April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014
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Work in progress at the new 4505 Burgers & BBQ on Divisadero. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Things keep getting closer for the opening of ~4505 BURGERS & BBQ~, in the former Brother-in-Law’s/Da’ Pitt on Divisadero. I paid a visit to chef-owner Ryan Farr to check out the new digs and get some initial details on the project.

While the space isn’t camera-ready just yet, here are some notes for you. The first thing you’ll notice is all the light inside—they installed larger windows, which makes a big difference, and things are lightened up further with white subway tile and hex tiles on the floor. Farr’s wife and 4505 partner, Cesalee, chose a dark gray flannel color for the walls and a gray-blue for the ceiling (oh yeah, and there’s a glittery gold floor in the bathroom!). There’s distressed corrugated metal as well, giving things a bit of a roadhouse look, plus vintage-style fans and almost Steampunky light fixtures.

Fortunately the wood-fired pit itself was not repainted, so its decades-old patina remains intact (the building goes back to the 1930s!). You’ll be able to order a whole or half hog from the pit, and you’ll always see some hanging sausages in there too. There’s a walnut counter, and just behind it there’s a huge Southern Pride smoker (4505’s third, and largest).

The menu will be like their farmers’ market stand menu, with barbecue sandwiches, barbecue meats by the pound (hello, brisket), sausages, and of course the famous cheeseburger (all are made with locally sourced and sustainable meats). Weekend brunch will start about three months after the opening, which is when you’ll be able to get their egg sandwich. Big score: there will be a late-night burger window, open 10pm-2am on the weekends (to start).

Another cool thing: they will be serving beer and wine, and the license they got will allow for beers to be purchased on premise and brought home with you. Yup, you can get a pound o’ meat and a six-pack to go—instant party. Some potential barbecue-friendly beers on the list will include Racer 5, Anchor Steam, and Shiner Bock.

A big component to the project is the outdoor patio, which won’t be complete until June; 4505 plans to open the counter first for to-go orders—there won’t be any formal seating just yet, although there will be a small standing counter inside. The lot outside is 40 by 25 feet, and there will be a shipping container that’s converted into a seating area (there will also be skylights in it). Coming off the container will be a corrugated metal roof, with heaters (yay) and plenty of seating underneath—there will be space for 48 seats total.

Once you order inside at the counter, if you want more to eat or drink, there will be runners who will be able to assist—no need to get back in line. Kids will have a place to play (FYI, the lot itself will also be enclosed by a fence), and there will also be a bike rack. Yup, it’s all shaping up to be a very neighborhood-friendly joint. For now, the target for takeout/standing room only is Saturday May 3rd; stand by for pics and more in the next couple of weeks! Initial hours (to be finalized) may be daily 10:30am-11pm. 705 Divisadero St.
 at Grove.

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The bar at Gashead Tavern. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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An antiqued mirror behind the bar at Gashead. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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The exterior. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Eastland. As we wrote in tablehopper back in October and again in February, Edward Sargent and Rodger Howell of Murio’s Trophy Room on Haight Street are opening a new bar in the Mission. It’s going into the former Charanga space, and is called ~GASHEAD TAVERN~.

It’s a bar with food, as opposed to a restaurant with a full bar, according to Sargent. The space was mostly built by Sargent and Howell, with initial design consultation from Haleh Cunningham and Bernadette Holmes of Thornbird Styling. The space is eclectic, with a Victorian gothic feeling and modern touches. A huge antiqued mirror behind the bar is surrounded by a savaged cast-iron and zinc frame that is at least 120 years old, and the original wooden floor has a weathered look. For contrast, modern brass lighting and vintage midcentury chairs strike a different note. In front, a nook before the door will offer some outdoor seating, as well.

The menu, too, has an eclectic feel. The inspiration comes form British pub fare, with a seasonal, California twist. Matt Nudelman, of Lower Haight’s Greenburger’s, designed the menu, and it’s got true British classics like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and mushrooms on toast. You’ll also find a variety of sliders, mussels, and an egg and watercress salad. Here’s a tentative menu, though there may be changes once they open.

As for drinks, they are still in the process of working out the final drink list, though it will be simple takes on classic drinks, along with a few dessert cocktails. There will also be 10 beers on tap, most of them of the local persuasion. Think Anchor Steam, Speakeasy’s Prohibition, and hopefully Russian River Brewing, along with a selection of bottles.

As for the name and the graphic on the sign out front, there is an explanation for the slightly intense vibe. “Gashead” is the name given to fans of Sargent and Howell’s hometown soccer team, the Bristol Rovers. The team used to play on a field near a gasworks plant, and the (apparently quite rowdy) fans were called “gasheads” by opposing fans as a result. Over time, they adopted the moniker, and some even took to wearing gas masks and other creative headgear to show their team spirit. So, for Sargent and Howell, the name and logo are a nod to their roots.

