Fried chicken and barbecue star at the new Dan Gordon’s in Palo Alto.
Some laws are meant to be broken. Or rescinded.
Especially when it comes to the one that California enacted in 1999 that prohibited someone from owning both a restaurant and a bottling brewery.
The result was that long-time brewer Dan Gordon was forced to sell his 12 Gordon Biersch Brewery restaurants in order to maintain ownership of his Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose.
It was not a decision he wanted to make. And it was one that haunted him.
When California legislators rescinded that law this year, Gordon rejoiced. By chance, he learned that his original Gordon Biersch restaurant in downtown Palo Alto was about to be shuttered and sold. He managed to buy it back.
The expansive bar.
The soaring, barn-like dining room.
This March, he and his business partner, Steve Sincheck (Gordon’s original bar manager at that location, and now owner of Palo Alto’s Old Pro and Local Union 271) reopened the restaurant, christening it Dan Gordon’s and transforming it into a contemporary barbecue joint. It is the only restaurant Gordon actually owns now.
A sampler at Smokestack.
Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing Company in San Francisco specializes in B2B operations.
That’s beer-to-barbecue to you and me.
Think the usual suspects of ribs and chopped pork. But also the out-of-the-norm pastrami. Yes, New York deli-proud pastrami.
The soaring warehouse-like space in the Dogpatch neighborhood sports a bona fide brewery in the back, and a barbecue joint in the front that features an expansive bar complete with shelves of liquor stacked so high, the bartenders need to climb a tall wooden ladder to reach the top ones.
Done up in an abundance of reclaimed wood, exposed concrete walls and steel pipes, it’s a festive spot that draws a crowd, as I witnessed recently when I was invited in to dine as a guest.
On the top shelves is a zany display of assorted rubber work boots.
You order at the counter, then find a seat among the several communal tables, until your food is brought to you.
You know you’re in for a rousing good time when Dan Gordon is in the house.
Join me when I host the South Bay’s famed brewmeister and founder of San Jose’s Gordon Biersch Brewing Company for a cooking demo, 2 p.m. Aug. 21, at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
Gordon recently revamped his original Gordon Biersch restaurant in downtown Palo Alto, turning it into Dan Gordon’s, which specializes in barbecue and brewski.
Wise Sons chocolate babka to make you weak in the knees.
I did not grow up in New York. But I can still appreciate a good bagel, nevertheless.
A native San Franciscan, I found my standard bearer to be the home-grown House of Bagels.
While there has been a proliferation of bagel chains lately, too many disappoint. Ginormous bread bombs, bagels should not be.
Wise Sons of San Francisco, however, is an exception. Its bagel bakery opened at 1520 Fillmore St. in January. And it is the real-deal.
They make them in the wee hours of the night, the time-honored way by boiling them before baking them.
A dessert from last year’s Taste America San Francisco. (Photo by Marc Fiorito, Gamma Nine Photography)
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be an emcee at the James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” epicurean tour, with my fellow James Beard winner J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats, when it rolls into San Francisco for an unforgettable evening Nov. 4.
The 10-city tour, with stops that include Los Angeles, Chicago and Charleston, benefits the foundation, with a portion of proceeds to go toward culinary scholarships for local students in each region.
The San Francisco gala on Nov. 4, “A Night of Culinary Stars,” will take place at the InterContinental Hotel. The evening kicks off with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception featuring morsels from top San Francisco chefs: Tim Archuleta of Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, Srijith Gopinathan of Campton Place, Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s, Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji, Pim Techamuanvivit & Narciso Salvador of Kin Khao, and Martin Yan of M.Y. China.