Posts for February 22, 2013

Heartbaker Coming to the Richmond; Ramen Shop Hosts Meatpaper Party

Inner Richmond: Heartbaker, a new bakery and café, is moving into the former Chapeau! space at 1408 Clement Street (at 15th Avenue), opening in March. [Richmond SF via Scoop]
Mission: Chefs are shuffling at Schmidt's and Walzwerk. [Eater]
Hayes Valley: Smitten Ice Cream is looking for a new name for their patented, signature, liquid-nitrogen-powered ice cream machine, after a little trademark kerfuffle with Electrolux over its original name, Kelvin. [Hayeswire]
Oakland: Ramen Shop (5812 College Avenue) is hosting a release party for Meatpaper Issue 19, The Fishue on Tuesday, February 26. Tickets are $45. [7x7]

Where to Find Interesting Brunch Without an Hour Wait

Though we love some good chilaquiles, we'll confess to being brunch haters. (The lines! The sub-par service because everyone's either hungover or a rookie! As an anonymous man waiting hours to get into Mission Chinese in New York for dinner aptly put it, "I never knew anything could be more annoying than brunch.") But, if pressed, we know there are some places out there where you won't be accosted by hungry hordes in brighter moods who don't mind waiting an hour for some damn eggs. Ms. Gagliardi has a few recommendations along those lines over at 7x7, including the Japanese breakfast at Cassava in the Outer Richmond, and the Turkish breakfast at Pera in Potrero Hill. See also the new Mexican Breakfast launching this weekend at Rosa Mexicano (mm, carnitas hash), and a few of Jonathan Kauffman's older recommendations along these lines, though Orson is long gone. [7x7]

Canneti Roadhouse Opens Next Week in Forestville

The space.Photo: MLS/Loopnet

Canetti Roadhouse, the new project from former Fish chef Francesco Torre, is now slated to open next week in downtown Forestville. We first heard wind of it last month, and Tablehopper reports that Torre "has been transforming the cozy West County restaurant [at 6675 Front Street] for nearly six months, rehabbing the kitchen, sandblasting walls, repainting, and adding tons of charm." We'll post a menu as soon as one goes public. [Tablehopper]

Aaron London’s Upcoming Mystery Restaurant to Be in Former Horse Stable in the Mission

Aaron London, in his Ubuntu days.Photo: Food Network

Just to back up for a second, chef Aaron London left his post at Ubuntu last winter just as it became clear the downtown Napa restaurant was not returning from its "hiatus." He relocated to San Francisco, picked up a couple of bartending gigs, and has been plotting a solo project ever since. Last September he told the Scoop that he was close to a deal on a space in Hayes Valley, but he wouldn't reveal an address. Now SF Mag follows up and discovers he's now working on a different space in the Mission, which he also won't reveal the address of but which he says is "dilapidated" and is in an A-frame building that was formerly a horse stable. The project will require a change of use from Planning, which has yet to come. If all goes well, it's going to be a small operation with just 30 seats, eight of which will be at a chef's counter, and the plan is to make the wall behind the open kitchen plate glass, so that the whole space will look onto a small courtyard in back. File under: Still Developing. [SF Mag]

Hirsch Revels in the Industry-Friendly Window Operation Known as The Box

The Box, at night.

Critic Jesse Hirsch stumbles upon a food stand in a window next to a dive bar down an alley in SoMa called, simply, The Box. It's adjacent to Tempest Bar on Natoma between 5th and 6th, and the chef is Stephen Crawford, who spent two years working at Michael Mina. The target audience is restaurant and bar workers looking to grab a cheap, late-night bite, but there are a fair number of drunks stumbling over from the next-door bar. Hirsch highly recommends the cemita sandwich ("Threads of ancho-braised pork spilled forth, basting my arms in a fierce salsa roja."), the goat cheese-bacon croquettes, the fried Brussels sprouts, and the Box Burger with "bacon-shallot gastrique sauce, spinach, Schmitz Ranch chuck, and a potato-pepper bun from Panorama." FYI, it's open until 1 a.m. nightly. [SF Examiner]

Couple Who Found Dead Bird in Their Salad Really Just Need to Learn How to Make Salad

They seem to have bad luck with dead birds in foodstuffs in the U.K., what with that whole "Sing a Song of Sixpence" thing and now this, the tale of a Gloucestershire couple who were just sitting down to a nice steak dinner under dimmed lights when one of them discovered a large, stanky, and dead Blackcap European warbler on his plate. "My first reaction," says James Watson, "was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate?" But that was no soggy fishcake, and so the couple complained to retailer Tesco and were compensated with a £200 gift card, which is much better than the simple apology another British couple received the last time this exact same thing happened. Which, in a way, says something about the sorry state of cooking skills — why aren't these people washing their greens before use? That's still the best way to beat salmonella, after all. Also, why wouldn't they dress greens the old-fashioned way, by evenly distributing vinaigrette to all the leafy things inside a bowl? It's much easier to spot a dead, five-inch bird that way. Also, eating under mood-lighting, we get it, but was this salad made in the dark, too? Only the warbler knows for sure, and he isn't singing anymore. [Daily Mail, Earlier]

Curry Up Now’s New Menu Board is Very ... Graphic

SFoodie brings us a look at the expanded menu offerings at the newly open Curry Up Now at 659 Valencia Street. The Sexy Fries, Quesadillix, and Naughty Naan are all accounted for, and the menu board presentation is "about as vibrant as informational signage can get without frying your synapses." [SFoodie, Earlier]

Man Crashes Car Into 7-Eleven, Pours Himself Some Coffee

Not to be outdone by a Seattle man who was hit by a city bus but quickly bounced back to go fetch some French roast down the street or the Nebraska senior who plowed through the façade of Valentino's Pizza and ordered a pie from inside the wrecked dining room, an intrepid 56-year-old Californian named Dennis Cortopassi intentionally crashed his car through the window of a 7-Eleven outside Sacramento on Wednesday morning, then got out of his car and poured himself a coffee. Cortopassi threw a hissy fit and knocked things off the store's shelves after clerks called the cops. He was later arrested and taken to the Yolo County jail. YOLO indeed, Cortopassi.

