Haute Damn

High-Class Hot Dogs: Thing That Exists Now

Hipster foodie sensibilities have already co-opted pickles, bacon, juice, mac ‘n’ cheese, ice cream, and cupcakes and made them fancy (I love fancy cupcakes), and now it seems the sights have been set on sexing up hot dogs.  That’s right, these aren’t your everyday Mission dogs: these are Haute Dogs:

The Haute Dog is an all-beef hot dog baked in a mustard-seed croissant, and then topped with whole grain mustard and housemade salt and vinegar beet chips. […]

“We decided to focus on our version of the hot dog, and have some fun with that. We started playing with different compound butters and different flavors for the croissant, though what we really liked was the texture — and that’s where the chips came in,” he says. In other words, it’s basically like the adult version of putting chips in your sandwich.

Craftsman and Wolves’ William Werner is responsible for the $6.50 luxdog, who tells the Chronicle the inspiration for meat parts stick innovation came from Japan, “A friend of mine brings in all this Japanese denim. Last time he was there, he texted me this picture of — I don’t even know what – some meat product.”

Japanese denim and unidentifiable meat? They’re definitely onto something here.

But not everyone is sold.  The Bold Italic has already taken a shot at the haute dog, comparing it a sun-baked clam:

Still, is it just me, or does the Haute Dog look like something that spent way too much time out in the sun? Or, if you’re pervy, does the bun not seem a little suggestive? Vaginal even?

That’s the most unappetizing vagina I’ve ever seen.  I can’t wait to see if they roll out a vegan version.

[Inside Scoop]

Locally-Sourced Laughs

Uptown Almanac's Locally-Sourced Pop-Up Comedy Night Returns Tuesday, 4/15!

We’ve had such a blast doing our last few locally-sourced comedy pop-ups that we’ve got Pabst and the Roxie back together for a spring show!  So at 9pm Tuesday, April 15th, we’re taking over the Roxie Theater to bring you seven of the finest Bay Area comics (and ample PBR for your enjoyment).  And this show’s line-up is one of our best yet.

The always funny Chris Garcia (who was at our very first show in 2011) will be headlining.  Known locally for being a staple of The Business at The Dark Room and having a killer set on the Mission, Chris left us a few years ago to return to his native Los Angeles.  But he’s been busy ripping it up in LA, being featured on This American Life and WTF with Marc Maron.

Joining Chris on stage will be:

And Sean Keane will be back to host!

Tickets are on sale now (and will be on sale at the door).  Just $7!  As always, your ticket gets heaps of free PBR.

The Quad for Foodies!

NY Times Continues Its Obsession With the Mission, Invents "Mission Creek" Microhood

Hot off the Times’ bold discovery of Linea Caffe, New York’s paper of record is back to wishing the Mission District was some place in Queens:

The newly coined Mission Creek neighborhood in San Francisco’s northeast Mission District has long been home to light industrial manufacturing. But lately Mission Creek has become a creative hub for local goods, and unlike in many fast-changing areas of the city, the new arrivals here have so far stayed true to the area’s roots: It’s a place where people make things.

“The newly coined Mission Creek neighborhood”?  We’re admittedly not hip to everything that happens here, but as Bloggers of Mission Minutiae™, we haven’t heard this used in conversation ever. Has New York’s well documented obsession with San Francisco manifested itself in inventing microhoods for us?

Please, no.  New York, real talk: The Quad Quantroversy was enough unwanted real estate attention for one year.  We cannot take anymore of this.  Please leave the microhood inventing to our resident bullshit experts at The Bold Italic.

Well, anyway, what kind of businesses are in Mission Creek?

The superstars behind the buzzy, beloved pizzeria Flour + Water, known for its delicate house-made pastas, inventive pies and excellent but laid-back service, last May opened Central Kitchen, a rustic indoor-outdoor restaurant spotlighting the best of Northern California ingredients — seafood, poultry, cheese, seasonal produce — and Salumeria, an attached deli that makes pork fennel sausage and other cured meats. The chef and owners are longtime Mission residents — on the website, the restaurant describes itself as “of, by, and for the neighborhood” — and source produce and other goods nearby whenever possible. Next door is Trick Dog, a signless new drinking establishment by the San Francisco bar-genius team the Bon Vivants, offering carefully calibrated cocktails and an industrial aesthetic of Edison bulbs, light fixtures with gears and frosted warehouse windows.

