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Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant to Open in Mountain View, Recchiuti Giant Chocolate Egg Raffle & More

Tuesday, 19. March 2013 5:25

House-made pretzels, pickles and corn nuts at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant. (Photo by Michele Min)

House-made pretzels, pickles and corn nuts at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant. (Photo by Michele Min)

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant to Debut in Downtown Mountain View

March 28, the doors will open to a world of brewski at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant at 895 Villa St. in downtown Mountain View.

The 300-seat restaurant, on the site of the former Golden Wok, will serve import and craft beers from around the world, including 30 on tap. Look for such unusual ones as Fruli Strawberry Beer from Brouwerij Huyghe brewery, Chocolate Porter from Hangar One brewery and Hitachino Nest White Ale from Kiuichi brewery.

Chef Colby M. Reade will oversee the menu, which includes house-made charcuterie, along with  breads, pretzels and other baked goods. He’ll be cooking up beer-friendly dishes such as pork belly poutine ($12), mini corn dogs with caraway beer mustard ($8), the Steins burger (house-ground blend of dry aged short rib, brisket and sirloin; $11), fried chicken and waffle sandwich ($12), grilled black sea bass with herbed lentils ($18), and caramel apple crisp with bourbon pecan ice cream ($7).

Roasted beet and watercress salad. (Photo by Michele Min)

Roasted beet and watercress salad. (Photo by Michele Min)

The restaurant features a main dining room, beer garden, two private rooms and another private beer garden for parties. The keg room is outfitted with reclaimed wood and tempered glass windows.

Steins will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and until 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

La Luna Cupcakes Opens This Week in San Francisco

Elvia Buendia started baking cupcakes through La Cocina’s incubator program, which provides affordable commercial kitchen space and technical assistance to low-income entrepreneurs in San Francisco.

She did so well that after three years in the program she’s graduated to opening her own brick-and-mortar store. La Luna Cupcakes opens its doors March 21 in San Francisco’s Crocker Galleria.

Banana cupcake. (Photo courtesy of La Luna Cupcakes)

Banana cupcake. (Photo courtesy of La Luna Cupcakes)

Buendia’s sweet and savory cupcakes will be available in flavors such as: Red Velvet; Carrot Cake; Tres Leches; bacon and eggs; and beef with cheese and salsa.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Enticing Events, General, Meat, Restaurants, Spirits/Cocktails/Beer | Comments (5) | Author:

Alexander’s Steakhouse Gets In the Porky Mood

Tuesday, 26. February 2013 5:25

Mangalitsa pork terrine at Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino.

Alexander’s Steakhouse of Cupertino may be famous for its princely Wagyu steaks and playful puffs of cotton candy.

Now, it’s adding another lure: Mangalitsa pork.

The heritage breed pig with the distinct wooly hair is originally from Hungary. It is known for its lush fat. So much so that it was once raised for its lard, which is supposedly very clean and pure tasting.

Executive Chef Gerardo Naranjo already has been playing around with various cuts from the half pig he got in a few weeks ago. He can barely contain his excitement about the whole 400-pound Mangalitsa that the restaurant will be receiving this week.

The Mangalitsas are from Csarda Haz, a family-owned farm in Davis. The free-range pigs are nourished on a diet of cover crops of peas and oats, as well as English walnuts from trees on the farm that are nearly 60 years old.

Look for the Cupertino restaurant to feature nightly specials of Mangalitsa in various preparations, including a 12-ounce loin chop for $80. With the restaurant set to get regular shipments of Mangalitsa (also known as Mangalica in Hungary), the artisan pork also is expected to be featured eventually at its sister restaurants, Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco and The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.

The dining room.

Last week, I was invited in for a sneak peek and taste of this fabulous pork in a few preparations Naranjo has been playing around with.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Meat, Restaurants | Comments (6) | Author:

Gourmet Beef Jerky and A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 25. February 2013 5:25

Look closely and you'll see real orange peel on this variety of Jeff's Famous Beef Jerky.

I had to chuckle upon clicking on Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky site to hear a rousing and rather whimsical tune about kissing away the “Shoe-Leather Beef Jerky Blues.”

Owner Jeff Richards is that confident that his jerky will banish any blues or horror experiences you’ve had with convenience-store jerky that nearly took out your molars.

He’s sure his will convince you that jerky can actually taste good and be kind to your teeth.

