<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Food and Drink, Nightlife, Bars, and Restaurants]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/the-scene/food-drink http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:20:24 -0800 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:20:24 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Diners Must Sign Waiver Before Eating Burger]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:15:45 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kpnx-ghost-burger.jpg 08/11/14: Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Scottsdale, Arizona claims they're home to the world's spiciest hamburger. Reporter Gia Vang from NBC station KPNX reports.]]> <![CDATA[Chick-fil-A Returns to Sunnyvale]]> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 07:30:52 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMAG3650.jpg

After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Chick-fil-A is returning to Sunnyvale.

The first Bay Area Chick-fil-A location opened at the Sunnyvale Town Center in 1984. It closed in 1994. The new Chick-fil-A is less than a mile away at 550 W El Camino Real.

Dozens of people have been camping out at the new spot this week ahead of Thursday's 6 a.m. opening.

The first 100 people in line for the opening will get free chicken for a year. The coupon is worth about $350 and is for one meal a week.

The Sunnyvale location is the eighth of nine new restaurants the chain plans to open in California this year.

Chick-fil-A says each restaurant employes 60 to 100 people.

Its founder Truett Cathy first began serving a pressured cooked breast-of-chicken sandwich on a buttered bun with two pickles in Hapeville, Ga., in 1946. The franchises are still serving that same sandwich today.

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Cronut Craze Hits San Francisco]]> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 13:39:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ansel_cronut.jpg

The New York Cronut craze has hit the Bay Area with San Francisco bakeries selling out recently as many locals order the hyped-up hybrid croissant-meets-doughnut pastry by the dozen.

The croissant-doughnut creation was born at Dominque Ansel Bakery in Manhattan this spring and has since been trademarked as its popularity soars and pre-order lists grow.

The trendy treat has made its way westward in the past few weeks, with downtown San Francisco coffee shops offering Cronut-inspired "cronots" made by Santa Clara-based wholesaler Posh Bakery.

At Java Trading Co. at 100 Fifth St., owner Fi Li started ordering cronots from Posh Bakery in early July on Fridays only. Two weeks ago she decided to order them everyday as demand increased. "Usually people come in and want to buy a dozen," she said this morning.

She said during the morning rush they often sell out, but as she has increased her orders more customers purchase them up until closing.

She said she first heard about the hype in New York in late June and saw that Posh, which delivers other baked goods to the ground-floor shop at the San Francisco Chronicle building, was offering the cronot. The sugary treats are $3 each and come in flavors including chocolate, cinnamon, glazed and strawberry.

Many are filled with custard. One patron this morning was trying his first cronot and decided on chocolate.

James Seraphine, who works at the Chronicle, said he had heard about the novelty breakfast item from friends in New York. After a few bites he said, "it's perfect," if a bit decadent. He said, "I'd get it again" and was eager to tell his East Coast friends that he had tried the West Coast version.

At one of the several locations of Lee's Deli scattered throughout San Francisco's Financial District had the Posh Bakery cronots packaged in boxes lined along the cash register at 615 Market St. this morning. Owner Sterling Quan said his store goes through four- to five-dozen cronots throughout the day.

They are $2.50 each.

He started selling them three weeks ago.

"It's going pretty well," he said. He orders the baked goods daily and he said some days his location will sell out, especially when he receives orders for 10 in one purchase. He said certain croissant elements, such as the multiple layers and that the treat is "flakier than a doughnut," adds to its popularity.

After Posh offered Lee's locations to sample the item, Quan said he "wasn't aware how big they were" and then discovered people were lining up in New York to take a bite. At his store, "people are disappointed if we're sold out," so he has been upping his orders each morning.

The Fillmore Bakeshop, located at 1890 Fillmore St., made a batch of their own recipe for Kronuts last Saturday and quickly sold out.

The bakers have decided to offer the cinnamon-sugar covered pastries every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. On the bakery's Facebook page, the owners posted after Saturday's inaugural Kronut sale.

"Kronuts were a huge success!! Thanks for everyone's patience, we can only fry 6 at a time, but making them in such small batches is what makes them so special!" they wrote.

At the original New York bakery, the Dominque Ansel website has a "Cronut 101" page with details about the pastry that the bakery has dubbed the "most viral dessert item to date."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Whip Up Simple, Gourmet Dishes]]> Sat, 10 Aug 2013 23:26:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chefinter.jpg The Bay Area is full of people who love to eat and like to cook, but even for foodies, some gourmet dishes are a little intimidating. Jenn Louis, who is a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef joins Kris Sanchez to show us how to whip up some simple, gourmet dishes in no time.]]> <![CDATA[Tornado Relief Effort Gains Support Through Cupcakes]]> Thu, 23 May 2013 05:45:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/052213-sprinkles-cupcakes.jpg

Some Bay Area businesses are taking action to help provide relief for Oklahoma tornado victims. 
Charles Nelson, co-founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Palo Alto, is an Oklahoma native who hopes to raise several thousand dollars for his home state.
The cupcake shop is selling “Red Cross Red Velvet Cupcakes” until 9 p.m. on Wednesday. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross.
The white-frosted cupcakes decorated with red crosses on top are priced at $3.50 each and $39 per dozen.  
The company’s past recovery efforts have generated as much as $55,000.
The San Jose Sharks Foundation also contributed to relief efforts by collecting more than $5,500 in donations at Tuesday’s game. Donations will be accepted again at Sunday’s game at HP Pavilion.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Hopeful Reprieve for SF Bacon Restaurant Facing Closure]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 10:39:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/203*120/bacon14.JPG

There may be no meat to incite the masses to action, like bacon.

