Posts for February 12, 2013

Magnolia Brewery Due in Dogpatch By May, Or Thereabouts

The long-awaited brewery project from Magnolia Pub's brewmaster Dave McLean, first discussed almost three years ago, is finally under construction and coming along, and McLean revealed to 7x7 this week that the current ETA is May. The brewery, across from Serpentine at Third and 22nd, will be much larger and distinct from the existing Upper Haight brewpub, and they'll both operate in tandem, with different beers being made at each. He clarified for us that the timing is both for the brewery taproom and the attached restaurant, which will feature barbecue and (undoubtedly) various other beer-friendly stuff from Namu Gaji chef Dennis Lee. It remains possible, though, that one may open before the other. [7x7, Earlier]

Chris Kronner Planning Second KronnerBurger in Oakland

The double, which is massive.Photo: Courtesy of KronnerBurger

We'd heard late last year that chef Chris Kronner was on the hunt for at least one, if not two permanent locations for his burger venture, KronnerBurger. The pop-up at Bruno's (2379 Mission Street) has already won him a lot of fans, and today Grub Street caught up with Kronner for an update on his expansion plans. He tells us that for now he plans on staying at Bruno's indefinitely, and that since it's "going really well," there's no need to think about moving until much further down the line. He is, however, aiming to open another pop-up across the Bay in June. All he'll say now is, "The second location will also exist within another business. And it will be in Oakland." Any guesses? File under: Developing. [Earlier]

Celebrate Mardi Gras at The Chapel, Boxing Room, Town Hall, and More

That would be New Orleans.Photo: iStockPhoto

We neglected to mention that today is Fat Tuesday. And though we aren't in New Orleans, S.F. is home to several New Orleans-themed restaurants and venues that take this holiday very seriously. See our roundup of events below.

Read more »

Curry Up Now Opening Brick-and-Mortar Valencia Location Next Week

As reported in December, popular food truck Curry Up Now is opening their third brick and mortar location at 659 Valencia Street, the first two being in Palo Alto and San Mateo. That opening now has a firm date, just a month behind schedule, and it's Wednesday, February 20. The new location, which was formerly that odd and empty Pizzeria near 18th Street, will seat 70 and serve the truck's signature twists on Indian street food items, like guacamole sev puri, vada pav and pani Puri with quinoa filling, the deconstructed samosa, and the Tikka Masala Burrito. They'll be opening without a beer and wine license, however that is on its way in a month or two. And in addition to being a food hub of many stripes, the Inner Mission is officially now our Little India, with newish coastal Indian spot Gajalee, mainstays like Alhamra, Aslam’s Rasoi, Pakwan, Dosa, the more vegetarian Udupi Palace, and the unnecessarily ginormous Amber Dhara. [Earlier]

‘Bitter Barista’ Loses His Job After Wittily Complaining About Customers Online

Cup this, jerks!

Because we greatly value and love giving book deals to service industry employees who secretly jot down all the stupid, pushy, and embarrassing things customers say and then publish them online later, a former barista in Seattle who keeps a blog called Bitter Barista has been fired, Sprudge reports, but will no doubt soon publish a book filled with all sorts of fun observations. After he was outed as the sardonic blogger, the Seattle Times reports, Matt Watson tried to explain to his boss that Bitter Barista — "thoughts from behind the counter (and other reasons why I hate you)" tagline and all — was satire, but to no avail. Now he's determined to keep going, so get ready for more insights like, "Every time someone orders an extra-hot-no-foam latte, an angel rapes a puppy." Also, to be on the safe side, you may want to check that you're ordering your coffee the right way. [Sprudge, Seattle Times, Related]

Robert Parker Protégé Antonio Galloni Leaves The Wine Advocate to Launch New Web Venture


Wine geeks, take note: A major changing of the guard is at hand. Antonio Galloni, who has been a critic for Robert Parker's extremely influential magazine The Wine Advocate since 2006, is busting out on his own next month with a new web-based publication,, aimed at younger wine consumers.

Read more »

Lesbian Couple Accepts Duff Goldman’s Wedding Cake; Meanwhile, Business Thrives at Homophobic Baker’s Shop

Equal cake for all.

After Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner Aaron Klein refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman stepped in and offered to bake and deliver one for free. Even though Laurel Bowman and her fiancée had already enlisted another baker in Portland, they said yes, of course — you can never have too much cake. But this story doesn't have a cookie-cutter, happy ending: As the state attorney general's office decides whether Klein violated the Oregon Equality Act, business is booming at Sweet Cakes. Klein is standing by his decision to discriminate, and people are supporting him; he recently sold out of cupcakes. If this leaves you feeling ill (and makes you hate cupcakes), know that you can take action: Bowman and her fiancée are asking anyone who's moved by their story to donate to Pride Northwest on their behalf. Now, that's a good wedding gift. [Earlier, Oregonian, HuffPo]

Bon Appétit Says These 20 Restaurants Are the Country’s Most Influential

Le Bernardin: Still going strong.Photo: Danny Kim

For its March issue, Bon Appétit proffers a nifty and interactive feature on the top twenty restaurants that are at this moment doing significant things for food in America — you'll notice by calling them "important," the magazine avoids the pitfalls of adjectives like "best" or "trendiest" and pretty much opens up a new way of looking at restaurant culture altogether. "Restaurants," writes editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, "more than movies or music or literature — are this generation's arbiters of taste." So how tasteful is the list? Let's take a look.