Richards made his jerky for years as a gift for family and friends during the holidays. Finally, in 2006, after giving away more than 25 pounds of the beefy stuff, he decided to give it a go as a business.

Jeff’s Famous Jerky, made in Mission Viejo, CA, now comes in eight different flavors, including Jalapeno Carne Asada and Habanero Heatwave. Recently, I had a chance to try some samples.

The jerky is toothsome with some chew, but not so much as to cause your jaw to ache. The first thing you notice is the richness of this jerky. It tastes like real marbled beef. That’s because Richards uses sliced, whole muscle beef rather than the highly process, extruded meat that other manufacturers do.

This jerky also doesn’t taste primarily of salt, as so many others do. Instead, the Orange Peel variety actually has bits of real orange rind still sticking to the meat, giving it a subtle, rounded citrus flavor. The Sweet Teriyaki tastes of soy, sesame oil and brown sugar. The Cranberry Jalapeno is mid, with the pepper adding more of a grassy note than full-on heat. Indeed, the Black Pepper and Sea Salt carried much more of a kick, with its coating of ground peppercorns. It’s tongue-tingling, but balanced by the sweetness of brown sugar and pineapple juice, and the fruitiness of tamarind.

A serving is about 70 calories with 20 percent of that from fat. Sodium content is 80mg to 560mg, depending upon the variety.

A 2-pack of jerky (in two 3-ounce bags) is $13.95. Every few months, Richards also donates a box of jerky to U.S. troops to share the jerky love.

The contest winner will get to try three different flavors of their choosing.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win three free bags of Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky in the flavors of your choice. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST March 2. Winner will be announced March 4.

How to win?

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Meat, New Products | Comments (12) | Author:

New Columbus Farm to Fork Naturals Salumi

Friday, 30. November 2012 5:25

New Columbus Farm to Fork Naturals Uncured Genoa Salame (foreground), Honey Roasted Turkey (center), and Uncured Fennel Salame.

With so much artisan-made, specialty salumi to be found these days, it’s easy to find yourself turning up your nose at the standard selection in the local supermarket.

San Francisco’s Columbus salumeria wants to change that mindset with its new Farm to Fork Naturals.

Founded in 1917, the company has launched a new line of products made with sustainable practices. The animals used are hormone-free. The meats are also nitrate-free, except for those that occur naturally during the curing process.

Recently, I had a chance to try samples of the new products, which are available in Sprouts grocery stores. More supermarkets are expected to carry them soon. They come pre-sliced, so they’re ready to use in a jiffy.

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Category:General, Going Green and Sustainable, Meat, New Products | Comments (7) | Author:

Bruce Aidells Part I: Turkish Lamb Shoulder Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 19. November 2012 5:25

A lamb dish strewn with pretty pomegranate seeds for the holidays.

If there’s one cookbook that I always recommend homecooks have on their shelf, it’s “The Complete Meat Cookbook” by the Bay Area’s meat expert, Bruce Aidells.

I’ve cooked numerous recipes out of it. I’ve also referred to it countless times for information on meat cooking times and the differences between various cuts. It’s a carnivore’s best one-stop resource.

So, I was counting the days for Aidells’ new version, “The Great Meat Cookbook” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), to be published.

It’s been more than a decade since Aidells, the founder and former owner of Aidells Sausage Company, wrote that first book. The new meat book is even more comprehensive. It’s updated with information on the “grass-fed” label, heirloom pork varieties, and includes recipes for not only lamb, beef, veal and pork, but bison and goat. What’s more, there are hundreds of handy-dandy color illustrations of just about every cut of meat you can think of, making it easier to pick them out at the grocery store.

The recipes span all-American comfort to global-inflected dishes. When I received my review copy of the book, it was the recipe for “Turkish Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Shoulder Chops and Carrots” that caught my eye first.

First, I love lamb. Second, it’s such a pretty dish with jewel-like pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and fresh green herbs strewn over the chops.

Pomegranate seeds -- as pretty as rubies.

Third, the folks at Pom Wonderful had just sent me samples of their newest product, Pom Poms fresh pomegranate seeds or arils. Yes, they’ve eliminated the messy, stain-inducing task of digging the seeds out of a whole pomegranate. The new Pom Poms come in both 8-ounce and a 4.3-ounce sized containers. The latter even has a fold-able plastic spoon included so you can just open the container to start enjoying them.

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Category:Enticing Events, Fruit, General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (5) | Author: