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Aug 2, 2023 7 min read

This week’s tablehopper: our SF anchor. (free)

This week’s tablehopper: our SF anchor. (free)
Table of Contents

what’s cookin’

brick mural outside Anchor Brewing Company.
The brick mural outside Anchor Brewing Company. Photo: ©

Is it really August? (Excuse me, Fogust.) Why is summer flying by so fast? The mind reels. I will say it was an absolute dream to visit the Foodwise Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this past sunny Saturday: the current bounty of tomatoes and basil and peaches is heady stuff. It was kind of amazing to be able to walk on over after checking out of the 1 Hotel San Francisco on Saturday morning—my dear friend and I had a grown-ass woman sleepover there on Friday night. We stayed in our room and caught up over a bottle of Bollinger and fried chicken from One Market (it was so easy to get takeout with the restaurant just a block away). I love being an adult.

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On Friday, I went over to Anchor Brewing Company to pick up a couple last cases of beer—they were allowing people to place large orders for pick-up over the past few weekends. It was rough and made me incredibly sad to think it could be the last time I was visiting the brewery as we know and love it (they are shutting the doors on Wednesday August 2nd). I spoke with one of the workers who helped carry my beer to my car (thanks!), who said they had been working so hard to crank up production and meet public demand after the closure of the storied, 127-year-old brewery was announced on July 12th. I told him how much we all appreciate the extra labor so we could have a moment to enjoy our (potentially) last pints and bottles and cans of Anchor Steam (even if it meant the profits were going to [bad] parent company Sapporo, ugh).

I asked about the plans for the Anchor Union workers co-op to purchase the company, and he said it unfortunately wasn’t going well. You can read in this SFist piece how Sapporo wouldn’t supply the financial information that had been provided to other prospective buyers, and they decided to move ahead with the assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) process and not give the Anchor workers time to secure financing to be able to bid on the brewery. It’s so rotten. (Here’s a petition for Sapporo to give workers more time, which goes into some detail about how workers were shut out in the process.)

You can follow Anchor Union (ILWU Local 6) for updates on their Instagram account (they just posted about Fox Tale Fermentation Project in San Jose, who is brewing a beer in solidarity with the Anchor Union, and all proceeds will support the union workers in their attempt to buy the brewery—let’s see more of this!). You can learn and read more about the liquidation process in this helpful VinePair piece, and Eater posted an overall explainer of where things stand right now. We’ll just have to see who else is in the running to purchase our beloved brewery and company and brand (and goddess help us, bring it all back). Since 1896. I will never drink a Sapporo again, all I taste is bitterness.

An optimistic item in today’s column is about the return of Zanze’s Cheesecake, so there’s one SF icon that has survived and will live on. May there be more. Go visit an SF classic this week—we keep learning that we can’t take anything for granted. Maybe brunch at the counter at Eddie’s Cafe, or lunch at Turtle Tower on Larkin? As Poppy Tooker says, “Eat it to save it!”

Viva SF.

the chatterbox

Zanze’s cheesecake
A Zanze’s cheesecake I picked up for my birthday in 2010. (Now it’s time to taste the latest version.) Photo: ©

An SF Classic Lives On: Zanze’s Cheesecake Returns!

San Francisco’s iconic cheesecake from Zanze’s Cheesecake is now available for takeout from Little Original Joe’s, the Italian market in West Portal from the Original Joe’s family. Second-generation baker Sam Zanze opened his cheesecake shop on Ocean Avenue in 1979, and operated for over 40 years, before closing during the pandemic and switching to a wholesale model. Now, thanks to Original Joe’s brother-and-sister co-owners John and Elena Duggan, you can swing by and pick up a whole cheesecake from the freezer section at Little Original Joe’s.

It’s an incredible story about how the cheesecake torch was lovingly passed: John and Elena’s grandfather and the founder of Original Joe’s, Tony Rodin, grew up with Sam Zanze’s father on a small island off the coast of Croatia. They both immigrated to San Francisco in the 1920’s, when they began their respective culinary journeys here—Rodin opened Original Joe’s in 1937, originally a 14-stool counter.