Gashead Tavern should be opening by the end of April, depending on how all the inspections go. Once open, hours will be 11am-2am, though that could change depending on the neighborhood crowd. Once they’ve got an official opening date and hours, we’ll let you know. 2351 Mission St. at 20th St., no phone yet.

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The interior at Fearless. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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A report by Dana Eastland. As previously reported on tablehopper, Lauen Kiino of Il Cane Rosso has two new projects under way in SoMa, ~THE RED DOG~ and ~FEARLESS ~. Well, Fearless is getting ready to open this Wednesday April 23rd, and here are some details for you. While we’re at it, the current opening date for Red Dog is May 18th. Get excited!

The colorful café features coffee in the mornings from Mr. Espresso roasters, with drip coffee, espresso drinks, and cold-brewed options available, along with breakfast and lunch to dine in or take out. You’ll find grab-and-go items, as well as a selection of made-to-order choices. Like Il Cane Rosso, the focus is on housemade items, made with ingredients from trusted, high-quality purveyors. Accordingly, the menu will change regularly to reflect the seasons, with some staples remaining on the menu year-round. In the mornings, look for broken farro porridge, housemade muffins, egg sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits with housemade granola.

At lunch, you’ll find seasonal salads and sandwiches, plus soup and some heartier side dishes. Look out for a classic egg salad sandwich (the one at Il Cane Rosso is a standout for sure), as well as a bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwich with barbecue sauce and mozzarella, or a vegetarian roasted mushroom sandwich with Swiss cheese, spinach, and garlic. There is also a solid selection of dessert options (or afternoon snack, to go with that 3pm coffee), with cookies, seasonal tea cakes, and panna cotta with seasonal fruit compote. Here’s the full menu, though do note that choices will rotate according to availability, so you may not see everything on there all the time. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat-Sun 8am-3pm. 303 2nd St. at Harrison, 415-692-0181.

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Porcellino’s Italian Dip (meatballs, provolone, marinara). Photo: The Dapper Diner.

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Bacon Bacon’s grilled cheese. With bacon. Duh. Photo via Bacon Bacon’s Facebook page.

A couple of places whose names celebrate the most magical of animals, the pig, have just opened around town. First up, ~PORCELLINO~ is now open in the former Incanto, offering a more informal experience for the Noe Valley neighborhood. Owners Mark Pastore and Chris Cosentino have created a fast-casual spot (you order at the counter), with a simplified all-day menu of small plates ($4-$11), sandwiches ($7-$11), three pasta dishes (all $14), and a few larger plates (tuna conserva, porchetta, and rapini and sausage, all $15-$16). You can also treat the place like a wine bar, since there are plenty of wines by the glass and small plates to go with them (and if there’s a wine you like, you can buy a bottle to bring home with you). There’s also the entire Boccalone line of salumi and sausages available to go. Open Mon and Wed-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm, closed Tue. 1550 Church St. at Duncan, 415-641-4500.

After the neighborhood NIMBY ruckus about the wonderful bacony smells coming from ~BACON BACON~’s shop in Cole Valley shut it down, owner Jim Angelus has reopened the location, with a top-notch “odor abatement system” (I’d call that bacon odor perfume, but that’s me). It has more of a café vibe now, with 13 seats inside and a to-go counter.

On the menu: their popular breakfast sandwich (fried egg, bacon, cheddar, and bacon jam), bacon cheddar scones, a bacon cheeseburger, a bacon fried chicken sandwich with spicy slaw, The LGBT (with bacon, Little Gem lettuce, tomato, and goat cheese spread on French roll), and more. Oh yeah, and chocolate-covered bacon strips for dessert. You’ll also find espresso drinks (they use Roast Co.), Mexican hot chocolate, and more. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm. 205 A Frederick St. at Ashbury, 415-218-4347.

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Kinfolk’s hamachi crudo. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of pieces of restaurant news on Cortland: first, ~RED HILL STATION~ will be moving into the Blue Star Elephant space, which will be close at the end of April. Eater reports the owners are chef Taylor Pederson and Amy Reticker (operations), who have both worked at Anchor Oyster Bar. When the 28-seat, neighborhood-friendly restaurant opens in late May/early June (hopefully), the menu will be centered on sustainably sourced seafood (oysters, clams, mussels, etc.), plus eight Cali-style dishes. Bonus: there will also be a fish market, opening at 4pm. Beer, wine, and weekend brunch are also in the plans. 803 Cortland Ave. at Ellsworth.

