June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009

~E & O TRADING COMPANY~ suffered a (contained) fire on Thursday night in a duct above the grill. No one in the restaurant even noticed anything was wrong until a building neighbor noticed the fire and the sprinklers came on, so it wasn't some big dramatic scene or anything. But it was a full house when guests were asked to get up and leave. The fire damage will have the restaurant closed for a couple weeks—work has already started on repairing the ventilation ducts. Meanwhile, chef Arnold Wong and his chef de cuisine Sharon Nam are at the Larkspur location, rolling out the new menu. 314 Sutter St. at Grant, 415-693-0303.

I got a bunch more details about ~SIGHTGLASS COFFEE~, the upcoming coffee roastery opening in SoMa from brothers Jerad and Justin Morrison. As I mentioned last week, the brothers have ten years of experience, which includes roasting at Blue Bottle for two years and opening Four Barrel. The airy 4,000-square-foot space dates back to 1924, and has a 25-foot rustic cathedral ceiling (it used to house the Universal Sign Co.). It will be set up a bit differently than most coffee roaster-shop-cafés: instead of having the roaster action in the back or hidden away, here the process will be completely exposed and transparent, positioned up front and center. You'll be able to hang out and watch before heading to the back bar for your fix, which will be accessible from 360 degrees. There will be a Chemex brewing station, a chemist-designed coffee brewing process. The espresso menu will be pretty minimalist (mochas are currently being debated), and there will be some unique iced coffee offerings. Seating will be on a mezzanine with room for 60–70 people—it's also 14 feet up, offering a panoramic view of the space. There will be a cupping table, and up to 14 kinds of coffee for retail, both exceptional single-origin beans, and balanced and versatile blends. Food is TBD, but there will be something good, don't you worry. Look for an opening in late August, and you can follow their progress on Twitter. Can't wait to check this place out. 270 7th St at Folsom.

And don't say I didn't warn you. This could get dangerous: ~PHAT PHILLY~ just started delivery. They will be delivering nightly 5:30pm–10:30pm, with a $20 minimum. While the delivery radius is small to start (26th Street to 16th Street going from north to south, and Harrison to Castro going from east to west), they will be looking to grow their delivery boundaries in the next couple months—perhaps to all of Noe Valley, the Castro, the Mission, and possibly Potrero Hill. Alas (or thank god), no Western Addition, or I could be in trouble. Owner Isaac Mogannam wanted to let me know that if you live near a border of the delivery area, give them a call, and if it's slow they'll look into doing the delivery for ya. You can order over the phone and download a menu here. In the next few weeks customers will be able to place their complete order online and choose to pick up their food or have it delivered (you'll also be able to pay fully online, including gratuity). Oh yeah, and here's a new promo they're doing: Recession Sucks. Beer Doesn't! Which means PBR (in a can) is $2 all day, every day. Cheers. 3388 24th St. at Valencia, 415-550-7428.

Are there going to be any new restaurants? Hmmm. Maybe it's just a future of ~STREET FOOD, CARTS, BAR FOOD, AND POP-UP RESTAURANTS~. Most of it seems to be happening in the Mission. And they're all on Twitter. Here's the latest cart chasing you can do:

Left Coast Smoke is a mobile BBQ unit, servin' up pulled pork sandwiches at places like the 500 Club (Sunday afternoons), Shotwell's (Mondays from 6pm–8pm), and Thursdays for bingo night at the Knockout from 7:30pm–9:30pm. Follow details on their locations on Twitter.

In the mood for some rustic pies by bike basket? Then Bike Basket Pies is your answer. Mission Mission had the scoop (a la mode, naturalment) on flavors: "Strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry-mango-coconut, and mixed berry free-form rustic pies will be sold for $3." Twitter details here. Look for 'em in Dolores Park.

