Anda Piroshki Closing This Weekend After Kitchen Rent Increase

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Big bummer: After learning about a big commercial kitchen rent increase, Anda Piroshki, the tasty purveyor of Russian food at 331 Cortland, will be closing permanently after this Sunday, August 28.

Anda Piroshki as has thrived since founder Anna Tveliva first opened in 331 Cortland during 2011, and over the years the business grew to include a second outpost on Haight Street. Along the way, Anna herself became a familiar fixture in the Bernal community, as well as a US citizen.

In a message for Bernalwood readers, Anna writes:

Dear Bernal friends,

I need to share with you a sad news. Anda Piroshki’s commercial kitchen lease is up, and the new offer we got is almost 3 times higher. Unfortunately it is killing the business.

Considering the short notice I was given (I have to leave the kitchen by 9/1) and some family issues I am currently dealing with, I made a hard decision to close the business at the end of this month.

I dearly love Bernal, our customers, our landlady Debra at 331, folks from Paulie’s Pickling and Anusha from Mae Krua. Going to miss all very much. I am so grateful to be able to serve Bernal with my motherland food all these years and get so many fans!

Our doors will be open till 8/28. Please stop by to get your last Anda Piroshki fix and say goodbye :-(

Sad. Heartbroken. Truly yours,

Anna Tveliva

She also made this video:

Sigh. Truth be told, it’s hard to imagine a bigger fan of Anda Piroshki than Bernalwood’s own Cub Reporter, who insists we stop by Anda Piroshki every time we visit Cortland Avenue together. Literally: Every time.

As a parent, I’ve been happy to indulge the Cub Reporter’s piroshki obsession, not just because Anda’s food is delicious, but because I like to think my kid’s love of Anda Piroshki was hardwired into her DNA by her great-grandfather, an immigrant from Russia who died two decades before she was born. Savoring one of Anna Tveliva’s piroshkis may be his way of speaking to Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter through the generations.

Anyway, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter was really sad to hear Anda Piroshki is closing, so  we stopped by 331 Cortland last weekend to load up while we still can.  This morning, the Cub Reporter asked me to put an Anda Piroshki in her lunchbox. So while all the other kids eat peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese in the cafeteria today, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter will be excited to dive into this:

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Thank you for all the delicious memories, Anna, and best of luck.

PHOTO: Top, Anna Tveliva at 331 Cortland for Halloween, 2011. Courtesy of Anda Piroshki.

 

Front Porch Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With Street Party

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Yesterday, the Front Porch restaurant on 29th Street in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Blessedly, even after a decade, neither the primal forces of time nor fire have been able to stop the southern-fried deliciousness that is the Front Porch.

Rebel propagandist Burrito Justice was on the scene for the festivities, and he reported:

The back yards of La Lengua [are] echoing with the sounds of horns and drums and cheering from the Front Porch… Whatever you want to call it, this neighborhood does not suck.

So true. Check out this little video to get a taste of the scene:

Big congrats to Team Front Porch on the anniversary, and thanks for all the good food and warm community you’ve brought to 29th Street.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Courtesy of @BurritoJustice

Nutes Noodles Seeking Permanent Place at 903 Cortland

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Pastafarians and multicultural noodle-freaks, rejoice! Nute’s Noodles, the Asian-infused  noodle soup and ramen restaurant that has long been doing pop-ups inside the space at 903 Cortland, now plans to become a permanent restaurant at (you guessed it) 903 Cortland.

Sarah Fritsche from Inside Scoop got the inside scoop:

Inside Scoop reached out to [chef Nute] Chulasuwan, who confirmed that she is indeed in the process of buying the Bernal Heights space from [former Sandbox Bakery owner Mutsumi] Takehara. (Also listed on the ABC license are partners Makiko Nakagawara and Supreeya Pongkasem.)

