Posts for December 10, 2012

Bauer Gives the Corner Store, and Their Buffalo Sweetbreads, a Little Love

The Corner Store

Unlike Anna Roth, who called The Corner Store's buffalo sweetbreads "madness," Michael Bauer is sort of charmed by the idea in his new review of the place. (He also reveals a little-known historical bit about the place, that it used to be a speakeasy with a brothel upstairs, and there was a tunnel underneath Geary to a distillery across the street.) He especially loves the pork pate slider, the roast chicken, and the celery root soup, though he says not all the dishes work. He also likes the retro, milkshake cocktails, but he says the service isn't so great. All told: two and a half stars. [Chron, Roth's earlier take]

Take a Look Behind the Sausage-Making Scenes at Little City Market

This week the Bold Italic brings us an inside look at the in-house sausage-making that happens every day at the very old-school Little City Market in North Beach, where the father and son team of Ron and Mike Spinali has been working the butcher counter and making sausage together for over thirty years. (Ron learned the trade from his own father over 60 years ago.) The piece reminded us of this lovely video Mike Kepka made for the Chronicle last year, which you should also watch. [Bold Italic]

Where to Find the Best Poutine in S.F.

Poutine only recently became a thing around here, in the last two years or so. The Dapper Diner has done us all a solid and rounded up all the best versions of this Montréal delicacy that you can now find on San Francisco menus. His favorite? Per Diem, for the rich oxtail gravy and crumbled curds from Petaluma's Achadinha Cheese Company. But he's also quite fond of the versions at Jasper's Corner Tap, Citizen's Band, Wayfare Tavern, and the new Sauce on Belden Place. [Dapper Diner via SF Weekly]

Highlights From Days One and Two of Meadowood’s Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Meadowood's annual series of elaborate guest-chef dinners benefiting Share Our Strength, kicked off on Friday with a dinner featuring chef Scott Anderson from Elements in Princeton, New Jersey, and wines from Realm Cellars. This is the fifth year for the series, which started around the time Kostow came on as executive chef, and the list of guest chefs was co-curated this year by Ulterior Epicure's Bonjwing Lee. This year's dinners are different in that it's a tag-team effort each night, with Kostow doing several of his own dishes to complement those of the guest chefs' menus. Today we bring you some highlights from Friday's and Saturday's dinners, the latter featuring wines from nearby Failla Wines, and Virginia chefs John and Karen Shields — formerly at Town House, and now contemplating a new venture, possibly in the D.C. area.

Read more »

Listen to a Dramatic Reading of That Passive-Aggressive Goodbye Letter From Jake’s

This may be an important lesson for local restaurateurs: Try to refrain from sharing your true feelings, no matter how lightly veiled, if and when you are addressing your public or closing up shop. The bitter goodbye note left outside the door by the owners of Jake's on Market last week got some traction around the local blogs, because secretly we all love a passive-aggressive note. Now, local performer Stephen Kling, while not trying to make light of an unfortunate situation that has left some people out of a job, provides a dramatic reading of the owners' dramatic words.

Read more »

Have a Very Sherry Christmas at 15 Romolo

We've been trying to keep you apprised of the more notable special holiday cocktails around town, and now Alcademics points us to the holiday menu at 15 Romolo on which all the drinks but one are made with sherry. So, between the Bitter Uncle, the Sleigh Ride, and the Santa's Suckerpunch, you should get a pretty good idea of the flavor magic that comes from a half ounce of fino or olorosso. [Alcademics]

Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan Chicken Chain, Opens First Full-Service U.S. Location Today in San Francisco

The new spot, photographed today.Illustration: Claudia Escobar/Mission Local

The long-awaited Mission location of Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan chicken franchise started in 1971, opens today at noon in the former Payless shoe store space at 2740 Mission Street (between 23rd and 24th). They have several dozen quick-service U.S. locations already, including a bunch around L.A. from this same franchisee, however the new S.F. location marks the first location with full table service. And given their huge, loyal Latin-American following, you can expect this opening to be greeted with some long lines — when the first L.A. location opened in 2002, the wait stretched to seven hours. Pollo Campero serves Latin-inspired, marinated grilled or fried chicken, along with stuff like crispy yucca fries, sweet plantains, slow-cooked pinto beans with bacon, and Latin soft drinks.

