Posts for January 23, 2013

Schulzies Serving ‘Colin Razpernaek’ Bread Pudding

Yum.Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

Even bread pudding shops can get in on Super Bowl fever, and newly opened Schulzies in Hayes Valley is doing a tribute to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by renaming their raspberry bread pudding after him. It's a little bit of an awkward construction (maybe it should be 'Raezpernick'?), but we gotta say, it's damn delicious, especially when topped with white chocolate sauce.

Schulzies Bread Pudding - 364 Hayes Street between Gough and Franklin - Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Masked Gunman Robs Papa Murphy's in Alameda, Injures Two Employees

A suspect between the ages of 27 and 33 stormed into the Papa Murphy's pizzeria at 1929 Broadway in Alameda last night and demanded that an employee open the safe. The incident happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday, and after the employee was unable to open the safe, the suspect pistol-whipped him and broke his cheekbone. Another employee was punched, and the suspect, who has not been found, made off with an undisclosed amount of cash from the register. [Tribune]

Your Cheap Olive Oil May Be Filled With Fake Crap

Not a virgin!

If that $5 bottle of extra virgin olive oil seems too good to be true, it probably is. The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, a scientific nonprofit, discovered a 60 percent increase in food fraud this year. Pomegranate juice, olive oil, lemon juice, and tea are often diluted with cheaper products such as grape juice, water, and filters like lawn grass (gross!). Milk, honey, coffee, and seafood are also frequent culprits — but you already knew the unnamed "fish" in your favorite $3 taco was dodgy.

So, how can you fight food adulteration? »

Restaurants Fight Back Over Credit-Card Fees

Debit or credit may mean the difference of a couple dollars.

Since dinner out can often top $100 for two people, it's not surprising that most customers demand restaurants take credit cards. Restaurants, of course, are obliging, but that means credit-card companies can charge ever-higher fees, for which restaurants must bear the burden. Now the National Restaurant Association is lobbying Congress to get those fees lowered, much the way debit-card processing fees have already been capped under the Dodd-Frank Act. They've posted this fee calculator for restaurant owners so they can figure out just how pricey all this is — even small restaurants are likely paying tens of thousands a year in fees alone — with the hope that they'll make more noise. But barring any immediate changes at the federal level, restaurant customers in 40 states may soon start seeing those processing fees passed on to them as a line item on their bill.

Read more »

Drunk Guy Holds Pizza Deliverywoman Hostage, Asks Her to Be His Wife

A Boston-area man allegedly held a Papa Gino's deliverywoman against her will because he wanted a wife with his pizza, reports the Boston Globe. Jonathan Quinlan, drunk at the time and having clearly misinterpreted the whole "you ring, we bring" concept, was arrested for kidnapping.

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Waiter Who Defended Special-Needs Child Becomes Local Hero

Oh, happy day: Michael Garcia, the Houston waiter who refused to serve a customer who criticized a boy with Down syndrome, is earning widespread praise. Customers are flocking to Prime Rib to shake his hand, and kind commenters (they exist!) are showing Garcia some love on the restaurant's Facebook page. Well-deserved. Now, about that raise. [Earlier, Today]

Stock In Trade, a New Tavern, Readying for February Opening

The lanterns outside the old La Barca, which lived here for 49 years.

Over in the Marina, the new venture in the former La Barca space (2036 Lombard), Stock In Trade, is coming together and ready to open "in a few weeks" according to the team. There are still inspections, etcetera, but the build-out for the tavern is essentially complete. The team behind it, as discussed last year, includes Tod Alsman and Chris Fogarty (both of R Bar), Cass Fegan and Vance Bernard, the son of longtime La Barca owner Jimmy Bernard, with former Wood Tavern chef Maximilian diMare heading up the kitchen. Early promo copy calls it "a tavern girls will love," and we're hoping for some photos shortly. Stay tuned. [Earlier]

Ranking People Magazine’s Paula Deen Puff Pieces

Puffy.Photo: People

Diabetes opportunist crusader Paula Deen hams it up on the absolutely-not-Photoshopped-we're-sure cover of People this week flanked by her newly svelte sons, touting her family's amazing weight loss (they shed a total of 178 pounds and proclaim, "If the Deens can do it, anyone can!"). But it's really no shock that People got the inside story on her dieting habits: They write about her all the time. Suspicious? Ahead, we rank the puffery possibilities (up to 100 points each) of each hard-hitting scoop.