Get me hazelnut! »

AQ Team Expanding With Yet Another Project, Bon Marché, in Twitter Building

Mini-mogul Semmelhack

We reported last fall that AQ owner Matt Semmelhack had two new projects up his sleeve, but make that three. Today he tells the Scoop that he's inked a deal to take a huge space in the Market Square building, better known to most of you as the new home of Twitter at 10th and Market. The name for the 125-seat all-day brasserie that likely won't open until 2015: Bon Marché. It's the first big lease to be announced for the ground-floor retail spaces at the former SF Mart, and there will be more to come — including a possible new cocktail spot from the Bourbon & Branch boys. And this project will follow on Semmelhack's other two upcoming ventures with chef Mark Liberman, Mélange Market at the ODC Theater and TBD, their cheekily named, fire-driven restaurant next door to AQ, due later this year.

Read more »

Plastic Found in Packaged Sausage

For all you readers out there who are fans of Smithfield Packing Co.'s "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll" — beware! The Virginia company's recalling 38,000 pounds of pork sausage after finding it mixed with small pieces of plastic, which likely came from gloves. No one's reported any injuries, but two unlucky consumers filed complaints. How appetizing. [AP]

Café Flore Wins, Neighbors Lose, In Battle Over Off-Site Kitchen

Cafe Flore's outdoor seating, which also sparked a battle a few years ago.

A simmering — and pretty tedious — battle in Duboce Triangle over whether 40-year-old Café Flore (2298 Market Street) should be allowed a spot-zoning exemption for their off-site prep kitchen has come to an end, with the Planning Commission voting six to one to approve. Supervisor Scott Wiener had backed the restaurant's application after it came to light that they'd been operating the off-site facility, behind a nail salon across the street, out of necessity but illegally for over a decade.

Read more »

Overheated and Loopy Paula Deen Dances on Today

In town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Paula Deen stopped by Today this morning to make some low-cal Buffalo chicken bites, but also some Oscar picks. As TMZ notes, Paula was given a sugar-free and nonalcoholic "morning mojito" to sip, but the Food Network star was nonetheless moved to get up and do a little salsa dancing on live national TV, even outshining the professionals. Seriously, Bobby Flay may be signed up, but it's really Deen who should be next up on Dancing With the Stars. Her Today appearance got a little bit strange, however, after the cha-cha, when she sat back down and told everyone how she'd been sprayed by a skunk. Then she asked Al Roker if he wanted to smell her hand.

"Balls, y'all!" »

La Urbana, a New ‘Mezcaleria,’ Headed for Divisadero

There's a big new Mexican restaurant looking to take over the vacant Plant It Earth retail space at the corner of Divisadero and Grove, and it's called La Urbana. And it was only a matter of time that this prime corner spot, a block up from Nopa on the city's most rapidly gentrifying corridor, got snapped up. SFist catches the project via Planning Commission documents, and the details are few but intriguing: 130 seats, two bars, and a mezcal tasting room that will double as a private dining room. The restaurant group behind it appears to be Resmex, which also operates the very popular Colibri near Union Square, and El Jardin at Santana Row. Given the buildout and permitting that will need to take place, La Urbana is not likely to open before next year, but stay tuned. [SFist]

Bobby Flay Reportedly Headed to Dancing With the Stars [Updated]

He already runs marathons.Photo: Rob Kim/WireImage

While no one's yet spotted him stocking up on tights at Capezio, word is this morning that the Food Network and Mesa Grill chef Bobby Flay has been cast on season 16 of Dancing With The Stars, alongside Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Sean Lowe from The Bachelor. Hollywood Life notes that while the official announcement won't be made until next week, they've shaken down a "source close to the show" who adds that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on the fence, but may also suit up. Cue the music. Update: Zagat finds out Flay is open to the idea, but hasn't signed on for the show. "My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it," he says. [HL, Earlier]

Is Tabasco Launching Its Own Version of Sriracha?

You know he ain't gonna die.Photo: Amazon

Is Huy Fong's rooster sauce, better know to the world (Bart Simpson included) as Sriracha sauce, flying too close to the sun? Consider the advent of Sriracha chocolate bars, potato chips, and the sauce's role in a not-so-secret Subway sandwich condiment. Businessweek takes a look at the company's modest 68-year-old founder David Tran, a Vietnam native who, back in 1979, hopped on a Boston-bound freighter named the Huy Fong, and within a year had launched one of the unlikeliest, not to mention coolest food success stories ever.

Under development. »

Watch Elon Musk Recount Sending Cheese to Outer Space

The inventor of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and chatted about how he and his Dragon spacecraft crew sent a wheel of cheese to space as a test. It was the largest wheel of Gruyère cheese he could find at a Beverley Hills cheese shop. And no, he didn't taste-test it when it came back. So much for a $100 million pasteurization process.

Funky. »


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Jay Barmann
NY Mag