The South Bay and Peninsula:
That’s right — a burger made of grass-fed beef from Estancia ranches. It’s the only one of the franchises serving the grass-fed burger. And it’s flying out of the coop — at 75 orders a day, according to owner Jeff Starbeck. Surprisingly — or not — about 40 percent of the customers chowing down on the burger are women. Starbeck surmises that might be because grass-fed beef is lower in fat and contains more good-for-you omega-3s than corn-fed beef.
The 1/3-pound patty is hand-formed, then charbroiled, and served on a housemade bun. Choose from six different topping preparations, including avocado and mushrooms. The $9.99 burger comes with your choice of onion strings, regular fries or sweet potato fries.
Caltrain commuters at the Hillsdale station just got a tasty new option — a commuter “market” located in the former ticket office, where you can pick up fresh produce like apples, squash and avocados; as well as prepared dinner meals such as chicken pot pies and Dungeness crab mac ‘n’ cheese. How’s that for convenience?
Luke’s Local was opened by Luke Chappell, who started his own bagel business in Maine at the ripe old age of 11. His entrepreneurial spirit runs in his family. His parents founded Tom’s of Maine, a personal care products company that pioneered the use of all natural ingredients.
The commuter market is open Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday. Purchase items there or phone in your order to take home. And yes, food and beverages are allowed on the trains.
Fans of Chef Michael Miller may be wondering what he’s been up to after he closed his well-regarded Trevese in Los Gatos last year. The good news is he’s now executive chef at the Silicon Valley Capital Club in San Jose.
If you’re not a member, find a friend who is to enjoy his wonderful cooking again.
Around the Region:
Thursday, Feb. 25 is National Clam Chowder Day. (Who comes up with these things?) Get your chowder fix at any Boudin SF or Boudin Cafe, where if you buy one clam chowder in a bowl that day, and receive a second one for free.
You have to present a coupon to get that deal. Print one out here.
If you’re a Parmigiano Reggiano fan (yes, the real stuff), you’ll want to head to Whole Foods at noon (PST) Feb. 27, when all of its markets will be demonstrating the proper way to break into huge, 24-month-aged wheels using five different knives.
In 2008, Whole Foods set a Guinness World Record for opening the most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano simultaneously with nearly 300 wheels in 176 stores. This year, Whole Foods hopes to break that record.
You’ll get a chance to taste samples of the cheese, too. For more info or to see a video of a wheel of cheese being cracked open, click here.
If all that cheese is making you think of pasta, you’ll be glad to know that Pasta Pomodoro locations throughout Northern California are now letting kids (ages 12 and under) eat free all day on Tuesdays.
The “Kid’ Menu” includes items such as cheesy pasta or mini chicken Parmigiana pizza with a choice of milk, apple juice or soda. A chocolate sundae completes the meal.
Cinnabon — maker of those monster-sized cinnamon rolls whose sugary aroma fills the air of every mall around — has joined the cupcake craze.
The new cupcakes retail for about $2.50 each depending upon the city. San Francisco is the launch point for the cupcakes, which will be rolled out nationally to other cities throughout February.
Four cupcake flavors are available: Cinnacake Classic, Chocolate Passion, Vanilla Bliss, and 24-Carrot Cake.
Wine Country and Beyond:
Congratulations to Yountville’s Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa for garnering a LEED Platinum certification, the top designation established by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmental and energy design.
It is the only hotel in California to achieve that designation, and only one of three hotels in the world to do so.
Celebrate the arrival of spring at Frog Hollow Farms’ Blossom Festival, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 7 at its Brentwood locale.
Get a tour of the blossoming orchards; learn about the plight of bees; and enjoy a delicious lunch featuring asparagus-fennel-blood orange salad, spring garlic braised lamb, and plum blossom ice cream with Frog Hollow plum sauce and pound cake.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for Frog Hollow CSA members, $10 for children ages 10-17, and free for children ages 9 and under.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead has opened in St. Helena. You may remember getting a glimpse of the sustainable food, wine and agriculture center during the finale of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” this year.
Situated on 2 1/2 acres, the entire property is solar powered and maintains organic practices. The Farmstead restaurant, housed in a former barn, features locally sourced ingredients, including Long Meadow Ranch’s all-natural, grass-fed beef, and organic eggs, produce, olive oil and honey. Executive Chef Sheamus Feeley, formerly of the Rutherford Grill, has created dishes such as wood-roasted, grass-fed marrow bones with beet and parsley salad; and brick-roasted Petaluma chicken with flageolet beans, greens and lemon.
In the summer, look for a farmers market to start up, where you’ll be able to buy grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables.
In San Francisco:
Feb. 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Espetus Churrascaria in San Francisco will host a benefit for Haitan Earthquake Relief.
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat rodizio dinner with appetizers, salad bar, hot dishes, drinks and desserts for $200 per person. A silent auction also will be held. All proceeds from the dinner and the auction will be donated to the Red Cross.
For tickets, click here or call (415) 552-8792.
Take advantage of free corkage all day every Monday at Urban Tavern in San Francisco. There are no limitations on how many bottles or what bottles, either.
Era Art Bar and Lounge has opened in the heart of Oakland’s Uptown District.
The soaring, 5,000-square-foot space features handcrafted cocktails, small-production wines, and live music.
Local and national art, including sculptures and paintings, will grace the premises on a rotating basis.