The Duggans worked closely with Zanze over the past three months to faithfully replicate his singular recipe and method. This isn’t your typical New York-style cheesecake: a Zanze’s cheesecake is known for its fluffy, soufflé-like texture, with a mere suggestion of a graham cracker crust. It’s something the Duggans had to get just-right, and that day has come. Here’s to keeping old school SF gems shining on.

You can get the Zanze’s original 8" cheesecake for $34, and seasonal flavors will be coming during the holiday season. A slice of Zanze’s cheesecake will be on the menu at Original Joe’s North Beach and Westlake locations soon, and available at additional wholesale suppliers in San Francisco too, stand by. Open daily 10am–10pm. 393 W. Portal Ave. at 15th Ave.

Coming Soon: Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement Is Opening a Location in the Fillmore

fried chicken, mac and cheese, and cornbread from Minnie Bell’s during a pop-up at La Cocina Municipal Marketplace
The famed fried chicken, mac and cheese, and cornbread from Minnie Bell’s during a pop-up at La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. Photo: ©

I was thrilled with the news that third-generation Fillmore native Fernay McPherson—known for her rosemary fried chicken and next-level sides at Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement in Emeryville Public Market—has finally found her Fillmore District restaurant location. At long last! Fernay is an absolute force, steadily working hard toward this moment and homecoming dream—you should have a listen to our conversation in the tablehopper On the Fly podcast during the pandemic about her journey.

The Chronicle reports she’s opening this second location later in the year in the former Bruno’s Pizzeria, with 48 seats and some outdoor tables. Look for lunch, dinner, and a special Sunday brunch. New dishes will include roasted chicken and vegan options (including a vegan variation of her mac and cheese). Looking forward to it all, I will share more as things get closer. 1375 Fillmore St. at Eddy.

A Couple Splashy Downtown Projects Are Opening in September

Stonemill Matcha on Valencia Announces Upcoming Closure

New Menus and Special Deals at Nightbird/Linden Room, Lily, and Souvla

Spot prawn head fried with squash vadouvan ranch and a binchotan-grilled tail on the new snack tasting menu by Nightbird at Linden Room
Spot prawn head fried with squash vadouvan ranch and a binchotan-grilled tail on the new snack tasting menu by Nightbird at Linden Room. Photo: Adahlia Cole.
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Michelin-Starred Pastry Chef, Serena Chow Fisher, Partners with Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group to Launch High-End Ice Cream Line

Jack & Remi’s flagship flavors, from left: PBJR, Shiso Mint Chip, 4XChocolate, Sourdough Toast and Jam, Strawberry SZN, FUVanilla.
Jack & Remi’s flagship flavors, from left: PBJR, Shiso Mint Chip, 4XChocolate, Sourdough Toast and Jam, Strawberry SZN, FUVanilla. Photo: © Carly Hackbarth.

By Savannah Leone Bundy

Known for her award-winning work as the previous co-owner and pastry chef at Bernal Heights restaurant, Marlena, Serena Chow Fisher is rolling out a new ice cream line: Jack & Remi. The ice cream brand, named for Serena and husband David Fisher’s dogs, Jack and Remi, is being called “a dessert course in a pint,” using a combination of the Michelin-starred couple’s complementary skill sets from their respective pastry and savory culinary backgrounds.

Expect playful sophistication with unique flavors and made-from-scratch mix-ins, like Sourdough Toast and Jam (Backhaus sourdough ice cream, raspberry jam, Maldon salt), Shiso Mint Chip (shiso-mint ice cream, chocolate flecks, fudge swirls), and PBRJ (pistachio ice cream, rhubarb jam, pistachio crisp), and flavor-packed upgrades on classic ice cream flavors, with 4XChocolate (chocolate ice cream, Valrhona devil’s food cake, fudge ripple, chocolate shavings), FUVanilla (Tahitian vanilla cremeux, custard, cream), and Strawberry SZN (strawberry ice cream, macerated strawberries, white chocolate crumble).

Some tasting notes from Marcia:

Follow @scoopjackandremi to stay updated on future events!

the archivist

By Savannah Leone Bundy

As the City continues to mourn and celebrate the life of illustrious crooner and honorary San Francisco ambassador, Tony Bennett, we thought we’d raise our glass to the legend himself—and the place he often called home: the Fairmont Hotel.

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