Crust Pizza in Chattanooga are making patties from grass-fed beef, bringing in some "extraordinary" buns from Atlanta, getting liquid nitrogen to cool their milkshakes, and even installing a very large recliner in their new restaurant, called Sofa King Juicy Burger. Say that fast enough, though, and you'll realize it's a restaurant name only a 9-year-old would love. In Chattanooga, some citizens are upset by the thought of increased expletive uttering because of the still-under-construction restaurant, with one newscaster even asking, "How will this go over with locals and those looking to put down roots?" One town resident says he will stop at nothing to make sure the restaurant does not open, but no one takes him seriously because his name is Noah Vale. [HuffPo]

Like Hollingsworth, Cyrus’s Douglas Keane May Leave Behind Fine Dining

Douglas Keane

Yesterday we heard the news that French Laundry chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth is departing the restaurant this spring and embarking on his own projects, one of which is the development of a casual taqueria concept. Now we notice that in a Friday Chron profile of chef Douglas Keane, a few weeks after the closing of his Michelin two-star restaurant Cyrus in Healdsburg, Keane is sounding similarly burnt out after almost two decades in fine-dining kitchens. "The TV stuff and the ratings and the stars — they definitely help. In a weird way, they hurt if you don't check your ego," he says. "I'm speaking from my experience. I could get very caught up in just cooking for the Michael Bauers and the Michelins and the Zagats and get away from what got me into this in the first place." He's still undecided about his next steps with business partner Nick Peyton, with whom he still owns Healdsburg Bar & Grill, but if we had to guess from the sound of the piece, we'd guess their next venture won't be all caviar carts and nine-course menus. [Chron, Earlier]

Joe Blow: Patent Office Denies Dunkin’ Donuts’ ‘Best Coffee’ Claim

America might run on Dunkin', but that doesn't necessarily mean their coffee's any good. Boston-based coffee empire Dunkin' Donuts' petitioned to trademark the phrase "best coffee in America," but the U.S. Patent Office rejected the claim, saying it's "merely laudatory and descriptive," not patent-worthy (perhaps the office's staff prefers Starbucks?). The Dunkin-deprived folks at the Los Angeles Times also note that "insiders" can order the coffee with flavor shots, but those in New England realize that the proper way to order a DD coffee is "regulah," with sugar and cream. [LAT]

There’s a Lot to Try Each Night at State Bird

"Nice job. What did you get through, 18? I think we have 29 or 30 tonight." — State Bird Provisions chef Stuart Brioza speaking to diners after a meal about how many dishes were on offer that night, via trays and carts. Hearing this, one diner exclaimed, "We missed a dozen!?" [Serious Eats]

Twinkies Takeover? Tastykake Maker Is Top Contender to Bid for Hostess

Gone, but not for much longer.

That didn't take long: It's only been about a week since Hostess shut down its three dozen bakeries and put its nearly 20,000 employees on the unemployment line after mediation talks fizzled out, and a potential buyer for the brand has already emerged. The Wall Street Journal says that Flower Foods, the Georgia-based baker that last year snatched up Philadelphia’s Tasty Baking Company — makers of Tastykakes — is a top contender to make a strong bid for at least some of Hostess's assets.

Read more »

Tayitu, an Ethiopian Pop-Up, Arrives at Guest Chef Tonight

Guest Chef

This evening marks the launch of a two-week residency for Tayitu, an Ethiopian pop-up at Rockridge's Guest Chef (5337 College Avenue) from Salome Haileleoul. The name comes from a 19th century Abyssinian empress, and Haileleoul, who was born and raised in Ethiopia, will be serving some of her family's favorite recipes, including telba fitfit (ground flaxseed with red onion, peppers, lemon, and olive oil served with injera); ahi tuna kitfo, a version of tartare; and five different vegan dishes. Tayitu will run from tonight through December 9. See the full menu here, and reserve here. [SFoodie]

FDA Shuts Down Trader Joe’s–Associated Peanut Butter Plant

Back in September Trader Joe’s voluntarily pulled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter from store shelves over concerns that it had sickened dozens with salmonella. Yesterday the FDA, wielding new power granted to it from last year’s food safety law, moved to shut down the New Mexico facility where the offending peanut butter was made. (The plant also made peanut butter for companies like Whole Foods and Target.) Identifying the peanut butter and other nut products processed there as a "reasonable probability" of causing serious health problems or death, the agency suspended the manufacturer Sunland Inc.’s registration. The AP says that under old rules, the FDA would have had to take Sunland to court to block it from producing or distributing food. Now the onus is on the company to prove that its facilities are clean and safe before it can resume operations. Considering FDA officials discovered dirty equipment, improper handling of ingredients, and trailers full of peanuts outside the facility that were left uncovered and exposed to rain and birds, it sounds as though they've got some work to do. [AP, Earlier]

Watch This Chinese Dishwasher Sanitize Plates Like Nobody’s Business

This video, posted on LiveLeak and YouTube yesterday, shows a super-speedy pot washer who, with his soapy squeeze bottles and trusty sanitizer (we hope) at the ready, dispenses with a stack of twentysomething dim sum plates with finesse and ease. This man and his scrubbie are keeping the dream of scullions everywhere alive. If you've ever scrubbed pots and washed dishes in a restaurant, this one's for you.

Long live the four-compartment sink. »

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