More bike action: Boccalone has launched the salumi cycle, delivering batches of panini at $8 a pop. According to the Twitter feed, one location for a drop-off of prosciutto panini was at Sutter and Montgomery, but looks like the location (and meats) will be changing… (And then there's this: Boccalone prosciutto ice cream is now available at Humphry Slocombe).

Just for sheer punk appeal, I give extra props to Gobba Gobba Hey for having the cleverest name (a rockin' Ramones reference). Heck, this California girl didn't even know what a gob was until Google had some answers (they're frosting-filled cakes that are popular in Philly, and are like whoopie pies). They look freaking delicious. According to the website, flavors include lemon and thyme, black cherry, and pistachio orange, and coming later this week, there will be carrot cake and orange cardamom gobs. Follow their tweets for the where. And buy one for me while you're at it, thanks.

And then there's Moo Moo Cakes, offering homemade organic ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, and ice cream. Mission Mission has a pic of the cute cart; Twitter location deets here (Levi's Plaza, Pier 23, and more).

Are you fat enough yet? You can take one day off from all the underground grubbin', because Ryan and Katharine at Broken Record are going to be closing the kitchen every Sunday—I am quite sure they could use the sleep.

So while we don't quite have LA's Kogi taco truck serving up Korean-Mexican mash-ups like kimchi burritos and the like, there are a couple places in the Financial District that are in on the act: first out of the gates was ~JOHN'S SNACK & DELI~. The popular kimchi burritos (filled with bulgogi beef or pork, kimchi, kimchi-fried rice, salsa, onions, lettuce, and hot sauce) are $5.95, and the tacos are $2.95. Oh yeah, and there's a kimchi kalbi beef soft taco ($4.25) that comes with kalbi (short rib) beef, sautéed kimchi, lettuce, salsa, onions, and cilantro. There are other daily Korean specialties as well, like soon doobu. 40 Battery St. at Pine, 415-434-4634.

A tablehopper reader wrote in to let me know ~GOLDEN GATE PERK INTERNET CAFé~ is also feeling the Korean-Mexican fever, and just started offering kimchi burritos with your choice of short ribs, spicy pork, or chicken ($6.50) and Korean tacos ($3). The burrito features meat, rice, cilantro-corn salsa, kimchi slaw, shredded romaine lettuce, sour cream, and a tangy citrus vinaigrette. Oh yes, and the kimchidilla ($5)—two types of cheese with kimchi, and the option of adding chicken. (If the kimchidilla isn't the apotheosis of stoner food, I don't know what is.) I gotta say, sign me up. 401 Bush St. at Kearny, 415-362-3929.

So we already know about the long long lines at Bi-Rite Creamery, and Three Twins Ice Cream is up and running in the Haight… And now we have renegade ~FLASH FREEZE~ sorbets and ice creams served out of Urban Bread (the ice cream maker, Flash, lives just down the street). Sorbet flavors include blackberry sage, pear cardamom, and pineapple thyme, and the ice creams are currently chocolate clove and salty dulce de leche. And how handy, Urban Bread is just on the other side of Dolores Park. Now we just need some sun, okay? Jeez. 3901 18th St. at Sanchez, 415-552-8378.

Oh yeah, and it seems ~MICHAEL RECCHIUTI~ is also making small batches of ice cream with a spiffy Italian machine, and is featuring the experimental flavors at a few places around town. If you go to Piccino, you'll find the debut of his current flavor: burnt caramel. Yeah, the guy knows a thing or two about caramel. (Funny how I never, ever get tired of his fleur de sel caramels.)

