Eats and Beers

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]

Thanks for the Analysis New York

NYT: Linea Caffe "The Kind of Food That Reflects the Tastes of the Mission"

Linea Caffe opened just six months ago in Duc Loi’s grim back corner space, but the New York Times has already discovered the joint, praising its style and the “mash-up” of menu items.  “Espresso, waffles, loud-and-proud salads: Only in San Francisco are these three at home on the same menu,” exclaims the Times, marveling at how only those zany San Francisco kids could possibly pair greens with beans.

According to the Lt. Waffle menu, the waffles are “Brussels-style” — a loose claim. The crispy potato waffle, made with mashed and powdered potatoes pressed into the griddle with hunks of pastrami from Mission Chinese, is served with sauerkraut and pickled mustard seeds. It’s not like anything you’ll find in Belgium. Ditto the buckwheat waffle, a pillowy confection topped with salmon roe, crème fraîche and dill pickles. Add a chopped salad, with romaine, salted radish, fried pieces of tortilla and queso fresco, and you have a meal.

This is the kind of food that reflects the tastes of the Mission District, the neighborhood that’s now the gastronomic epicenter of the city: In this part of town, anything goes on the plate. But being unconventional only counts for so much; the crowd at Linea is there because the coffee, waffles and salads are worth it.

So, is Linea about to blow up as the next ‘it’ Mission coffeeshop-cum-restaurant?  Possibly.  When the Times gave Weird Fish—right around the corner from Linea—a glowing review in 2008, there was a line outside for years.  But today?  You can pretty much grab a table whenever you please, despite the restaurant remaining one of the neighborhood’s better splurge meals.

As for Linea “[reflecting] the tastes of the Mission District?” We’ll have to take New York’s word for that.

[NY Times]

Missed Connections Comix

Zantes Indian Pizza

I usually avoid making comics out of posts that reference specific businesses, but I used to live up the street from Zantes and if you’ve never tried their Indian Vege Pizza, it will truly expand your pizza related consciousness. While we’re talkng about pizza, I have some new t-shirts for sale.

Dear Sucker

San Franciscans Wait Two Hours in the Rain For Day-Old New York Bagels

Photo by @marmotilla

San Francisco reached peak pop-up pretentiousness this morning as throngs of bored foodies waited for “nearly two hours” for day-old New York bagels.

Taking place at Dear Mom, the Mission’s magnet of mediocrity, budding restauranteurs importers Sonya Haines and Wes Rowe unveiled their “Eastside Bagels” hustle, which sees Russ & Daughters bagels flown in from New York and flipped for $6 (bagel with cream cheese) to $12 (full bagel sandwich).  According to tweets from Andy Cooper, who suffered through the humiliation so we didn’t have to, the entire ordeal was a pointless exercise in doom and decadence:


The news of slow service and sell-outs led to an artisan riot, as moist customers raised their decorative pitchforks and hurled mildly-restrained criticism at the non-chefs.  Some poor schmuck even came up from San Jose, much to her frowny face:

While we’ve become dizzy with all the eye-rolling, we cannot help be impressed by the brilliance of this pop-up and its ability to lure people into the most degrading “yuppie bread line” possible.  Here are some other pop-up ideas to subsidize your next East Coast vacation:

  • “Box O’ Joe” Irish coffee pop-up at Buena Vista.
  • $12 reheated slice of Crazy Dough’s.
  • Bottles of water, filled from the bathroom sink of a West Philly Wawa.
  • $2 week-old Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins.
  • Scratched Dropkick Murphy’s CDs purchased at various Quincy garage sales.
  • Coolers full of authentic snow collected from Brooklyn (gross old dirty snow, not the fresh stuff).
  • Rosemunde pop-up, featuring sausages imported from Rosemunde Williamsburg.
  • Bagels purchased from C-Town Supermarket that you claim Danny Bowien breathed on.

Go forth and make your money, young jetset entrepreneurs. And congratulations to you, foodies of San Francisco, for effectively releasing any claim of superiority over New York City.

The Pain of Living Without El Farolito

In honor of SF Sketchfest kicking off this weekend, SF Weekly put out a comedy issue this week, featuring a grip of essays from local comedians celebrating the Bay.  They're all worth a read, but Moshe Kasher's piece, which swings from sarcastic to wistful, was among the best:

The Bay Area is special. We have something that no one else does: the highest rent in the universe. But also other stuff! I live in L.A. now (release the hounds!), so I know all too acutely the pain of living without El Farolito. I know the suffering that comes when, upon awakening, the stark reality of a cup of Philz being more than six hours away hits your brain with more disruptive force than a Google bus displacing your grandparents from their neighborhood.

This is the nightmare I live through. Having tasted the manna of the Bay, I now trudge through the stark reality of “life” in Los Angeles. I am barely able to get up most mornings and make it to my numerous television call times and constant high-powered Hollywood lunch meetings. What's the point?

