Yay! We Can Now Get Tartine Bread at Epicurean Trader

tartinebread

You may have had a hard time getting tickets to go see “Hamilton” here in San Francisco, but on the bright side, it’ll soon be a lot easier to get the amazingly heavenly sublime bread produced by Tartine Bakery, right here in Bernal Heights.

Starting this weekend, Epicurean Trader at 401 Cortland (@Bennington) will begin receiving regular shipments of Tartine’s bread, delivered fresh from the oven to Bernal.

Neighbor Holly from the Epicurean Trader tells Bernalwood:

We’ve partnered with San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery to sell their loaves. We will be the first and only store outside of their own bakery that they will allow to sell it.

If you’re not familiar with Tartine, they’re considered one of the best bakeries in the country (known especially for their bread) and have won many industry awards, including the highly coveted James Beard Award.

To start out, Tartine will deliver the loaves fresh (literally straight from their ovens) at 11am each Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. There will be limited supply, so people will need to come early, however, we will accept pre-orders in-store if someone wants to be guaranteed a loaf.

We’d like get to seven days a week for these deliveries, so if demand is strong (which I hope it will be!), we’ll quickly ramp to a daily offering.

We plan to launch with the following loaves: Country Loaf, Whole Wheat Sesame, Oat Porridge and the Sprouted Rye. These loaves are HUGE! Excellent value really for the size, quality of the grains and craftsmanship.

Also, for those that are worried about missing out each week (let’s be honest, it’s going to happen…), we’re setting up a weekly subscription option whereby you are guaranteed a loaf (or loaves) each week with pick up available on your choice of Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Weekly subscribers will be invoiced monthly (vs. each pick-up) to keep everything moving quickly.

PHOTO: Tartine bread, courtesy of The Epicurean Trader

The Old Bus Tavern Now Has 2.5 Bauer-Stars and Music on Sundays

oldbusface2

The Michael Bauer returned to the fabulous Old Bus Tavern at 3193 Mission (near Valencia) recently to take new chef David Zboray’s food out for a test-drive. Two-and-a-half stars later, he says he liked the experience:

The most substantial main course was grilled swordfish ($29), expertly cooked and presented next to a salad of kohlrabi, pickled fennel and charred scallions. The only flaw was the mushy butternut squash risotto underneath.

While [former chef Max] Snyder’s top-class chili didn’t make the cut for the new menu, Zboray retained the must-order quail eggs ($10), brined, poached and arranged on a nest of fried leeks, hot from paprika. He’s also included the cheeseburger ($14) made with sharp cheddar, pickles, a secret sauce and ketchup, an ingredient I usually avoid for anything but french fries — but in this case it worked well.

The waiters are good salespeople for their products; they know the menu and are adept at explaining the beers and cocktails. They are also attuned to the finer points of service, a surprise in such a casual environment, where the crowd becomes more animated as the night wears on. Oftentimes there are gaggles of people dining or standing at the bar, separated by a counter from the 49-seat dining room.

Meanwhile, as a special bonus, neighbor Ned Buskirk of Elsie Street is working with the Old Bus Tavern team to fill the space with music on Sundays. Neighbor Ned says:

The Old Bus Tavern owners are about as down-to-earth & sweet-hearted as any good Bernalite would hope for AND the food/beers fit the tastiest of additions to our local options.

So, I’m booking regular music there every Sunday now, and we want to start making a name for the local spot, for all the right reasons… music being a big one of them.

This Sunday, December 4, the lineup includes amazing food by Soul Cocina and live music by John Elliott (aka The Hereafter)! Bar opens at 5pm and food starts at 6pm. Check out details about Sunday’s menu right here.

PHOTO: Old Bus Tavern facade, via InsideScoop

Barebottle Brings Beer-Brewing Award Home to Bernal Heights

barebottleext

This Golden Age for Beer in Bernal Heights is officially in full swing, with a handful of new craft-beer havens now open for business around the neighborhood. The Barebottle Brewing Company at 1525 Cortland opened just a few months ago, but it’s already emerged as a must-visit destination for beer lovers, who love it for the wide selection of tasty, house-made beers and the airy, comfortable space.

And now there’s another feature to celebrate: Barebottle just won a medal for making great beer. Team Barebottle explains:

The Barebottle Brewing Company earned a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition four months after opening it’s doors in San Francisco. GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 96 beer-style categories were announced October 8 at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.

Barebottle credits the success for its early GABF medal to its innovative approach to developing and brewing beers. “We’re honored to receive this award, and excited that our model is generating early results,” said Lester Koga, co-founder. “As homebrewers and BJCP certified beer judges, we use a competitive method and local inspiration to develop our beers, and so far, it looks like it’s working well.”

Barebottle was recognized in the Strong Ales beer-style category for its Coastal Red, a big Amber beer inspired by California Coastal Redwood Trees with, “hints of spicy banana bread, fig, and black currant” says Head Brewer Cortlandt Tocyzlowski, who developed and refined the original recipe first as a homebrewer, then as a professional brewer at Drake’s and E.J. Phair before coming to Barebottle as Head Brewer. “These big beers can flirt with being too sweet. I actually use 2 yeast strains: an English strain for 2/3rds of primary, and then West Coast Ale Yeast to help it finish fermenting out.  I think this give me that perfect balance of English body and esters, while the West Coast Ale makes it more crisp, less cloying.”

PHOTO: Barebottle Brewing on Cortland, by Telstar Logistics

Saturday: Rock the Guac at the 5th Annual Guacamole Competition!