Burger restaurants, pizzerias, bars have all folded under the vocal opposition of neighbors. But it seems a San Francisco restaurant that specializes in bacon will live to oink another day.

The year-and-a-half-old Bacon Bacon in the Ashbury Heights neighborhood has been battling for its porky existence since some neighbors began complaining a while back about the bacon smell wafting their way.

“Depending on the wind patterns day to day, there were strong odors of bacon,” said attorney Ryan Patterson, who is representing a neighbor with sensory olfactory nerves. “This is a restaurant that specializes in bacon and is called Bacon Bacon -- and it did smell like bacon.”

MORE: SF Bacon Restaurant Must Close Due to Aroma Issue

With dishes like fried chicken wrapped in bacon, bacon scones and a bacon bouquet (five bacon strips wrapped in paper), it’s not incomprehensible there would be a bacon smell.

But the restaurant had other issues beside just the aroma – namely it didn’t have a permit.

“They have been operating without a permit since December 2011,” said Richard Lee of San Francisco’s Health Department. "We finally set a deadline when they need to get a permit.”

Under the city’s deadline, the restaurant was set to shut down on Friday at 3 p.m. Owner Jim Angelus said he offered to install a $35,000 air filtration system, but was afraid to commit to the work if the city was going to shut him down anyway. But on Friday, Angelus seemed to work out a deal with his neighbor after saying he would install the new system, even thought it had yet to be put into writing, and still required approval from the Planning and Health departments. There is a hearing in July to formalize the permits, and until then, Angelus is running a bacon food truck. To see when and where click here.

Supporters signed petitions, and finally, came down Friday to pig out one last time, walking past a chalkboard sign out front that read “Save Our Bacon.”

“I want to stay here because I’m not going to let a couple neighbors ruin what’s a great neighborhood,” Angelus said. “I live in this neighborhood, too.”

But as Angelus’ four employees wondered if they’d have jobs next week, Angelus received a call Friday - just after lunch - from his neighbor and Patterson. As they negotiated over speakerphone, the contingent finally reached a verbal deal. Angelus agreed to put in the filtration system, and the neighbor would drop his complaint.

“My client has offered to contribute money to make this happen,” Patterson said. “I think everyone is really happy about it.”

But as he hung up the phone, Angelus illuminated a cautious smile. Then he headed back to the restaurant’s kitchen – there were bacon burritos to be made.

More Local Stories:



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Bacon Restaurant Saved]]> Fri, 17 May 2013 17:11:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/203*120/bacon14.JPG Who doesn't love the smell of bacon? A neighbor of a new hot restaurant in San Francisco's Ashbury Heights called Bacon Bacon. Joe Rosato Jr. reports on a last minute deal that appears to have saved the bacon.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[SF Bacon Restaurant Must Close Due to Aroma Issue]]> Fri, 17 May 2013 13:12:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/Bacon+final.jpg

The bacon smell smelled so much of bacon that now, the bacon must go.

A San Francisco bacon restaurant — called Bacon Bacon — must shut its doors after neighbors' complaints about the smell of bacon revealed a fatal permitting issue, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Bacon Bacon, at 250A Frederick Street, will close its doors at the end of service Friday after its owner "failed" to negotiate with neighbors who took offense to the pork restaurant's smell.

MORE: Reprieve for SF Bacon Restaurant Facing Closure

The smell led to the revelation that the restaurant lacked "proper health permits" last summer.

The restaurant may be able to secure a permit but the first time a hearing can be held is July. So the restaurant must close.

Neighbors claimed that the "porcine aroma" was overpowering and that grease was illegally disposed of in the sewers.

Neighbors also say that they offered to buy the restaurant owner a new air filter — but he declined.

Owner Jim Angelus says he'll revive the restaurant's food truck — when he can find an approved kitchen location in which to prepare meals.

More Local Stories:

]]>
<![CDATA[Rickhouse Voted Among Country's Best Whiskey Bars]]> Tue, 07 May 2013 16:19:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/rickhouse.jpg

The purveyors of dark spirits know you have a choice when it comes to whiskey bars -- and the fine penmen and women at GQ magazine will have you know that in San Francisco, you can choose from among the very finest brown liquor bars in America.

You can choose Rickhouse.

The downtown distiller's best friend is among the 10 best whiskey bars in these United States, according to GQ, whose report was picked up by SFist.

That may be saying something, seeing as how Rickhouse has stiff drink competition within San Francisco's own bridged borders.

But "is Rickhouse the best whiskey bar in America?" SFist asks.

As long as who you're asking isn't behind the bar at Whiskey Thieves, Nihon Whiskey Lounge, Bourbon and Branch, Hard Water, Alembic...

]]>
<![CDATA[Chez Panisse Sets Opening Date]]> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:55:05 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/163360644_8.jpg

Managers at Chez Panisse in Berkeley have set June 10 as a reopening date after the world famous restaurant was damaged in a fire last month.

On Monday, the restoration took a major step forward when a crane lifted a two-story steel face into place. Building codes have changed since the restaurant opened in 1971, and the steel is a new requirement in the name of earthquake safety.

The steel will be covered in Redwood in the next few weeks.

The builder told NBC Bay Area getting the frame in place was a huge accomplishment.

Gene DeSmidt is working with the original designer who came up with a sketch of what the new Chez Panisse will look like. They call it a mix of Japanese style design and American craftsman.

On March 8 a fire burned the front portion of the restaurant.

Chez Panisse was founded by food activist Alice Water who believes in fresh, local and sustainable foods.

The restaurant isn't taking reservations yet.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["HAPIfork" a New Tech Diet Tool]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:27:28 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/HAPIfork.JPG Launched on Kickstarter this week, the HAPIfork is a smart eating utensil that tracks the speed at which you eat. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA[Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day]]> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:49:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/175*120/benjerrygettylatenight.jpg

The concept of a bucket is commonly used in relation to ice cream (as in "pass me that ice cream bucket" or "I could eat a bucket of mint chocolate chip about now").

But there's another bucket to consider when pondering the frosty dessert superstar: the bucket list. Trying every Ben & Jerry's flavor appears on more than one bucket list on the 43 Things site, and we have a suspicion that there are a few creative wordsmiths out there who wouldn't mind naming a flavor.

On just about everyone's lower-level bucket list, though? Grab free ice cream when free ice cream is for the taking. Tuesday, April 9 is the much mythologized and idolized Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day.

The upshot? Show at a Ben & Jerry's and get a free cone of ice cream. Good? Good.

There are a number of locations around the Bay Area:

  • San Jose - 115 East San Carlos (San Jose)
  • Haight Ashbury - 1480 Haight Street @ Ashbury (Haight)
  • Macy’s Department Store  (Union Square)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf  (Pier 41)
  • Argonaut - 475 Jefferson Street (Fisherman’s Wharf)
  • Jack London Square –  505 Embarcadero (Oakland)
  • Berkeley - 2128 Oxford Street (Berkeley)
  • Bon Air Center – 290 Bon Air Center – (Greenbrae)

There are a couple of things to know before you go. One? You gotta love a queue, big or small, to get your mitts on a cone. And two? The Ben & Jerry's site periodically checks out on Free Cone Day due to traffic.

Surprising? Mais non. As stated, everyone but everyone loves free ice cream. But that in the Big Book of Facts and call it a day.

So, while you're waiting in line for your gratis sweet, you'll have time to dream up that flavor name. What shall it be? And what if you had to name a Ben & Jerry's flavor in honor of your neighborhood or city? Santa Mochana? Long Peach? Maltadena?

Take it away, bucket list dreamers. And free cone lovers, too.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pied Piper Painting Staying Put at The Palace]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:04:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/piedpiperpainting.jpg

Stand down everybody.

Kyo-ya Hotel management now says it will not sell Maxfield Parrish’s The Pied Piper painting.

The mural, titled "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," has been on display at the bar of The Palace Hotel for more than 100 years. 

Last week came the news that the hotel was going to put it up for auction at Christie's.

Apparently, the outcry that followed was loud enough to make a difference.

Kyo-ya Hotels owns the hotel which is located at Market and New Montgomery streets. 

Kyo-ya issued a release Monday that said in part, "Given the local community’s affection for Maxfield Parrish’s The Pied Piper painting, Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts, owners of The Palace Hotel, have reconsidered the sale of the beloved piece, which will remain on property."

It did not guarantee the painting would return to the exact spot over the main bar. The painting is no longer on display at the bar.

The location might not have been the best spot for a masterpiece anyway. It reportedly had both smoke and liquid stains.

Apparently the reaction came not only from the public, but from City Hall. The Kyo-ya release said it had consulted with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee "to ensure that the interests of the residents of San Francisco were instrumental in this decision."

The painting is one of San Francisco's little known cultural treasures. It is valued between $3 million and $5 million. It is the work of Maxfield Parrist, who is a famous American artist from the first half of tht 20th Century.

]]>
<![CDATA[Livermore Wine Vines Begin to Bud]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:41:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/wineryphotolivermore1.JPG It's a springtime event that spring wine makers into action. Joe Rosato Jr. reports on the bud break in Livermore.]]> <![CDATA[Vineyard Buds Bloom Early]]> Sat, 23 Mar 2013 07:26:34 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/wineryphotolivermore.JPG

There is no pleasure without at least a little pain.

That even goes for wine making.

This year's unseasonably warm and dry weather is pushing Livermore's wine grape vineyards to begin blossoming a tad on the early side.

The appearance of buds is known in wine making jargon as "bud break."

It's a springtime call for winemakers to spring into action.

"When you get warm weather you produce buds or bud break," said John Concannon, a fourth generation winemaker from Livermore's Concannon winery. "So bud break is really the beginning of wine making."

The catch is; the year's record dry start is forcing winemakers to irrigate a little on the early side.

On top of that worry, buds on the vine are vulnerable to frost. "Frost is our biggest threat," said Concannon. "We're not really worried so much about rain but just thirty minutes of exposure under 30 degrees can damage the buds at this point."

Fortunately, Livermore's geographic orientation rarely exposes it to damaging frosts. So the giant fans, helicopters and other frost-coping measures can stay in the shed for now.

"Mother nature does bat last," said Wente Vineyards senior viticulturist Rob Sorenson. "It's just a matter of being proactive versus reactive."

Mostly though, bud break is a cause of celebration among wine growers and their wine-sipping public.

This weekend Livermore will mark the arrival of the buds with its annual barrel tasting weekend, with over 30 wineries offering tastings before their vintages even hit the bottle.

"Barrel tasting weekend is a great time to celebrate this," said Chris Chandler of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers' Association, "and see the little buds breaking on the white varietals in the valley."



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Bacon Smell Annoys Neighbor of City's Bacon Restaurant]]> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:19:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/d2dc623a56ec11e29ca422000a1fb1497.jpg

A certain San Francisco restaurant is so odorous that a noisy neighbor's complaints threaten to shutter it over the smell.

Of bacon.

Bacon Bacon is the eatery, and it's no surprise what the Haight Ashbury restaurant specializes in. More surprising is the problem an anonymous complainant has -- with the smell of bacon.

More people appear to be a fan, with 1,100 swine fans signing an online petition in support of the restaurant.

The eatery needed to reapply for permits to remain open. That allowed a neighbor with a distaste for bacon to voice complaints, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The neighbor wants the restaurant to install a filtration system on the roof to smoke out the scent of bubbling, sizzling hog fat, the newspaper reported.

The owner of the restaurant, Jim Angelus, agreed -- as long as the city gives him the permits.



Photo Credit: evemexicana/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[On Facebook, Smart People Like Curly Fries ]]> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 11:05:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/curlyfries.jpg
Cambridge University researchers published a study that says Facebook likes can predict personal attributes such as sexual orientation, personality traits, intelligence and drug use.
 
The 58,000 Facebook user study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that people liking certain things correlate to these attributes, according to NPR. The study was conducted through an app called myPersonality, which is owned by one of the researchers.
 
From the report: 
The study found that the best predictors of high intelligence include "Thunderstorms," The Colbert Report, "Science," and, yes, "Curly Fries." Low intelligence, it said, was indicated by "Sephora," "I Love Being A Mom," "Harley Davidson," and "Lady Antebellum."
Predicting a gay man is as easy as liking "Wicked: The Musical" and "Mac Cosmetics," while straight men tended to like Shaq, WWE and "Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps."
 
The architects of the study also stated that although some of the Facebook likes related to attributes, they could not explain why highly intelligent people seemed to really like Curly Fries. However, the scientists did say that the information could be used to spot trends and cater to advertisers.
 
While some of us may already suspect that smart people like Science and dumb people like WWE, those of us who love curly fries already knew about that high intelligence thing.
 


Photo Credit: orangebrompton via Flickr]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Shuts Down Berkeley's Most Famous Restaurant]]> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 19:12:25 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/chas1.jpg A Berkeley icon - Chez Panisse - caught on fire early Friday, shocking those who love the restaurant known for its fresh, organic and expensive meals, while garnering interest and concern from across the country.]]> <![CDATA[The Interview: Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 23:40:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/celebritychefforraj.jpg The Interview with Raj Mathai takes you inside Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco to speak with chef Tyler Florence.]]> <![CDATA[The Interview: Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 23:08:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/celebritychefforraj.jpg

One of the Bay Area’s most successful entrepreneurs isn’t making apps and tablets in Silicon Valley, he’s frying chicken in San Francisco. 

And he’s built an empire around food, wine, design and publishing - and of course, fried chicken. 

You might have already guessed - we’re talking about Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence.

The Interview with Raj Mathai takes you inside Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco to speak with Tyler.

He reveals what his greatest fear was when he threw open the doors of his new restaurant.

And he talks about what it’s like cooking for President Obama and the role the secret service played in the operation. 

Tyler also divulges how he feels about people who don’t eat fried chicken.

Watch the video above.

 

Below is raw video of Tyler frying up some of his famous chicken. 

 

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

]]>
<![CDATA[SF Giants Snag Anchor Brewing as Tenant]]> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:06:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/anchor3.jpg

The San Francisco Giants have snagged the first tenant for their $1.6 billion Mission Rock development project on the San Francisco waterfront.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Giants CEO Larry Baer and Mayor Ed Lee both said Anchor Steam Brewing will one day occupy Pier 48 with production and distribution facilities, a restaurant, museum and other public attractions. The Mission Rock project is just south of AT&T park on the other side of McCovey Cove.

