Category Archives: Great Finds

JuneBaby Is All That

Sundays are fried chicken night at JuneBaby.

Sundays are fried chicken night at JuneBaby.

 

SEATTLE, WA — It was named the “Best New Restaurant” of 2018 by the James Beard Awards. It is owned by the “Best Chef Northwest” of 2018, as bestowed by the same. And it is worth every single accolade.

JuneBaby is even worth waiting in line for 90 minutes to snag two seats at the crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder bar, as I managed to do a week ago, paying my own tab at the end.

Chef Edouardo Jordan is the first African-American to win that coveted national title. A Florida native, Jordan has some serious cooking chops, having spent time at the French Laundry in Yountville, the Herbfarm in Washington state, and Per Se and Lincoln, both in New York.

He opened Salare, just a block away from JuneBaby, in 2015, which also won acclaim for its globally-inspired fare inspired by all the places he’s worked and lived.

Winner of two James Beard Awards.

Winner of two James Beard Awards.

JuneBaby, which opened in 2017, is his love note to Southern cooking, particularly the dishes his mother made him while he was growing up. He uses local ingredients, including many heirloom ones, to execute soulful, rustic fare with refined technique. The portions are generous, and the prices relatively moderate for all that you get.

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Theorita — A Modern-Day Throwback

The stellar apple-raspberry pie at Theorita.

The stellar apple-raspberry pie at Theorita.

 

Whether you’re too young to remember or old enough to reminisce about the charm of dining at a lunchenette or dinette back in the day, you are sure to fall for San Francisco’s new Theorita.

It’s very much reminiscent in spirit of those old-school casual eateries with roomy booths and checkerboard floors. Only, the food has been brought into the current century with precise techniques executed by alums of New York’s Michelin three-starred Eleven Madison Park.

It’s from the same team behind red-hot Che Fico, which is upstairs in the same building. Theorita is named after Pastry Chef Angela Pinkerton’s grandmother.

The neon sign behind the bakery case.

The neon sign behind the bakery case.

One of each?

One of each?

It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or you can get baked goods to go, which is what I did right after my recent dinner at Chef Fico, paying the tab, myself.

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Jammin with Jam

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

 

As a Stanford University economics major, Gillian Reynolds was only too familiar with the law of supply and demand.

Now, she’s living it — supplying delicious jams that aficionados are demanding more and more of with gusto.

Reynolds is the founder of San Francisco’s Jamnation. With her brother Christopher, a trained chef, they make jam with local organic fruit, surprising flavorings and a big dose of wittiness.

Just get a load of some of the jam names: “Plum and Get It” (pluot with honeysuckle essence), “Midnight in Pearis,” (Bosc pear butter with vanilla and nutmeg), and “Cardamom Knows Zest” (Seville orange marmalade with cardamom).

Gotta love the cute names -- as well as the deliciousness inside.

Gotta love the cute names — as well as the deliciousness inside.

I had a chance to try a couple samples recently: “Rose to the Grindstone” (Arctic Star nectarines with rose essence), and “Sublemonal Message” (Meyer lemon marmalade with ginger).

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered, And Yours (Sept. 2019)

Look for my new "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

Look for my new “East Bay Cooks” cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

 

See that stack of beautiful cookbooks above? Soon to join them will be “East Bay Cooks” — by yours truly.

Yes, that’s what I’ve spent the better part of this year working on. In fact, I just finished the manuscript this month.

The cookbook, which will debut in September 2019, will feature 40 of the top restaurants, bars and bakeries in the East Bay, with their stories and recipes. The photography will be by the incredibly talented Bay Area-based Eva Kolenko.

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A Taste of MF Chicken

Roast chicken with all the fixings -- Mexican-style -- from Tacolicious' new extended delivery and pick-up rotisserie business.

Roast chicken with all the fixings — Mexican-style — from Tacolicious’ new extended delivery and pick-up rotisserie business.

 

When things start up in San Francisco, it often takes a little time for them to drift down to the Peninsula and South Bay.

Such is the case with MF Chicken, the rotisserie chicken business by Tacolicious that started in San Francisco last year, and finally made its way farther south this month.

At the downtown Palo Alto Tacolicious.

At the downtown Palo Alto Tacolicious.

The take-out and delivery-only chickens are cooked at the Palo Alto Tacolicious, where they can be picked up. Or if you live in the Palo Alto area, get it delivered through Caviar (use code MFCHIKN5 to get $5 off, too).

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