With the closure of 903 Cortland, pop-up ~KINFOLK~ needed to find some new digs. Ends up chef-owner Greg Lutes found a location to go permanent: Scoop reports he’ll be opening his own place in the former Pizza Express. There will be 40 seats; look for an opening this summer. 919 Cortland Ave. at Gates.

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One of Mark Hayashida’s creations. Photo courtesy of Mark Hayashida.

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Special Xtra’s signature drink, The Macau Iced Coffee, currently served at Special Xtra 46 Minna St. Photo courtesy of Kirk Harper.

~JOHN COLINS~ in SoMa has some new additions coming, taking it beyond just a bar. First, they are launching a permanent sushi concept (The Dojo) on the mezzanine level from Mark Hayashida. There will be a 20-seat sushi bar, but you’ll be able to order sushi throughout the entire space every evening. Hawaii-raised Hayashida’s background includes the sushi bar at the San Jose branch of Blowfish, Google, Skool in Potrero Hill, and HayaHon Catering with Johnny Honda at Cafe Royale (they also partner on Street Food Dojo in the former Zog’s Dogs at 1 Post St.).

Sample dishes include sardines with avocado, beets, English peas, pickled red onion, shiso, and Meyer lemon crème fraîche; Kauai ahi poke (Koloa rum sea salt, furikake, hijiki seaweed, sesame teriyaki dressing, shaved green onions); seasonal nigiri like umi masu (ocean trout), saba, iwashi (Japanese sardines), and many others; kakuni donburi (seasonal fish, red spring onions, ginger, kombu pickle, sous-vide quail egg served over sushi rice); and seasonal makimono. It should open in late May-June; stand by.

Also opening soon (downstairs) in John Colins will be another ~SPECIAL XTRA~ from Kirk Harper. It will be similar to the other Special Xtra location at Harlot (at 46 Minna), serving Blue Bottle coffee drinks Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm. Look for an opening in mid-May. 138 Minna St. at New Montgomery.

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The intimate dining area at the Nob Hill Club. Photo: Rien van Rijthoven.

In case you’re looking for a more intimate spot for a tête-à-tête instead of your usual café, you may want to check out the new ~NOB HILL CLUB~ at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco. The ground-floor space was previously the Club Lounge for the hotel, and is now a restaurant, bar, grab-and-go spot, and club lounge. There’s a breakfast buffet ($24-$28) and an à la carte all-day dining menu, plus coffee service, and wine and cocktails too. It’s a handsome space, with wood floors, Italian chandeliers, and white oak, rosewood, and mahogany chairs and couches. You’ll find banquette seating in the dining room, an intimate bar, and a semi-private dining area that can seat up to 14. Hours: Tue-Sun breakfast 6:30am-11am, all-day dining 11am-9pm. Sun-Mon breakfast 6:30am, lunch 11am-2:30pm. Bar 2pm-9pm. One Nob Hill at Mason, 415-392-3434.

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Asparagus for brunch at Piccino. Photo courtesy Piccino.

It’s pretty much always brunch season in this town, and darling ~PICCINO~ is in the sunniest corner we’ve got. Their new weekend brunch menu has some elegant and seasonal options, including baked egg with polpette, broccoli di ciccio, spring onion, and crushed tomatoes, or asparagus with hard-boiled egg and capers. Of course you can also order one of their pizzas (add an egg for $2), and if it’s nice out, try to sit outside. Brunch begins at 11am Saturday and Sunday.

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Photo from Super Duper.

A couple of food establishments are celebrating their birthdays, which means we all win. This Wednesday April 23rd and Thursday April 25th, swing by ~PAL’S TAKEAWAY~ from 11am-3pm, and you’ll be able to say, “Happy fifth anniversary!” while picking up a sandwich from some guest chefs, like a special braised artichoke vegetarian number from Gialina and Ragazza’s Sharon Ardiana, or a special “gyro” from Mission Chinese Food and Linea Caffe’s Anthony Myint. You should also say “cheers!” and order a special limited-edition IPA draft from Almanac. It all goes down at ~LA MOVIDA~. 3066 24th St. at Treat.

Another reason to stand in line: on Monday April 28th, it’s Super Duper Day, which means the first 100 people to fall in line at any of ~SUPER DUPER~’s seven burger spots beginning at 3pm will enjoy a free mini burger (four-ounce, all-natural Niman Ranch beef patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and Super sauce on a toasted sesame bun). Yes, fo’ free! Locations include the Castro, 2304 Market St.; Union Square, 721 Market St.; Metreon, 783 Mission St.; Embarcadero, 98 Mission St.; Marina, 2201 Chestnut St.; and Mill Valley, 430 Miller Ave.; and San Jose, Valley Fair Mall, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd.

