Posts for December 12, 2012

Stable Café Still Recovering From Early December Flood

The Stable Café has had not one but two major floods this year, and the most recent happened after the big rain on December 2 that also flooded the nearby gourmet ghetto of 18th Street. Chef Joshua Skenes tells us it was a fine goodbye as he and his crew had just closed Saison and finished packing up the night before. (The restaurant, as we've reported, is in the process of moving in to 178 Townsend Street, where construction is just about complete and the restaurant is set to reopen this month, and they previously had to close for several days at the Folsom Street location in April due to a flood.) As Mission Local now tells us, The Stable Café is keeping some irregular hours as city workers continue to make repairs to the building's plumbing and sewage systems. Also, customers are a little squeamish about the fact that the floor's now been soaked with sewage for the second time this year, and any prospective tenants in the Saison space out back are likely to be a bit nervous about the place being so flood-prone — the café was also shut down in 2009 after a big rain and subsequent flood. [Mission Local]

Where to Get Your Christmas Tamales

Christmas in the Mission is all about tamales, and this is the time of year when people get very passionate about who makes the most perfect masa. La Palma Mexica-tessen is where all the Mission mamas in the know go to buy their masa for homemade tamales, but for those of you who don't plan to D.I.Y., here's a roundup of all your other best tamale options.

AQ to Open New, Fire-Driven Restaurant Next Door

It turns out AQ's other expansion project is right next door, or two doors down, from the existing restaurant. We broke the news of AQ's expansion plans in October, and later learned that one of their two upcoming projects is the new concession at ODC Theater in the Mission. Now the Scoop confirms the second venture, which is still nameless and about which details are few, will be located in a 2,000-square-foot space at 1077 Mission. Chef Mark Liberman wants to cook only by fire, but that's all he's saying for now about the menu and concept. Look for this baby AQ to open in the second half of 2013. [Scoop]

Man Laid Off From Pink-Slime-Producing Company Sues ABC, Jamie Oliver

Oliver.Photo: Getty Images

Back in September, South Dakota's Beef Products, Inc. sued ABC News for defamation, claiming investigative pieces on "pink slime" made by the company crushed demand for the product and forced BPI to close three-quarters of its plants and lay off more than 700 workers. Now one of those laid-off workers, Bruce Smith, is also suing a group of people including ABC News, anti-pink-slime-crusader Jamie Oliver, and school-lunch blogger Bettina Siegel (who says on her blog that she hasn't yet been served with the suit). Smith is seeking $70,000 damages, a number he tells the Daily Mail is low enough to keep the case from going to federal court: "I want the people I have sued. I want them here in the locality where the damage is done," he says. "And if that means not suing for everything I can, so be it." [Daily Mail UK, Earlier]

Income Disparity Between Fast-Food Workers and Executives Keeps Growing

Billions served, millions of employees screwed.

Bloomberg brings us a frown-inducing story today about the income disparity between fast-food workers — like one McDonald's employee in Chicago named Tyree Johnson who works at two restaurants, still can't get 40 hours a week, and makes $8.25 an hour despite having been a loyal employee for twenty years — and recent former CEO Jim Skinner, who made $8.75 million last year. As they point out, depressingly, it would take Tyree Johnson working a million hours, or a hundred years, to make what Skinner makes. Worse: That's totally indicative of the growing wage gap between the one-percenters and everyone else.

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Local’s Corner Does Oyster Pot Pie, Pot au Feu, For Winter

The nine-month-old restaurant gets some new, cold-weather dishes.Photo: Michael Mroz

Local's Corner (23rd and Bryant) just unveiled their winter dinner menu, and chef Jake DesVoignes has added a few heartier, more seasonally appropriate items to the seafood-driven list, including an oyster pot pie; a whole Dungeness crab with potato, young onions, and Dungeness aioli; and a black-rice risotto with ricotta, fennel, and grated salt-cured tuna heart.