Read more »

The Taste Is Off to an Appetizing Start

A healthy number of viewers chomped down on the two-hour premiere of Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson's new culinary competition show last night. The Taste had 6.04 million viewers, beating comedies on Fox and NBC. In adult viewers 18 to 49, it averaged a 2.2 rating, beating CBS, NBC, and Fox. So, shazam! "The 18 to 49 range is what counts," Vulture's Josef Adalian tells us, "and while it's not a monster hit by any means, the show is off to a solid start." By comparison, America's Next Top Restaurant debuted in 2011 to 4.57 million viewers and a 1.6 share of viewers from 18 to 49. Adalian also notes The Taste had four times as many viewers as last month's most-watched episode of Top Chef Seattle. [Zap2It, Earlier]

First Look at The Forge, Opening Next Week in Oakland

Jack London Square needs a pizzeria. The foot-traffic-starved plaza and retail complex has struggled in recent years despite plenty of city investment and new, high-profile dining options (Haven, Bocanova). But that may be changing. Pizzeria UNO is long gone, but enter The Forge (66 Franklin Street). It's a homespun concept with homegrown talent — Michael Karp (who owns Orinda's Barbacoa and Table 24), Bob Burke (a Pat Kuleto vet), chef Jeffrey Amber (XYZ, Chow, Moose's), pizza consultant Jeff Krupman (a.k.a. The Pizza Hacker), and pizzaiolo Jeff Hayden, who's worked at Boot & Shoe Service and Dopo, and whom Amber calls The Pizza Ninja. They've installed a forge-like, wood-fired Valoriani oven from Italy to anchor the space, but the first thing you'll notice on approach will be the fire pits outside and the seating that surrounds them, which are going to give an automatic boost to the energy in Jack London for the foreseeable future.

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Here’s What 27 Tons of Burning Goat Cheese Looks Like

A truck laden with about 27 metric tonnes (or, almost 60,000 pounds) of brunost cheese caught fire in a tunnel in Norway last week, causing a raging fire that burned for five days. The truck driver says he was about 1,000 feet into the tunnel when he noticed his cargo of dark goat cheese was aflame. Officials suspect the high sugar and fat content in the brunost and its arrangement on the truck caused a rapid spike in its temperature, leading to the fire, which badly damaged the interior of the hillside tunnel and left clouds of toxic gasses looming around the tunnel's entrances for days, the BBC reports. The driver escaped from the flaming cheese inferno unscathed, and the tunnel will be closed for a few weeks until it can be repaired. For now, at least, a small part of the country smells like raclette, and citizens are shocked. "I didn't know that brown cheese burns so well," says the director of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. Head toward the molten dairy center of Norway's fiery goat cheese tunnel of doom, just ahead.

Raclette! »

Anna Roth Says M.Y. China Is Decent, If Overpriced; Miller Reviews Bars With Bites

The Weekly's Anna Roth takes on Martin Yan's M.Y. China this week, and she begins with the obvious: It's in a mall, and the prices are astronomical compared to similar fare in Chinatown. That said, she finds "the occasional pleasant surprise," like the wild boar scissor-cut noodles, which she calls "one of the best dishes on the menu," and the kung pao Dungeness crab, which at $42 is "worth it if you can swing it." And it's really the prices that make everything a little less enjoyable — like a side dish of garlicky pea shoots which, at $16, seemed a little less delicious. [SF Weekly]

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Three Twins Ice Cream Hopefully Reopening By Summer in Lower Haight

After that huge fire in September 2011 that rendered uninhabitable that whole building at the corner of Haight and Fillmore, Three Twins Ice Cream has been without a brick-and-mortar home in the city. They still sell at farmers' markets, selected stores, and at their three scoop shops in the North Bay, but Haighteration has been wondering when and if they plan to reopen at 254 Fillmore. The answer is yes, they're still coming back, and as of today, they're saying "some time in the summer." So the Lower Haight will not be without its Strawberry Je Ne Sais Quoi for long. [Haighteration]

Kate Middleton Doesn’t Have Much of an Appetite

According to a (former) friend of the Duchess, Kate feels nauseous when she looks at food. She's living off avocados, berries, oatmeal, and broccoli, and is now undergoing hypnotherapy to disassociate the act of eating with morning sickness. But she did have a Starbucks cookie last week. Maybe that's why she lost her appetite. [International Business Times, Cut]

The Taste Premiere in 91 Seconds

Last night, ABC unveiled its Top Chef-meets-the Voice mash-up, The Taste, filled to the brim with close-ups of quavering hands over the yes/no buttons of destiny and pre-decision anonymity for the contenders. Anyway, the concept is that the judges — Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, and the other guy — build a team of cooks that they choose based on blind tastes of various dishes. But reviews say the premiere "drags," lasts for what "feels like forever," and "is confusing ... with humorless banter." So, we've assembled the best bits into a tidy, easy to watch minute and a half. Check it out straight ahead and decide for yourself if this cooking competition is for you, or if it's another mediocre show that should go the way of America's Next Great Restaurant.

Read more »


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