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New Taste Marketplace at St. Gregory’s. Photo from Facebook.

On Saturday April 26th from 11am-4pm, the New Taste Marketplace will once again be taking over St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Potrero Hill. The lineup of food purveyors includes Little Red Riding Truck, Boucherie Meats, and Simply Mochi, among many others. You’ll also find beverages from the likes of Almanac Beer Co., Rock Wall Wine Company, and The Mead Kitchen. There is also live music, activities for kids, and lots of fun.

This is the fourth year that the New Taste Marketplace has brought local food artisans together, to raise money for the Food Pantry at St. Gregory’s. A suggested donation is requested at the door, to help provide groceries for more than 400 families each week. 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

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David Lebovitz, the chef and author who used to reside in the Bay Area but now makes his home in beautiful Paris, has a new book out called My Paris Kitchen. He’ll be making an appearance at ~DANDELION CHOCOLATE~ on the morning of Saturday May 3rd, from 11am-12:30pm. Dandelion’s chef, Lisa Vega, will be making treats from Lebovitz’s book to celebrate. 740 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-349-0942.

Also on Saturday May 3rd, from 3pm-5pm, he’ll be at ~THE PASTA SHOP~ on 4th Street in Berkeley, reading from the book. There will also be samples from the recipes, and of course he’d be happy to sign the book for you. The event is free, with books available for purchase. 1786 4th St. Market Plaza at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-250-6004.

And then, on Saturday May 10th, catch Mr. Lebovitz one more time at ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ from 3pm-4pm. The event is free, and of course the book will be available for purchase.

Speaking of ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~, they’ve also got an afternoon with Josey Baker lined up on Sunday May 4th from 3pm-4pm. He’ll be talking about his new book, Josey Baker Bread, and maybe sharing some stories about his business venture, The Mill, and its much-discussed toast. Baker is a seriously funny and fantastic guy, and this is not one to miss. The event is free, and books will be available for purchase and signing.

Deborah Madison will also be making an appearance at Omnivore, on Saturday May 3rd from 3pm-4pm. Her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone from 1997 has been released in a new edition, The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, with more than 200 new recipes and lots of new information and updates.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth exploration of Madison’s new edition, check out this luncheon at ~FOREIGN CINEMA~ on Tuesday May 6th from 11am-2:30pm. The lunch will begin with appetizers, followed by three courses inspired by the book. Of course, Madison will be in attendance, discussing the book and signing copies. The luncheon costs $85 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 415-648-7600.

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Spring vegetable ragout with spicy chickpeas and couscous. Photo courtesy of Standard Fare.

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Interior of Michel Bistro. Photo courtesy of Michel Bistro.

Back in January, we mentioned Kelsie Kerr’s unique upcoming Berkeley project ~STANDARD FARE~. To recap, the Chez Panisse, Café Rouge, and Zuni Cafe alum is opening a place where you can pick up complete meals (and à la carte selections) that you reheat at home, presented in handcrafted ceramic dishes by Jered’s Pottery.

I’m on Standard Fare’s newsletter list, and while they are not officially open, they just soft-launched their beta this week. If you’d like to test out the service, you can survey the menu online, and order by 5pm on Wednesday for Friday pickup (between 4:30pm-7pm), or delivery! You’ll need a password to access the site (eultaw), and for 10 percent off your order, use code: standardfare10 (directions/tips about online ordering from the newsletter are here).

Be sure to read the fine print about when you need to return the pottery as you order that tasty-sounding brothy green garlic soup with kale and Dirty Girl cannellini beans, or savory bread pudding with goat cheese, nettles, and fava beans. Kerr is using top-notch ingredients—expect restaurant-quality sourcing and market freshness. Look for hours to be extended and a retail component to the business to come in time. 2701 8th St. at Carleton, Berkeley.

The owners of Amélie wine bar here in San Francisco (and New York!) have opened a new location in Oakland, called ~MICHEL BISTRO~. The new spot is a wine bar and lounge, with a menu of Provençal-style dishes (including escargots, bone marrow, mussels and fries, and more). They are open for dinner Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm, and for brunch, you can enjoy some pain perdu and omelets Sat-Sun 11am-3pm (closed Mondays). 3343 Lakeshore Ave. at Trestle Glen, Oakland, 510-836-8737.

East Bay Express reports that East Oakland’s ~GENNY’S BBQ PIT~ has reopened after a fire last year. The menu hasn’t changed much, though there are a few new sandwiches. To celebrate the reopening, anyone who places an order during the month of April will receive a free pastry or soda. Hours are Wed-Sun 12pm-8pm. 6637 Bancroft Ave. at Havenscourt, Oakland, 510-777-9037.