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Check Out the Menu at Toma, the New Marina Mexican Spot Opening Soon

We first caught wind in October of Toma taking over the tiny former Let's Be Frank spot at Steiner and Chestnut. Now the Scoop catches a menu go up on the front door with the tagline "Mas Mexican" — that means "more Mexican" for you gringos out there. The focus is on burritos, but there will be tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and sopes too. And the corn tortillas for the tacos and sopes will be made to order. Opening date is TBA. [Scoop]

Let the Top Ten Lists Begin: Virginia Miller Rounds Up Her Best New Restaurants; Anna Roth Reviews YakiniQ

Virginia Miller

Not surprisingly, numbers two and three on Virginia Miller's roundup of the ten best new restaurants of the year are State Bird Provisions and Rich Table, which have both been pretty universally loved in the critical sphere this year (and deservedly so). Her number one: AQ, which technically opened in 2011, but we'll let that slide. Miller also sings the praises of The Ice Cream Bar, Plaj, and Saru Sushi Bar. [SFBG]

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Dum Dums: Soda and Candy ‘May Reduce Brain Function’

Put down those Christmas cookies immediately: New research from UCLA concludes that consuming soda, candy, and sugary snacks for just six weeks could render you dumb, reports CBS. Apparently, in addition to causing things like obesity and diabetes, fructose slows cognitive functions, altering the "brain's ability to learn and remember information." This sounds like something we might have expected after, say, five eggnogs. But now Coke and Tootsie pops, too?

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Will Climate Change Wipe Out the World’s Pasta?

Possibly, says Newsweek (a mag that probably knows a thing or two about being wiped out). In a way-long story called "The End of Pasta," this helpful bit of info appears: "Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead." Scary! But here's the thing: If climate change gets so bad that it destroys the world's wheat crop, spaghetti will be the least of our concerns, as we'll also be unable to produce things like, uh, bread. [Newsweek]

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Pica Pica’s Castro Location Due to Open in January After Lengthy Delay

3970 17th Street

Remember how way back in August 2011 we mentioned that Pica Pica Maize Kitchen was going to open a third location in the Castro? Well, things got kind of majorly delayed, and they are now set to open next month, January 2013, a full sixteen months late. It's a two-story space at 3970 17th Street, just behind the Chevron station, downhill from Jane Warner Plaza and diagonally across from Orphan Andy's. Construction is underway, and the team reports that the arepa menu will be similar to their other two locations, on Valencia Street and at Napa's Oxbow Public Market. But, there will also be new Venezuelan-style platters, like crispy chicken with black beans, yuca fries and Pica Slaw; and cachapas, which are sweet yellow corn crepes with three stuffing options: beef pabellon, grilled chicken, and vegetarian. Also, there will be more meal-sized salads, like grilled steak and tostones on a bed of mixed greens, with queso fresco, tomatoes, black beans and mustard vinaigrette. Owner Adriana Lopez Vermut says of the delay that not only were there permit issues, but she was also 32 weeks pregnant and got shingles when they decided to halt construction. She now says, "With the hard work of revising our menu and redefining ourselves, we feel confident in going forward with our third location." They're aiming for a January 15 opening if all goes smoothly. [Earlier]

Dungeness Crab Strike Ends, Crab Boats Back on the Water

You may or may not have noticed, but local crab fisherman have been on strike for eleven days following what's become an annual tradition of squabbling over twenty-five cents per pound on the wholesale price of crab. Wholesalers caved, agreed to three dollars a pound, and as of this morning the crabbers are back out on the water and expected back in port with a supply of fresh Dungeness this evening. And restaurants should be seeing the stuff again as of Thursday. [Chron]

Bancarella Coming to Union Square From Emporio Rulli Team

Grub Street broke the news last year that Gary Rulli of Ristobar fame, who already operates an Emporio Rulli Café on the Stockton Street side of Union Square, had his sights set on the kiosk space on the opposite side, next to the TIX Bay Area booth. Now Tablehopper confirms that the project is finally moving forward, and it will be called Bancarella. Rulli plans to serve a small menu of breakfast pastries and snacks, like tuna tartare, lasagna, panini, and salumi plates, as well as espresso drinks and wine by the glass. They're trying to get open by Monday, December 17, and yes, this means Rulli will have a monopoly on tourist lounging on the square. [Tablehopper]

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