Chulasuwan says that the new incarnation of the space will be a continuation of her popular noodle pop-ups, which currently run four nights a week. For more details on what to expect from the forthcoming restaurant, check out Chulasuwan’s menu, which feature Thai noodle dishes, including a promising version of Northern Thai coconut curry noodle soup called Khao Soi, as well as Japanese-inspired ramen.

Chulasuwan says that the transfer will take a couple of months, but she hopes to open the restaurant by September.

IMAGE: 903 Cortland by Telstar Logistics

Tonight: First Anniversary Celebration at the Old Bus Tavern

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Wow. It’s been a year already!

Tonight, Monday, Aug. 1, the critically acclaimed and positively delightful Old Bus Tavern at 3193 Mission (@ Valencia) celebrates its first year in business . Co-owner Bennet Buchanan brings news about the festivities:

Opening a neighborhood restaurant/brewery has allowed us to meet so many cool people in this city, many of whom live right here in Bernal. Also, despite all the warnings, we’ve learned that it is in fact possible to go into business with your best friends and remain as close as ever.

We want to invite all our neighbors to our combined Old Bus Tavern’s First Anniversary + Jerry Day Party on Monday, August 1st. We’ll be open from 5-10pm with live, Grateful Dead-inspired music from The Incubators (regulars at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael) from 6-9pm.

We’re going to offer the following Dead-inspired menu:

  • Grateful Bread………Buckwheat Cornbread with salted honey-miso butter and chives
  • (Green and) Brown-Eyed Women………Marinated Olives with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest
  • New Potato Caboose………Steak Fries with beef salt and garlic aioli
  • Fire on the Mountain………spicy Chili with pequin
    The Pizza Tapes………Cherry Tomato Salad with brioche, burrata and charred pepper vinaigrette
  • Just Noodlin’………Spaetzel with brassicas, maitake mushrooms, whole grain mustard cream and Aztec Fuji apples
  • Homemade Cherry Garcia Ice Cream Sundae………slightly “Sugaree”

PHOTO: From left, Old Bus Tavern partners (and still friends) John Zirinsky, Jimmy Simpson, and Bennett Buchanan. Courtesy of Old Bus Tavern.

El Buen Comer Is Now Open for Dinner (and It’s Amazing)

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Last week, your Bernalwood editor visited El Buen Comer, the much-acclaimed new restaurant at 3435 Mission Street (@Kingston) in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone. El Buen Comer is now open for dinner, and our meal there sent us into a state of guisado-induced rapture.

What’s a guisado? Well, think of it sort of like a Mexican version of a Thai or Indian curry. Anna Roth from the San Francisco Chronicle had a similar moment of guisado rapture at El Buen Comer recently, and she explains:

The plate arrived with six pieces of stewed pork in a sea of green sauce. I’ve never been one to forgo pork products, but the mole verde, not the meat, wholly captivated my attention. It was richly layered and bright-tasting from fresh cilantro and epazote, with just a whisper of heat from green chiles. As I sopped up the last of the sauce with a house-made tortilla, I realized that I’d be doing the same thing with naan at an Indian restaurant; mole, like curry, is just a complicated stew.

Puerco en mole verde is just one of several remarkable dishes being turned out by Isabel Caudillo at her 6-week-old Bernal Heights restaurant, El Buen Comer. The daily changing menu centers on guisados — stews from Caudillo’s native Mexico City, where they can be served at home for weekday dinner or spooned into tacos for workers on the go.

Guisados have recently become trendy in food circles north of the border, but Caudillo has been serving them in San Francisco for more than a decade. She began selling comida corrida, simple fixed-price lunches of soup, tortillas, rice, beans and guisados, out of her Tenderloin apartment in 2001.

Bernalwood ate at El Buen Comer a few days after Anna Roth’s article was published, and the resulting crush of customers who flocked to the restaurant threatened to overwhelm the staff, which is largely comprised of chef Isabel Caudillo’s family. But we hardly cared, because teething pains are to be expected, and everyone was friendly, charming, and attentive.

