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May 18, 2020 4 min read

This week's tablehopper: the rent is too damn high.

This week's tablehopper: the rent is too damn high.
The potato latke grilled chicken sandwich (with brisket sauce!) from Beth Needelman of Schmaltz, part of the new Hi Neighbor Incubator Series. Photo: ©
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Happy Tuesday, friends. How are you? Surprised to see me? tablehopper is technically every other week, but I wanted to send out a quick missive today since I have a few important and timely things to tell you about! Most importantly, I’d love to direct your attention to the latest On the Fly podcast episode with Roberta Economidis of GE Law Group on rent relief. It’s a crucial issue right now that has to be addressed (and supported) if restaurants are going to survive the pandemic. (I’d also like to add that this first-person account on Eater Voices is spot-on and a good piece to read to further understand this issue through the eyes of a restaurant owner.)

State Senators Scott Wiener and Lena Gonzalez are working with the Bay Area Hospitality Coalition to update the commercial rent moratorium bill to help small businesses and restaurants with lease negotiations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about the amendment to SB939 in this easy-to-understand fact sheet.

Thanks for listening in, and if you’re a restaurant, bar, entertainment venue, or small food business, please access this advocacy toolkit and send a letter of support ASAP to the Senate Judiciary Committee (the first stop for the bill is the Senate Judiciary Committee this Friday May 22nd at 9am). You can also post on social media (if you want something easy to retweet, here’s my recent tweet), and there are scripts for phone messages and more. Thanks for adding your voice to support this legislation.

There’s also a Small Business Town Hall this evening at 5pm with Senator Scott Wiener who will be talking about this legislation—if you want to listen in, register here.

Last week, I posted an On the Fly podcast episode with chef Rob Lam of Perle Wine Bar, Town Square Eats, and the upcoming Lily. Many of you have attended past tablehopper suppers with chef Rob, and perhaps you attended the preview party for Lily, so I know you’ll enjoy listening to his perspective on how he’s grappling with the pandemic’s impact on his three businesses, and what he’s thinking and seeing as he looks ahead.

How are all you home chefs doing? I wanted to give you a few updates to last week’s post: Virtual Cooking (and Cocktail Classes) from F&B Pros. First, my friend Jesse Bloom has added a new and global-inspired Foundations of Flavor cooking series, and Cook with James is teaching a class on how to make a Spanish tortilla de patatas on ChefsFeed this Friday.

More news: check out the upcoming Chefstival from Chefsfeed and SF New Deal, a fun little online extravaganza for this coming Memorial Day weekend. There will be four days of online cooking classes and conversations with over a dozen Bay Area chefs to feature culinary talent who helped launch SF New Deal, like Reem Assil (Reem’s California), Laurence Jossel (Nopa), Pim Techamuanvivit (Kin Khao, Nari), Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu’s), and others. You definitely want to learn about cheeseburgers from Adam Rosenblum (Causwells). Half of the money for the classes will go to the chefs, and the other half will go to SF New Deal to support existing programs that bring meals to San Francisco residents.

I’m also seeing a bunch of Memorial Day special picnic packs and BBQ kits popping up, be sure to check my Instagram Stories and Highlights for daily updates on what you should be eating!

Speaking of which, I’m just about to post on @tablehopper about some really tasty dishes I recently tried from the new Incubator Series from chefs/cooks/sous chefs/bartenders in the Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group who are creating and running their own concepts and businesses out of Corridor restaurant, which is closed right now (at Van Ness and Fell). There are modern Korean dishes from Junju, elevated Jewish-American dishes from Schmaltz (see today’s image!), Argentinian and Uruguayan dishes from Ines, plus craft cocktails from AttaGirl Hospitality—read more about each biz here.

tablehopper readers are getting a special discount to check any of this out: you can either order food for pickup (which is the rockstar move) and get a 15-percent discount on your total order (code: HOPPER15), or you can opt for delivery instead (Uber Eats and Caviar are live, DoorDash is coming soon) and get a special cocktail (The Pay It Forward) for free ($20 minimum order, and you need to put TABLEHOPPER in the notes and they will include the cocktail). There is no limit to using the codes (for now), so you can order multiple times and try all the things. Learn more about some of the dishes I tried and what I recommend on @tablehopper on Instagram and Facebook (coming ASAP!).

Another thing to look forward to this weekend: the California Film Institute and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center are putting on a virtual release of the brand-new film, Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, which is all about the feisty, 90-year-old master chef of Mexican cuisine. You can purchase and receive a link to stream the film ($9.99 for a 72-hour window) beginning Friday May 22nd here.

There will also be a live, virtual, Q&A with director Elizabeth Carroll, chef Alice Waters, chef Gabriela Cámara (Cala, Contramar), and New York Times food columnist David Tanis. The livestream conversation is on Saturday May 23rd (5pm Cali time); it’s free, you just need to register here.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who entered the Cheetah sponsored giveaway last week! The winners have been announced, but now it’s your turn to be a winner. Cheetah has kindly offered tablehopper readers $25 off their first order of $50 or more (code: TABLEHOPPER). Whoop whoop! Download the app and order some beef or Impossible burger patties and buns for your Memorial Day BBQ at home, snag some flour (they have it!), and you’ll even find some nice two-ply Charmin TP while you’re shopping their bulk/wholesale and virtual aisles. There are nine contact-free grocery pickup locations around the Bay Area (and counting!). Big thanks to Cheetah for their sponsorship during these financially unstable times—I am so grateful.

Okay, everyone, keep breathing, cooking, taking care of others, and thanks for listening to On the Fly! XO Marcia Gagliardi

The potato latke grilled chicken sandwich (with brisket sauce!) from Beth Needelman of Schmaltz, part of the new Hi Neighbor Incubator Series. Photo: © tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, May 19 2020

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