"We're very excited," Anchor Steam's CEO Keith Greggor said. "This is such a bustling center, there is so much going on here."

The 212,000-square-foot space is an addition to Anchor Brewing's existing brewery on Potrero Hill, and will quadruple the company's output from 120,000 to 680,000 barrels a year. Anchor Brewing is San Francisco's largest manufacturer, and this expansion will likely bring 200 new jobs.

The mixed-use Mission Rock development, spread over 27 acres south of AT&T Park, includes plans for 1,500 apartments, retail and office space, parks and other amenities. In all the project is expected to create almost 5,000 construction jobs and 6,400 permanent jobs, according to officials.

"This is going to be the front door to our ballpark," Baer added. "This is going to be a city within a city."

Assuming the plans are approved, starting with the Port Commission next month, and the environmental impact report shows no problems, construction should begin in late 2014.

Which means, the soonest Anchor Steam could be serving cold beers at Pier 48 in 2017.

 

Mission Rock Development By the Numbers:


27 Acreage of Mission Rock
3.5 million Square feet
8 Acres of open space
1.3 to 1.7 million Square feet of office space (5 to 7 buildings)
650-1,000 Living units (3 to 5 buildings)
125,000 Square feet of retail
2,690 Parking spaces (2,000 in a new parking garage for games)
4,800 Projected construction jobs
2,000 New residents
$13 million Annual tax revenue for San Francisco

Source: Giants



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Major Brewer to Set Up Shop Next to AT&T]]> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:00:26 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/anchorbrewingphoto.jpg AT&T Park is already a destination location, but in a couple years there will be plenty of reason to go there even in the baseball off season.]]> <![CDATA[Oyster Prices Bound To Spike]]> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 15:48:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oyster5.jpg

Dollar oysters, already a happy hour rarity, could be a thing of the past once the supply of ocean-bound bivalves shortens following the closure of Drakes Bay Oysters Co., according to reports.

The oyster fishery has been ordered to close by federal environmental officials by March 15. Meanwhile, the fishery produces 40 percent of the state's commercial oysters, according to the Marin Independent Journal, and fish buyers and chefs say that prices will spike.

In particular, Drakes Bay provides "larger shucked oysters" that will now have to be trucked in from out of state rather than plucked from the ocean locally.

The demand can't be met locally. Tomales Bay Oyster Co. in Marshall says it's "maxed out" for commercial supply and its famous on-site eatery will be even more crowded once Drakes closes, the newspaper reported.

There's an overall shortage of oyster supply, and it is seen as a fait accompli that prices will rise once Drakes closes.

The oyster farm was ordered to close in November after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declined to renew Drakes's lease.
 

]]>
<![CDATA[Vineyards Worry About Mild Winter]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:31:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vineyardslosgatos.jpg The weather has been beautiful this winter here in the Bay Area. Scott Budman explains why that is not good for grape crops.]]> <![CDATA[Bay Area Beautiful Weather Not Good for Grapes]]> Sat, 16 Feb 2013 14:56:39 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vineyardslosgatos.jpg

Last year the Bay Area wine crop saw a record harvest thanks in part of a weather pattern that was perfect for the grapes.

This year, some grape growers are concerned that the harvesting season itself is coming to early.

The problem is that the weather has been too nice.

Rain totals are down and so far the winter season has been a mild one. 

Growers said that means things might start to grow earlier than expected.

Thomas Fogerty winemaker Nathan Kandler walked through his newest pinot noir vineyard Friday.

He admitted  that while the weather in Los Gatos Friday was beautiful, it might be a little too beautiful for his business.

"As much as it's nice to sit out and enjoy the weather, it's actually a little worrisome," Kandler said.

A normal weather pattern brings cold rainy weather this time of year and that keeps the harvest from growing.

The risk is that there could be a smaller grape harvest or some of the grapes could be lost if there is a late season cold snap.

Fewer grapes means less wine. Less wine means higher prices for consumers.

It is far too early to say that this will definitely happen and there is rain in next week's forecast.

Grape growers said enough rain will get the harvest back on track.

Wine is still considered a hot business. According to Neilsen, vineyards have grown by 12-percent over the last five years.

And there are changes in the forecast, including rain the valley and snow in the valley.

 

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

]]>
<![CDATA[Umami Burger Heads to South Bay]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 16:03:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/umamipaloalto.jpg

Southern California's popular Umami Burger chain has announced plans for a third Bay Area location at 452 University Avenue in Palo Alto, to debut in mid-2013. The restaurant space previously belonged to Han Fine Korean Cuisine and will be remodeled into a 50-seat eatery with a feel inspired by the campus architecture at nearby Stanford University.

Umami is named after the term used to described the "fifth taste," which complements the much more familiar qualities of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. While it is a chain restaurant, it is distinct from quick-service burger joints both in quality and with table service. And despite the name, Umami Burger is a vegetarian-friendly company, with an acclaimed veggie burger and seasonal salads.

