Posts for December 6, 2012

Late-Night Pork Burger Pop-Up Arrives at Beast & the Hare This Weekend

The Banh, Baby, Banh

Big Chef Tom's Belly Burgers, a burger outfit that made an appearance at Outside Lands this year and has been appearing at Off the Grid Fort Mason, is going to be doing a late-night, 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. burger pop-up at the side window at Beast & the Hare (22nd and Guerrero). Chef Tom uses patties made entirely of ground pork belly, and he features creations like the Banh, Baby, Banh (pictured, with vietnamese caramel sliced jalapeno, hard-boiled egg, and fresh cilantro) and the Padron Me? (pork belly burger with charred padron pepper relish, fresh parsley leaves, and goat cheese). He'll be returning to the same spot each weekend for the foreseeable future. You heard it here first, Mission bar-goers.

Taste Your Way Through 35 Champagnes Tonight at Arlequin

Starting at 5 p.m. today, Arlequin Wine Merchant (384A Hayes Street), the shop owned by the Absinthe folks, is doing their annual champagne tasting featuring 35 champagnes from around the French region, including those from producers Jacquesson, Lassaigne, Benoit Lahaye, Laherte Freres, Larmandier-Bernier, Paul Bara, Vilmart and Agrapart et Fil. The price for the tasting is $65 at the door and does not include food, though next-door Arlequin Café will be open until 8 p.m., and Absinthe will be open as well. The bubbly fun goes until 8 p.m.

Jack Daniel's Ribs for the End of the World: T.G.I. Friday’s Hosting Apocalypse Parties

We can think of a couple of places where we'd like to spend our last moments on Earth, but not one of those spots is a T.G.I. Friday's. Even still, the Mayan calendar comes to an end on December 21, and that happens to be a Friday, so T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in a half dozen U.S. cities (Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C.) are throwing "Last Friday" parties featuring Mayan decor, photo booths, music, and a Mayan Margarita. Also they'll be raffling off an 'End of the World Survival Kit,' which is just like a cocktail shaker, bottle opener, and an energy drink. Shouldn't the booze at least be free during the end times? [Zagat]

Starlight Room Serving Red and Green Bottled Cocktails

In honor of the holidays, Harry Denton's Starlight Room bar manager Joel Teitelbaum has created a couple of new bottled cocktails for his lineup: the red colored Spiked Vanilla Cream Soda (Campari, house vanilla cream soda, and Frangelico) and the Green Apple Cider (Flor de Cana 7 year, green apple juice, winter spices). They're $12 each, or $22 for the pair, and you can sit up there and watch people spin around the ice skating rink at Union Square whilst drinking.

Tyler Florence Pimps Wine, Cookbook on Jimmy Fallon

Last night, local chef and TV personality Tyler Florence made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in support of his new cookbook Tyler Florence Fresh. He shows the audience how to make his seared Hawaiian tuna with confit carrots, and he pours some his Tyler Florence label Sauvignon Blanc for Jimmy, who exclaims, "I'd love to have my own wine!" Also, Tyler reveals he follows Jimmy on Instagram.

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Michael Bauer Is All About Meatballs Right Now; Also, He Thinks All Spice is Slipping

This morning on his Between Meals blog Michael Bauer makes note of the meatball boom around town, a trend which like some other trends (Neapolitan pizza, speakeasy-esque bars) comes via New York and took a couple extra years to hit the Bay Area. He was able to name six favorites around town, mostly of the Italian variety, when her wrote a column about meatballs three years ago, but now they're on all kinds of menus, crossing ethnic boundaries, including some of his favorites at Comal, Gioia, and Plaj. [Between Meals/Scoop]

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Western Hemisphere’s Largest Cheese, and Its Dancing Team, Arrive in Boston

A scene from last year's cheese ceremony.Photo: Lyons PR

Be jealous: Boston is now home to one of the world's largest hunks of cheese. The 400-pound Crucolo from northern Italy, which we told you last month is as tall as a typical 4-year-old child and is rather mild, lands at the Concord Cheese Shop this afternoon — the only place in the country to carry this, the Western Hemisphere's largest fromage. As befits such an occasion, there will be a parade involving cheese-wielding teens.