Most of all, the food was revelatory and delicious.

Welcome to Bernal, El Buen Comer! We’re very lucky to have you here.

PHOTO: Puerco en mole verde at El Buen Comer, by Bernalwood

New Neighbor Lives Near Barebottle Brewing, Highly Recommends It

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It’s here. The predicted Golden Age for Beer in Bernal Heights is here.

Barebottle Brewing Company at 1525 Cortland has been open now for about a month, and it’s an impressive addition to our local drinkosphere. Neighbor Todd H. is a new Bernal resident who lives very close to Barebottle, and he shared these impressions of the place with us:

A month ago we lived in SOMA — 440 feet away from the Cellermaker brewery. It was hard to leave SOMA. How would we live without our darling neighborhood brewery? Imagine our delight to discover that a new brewery, the Barebottle Brewing Company, was opening a mere 213 feet from our new house right in Bernal, right after we moved in! Only two questions remained: 1) is the beer going to be good, 2) will it be a nice place to hang out and socialize?

The answer to both questions: Yes.

The Beer
Katy had the California Cologne, a Kolsch-Style lager, and it was light, fragrant, and smooth. I had the Scurvy Fighter, a pale ale with strong citrus and lots of hops. A neighbor shared his C’s Bees Honey Brown, which is made with honey from one of the brewers own bees. Barebottle is adding more beers and a number of standards, each with an intriguing twist.

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The Place
The sipping area is large and spacious, clean and bright. It’s dog- and kid-friendly, with games like cornhole and a side room where people were already playing board games. The brewing area is separated from the patrons by a small fence, perfect for who love gazing upon gleaming steel tanks and industrial equipment while sipping beer.

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More
In addition to serving beer, Barebottle will teach you how to brew it. There will be regular lectures and classes on homebrewing. While they don’t serve food themselves, a rotating cast of food trucks will be parked in the driveway right outside, with gorgeous custom picnic-style tables inside. My wife and I are debating the merits of starting a small grill cheese cart to offset the substantial tab we’re going to invariably run up.

The beer is great, the atmosphere friendly and bright, and it’s close enough that we can still see our Wi-Fi signal.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Todd Huffman

3300 Club Badly Damaged, But Owners Vow “We’ll Be Back”

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Shukry Lama is a co-owner of the much-loved 3300 Club on the corner of Mission and 29th. The bar was heavily damaged during the June 18 Cole Hardware Fire, even though it managed to avoid the flames.  Inside, the water damage was extensive, but the good news is that the building — which also contains the Graywood Hotel SRO — has been deemed structurally sound, so it won’t require a teardown.

Shukry shared some thoughts with Bernalwood after visiting the 33 to assess the damage:

Going into the bar and seeing how much stuff was damaged, was very depressing

There was a lot of water bubbling all over the ceiling and walls. Cracks in anything plaster, and the drywall is still soaked. ABC says all of our booze is gone; we can’t resell it or return it. We have a lot of pictures from the 30s and 40s that were damaged, mostly of my grandfather who grew up in the neighborhood. We were able to save some of the old paintings we have from an old bartender who passed away a few years ago, but some were damaged. All the original art that we had on the walls from him is damaged and will have to be replaced

My jukebox guy came in, he thinks his jukebox is shot. Hopefully our insurance covers his stuff. Anything electronic is dead.

The building owner has been awesome, he and our building supervisor have been there every day and keep checking up on us. First thing he said, when the fire was still going. was, “tell your grandma not to worry, we can fix it.” He’s been sharing resources, giving advice, and generally helping talk us through the process.

It’s going to take a lot of work to come back, but we’re willing to do it and everyone has been offering their help. It will take a while, but we’ll be back.

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PHOTO: Top, 3300 Club interior, photographed by Evan Sernoffsky on June 19. Below, Shukry Lama (right) with his Aunt Chris outside the 3300 Club, shortly after the fire.