Oysters! Chinese food! »

Japanese Soba and Offal Pop-Up Coming Next Week to KronnerBurger

Sylvan Mishima Brackett

Sylvan Mishima Brackett, the talented guy behind Peko Peko as well as being Alice Waters's go-to artisan printer, is bringing his love of Japanese soba noodles and peasant cuisine to a one-night-only pop-up at KronnerBurger at Bruno's next Thursday, February 21. So yes, it's basically a pop-up within a pop-up. As the East Bay Express reports, Brackett will be joined by Kanji Nakatani, a chef from Japan who runs two small soba restaurants (Soba Ro and Soba Ra) in the Saitama prefecture; Nancy Singleton Hachisu, a writer and organic farmer who lives in Japan; and Chikara Ono of Oakland izakaya B-Dama. Nakatani is also here doing a four-course soba lunch at Chez Panisse on February 24.

Read more »

Yet Another Heart Attack Grill Customer Dies

The Quadruple Bypass Burger.Photo: Heart Attack Grill

John Alleman, a 52-year-old unofficial spokesman for Las Vegas's death-happy Heart Attack Grill, has died after suffering — yup — a heart attack. Alleman reportedly ate at the restaurant nearly every day, despite owner "Doctor Jon" Basso's warnings that Triple Bypass Burgers really weren't everyday food. This follows two similar incidents last year. How long before someone takes action here?

Read more »

Saison Launches Bar Tasting Menu, With Canapés

The new bar.Photo: Alanna Hale/Grub Street

For those who would like a taste of Saison (178 Townsend), but who can't afford a full meal there without saving a few more pennies, chef Joshua Skenes announces today that he'll be offering a $48 bar and lounge tasting menu, featuring eight to ten of the delicate canapés — the same sorts of delicate dishes, often featuring fish, that would begin a typical meal at the restaurant, when a full meal is usually around 20 courses. We don't have a menu just yet, but we should shortly. The restaurant is reopening tonight, as promised, following some emergency weekend repairs. And as we mentioned last week, the new bar program has softly launched, with shochu- and sherry-based cocktails, pending a full liquor license. Seats at the bar can be reserved, but some walk-ins will be taken. [Earlier slideshow]

Justin Warner’s Dinner Tab at Masa Triggered Credit Card Company Alarms


The country's most expensive restaurant is so pricey that it sends up red flags in credit card company software, apparently: After the Brooklyn-based Food Network star Justin Warner had a meal with his girlfriend at high-, high-end sushi restaurant Masa and paid the bill, he got a text from Chase checking in to confirm the $1284.73 tab was legit. Which, in a way, could be a really good marketing strategy for the restaurant. [Justin Warner/Twitter via Price Hike, Earlier]

Coroner Says Woman’s Massive Coca-Cola Habit Played a Part in Her Death

Stick to the small size.

Three years ago, Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight in New Zealand, died of a heart attack. But a coroner says Harris, who allegedly swilled up to ten liters of Coca-Cola per day — "twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine and more than 11 times the recommended sugar intake" — did herself in with soda, reports the BBC. She drank so much, in fact, that her teeth had rotted from decay and she'd go into intense withdrawal symptoms when deprived of her chosen beverage.

Read more »

LihoLiho Yacht Club Returns at Contigo This Month

Mixing things up, neighborhood-wise, former Prospect and Boulevard chef Ravi Kapur is returning with his Hawaiian- and pan-Asian inflected pop-up LihoLiho Yacht Club this month, this time in Noe Valley. He'll be doing two Mondays this round, February 18 and 25, at Contigo (1320 Castro Street), and you can reserve a seat here. (Like before it's a $55 prix fixe, not including gratuity or beverages.) As for his ongoing search for a permanent restaurant space, he says there are currently a few he's looking at, but "nothing solid as of yet." And whether or not LihoLiho will serve as the model for the menu is also unclear. "I'm going to let the space dictate what it will become," he tells us. [Earlier Slideshow]

The Blame Game: Europe’s Horse Crisis Is Giving a Viable Food Source a Bad Name

Trigger was a friend, a star, and probably some French person's eventual dinner.Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

Who knew something as innocuous as frozen lasagna would ever set off a huge international food scandal? After European officials discovered that lots of meat labeled as "beef" was actually "horse" (or possibly donkey), people are, you know, pissed off. Rightfully so, but the problem here is that horsemeat is getting an even worse reputation than it already had, when it's the world's broken food maufacturing systems that are the real problem.

Read more »

Bloomberg Declares Mission Sort of Accomplished in War on Salt

Reduced sodium!Photo: iStockPhoto, Creative Commons

The mayor who puts salt on Saltine crackers and allegedly chows down on popcorn so sprinkled with sodium that it hurts his guests is nonetheless pleased with a New York City–led initiative that's resulted in several companies reducing the sodium contents of their products. Kraft, Unilever, Heinz, Butterball, Goya, Starbucks, and ConAgra are among the manufacturers who are making the dinner table less salty.

Who's cutting down. »


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