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Fior d’Italia Reopening By Year’s End

America's oldest Italian restaurant, Fior d'Italia, which has known a few different addresses in its 126 years before landing at 2237 Mason Street (at Francisco), looks to be finally reopening soon after a six-month closure and change of ownership. Longtime chef Gianfranco Audieri and his wife Trudy have taken over the restaurant, and just this week their new liquor license cleared. The website promises an opening "before year's end," and we'll hold them to that. We'll let you know when we hear of an exact date. [Earlier]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Vegan Sushi and Artisanally Candied Salmon

Don't get any ideas, Photoshoppers of the world.Photo: Bravo

According to Padma, there are fourteen “cheftestants” remaining. (My count was closer to 15,619, but what do I know?) Josh broods over his inconsistent performance thus far — is his cartoon-undertaker’s mustache sapping his power? Meanwhile, Tyler, ever doleful, steels himself for future disappointment. He vows to “continue to do the best I can.” I’ve seen a fair amount of reality TV and am pretty familiar with the standard “types” of characters — Tyler’s self-hating, hangdog persona feels unusually sincere and fragile. He’s my favorite cheftestant.

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Sietsema Mocks Schmendricks Bagels; Pop-Up Takes a Hiatus

Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema may love S.F. food, as he said following a recent trip here, but he has no time for the "pretentious and expensive bagels" being served by Schmendricks to an authentic-NY-bagel-starved audience here paying three dollars a pop. He's laughing mostly at the no-toast rule and a statement on the Schmendricks site that suggests "even an everything bagel pushes the limits of authenticity." Most native New Yorkers know that this isn't true, but as for the actual bagel quality? Sietsema's correspondent says they're boiled too long, "Outside is way too tough. Bagel is tiny. It's also a bit yeasty tasting. [And] Very hard to chew through." Meanwhile, Schmendricks won't be popping up for a while as they announce a hiatus to "figure out our next steps." [Village Voice]

As Quickly as They Came, Fresh & Easy Stores May Be on the Way Out

Photo: Courtesy of Fresh & Easy

British grocery chain Tesco is already talking about closing the 200 U.S. Fresh & Easy stores that they just opened in the past couple of years, due to disappointing returns and an apparent lack of interest in their prepared foods, generic products, and automated checkstands. The Bay Area was one of the last phases of their expansion, after they opened 160 Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California and the southwest between 2007 and 2011. Last year saw the opening of the new Bayview store, at 5800 Third Street, in an area that was long considered a "food desert." And two more locations have since opened, one in a former Albertson's at 32nd and Clement, and another at Silver and Goettingen, joining sixteen other locations in the greater Bay Area. (Just a month ago we heard they were eying a fourth location at 1830 Ocean Avenue, too.) A rep for the store tells the Chronicle that the stores will remain open while they conduct a review, and that they may consider selling off the stores rather than closing them down. [Chron, Earlier]

Apparently Someone Found a Black Widow Spider in Her Bag of Organic Whole Foods Grapes

Someone get this spider a book deal.

This 27-year-old yoga instructor was about to start snacking on some organic grapes purchased from a Whole Foods in Fairfield, Connecticut, when she noticed a little Charlotte's Web action happening within. It turns out that a potentially deadly black widow spider had stowed away inside the bag, perhaps in Mexico, where the grapes were grown. Nora Weiss reacted by calmly posting a Facebook message that read: "Attention all Fairfield Whole Foods Customers!!!! I just found a black widow spider in my Sunview Organic Table Grapes bag!!!! If you just bought or will be buying these grapes or any other produce from them, carefully inspect and wash them with rubber gloves!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!! Totally freaked me out!" A day later, Weiss says no harm, no foul, and wishes the spider the safest of travels and the best of luck. "My boyfriend let it go outside,'' she tells the Connecticut Post. "That's how we live. It's a living animal and we have no hard feelings.'' [CT Post]

Pizzeria Delfina to Open Third Location Next Year in Burlingame

Craig and Annie Stoll are taking their popular pizzeria concept down south and opening the third branch of Pizzeria Delfina in downtown Burlingame. They've snagged a space at 1444 Burlingame Avenue, as the Chron reports, and will open their largest location to date, with 80 seats and a back patio. Envelope A+D, the architects who have done all their projects, will be responsible for the design, and they're aiming for a June 2013 opening. The first Pizzeria Delfina opened on 18th Street in 2005, next door to their flagship restaurant Delfina, and with just 24 seats and a dozen more on the sidewalk, it's been packed pretty much every night since. The second location, at California and Fillmore in Pacific Heights, opened in 2008. [Chron]

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