Umami first opened in San Francisco in October 2011. An Oakland location at 2100 Franklin Street has been secured, but an opening date has yet to be announced.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Umami Burger]]>
<![CDATA[Gold Dust Lounge Reopens at Fisherman's Wharf]]> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 19:43:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/golddust1.JPG

There’s an old adage -- you can never truly go home again. But the owners of San Francisco’s legendary Gold Dust Lounge bar might add their two cents to that thought; you always take home with you.

The old-time Union Square bar famously got the boot from its longtime location on Powell Street several months ago. So the owners took their ball and moved on – except in the case they also took the chandeliers, the paintings, and anything else they could grab.

On Friday, a stagecoach driven by Hollywood western star Stuart Whitman drove past the old Gold Dust, to anoint the new building on Jefferson Street in Fisherman’s Wharf.  That’s where the owners painstakingly recreated the old bar, down to the distinctive marquee.  

“It’s like a ghost almost,” veteran bartender Michael Bowens said. “The front is just like the old place. Down to the windows.”

The new bar also has the same exact gold wallpaper, familiar red bank heads and light fixtures from the old joint.

“The fixtures are all the same - the lights, the chandeliers at the back,” said general manager Mark Casey. “Everything’s the same, everything’s from the old place. Everything we could we could bring.”

Some will say you can recreate a building, but you can’t as readily reproduce what made it special – in this case the old bar’s funky cool charm amid Union Square’s shopping mecca.

“There was a certain magic about that place and you walked in and you just felt it,” said Bowens. “Hopefully we can carry it on over here and bring the magic to this new site.”

Follow NBC BAY AREA for the latest news, weather, and events: iPad App | iPhone App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Chicken Wing Spike Before Super Bowl]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:46:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/Buffalo+Chicken+Wings3.jpg

Football fans now have to watch their wallets and their waistlines before getting their eat on for Super Bowl Sunday.

This year, chicken wings may cost you more after a U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement that said chicken prices were up 6 percent in December compared to last year’s prices.

Wings, always in high demand, are the priciest part of the bird. In the Northeast, chicken wing prices top out at $2.11 a pound, up 12 percent from 2012, according to the announcement.

The reasons for the price increase are plenty and tough to stomach for football fans across the country.

“Chicken companies produced about 1 percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices,” Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based National Chicken Council said in a press release. “Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons: last summer’s drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol. Simply put, less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced.”

Roenigk doesn’t expect the prices to go down easier anytime soon either.

“Demand for wings is proving more and more to be inelastic,” Roenigk said. “With the rising number of restaurants with menus dedicated to wings, the return of the NHL hockey season, the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament and then the start of grilling season, wing demand should remain hot.”

While the steeper price may affect some tailgaters and party throwers, economist Ryan Koory says poultry prices should start to fall at the end of 2013.

The National Chicken Council say the higher price may affect sales as well. They expect 1.23 billion chicken wings to be eaten Super Bowl weekend, down 12.3 million from last year.

In spite of that, Harry Balzer, vice president of the NPD Group, a market research firm said that on Super Bowl Sunday, a 156 percent increase on orders and carry-out orders of Buffalo wings is expected.

“The good news for consumers is that restaurants plan well in advance to ensure they have plenty of wings for the big game,” Roenigk said.

Chicken wings are more than a Super Bowl staple.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating has two events catered to Buffalo wings. Patrick Beroletti owns the boneless record; he ate nine pounds of them in 10 minutes on May 7, 2011. Sonya Thomas holds the Buffalo chicken tenders record with a 6.93-pound haul in 10-minutes on March 27, 2010.

]]>
<![CDATA[Organic Food Maker Recalls Frozen Pizzas]]> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:36:27 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pizza-generic-close.jpg

A popular maker of prepared organic foods has recalled several types of frozen pizza because it may contain fragments of metal.

All varieties of "Annie’s Homegrown Rising Crust" pizzas, made by Annie's, Inc., are being recalled, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

These include Organic Four Cheese Pizza, Organic Pepperoni Pizza, Organic Spinach and Mushroom Pizza, Four Cheese Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza and BBQ Recipe Chicken Pizza.

The company said that a metal mesh screen failed at a flour mill it uses to prepare ingredients for the pizza. Pieces of the screen were found in both the flour and in prepared pizza dough.

The company said there had been no consumer complaints, illness or injuries so far.

Pizzas affected by the recall are those with a "best by" date between Jan. 9 and Sept. 14, 2013.

The Berkeley-based company issued the recall voluntarily, the FDA said.

Annie's makes a variety of products aimed at children and some for adults. The company's offerings include Cheddar Bunnies, Bunny Grahams and several varieties of macaroni and cheese.

Click here to see the original FDA release.

]]>
<![CDATA[Price Rises for Trader Joe's "Two-Buck Chuck"]]> Sun, 20 Jan 2013 17:54:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/red+wine+generic+pour.jpg

For the first time since its release more than a decade ago, Trader Joe's award-winning Charles Shaw wine -- affectionately known as "two-buck Chuck" -- will cost more than $2 at California stores.