Read more »

Novak Djokovic Now Controls the World’s Supply of Precious Donkey Cheese

Feta wouldn't do.Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Possibly in order to stand out from the rest of the Belgrade restaurant scene, Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic has reportedly purchased the entire world's supply of donkey cheese known as Pule. Otherwise known as the most expensive cheese in the world, Pule retails for up to $1,350 per kilogram and only comes from one place, that is, the good donkeys of the Zasavica reserve in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia. Djokovic, who also has a stake in a family-run Novak Cafe & Restaurant (they're looking for franchisees!), will serve the low-fat, high-protein Pule at his restaurants.

But how does it taste? »

Leopold’s Owners Take Over Former Long Bar Space

The former Long Bar.

The brothers that own Leopold's in Russian Hill and the recently shuttered Cafe Metropol, Albert and Klaus Rainer, are expanding once again and taking over the dormant Long Bar at 2298 Fillmore (at Clay). The Pacific Heights tavern got half a makeover last year under bar manager and partner Reza Esmaili, only to shutter for a full remodel eighteen months ago and remain dark ever since. The Rainers now say they want to keep the tavern spirit alive, with red leather booths, and wood paneling, and to "create an atmosphere reminiscent of the old Fillmore." There's still no name, and no hints at an opening time frame, so stay tuned. [Scoop]

Bloody Hell: London Might Outlaw Rare Burgers

An endangered species?

We can't believe we're typing these words, but London's Westminster City Council wants to crack down on restaurants serving rare and medium-rare burgers. The London Evening Standard reports that authorities have even enlisted the United Kingdom's top expert on E. coli (really), Professor Hugh Pennington, to advise on the lethality of rare meat — and things look grim.

Read more »

Oaky: Robert Parker Leaves The Wine Advocate

Why is this man smiling?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Robert M. Parker, who popularized his now-ubiquitous 100-point rating system and changed the nature of the wine business, is stepping down from his role as editor-in-chief at The Wine Advocate, the vastly influential wine-review publication he started in 1978 with a $2,000 loan from his mom and a few mimeographed copies. The publication has grown to 50,000 subscribers over the years and now occupies a central position in the global wine trade.

The new owners are three entrepreneurs in Singapore. »

Chiarello’s Embarcadero Restaurant Will Be Called Coqueta

As we learned a couple weeks back, celebrity chef Michael Chiarello is opening a new Spansh-inspired restaurant in the former Lafitte space at Pier 5. And now, he's settled on a name: Coqueta. As he tells the Scoop, it means "coquette" or "flirt" in Spanish, and it refers to his desire to flirt with Spanish cuisine and technique. Coqueta will be Chiarello's first foray into Spanish food, and his first restaurant in San Francisco proper. Look for the opening sometime in the spring. [Scoop, Earlier]

California Women Called ‘Fat Girls’ on Restaurant Receipt

Three women looking to square away their tab last Thursday night at a place called Chilly D's inside the Cameo Club Casino in Stockton, California, were shocked to discover that the restaurant's bartender had rung them up as "FAT GIRLS." If you've been tallying all the xenophobic and racist receipts issued to customers at restaurants over the last year, perhaps this latest form of fast-casual hate speech doesn't bother you much. But consider this: After the women discovered the words "FAT GIRLS" on their check, they approached a manager, who offered no genuine apology, but instead initially just a 25 percent discount. They had to talk him up to 50 percent

50 percent off the bill isn't much better. »

Watch Jamie Foxx Play an Angry Ding Dong

The uproar over Hostess closing has mostly been focused on the loss of Twinkies, despite the fact that the company made lots of other things. Someone at Saturday Night Live must have noticed, because this weekend's host Jamie Foxx showed up for a "Weekend Update" segment dressed as a Ding Dong that was tired of being forgotten about.

Remember "Keep Their Heads Ringin'"? »


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