If you noticed all the featured businesses in the “new” neighborhood happened to have opened in the last two years, you’re not alone.  There was no mention of Inner Mission stalwarts like Atlas Cafe, Z Space, Jay’n Bee Club, Universal Cafe, and Starbucks.  As our friend who pointed out this article put it, “the piece reads like it was written in consultation with the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group’s PR person.”

But, you know, maybe those jelly New Yorkers are on to something here.  As they put it, “this is a neighborhood where men are comfortable in aprons — whether they’re running a letterpress, tending bar or operating a circular saw on the sidewalk.”

If fixed-gear bicycle ownership, tattered band t-shirts, and an affinity for irony and cuss words helped bring together hipster ‘hoods of yore, maybe the apron is becoming today’s choice symbol of belonging.

[NYT | Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin]

Tenants Winning Big

Landlords Now Required to Subsidize Future Rents of Evicted Tenants

David Campos’s proposed legislation that would require landlords evicting tenants through the oft-abused Ellis Act to subsidize their rent for two years passed yesterday at the Board of Supervisors.  CBS 5 reports:

According to the city controller’s office, a person who paid $909 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission would get a relocation payment over $44,000. The previous limit for Ellis Act evictions was $5,200.

“The reality is that in this rental market, that money will not be sufficient to help someone stay in San Francisco,” Campos said.

The legislation stipulates that the evicting landlord must pay the difference between the tenant’s current rent and the market rate for a similar unit, with the goal of giving displaced tenants a two year buffer to find financially stable housing in our tight market.

Shockingly enough, the measure passed 9-2, with noted pro-development supervisor Scott Wiener even supporting the legislation.  This gives the bill a veto-proof majority when it hits Mayor Ed Lee’s desk.

Meanwhile, Senator Mark Leno is pushing forward a bill in Sacramento that would curb serial evict-and-flip landlords.  The bill, which recently cleared the Transportation and Housing Committee, would allow San Francisco to bar property owners from using the Ellis Act to “go out of business” until they have owned the building for at least five years.

Well Duh

1915 Woman's Journal Takes On the Mission: "It Is the Only Place"

A piece published in the Young Woman’s Journal just ahead of the 1915 world’s fair sure does paint a fine portrait of The City.  Clearly aimed at selling the influx of tourists for the fair on the merits of San Francisco—and to warn them about our delightfully cruel summers—the old school advertorial takes us on the ferry across the “glistening bay,” through the bustle down, and around the Chinatown, Portola, Fillmore, and “Valley” neighborhoods.  But the part that stood out to us covered our neighborhood du jour, The Mission.

“Pepper trees droop tenderly over the walks and date palms sigh in the wind,” the essay boasts. “Why not live in the ‘Mission?’  Those who do swear it is the only place.”

How little has changed.  Neighborhood pride rightfully runs high here, and leaving the Mission for any reason causes a borderline panic attack.

But here’s the flip:

And now I shall tell you a secret.  Many years ago the “Mission” was inhabited by the rich and society folk.  Now they have moved to San Mateo, to Burlinggame and to Knob Hill.  In their decaying mansions and near by them live a great mass of the working class, “poor people” as the Charities call them.  By these poor people enjoy life.  They work during the day, whistling and singing.  In the evening they wash their faces, slick down their hair, and tighten their collars in preparation for their recreation.

Singing and dancing, theaters upon theaters, chorus girls’ contests, and some of the cheapest goods in the city.  These poor people enjoy life.

Beyond the Mission, the piece concludes perfectly:

Ah. yes, San Francisco, you are wonderful.  Your chilly climate, your wind, your fog and your dirt but prove that you have not yet acquired immortality.  Your sea, your hills, your sky and your flowers touch upon the divine. Dazzling San Francisco, you are a rare, resplendent gem.  You are the city of enchantment—the city that beckons the world.

Below, the sections dealing with the Mission (but you can nerd out and read the entire essay on Google Books):

[via Matt Graves]

Everything Must Go! Limited Time Offer

For Sale: The Bay Area

Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma in January of 1848. A few weeks later, Sam Brannan strode through Portsmouth Square shouting “Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!” News reached New York in August and was confirmed by President James Polk in December. Only then did the true Gold Rush begin with the influx of arrivals in 1849, multiplying the population over 100 times in the next three years.

Brannan, a Mormon newspaper man in New York, left for San Francisco by sea as the rest of the Latter Day Saints went west overland after the death of Joseph Smith. The two things Brannan brought with him were a flour mill and a printing press, and after cornering the market for prospecting supplies and marking them up exorbitantly, proceeded to promote the placers with the zeal of an evangelist.

While a few miners did make fortunes, it was Brannan and his fellow merchants supplying them that accumulated most of the wealth. Gold was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a gold rush. You also need publicity and poverty, the former which Brannan was happy to provide while the latter is never in short supply.

Thanks to Silicon Valley, the printing press is now an anachronism best suited for producing twee, artisanal invitations for your wedding to a Facebook millionaire. But that’s only made publicity cheaper, and poverty is at levels not seen in this country since the 19th century.  So while tens of thousands of people flood into the Bay Area seeking the fortunes described by true believers in the technology trade press, a new generation of hucksters have quietly arrived to peddle real estate to the masses huddled in startup houses, yearning for VC.

So who are these snake oil salesmen? And how are they using spectacle to encourage speculation?

Thrice Cooked Criticism

Touchy Foodies Turn on Mission Chinese Food

The rise-and-fall of Mission Chinese Food sure has been a fast one.  Opening in 2010, the neighborhood was quick to heap praise on the fledging restaurant that spiced up Chinese dive dishes.  And the food really was that good.

Deservedly, the Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer soon declared it to be “the poster child for alternative dining scenarios.”  So it was no surprise that within two years of opening, MCF chef Danny Bowien was living the alt-list celeb life with Vice and Anthony Bourdain, and shoved off to New York to open two restaurants in the city’s post-gritty neighborhoods.

But all the hype seems to have poisoned the very magic that the restaurant once had.  Even the formerly celebratory Bauer has fallen out of love. “I learned on a revisit this week that without [Bowien] in the kitchen,” he wrote in last week’s one-and-a-half star re-review, “the San Francisco Mission Chinese is simply a dive, without the charm his inventive and soulful food gave it.”

It gets worse:

My all-time favorite dish - salt-cod fried rice ($12) with Chinese sausage and confit mackerel - shows how the cooking has devolved. On my recent visit it was as dry as sawdust, although there were glimmers of what I had loved in the interplay between land and sea.

Another favorite, ma po tofu ($12), which used to be thick with ground pork, seems to have been reformulated. It now has a greasy broth with too-large cubes of tofu and a one-dimensional heat that masked the earthy shiitake and aged chile sauce.

I’m not sure what “one-dimensional heat” means, but it sure does sound bad!  Bauer laments the “fading vision” and declares that the “surroundings are still rickety.”  To him, Mission Chinese has become “nothing more than a greasy spoon.”

And he’s the not the only one.  The idiot hive mind over at Yelp frequently slaps the place with one, two, and three star reviews, using words like “overrated” and “let down” to describe the experience.

Of course, the restaurant is hardly at death’s door—there are still lines out the door almost nightly.  But it sounds like waiting hours for questionably tolerable food at Mission Chinese has become quite the sucker’s bet.

[Photo: Nicole Wong]

Another Reason to Sit Around Waiting For the UPS Man

Rainbow Grocery Gets Into the Online Ordering Game

I love Rainbow Grocery because everytime I shop there, I can pretend I’ve been to Burning Man.  Also, the staff is wonderful and they have quite the cheese selection.

Alas, everyone’s favorite worker-owned meat-free market has been feeling the pressure from Amazon Prime, Google Shopping Express, and all the other delivery startups that’ll be partying with Jesus after the next investor rapture.  So Rainbow Grocery, never one to shy away from the whims of the consumer, has partnered with Instacart “beginning today” to ship bulk olives and confusing medicines right to your door!

“Though we’re sure not every member of the crunchy co-op will be thrilled about their new techie bent,” Eater SF points out.  Which is maybe true?  Pizza places have been delivering goods (pizza, soda, dime bags) for years without succumbing to the scourge of self-importance.  So whatever keeps the sample cheese platter stocked will be o-kay.

[Photo: Amit GuptaEater SF]