2015 Guac-Off Champion Elle "Monster Guac" Garcia clutches her victory trophy

2015 Champion Elle “Monster Guac” Garcia clutches the coveted Guacamole Glory Trophy

It’s that very special time of year for guacamole fans in Bernal Heights.

Once again, the annual Guac-Off guacamole competition is coming this weekend. It’s free, and it’s happening on Saturday, September 10 beginning a 1 pm at the glamorous Farmhouse Mansion, at 3340 Folsom near the top of the hill at Ripley.  That means if you you want to compete, there are a few days remaining for you to beg your abuela for her secret recipe.

Here are all the guactastic details, courtesy of guacMC Luke:

Look, 2016 is a complicated time, but in a complicated world eating guacamole with your friends and neighbors is the best of all simple pleasures. As the saying goes, San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality, so for one delightfully warm Indian Summer afternoon we invite you to forget all the complications of 2016 and bask in the fact that you are not surrounded by reality, you are surrounded by avocados. Lots of avocados.

So join us on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at 1pm at The Farmhouse Mansion for the 5th Annual Indian Summer Guac-off!

  1. Your guacamole must use at least 7 avocados.
  2. If you don’t bring a guacamole, you’re encouraged to bring beer.
  3. No matter what you decide to bring, bring your friends!
  4. We’ll provide the chips, the Guacamole Glory Trophy, and the mystery prizes.

If you’re thinking about coming we’d love for you to check out guacamole.expert (our new site!) and take 15 seconds (seriously, that’s all it takes) to fill out our totally non-committal sign-up form so we can know how many pounds of chips we need to buy.

If you’re reading this it means you understand the sacred power and magic of spending a warm afternoon with friends, neighbors, cute babies, cuter dogs and maybe even the mailman. It means that you know the delight of being shaded by lush trees in the garden of a large mansion while being surrounded by whimsical interpretations of the holy avocado.

So use this information carefully — and by use it carefully we mean tell anyone you’d like.

Guacamolingly,
Chris, Luke & Josh

guacparty

Old Devil Moon Beer Restaurant Now Open on Mission Street

ODMfacade

It took a lot longer than expected (which is what we always expect), but this week Old Devil Moon, the brand-new, beer-obsessed restaurant at 3472 Mission Street at the foot of Cortland Avenue, finally opened for business. Welcome!

As you no doubt recall, Old Devil Moon was co-founded by former La Lengua resident Chris Cohen, who lived for a time on fashionable Tiffany Street, next door to the owner of La Terrazza, the bar that was previously at 3472 Mission. The two got to talking, and the owner of La Terrazzo eventually said “I’ve actually been thinking about retiring for a couple years, I’d love to sell you my place.” Thus, the torch was honorably passed from La Terrazzo to Old Devil Moon.

So what’s Old Devil Moon all about? InsideScoop explains:

Old Devil Moon [is] the new beer-focused restaurant from Chris Cohen (founder of the SF Homebrewers Guild), along with business partners Will Marshall, Andrew Kelley, Ericka Schell and Carson Beker. (Kelley, Schell and Cohen are all certified cicerones.)

Located in the former La Terraza space on Mission Street, Old Devil Moon takes its inspiration from other local beer-focused restaurants, like Oakland’s Hog’s Apothecary and Monk’s Kettle in the Mission. However, the vibe and food for the space will be New Orleans-inspired.

The project has been in the works a couple of years and took longer than originally thought because the team ended up having to completely gut the space and rebuild from the ground up. The delay was worth it for Cohen, since it allowed the team to build out a new draft system exactly to their specifications that includes a large walk-in cooler behind the bar that can hold 19 kegs, as well as three smaller coolers to store different styles of beers at different temperatures.

In addition to the 19 draft beers, plus one hand-pump cask ale, the bar will offer about 30 easy-drinking canned beers, as well as a large selection of larger format barrel-aged imperial stouts and sour beers. Some of the breweries the bar will be showcasing include local and domestic offerings from Sante Adarius, Freewheel Brewing Co., Fieldwork, Modern Times, Almanac and Craftsman, as well as some from further afield including Rodenbach Grand Cru from Belgium and hard-to-find Switzerland brew, Samichlaus.

Apart from all the beer, Old Devil Moon also offers a list of signature cocktails, while the food menu is built around New Orleans-style favorites such as Po Boys, gumbo, and fried oysters. (Insert Pavlovian Response here.)

teamodm

Old Devil Moon opened for business on Monday night, and the place was reportedly packed. Chris Cohen from Team ODM tells Bernalwood:

There were a few moments from our opening night that meant the moon to us.

Like the guy who said, “I’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades – I’m so happy this place has an unpretentious, friendly vibe. I’ll be back.”

And the other who said, “We’ve lived in Bernal Heights for 30 years, and me and my wife are both beer lovers. I’m excited there’s a place I can go to with great beer just down the hill from my house.”

A third customer asked for help choosing some beer. Sure! Then he asked for a fortune. Sure! Two patrons told us our menu board was magic (it is!) and then sang Old Devil Moon and everyone clapped.

It felt like our vision come true: We want this to be a neighborhood place with destination-worthy beer where magic can happen. We want to get to know you, so it made us so happy to see our friends and neighbors meet. Thanks to everyone who came down the hill for a great beer, thanks for a great welcome for Old Devil Moon to the neighborhood, and if you haven’t been down yet, welcome! Come raise spirits and make some mischief with us.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Old Devil Moon

Anda Piroshki Closing This Weekend After Kitchen Rent Increase

anna2011b

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:

lunchpiroshki

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.