Californians will now have to spend to $2.49 for a 750ml bottle.

The Golden State was the last remaining holdout to sell the wine for $1.99. The vino's price tag ranges from state to state, with Ohioans paying the most at $3.79.

More than five million bottles of the wine are sold each year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/PhotoAlto]]>
<![CDATA[Picky Eaters Taste Food at Livermore Food Lab]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:27:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/tester.jpg

Hundreds of America's most recognizable brands pay Livermore's National Food Lab thousands of dollars to be brutally honest about the taste of their products, so they can beat their competitors and ultimately improve a product's flavor, freshness and shelf life.

"They say we need someone to tell us how this product tastes like, how it smells and what it looks like, and what it’s texture is," the lab's president Kevin Waters said. "But we need that done in very consistent almost machine like terms."

The  lab, whose clients have included Dole, Kraft and Smuckers, said food that comes into its headquarters mirrors what Americans are buying and eating.  In the 1990s, the trend was to test food that was fat free. Today, much of the food is mostly organic, all-natural and sodium- and gluten-free.

"You think someone comes up with a formula, puts it on the shelf, it really doesn’t work like that," said the lab's Sensory Manager Sharon McEvoy, a professional taste tester. "Food companies are working on something all the time to make sure they’re the best product out there. They come to us for the truth.  They come to us for science.  I do have people who think their product is wonderful and I’ll caution them a little bit.  I’m like we’re going to give you the unvarnished truth and if that’s what you want, come to us and we’ll give it to you."

Much of the work done at the lab relies on picky eaters: Professional taste testers who are hired not only for their acute sense of taste and smell, but their ability ot verbalize what they observe.

"We call them canaries. They’re really very super sensitive.  Things other people might not notice, they can really key in on," McEvoy said.

There are at least four other labs like it nationwide, with another one on the Peninsula.

For more information on the lab, or to see how you can become a taste tester, click here.

Watch the full report on this tonight at 11 p.m.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Picky Eaters Taste Food at Livermore Food Lab]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:28:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/tester.jpg Hundreds of America's most recognizable brands pay Livermore's National Food Lab thousands of dollars to be brutally honest about the taste of their products, so they can beat their competitors and ultimately improve a product's flavor, freshness and shelf life.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[1st Look's Best of Food 2012]]> Sat, 15 Dec 2012 22:33:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BESTOFFOOD.jpg Join host Ali Fedotowsky as we take a look back at some of the best foodie moments on 1st Look this year. ]]> <![CDATA[Ali Bakes with the "Ace" himself at Duff's]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:39:11 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DUFFSCAKEMIX.jpg Ali heads to Duff's Cake Mix to see if she can hang with the Ace of Cakes himself, Duff Goldman. Watch what happens when they put their heads together to make the ultimate Ali cake. Duff's Cake Mix 8302 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA / 323-650-5555]]> <![CDATA[A Dessert with Everything But The Kitchen Sink]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:39:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CULINA.jpg Why choose your toppings when you can have them all at once. At Culina in Los Angeles, there's a dessert that literally has everything except for the kitchen sink. Ali gets in the kitchen to see just how many toppings it takes to make the ultimate dessert. Culina Modern Italian 300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, CA / 310-860-4000]]> <![CDATA[Get Up Early for a Doughnut from Glazed and Infused]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:33:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GLAZEDANDINFUSED.jpg When does your alarm go off? If you work at Glazed and Infused, its before the sun is up! Ali gets up early to feed the citizens of Chicago with some of the best doughnuts in the windy city. Glazed and Infused 813 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL / 312-226-5556]]> <![CDATA[Francois Payard Shows Ali the Secret Behind FP Patisserie]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:58:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FPPATISSERIE.jpg Francois Payard is the name in French pastries, and he's just opened a new patisserie in NYC. Ali checks out what makes French pastries so delicious. FP Patisserie1293 3rd Ave, New York, NY / 212-757-5252]]> <![CDATA[Explore the World of Chocolate at the Chocolate Show]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:09:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CHOCOLATESHOW.jpg Looking to get your chocolate fix? The place to go is the Chocolate Show! Ali samples the best chocolate from around the world. The Chocolate Show 125 West 18th St., New York, NY]]> <![CDATA[This Week on 1st Look: Get Ready for a Sugar High]]> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:39:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/alisugarrushthumb.jpg Join host Ali Fedotowsky Saturday after "Saturday Night Live" on NBC. ]]> <![CDATA[Life After Drake's Bay Oyster Company]]> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:40:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oyster5.jpg Kevin Lunny's struggle to keep his family's oyster farm running in Point Reyes National Seashore appears to be over, closing out an era of oysterman plying the park's pristine waters and ushering in the nation's newest ocean wilderness. Joe Rosato Jr. reports.]]> <![CDATA[That's Hot: Starbucks Sells $7 Cup of Coffee]]> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:42:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/57419124.jpg

This might be a Geisha worth a memoir.

But it won't be cheap.

Starbucks, offering up a $7 cup of coffee, as part of the move to give customers premium blends. This one, called "Geisha," is described by the coffee giant as a rare, hard-to-grow blend, and it will cost you. $7 for the "grande" version, $6 for a "tall."

For now, we're told Geisha is only being sold in the Northwest (the company is based in Seattle); if you want more than a cup, you can buy a half-pound bag for $40.  Starbucks says the rare blend is part of a plan to offer up more premium coffees. Spokeswoman Lisa Passe says they're doing it "because of customer demand."

As Geisha moves further through the Starbucks chain, it'll be interesting to see how many customers are willing to pay up, and if those inevitable "if only you didn't buy coffee" financial planning strategies will adjust their dollar figures.

Scott, a coffee devotee, is on Twitter: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ali Blends a Boozy Smoothie at Cocktail Bodega]]> Tue, 20 Nov 2012 15:09:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/COCKTAILBODEGA1STLOOK.jpg Love drinking, but hate the hangovers? Just head for the Lower East Side and grab yourself a boozy smoothie from Cocktail Bodega. Ali grabs a blender to see just how to make a cocktail that's actually good for you! Cocktail Bodega 205 Chrystie St., New York, NY / 212-673-2400]]> <![CDATA[1st Look Loves: El Toro Blanco]]> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:46:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/el+toro+blanco+main.jpg

Two words: Guac bar. What is there not to love about a guacamole bar and everything else at the stylishly fun and exuberant new restaurant from the all-star combo of chef Josh Capon and owner/partner John McDonald? Designed to great effect and channelling a modernist Mexican vibe, with many items thoughtfully selected over several years by McDonald on his travels, ETBs interiors evoke a sultry, chic nod to Tijuana’s past while also creating a vibrant warmth.

Check out all the touches in the tiled artwork, the framed vacation cards near the restaurant’s entrance, the matador paintings, and the ink drawing of Clint Eastwood--stylishly whimsy indeed. Get your appetite and your thirst sated with a bustling menu of delicious eats from ceviche to a variety of tacos and platos fuertes, plus some truly smooth tequila options.

What Capon and McDonald do so well is to understand and extend a hospitality and graciousness that make patrons feel welcome, feel good, feel happy and satisfied, and feel that they are right where they should be on any given evening.

El Toro Blanco
257 Sixth Ave
New York, NY 10014
212-645-0193

]]>
<![CDATA[Ali gets a Taste of Italy at Rosemary's]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 14:03:27 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ROSEMARYS+1STLOOK.jpg Ali Fedotowsky gets into the kitchen to discover the secret of what some are calling the "best pasta in NYC" at Rosemary's! Rosemary's Trattoria & Enoteca 18 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY / 212- 647-1818]]> <![CDATA[Thanksgiving Crab a Sure Thing, But Expensive]]> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:54:07 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/crab18.JPG Bay Area Dungeness crab lovers will get their beloved crustaceans on time this year, but can expect to feel a bit more of a financial pinch.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Chocolate Boom Continues]]> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 18:49:54 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/charleschocbox.jpg

San Francisco has been considered a chocolate hub since Ghirardelli was born in 1852. But with three new chocolate-centric businesses opening before the end of the year, a new boom is making the city noticeably sweeter.

A Kickstarter campaign designed to help complete a new retail outlet and cafe for Charles Chocolates at 535 Florida Street in the Mission District will be funded as of Thursday. And the store is set to open before the end of the year. Candymaker Chuck Siegel has successfully raised more than $50,000 to complete a dream space where patrons can watch all of his products being made from beginning to end while sipping on hot chocolate or making a mess of a giant plate of s'mores.

While Charles Chocolates makes candy and other confections, Mission District neighbor Dandelion Chocolate at 740 Valencia Street, actually makes chocolate from the bean to the bar. The public is welcome to start purchasing bars and getting a peek at the factory's inner workings beginning on Nov. 14; Eater SF reports that a cafe serving desserts and coffee within the space should be open in a few weeks.

Also debuting next week in the Dogpatch neighborhood is Chocolate Lab at 801 22nd Street, a dessert cafe from Michael Recchiuti due on Nov. 16. This will be Recchiuti's third space, following the Ferry Building's Recchiuti Confections and Chocolate Lab neighbor Little Nib. And while dessert is a focus here, this is Recchiuti's first foray into serving both un-packaged and savory bites as well. Non-chocolate items include goat cheese, veggie, or Bay shrimp tartines as well as cheese and charcuterie plates from local purveyors. And, in another leap, diners will be able to pair their truffles — or their marshmallow-laden ice cream sundaes — with wine.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Charles Chocolates]]>
<![CDATA[Get Some Southern Cultcha' at Bayou Bakery]]> Mon, 05 Nov 2012 11:15:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Bayou+Bakery+2.jpg New Orleans is known for its diverse food options, but why should they be the only ones to enjoy all that southern flavor? At Bayou Bakery, chef David Guas is bringing his jazzy menu to Arlington, VA. Bayou Bakery 1515 North Courthouse Road, Arlington, VA / 703-243-2410]]>