Category Archives: New Products

State Bird Provisions II: Introducing State Bird Seed

Almond Rosemary State Bird Seed.

Almond Rosemary State Bird Seed.

 

After evening dinner service, chefs Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza would often find themselves with leftover quinoa at their award-winning State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.

They ended up frying it and mixing it with nuts, seeds and spices to transform it into a crunchy topping for other dishes. In the process, they created something so delicious that they and their staff could not resist snacking on it whenever possible.

Now, you can try it for yourself. Their whimsically named State Bird Seed just launched last month. It’s now available in resealable 3.5-ounce bags for $4.99 each through Good Eggs, and at stores such as Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, SHED in Healdsburg, and Bi-Rite in San Francisco.

It comes in three flavors.

It comes in three flavors.

The organic puffed red quinoa blends come in three flavors: Sea Salt, Furikake, and Almond Rosemary. I had a chance to sample them recently.

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Little Star Pizza South Bay News, Taste & Tribute, And More

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Little Star Pizza

What happens when Little Star Pizza teams with DoorDash?

Easier deep-dish delivery for South Bay folks.

Delivery app DoorDash recently launched a 2,000-square-foot commissary kitchen in San Jose for four different delivery-only restaurants. It represents an option for restaurants that want to expand their delivery reach without having to invest in their own brick-and-mortar facility.

The first tenant-partner in the DoorDash Kitchens is The Star, an off-shoot of San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza, famed for both deep-dish and classic thin-crust pies.

I was invited to try a sample delivery from the commissary kitchen, which now services the San Jose-Santa Clara area.

You can order either on the app or Web site, and choose what day and what time-frame you want it all delivered. DoorDash also lets you add a tip on the order electronically, so you don’t have to fumble with your wallet when you answer your door.

I chose the Classic Small Deep Dish Pizza ($22), Mediterranean Deep Dish Pizza ($22), and small Goddess Salad ($6).

The driver texted me when he picked up the food, and noted he’d arrive at my house in about 25 minutes. Sure enough, he was there at the pre-scheduled appointed time, bearing pizzas that were still hot.

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The crust on the pizzas are beautifully golden. They’re crisp on the outside and slightly chewy within, rather like olive oil-brushed focaccia.

The Classic is piled high with a generous amount of chunky tomato sauce, nubbins of fennel sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green bell peppers. The Mediterranean is even more flavorful with its loaded mix of tomato sauce, roasted chicken, artichoke hearts, green olives, onions, red bell peppers, and feta.

They were as satisfying as if I had eaten them at the restaurant, only I got to enjoy them in the relaxation of my own home.

There wasn’t a whole lot to the Gem salad, owing to the fact that the toasted almonds mentioned on the Web site were nowhere to be found. Still, the greens were fresh and flecked with a few minced chives.

I appreciated the salad was composed of Little Gem leaves, too, rather than mundane iceberg or spring mix. The accompanying creamy pesto dressing was full of tangy, piquant and herbaceous flavors. I ended up cutting up a cucumber in my fridge to round out the salad a little more.

If you’re craving pizza in the South Bay — particularly deep-dish — you’ll definitely be glad to know it’s a mere delivery away now.

Taste & Tribute

Help preserve ancient Tibetan culture, while enjoying one of the most unique chef galas around.

The 17th annual Taste & Tribute takes place Nov. 17 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Founding Chef Laurent Manrique, owner of Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, will be joined by 21 other top chefs, including Jennifer Sherman of Chez Panisse, Rogelio Garcia of The Commissary, Anjan Mitra of Dosa, Khai Duong of Kai restaurant, Daniel Corey of Luce, and Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade.

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Snackoo — For the Adventurous Snacker

The October Snackoo box.

The October Snackoo box.

 

If you have a global palate and are a serious snacker, then Snackoo is for you.

The Hayward start-up curates cookies, chips, candies, and other noshes from around the world, and sends out an assortment in subscription boxes.

It was founded by Baylor Wei, who has a master’s of science degree from Stanford University. Wei hit on the idea for the company after discovering favorite new snacks abroad, only to be disappointed when they weren’t available in the States.

Snackoo sources from seven countries in Asia right now, but has plans to expand geographically in the future.

I had a chance to sample the October box. It’s a true treasure trove — a box packed with about 20 mini sweet and savory snacks from Asia. Almost all of them were new to me.

Would you believe this snack box even included this creamy flan-like dessert?

Would you believe this snack box even included this creamy flan-like dessert?

The packaging for the most part is not in English. So, it’s helpful that Snackoo includes a note outlining what the box contains. The company also takes pains to translate the ingredients of each product, in case any buyers have allergies or an ingredient intolerance. That info for each product can be found on Snackoo’s web site. Read more

High Praise for Coletta Gelato

Mediterane (pistachio and almond) at Coletta Gelato.

Mediterane (pistachio and almond) at Coletta Gelato.

 

It’s a familiar Bay Area story: Two guys in business school meet, hatch an idea, then launch the next big thing.

Only this time, it’s not the latest whiz-bang tech invention.

It’s dreamy gelato.

Antonio Massimini, 31, and Henri Waltenspühl, 28, met in business school in Milan, and soon realized they shared a passion for gelato. The next thing you know, both enrolled at Gelato University in Bologna. (Now, that’s where I’d like to get a PhD.)

After doing their research, they decided to open in San Francisco because they figured the city’s discriminating, gourmet palates would appreciate it. It also helped that Antonio had family in the Bay Area, and was familiar with the area.

Founders Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspühl beside a mural of Henri's grandmother, for whom the shop is named.

Founders Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspühl beside a mural of Henri’s grandmother, for whom the shop is named.

The sweet mural on the garage.

The sweet mural on the garage.

In January, they opened their Coletta Gelato, a production plant and a retail shop on Harrison Street, where Ciao Bella used to make its gelato.

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Eating My Way Through New York: Sweets and Snacks

Behold the Triple Black Donut at the new SuperMoon Bakehouse.

Behold the Triple Black Donut at the new Supermoon Bakehouse.

Supermoon Bakehouse

Wacky. Weird. Wild.

At Supermoon Bakehouse, you’ll find some of the most mind-blowing baked goods you’ve ever laid eyes upon.

But then again, they are the the handiwork of baker extraordinaire Ry Stephen, the creator of the Cruffin and co-founder of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco.

What luck to have it open its doors in the Lower East Side the week we were in New York, too.

At this place, there's a sense of fun in everything they do.

At this place, there’s a sense of fun in everything they do.

Pastries displayed on a long counter make photo-taking easy.

Pastries displayed on a long counter make photo-taking easy.

You’ll find Cruffins here, and a whole lot of other unique pastries that sport a strong foundation of crisp, buttery, airy layers — then go wild with imaginative fillings, colors and designs.

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