All this street food madness will be culminating in a ~STREET FOOD FESTIVAL~ (presented by La Cocina) on Saturday August 22nd. It's part of a longer week with Eat Real Festival in Oakland (more on that below). La Cocina's street food vendors (think El Huarache Loco's huaraches, Estrellita's Snacks' pupusas, Onigilly rice balls) in 10x10 tents with two items each, priced at about $3 and $8. There will also be four booths for non-profit partners with the SF underground street food scene (think Tamale Lady, bacon-wrapped hot dog folks, perhaps the crème brûlée cart guy, etc.) and eight spots for Bay Area restaurateurs playing by some street-food rules (like Poleng Lounge). There will be homemade drinks at the booths, plus a spirits, beer, and wine garden with cool bartenders. On top of all that, there will also be street music (think roving mariachis, the bucket drum guy) and a kids' area with Mission Pie. It will be free to get in, but tickets for munchin' are available ahead of time online at Brown Paper Tickets. Website and more details coming soon. Event updates, for now, via streetfoodsf on Twitter. And where will it be? Check this out: Folsom Street will be closed down from 25th to 26th Street. 11am–7pm.

Meanwhile, Oakland's ~EAT REAL FESTIVAL~ will take place at Jack London Square in Oakland from August 28th–30th. It's looking like it will be the country's first celebration of street food made with sustainably produced products. Highlights of the three-day event include the Good to Go Market (local produce and handmade foods straight from Bay Area farmers and purveyors), Street Eats (the Bay Area's top street food trucks and carts selling tacos, Vietnamese sandwiches, barbeque, hot dogs, ice cream, and more, all featuring select sustainable and local ingredients), plus handcrafted beers under one tent, cooking demos, an outdoor film festival of food flicks, and more. Eat Real Festival will also anchor a week of street-centered food events in the Bay Area, including a week's worth of fundraising dinners for several other Eat Real partner organizations. For complete information about the Eat Real Festival and about the ticketed events, please visit the site.

There has also been some excited talk about CUESA's ~UPCOMING THURSDAY MARKET AT THE FERRY BUILDING MARKETPLACE~. Your lunch just got really good, because there will be sustainable street food made with local produce, available from 10am–2pm. Confirmed sellers include Pizza Politana, 4505 Meats, RoliRoti (Thomas is developing a special beef sandwich just for this market), Laiola, Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke SF-style lox sandwiches, Scream sorbet, Blue Bottle Coffee, Dirty Girl Produce, Tory Farms, Swanton Berry Farm, and Lucero Organic. Stand by for news about a few more farmers and a bakery! It all kicks off July 2nd. Ferry Building Marketplace.

Crime doesn't pay. After people started closing in on the ~MR. PICKLE SNATCHER~ (a pic of the condiment-packin' pickle in someone's house showed up on flickr), he has been returned!! Safe and sound, but now sportin' a jaunty red bandana (not sure about that color, hope it doesn't get him shot).

And now, some brick-and-mortar location updates:

Over in the Mission, ~STABLE CAFE~ now has a beer and wine license, which means they are open later into the evening and are offering a happy hour and tapas. Evening hours are Thu–Sat, with a happy hour from 4pm–8pm (the menu includes $4 beer, wine, sangria, and tapas plates). Hours will be extended in the future. They just kicked things off last Friday. 2128 Folsom St. at 17th St., 415-552-1199.

~HORATIUS~, the upcoming bistro and market in Potrero Hill, is slated to open on June 17th. The bistro menu will include soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as a rotating selection of daily specials. The menu will be ever-changing, featuring cuisines and products from countries all over the world. For example, Portugal month would feature Portuguese wine, olive oil, tuna, cheese, and more. Horatius will just be open for lunch in the beginning, and will start dinner service later on. The menu will also be seasonal, and will use local, sustainable, and organic resources when available—pricing will attempt to balance the cost of artisanal ingredients and the current economic climate. It's small: there will be seven tables inside the bistro with additional sidewalk seating for a total of about 30 seats. Guests order at the counter, and there will also be pre-packaged foods under the Horatius name that are prepared on-site. Bistro hours: Mon–Sat 7am–3pm, and lunch entrées start at 11am. 350 Kansas St. at 16th St., 415-252-3500.

Meal deals for you…

~INCANTO~ has launched a cucina povera menu for every Sunday and Monday from now through August 31st. Three courses for $30 (or $39 with two wine pairings). It will change each week, featuring a different region for both the food and wines. 1550 Church St. at Duncan, 415-641-4500.

I have been meaning to check the ~ZINNIA~ burger out for some time, and now there is no excuse since they just launched a Burger & Brew special on Tuesdays through Thursdays at the bar. For $15, you get the grilled chuck and chorizo burger served on a Dutch crunch roll with Kennebec fries paired with a bottle of local beer. Snarf snarf. Beer selections may include Racer Indian Pale Ale from Healdsburg, Scrimshaw Pilsner from Fort Bragg, and Anchor Liberty from Oakland. Dinner is served! 500 Jackson St. at Montgomery, 415-956-7300.

More burgers: CUESA (The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is hosting their ~SECOND ANNUAL GRILL FEST: BURGER CHALLENGE~. Four local chefs will be battling it out on the grills: Mark Sullivan of Spruce; Andrew Swallow of Mixt Greens; Taylor Boetticher of Fatted Calf; and Elizabeth Falkner of Orson. Chefs will be provided with all-natural grass-fed beef from Marin Sun Farms, and each will be creating a surprise side dish with ingredients they will individually source from the farmers' market the day of the event. Want to be a judge? There's one lucky guest spot that will be drawn by either signing up at the CUESA kitchen, or by email to sarah [at] cuesa [dot] org. A limited amount of mini-burgers will be available for audience members to enjoy for a $2 donation, all proceeds going to CUESA. Saturday June 27th, 11am–12:30pm. This event is first-come, first-served. Seating for 30 is available along with room to stand. South Driveway of the Ferry Building (adjacent to Prather, Blue Bottle, Fatted Calf).

Time for The Puerco Report:

There are a few slots available at ~RYAN FARR OF 4505 MEATS'S~ second round of sausage-making classes. You will make a chicken-beer sausage, chili and fennel pork sausage, and spicy chorizo. Each class is $70 and you will get to take home between five and six pounds of sausage you'll make (that's a lot of sausage). There will be chicharrones, drinks, 4505 hot dogs, and of course sausage for all to snack on at the end. There are two classes on June 7th: 10am–1pm, and 2pm–5pm. More deets and you can RSVP here.

Here's more on ~COCHON 555 SAN FRANCISCO~, the pig-tastic event on June 14th. The final line-up of chefs is Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats; Nate Appleman, A16/SPQR; Staffan Terje, Perbacco; Ravi Kapur, Boulevard; and Peter McNee, Poggio Trattoria. Each chef will each prepare a 100-pound heritage breed hog from head to toe for this friendly competition. Guests and professional judges will determine a winner based on presentation, utilization, and overall best flavor, and the winner will be crowned the "Prince of Porc." In addition, five selected winemakers will showcase their wines (Krupp Brothers, Hirsch Vineyards, Elk Cove Winery, Arcadian Winery, and K Vintners/Charles Smith's Wines). Each 100-pound pig can be pre-cooked, braised, grilled, pressed, pickled, rubbed, smoked, seared, sauced, spiced, injected, marinated, cured in any way, or otherwise prepared. Guests at the event will experience the chef creations during a 2.5-hour stand-up reception. Chef stations will alternate with winemaker tables. And hello, you don't want to arrive late for this event. The party starts at 5pm: Taylor Boetticher of Fatted Calf will break down a pig and do a porchetta demo. In addition to the chef stations, there will also be heritage beans from Rancho Gordo, dessert by Magnolia, and pig-infused truffles. And there will be an after-party at a location to be determined. Tickets are $145 per person. And I also have a sweet discount for you: tablehopper readers are allowed to use the industry discount code of "baconbits" for $30 off. RSVP required.

The VIP experience starts at 3:30pm, with a reserve wine tasting by five winemakers including Ghost Horse World, Chase Cellars, and more TBA, plus an artisan cheese reception. There will also be Domaine de Canton cocktails, pre-pig party snacks, beers from Magnolia, and guests can "meat and greet" with the chefs, winemakers, and judges of COCHON555. (This portion is $200). The Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St. at California.

~LA CICCIA~ is preparing for their four-course suckling pig dinner on June 22nd. $75 per person for food and wine. 7pm. 291 30th St. at Church, 415-550-8114.

Michael Recchiuti
has started an awesome series of events: ~THE TASTE PROJECT~. It's a multi-sensory tasting series that will feature unusual and unique sweet and savory chocolate pairings, hands-on cooking classes, and special culinary events. Tastings will include "Chocolate and Olive Oil" with Fran Gage, olive oil expert and cookbook author; "Spirits and Chocolate" with Lance Winters of St. George Spirits; "Beer and Chocolate" with Magnolia; and "Fungi and Chocolate" with Far West Fungi. A complete listing of classes including dates, locations, and class fees can be found online at recchiuti.com under Tasting Events. The series runs through September 19th. Most classes are $55 in advance.

Up in Larkspur, ~THE TAVERN AT LARK CREEK~ is opening this Thursday June 4th. I got to peek at the cocktail menu, and it includes some classics, like a Hemingway daiquiri, a pisco sour, and an aviation, all $9–$10. As for the menu, nothing will be over $15, and it includes a variety of bar bites (ratatouille hard-boiled egg, chicken liver mousse). On the regular menu, there is a cold lettuce soup with Parmesan broth-poached shrimp; Devil's Gulch Ranch rabbit terrine with a petite Waldorf salad and grilled bread; four salads; pastas like spaghetti with Monterey sardines, garlic, red chili flakes, and bread crumbs; roasted pork loin panino with tomato-bacon jam and frisée; rainbow trout with shaved asparagus and hazelnut sauce gribiche; some vegetarian options; and naturally, a Tavern burger (plus a veggie burger). 234 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, 415-924-7766.

Over in the East Bay, here's an update on a couple beverage-oriented projects. Opening June 11th will be ~PENELOPE~, a lunch spot and bar in the business district of downtown Oakland. The space will have room for 25 inside, and 20 outside. Happy hour will be the first thing to start, at 4pm. There will be a rotating menu of hearty gastropub-influenced dishes available, like meatballs, mac and cheese made with local cheeses, and beer-braised short ribs. Since there's a full bar, there will be five–six specialty cocktails made with fresh ingredients ($7–$10). The bar will be well stocked, with a focus on Tequila. There will also be some beer from Linden Street Brewery, and California wines. The modern look will be natural-organic, with green materials; Lauren Geremia, who designed Taverna Aventine, Umami, and other spaces, is behind the design of this project, her first in the East Bay. The owner is Tung Tran, who was inspired to name the place after Penelope Cruz. (Let's hope she visits.) Lunch will launch a couple weeks later, with gourmet sandwiches and salads. Lunch hours will be 11am–2pm, and then 4pm until 10pm–11pm or so. 555 12th St. at Clay, Oakland, 510-529-5393.

I had a chance to speak with Alfonso Dominguez of Tamarindo, La Calle Asadero Mexicano, and FiveTenStudio to discuss ~ERA~, an upcoming gallery and bar project he is doing with Kevin Best of B Restaurant and Bar, and Gairy Jacques of Air. The 4,500-square-foot art bar will have two floors and two bars—downstairs will offer more of a gallery vibe while upstairs will be lounge-ier. There will be a full bar, plus some charcuterie available. Art will rotate every month or month and a half or so. The project is a couple months out. Hours will be 5pm–2am. 19 Grand Ave. at Broadway, Oakland.

And for you 510 folks, ~BERKELEY BOWL WEST~ is due to open this Thursday at 9am. It looks pretty slick. 922 Heinz St. at Eighth St., Berkeley, (no phone yet).

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