But I come back to my home — the place I grew up, the place I started doing comedy. The place I learned the difference between farm-to-table tomato foam and farm-to-table tomato water.

Read on.

(And if you want to see Moshe sling jokes, he's performing tonight at Cobb's and the Mission's own Verdi Club as part of Sketchfest.)

[Photo by Tamara Mann]

Golden Era Loses its Lease

I found myself up in the Tenderloin the other night, hungering for Golden Era's vegan drumsticks and the warm glow of cult propaganda on the television, but the restaurant had gone kaput.

I was hoping there might be something good to the closure—perhaps the owners going on to bigger and even better things?—but, sadly, it's just another verse in San Francisco's sad song:


Golden Era will be closed permanently at this location starting Monday, November 25, 2013. We thank you for your patronage in the past 15 years. We will miss you all. Love, Love….

We reached out to the restaurant over Facebook and are yet to hear back.  But according to some folks on Yelp, the landlord jacked their rent when the lease was over and were economically showed them the door.

On Facebook, they announced, “we are working very hard to find our new home in SF.”  We'll update if we hear more.

[Photo by Jovan J]

Christmas Miracle: Big Lantern Becomes the Mission's Hottest Restaurant

There was a sense of hungered panic on Valencia Street Christmas night.  Cabs barreling into the neighborhood from the Metreon, full of lightly starved folks looking to cap off their Jewish Christmas, only to find the entire Mission shuttered.  Even Mission Chinese Food took the night off.  Oy vey.

With the scene looking grim, Mission Chinese's normal “fuck this shit” line migrated the brightly lit oasis that was Big Lantern. And we here at Uptown Almanac are happy to see Big Lantern finally get their due respect, with their deliciously perfect mid-tier vegan meats and overly-salted-yet-absolutely-divine dim sum, even if it was a Christmas fluke.

(Hope you had a great holiday, everyone!)

The Attic on the Chopping Block

In what is shaping up to be a thorough purge of smelly and loveable 24th Street dives, we can confirm The Attic is joining Jack's Club, El Mexicano, and Pop's on the neighborhood's 86ed list.  As one commenter put it:

I know a couple of the bartenders. They confirmed [the closure]. I like The Attic but the building srsly needs to be demolished. Even the staff hate it, it's falling apart. Bummed to lose a bar that plays Sharknado but the place ALWAYS smells like the toilet is backed up. Because it is.

Ryan Gillespie wrote in and told us “it's a done deal”:

Keith, the movie buff bartender, confirmed the closing to me. Apparently the owner is going to try to open a bar and restaurant in West Portal after The Attic closes.

We swung by The Attic this weekend to get details.  The bartender said she believed the owner was struggling to find an buyer and might just shut it down altogether.  However, at a reportedly low selling price of $200,000, we would be shocked if someone didn't scoop the bar up for the liquor license alone.

Either way, now there's one less bar hanging needed signage like this at the door:

[Photos by Thomas Hawk and Ryan Gillespie]

SF Mead Company Brings European Honey Booze to the Bayview

Jay B writes in and hips us to the recent opening of the San Francisco Mead Company, a meadery looking to bring back the overlooked flavors of Europe's preferred honey drank:

This company opened up recently around the corner from my shop in the Bayview, at [1180 Shafter Ave]. They have tastings from noon to 6 Friday-Sunday. The taste is surprisingly dry on the front with the sweetness and honey flavor kicking in at the end. They also have a hopped mead, and an apple juice and spice desert one in the works. Worth a trip. Nice folks.

If you’re looking to go out and give it a taste, might I recommend also hitting up the Speakeasy Tap Room and making an afternoon of it?  Otherwise, you can get some a little closer to home at Rainbow, Zeitgeist, Mission Cheese, or Bi-Rite on Divis.

(Thanks Jay!)

Pop's Bar on the Chopping Block

It's been a cruel year for 24th Street's venerable crop dives, with Polk Gulch's Playland buying up Jack's Club and Zoe's replacing El Mexicano.  Now, Pop's Bar joins the list.  Reader “MoFoPlz” fills us in:

Pop's at 24th & York is in the process of being sold. The two current owners, Malia (owner of Thee Parkside) & Harmony, have accepted an offer and it's making it's way through the SF system. You'll have to follow up with them for details other than the rumor was it went for 250K+. Let's hope not to the douche who claims everything 'local' or some other dick who wants to clean it up and rebrand it for the Marina crowd.

We reached out to bar staff, but haven't been given a confirmation either way (and nothing has popped up on the bar's ABC license, so it hasn't made it that far yet).

The identity of the buyer (or buyers) isn't clear, but with the Mission's “hyper gentrification” looming over 24th Street, and Pop's being a place of $2 tallcans and $5 bloodies that start pouring at noon, we'd imagine the new owners would look to make the cocktail glass atop the sign a bit more prominent.

[Photo by Jeremy Brooks]