Eat the Week: Alameda’s Record-Breaking Burger, Brunch Drunk Love, First Off the Grid Theme Night, Carlos Club Closed Amidst Scandal, Red Vic Closing, Alembic Expanding
1. The Alameda County Fair earned itself a place in the hamburger hall of fame last weekend. The meat monstrosity, which took a crew of 10 people and a total of 13 hours to cook. It weighed in at a total of 777 pounds, which breaks the current Guinness World Record. After being cooked on the world’s largest barbeque, the burger was placed between a 110-pound bun and topped with more than 50 pounds of cheese, 20 pounds of onions, 12 pounds of pickles and 30 pounds of lettuce, writes the Bay Citizen. Bits of the burger were sold to county fair patrons for $0.99. The only hurdle left is a final confirmation from the Guinness World Records.
2. Calbee, a Japanese snack giant, opened its first American retail store on Tuesday, July 5, in Westfield shopping center. The retail store offers vegetable snacks that are only available to markets in Japan, as well as a new line of BeeMee vegetable snacks. Sounds great, the only catch is that, as SF Weekly notes, the vegetable snacks are not as healthy as they appear to be – they’re all deep fried. “So at the end of the day, the new Calbee store is adorable, the servers are friendly, and the snacks are yummy, just not quite as healthy as they are purported to be,” says SFoodie. The store will be having an official opening party with contests and free gifts on July 10.
3. After a 10-day remodel, Valencia Street’s Dosa is open again with a new interior and cocktail menu. After receiving its liquor license, the owners of Dosa decided to give their Valencia location an interior facelift with mostly recycled and green materials. The restaurant is also ready to unveil Dosa Blade Gin, and a new cocktail menu, modeled after the Fillmore Street location. The special gin is seasoned with curry leaves, and made exclusively for Dosa — the spirit is so far, only available at the Valencia location.
4. The construction at Sightglass coffee is about to come to an end. Since the SOMA coffee roasters opened its kiosk last year, owners Jared and Justin Morrison have been renovating the warehouse that is home to the small coffee bar. The renovated space will feature both café and production space and include two espresso machines, retail shelves and a view of the roaster, according to tablehopper. Though there is currently standing room only, in about a month, an upstairs area with tables and chairs will be open. Sightglass’ official opening is slated for July 11.
5. Off the Grid featured its first theme night. The “Hot Food, Cold Nights” event was held at the McCoppin Hub location. The hot food featured was not sizzling in temperature, but in spice. Each of the food trucks that participated rolled out a special spicy dish, available that night only. Diners who wanted to participle in the theme needed to purchase tickets, $35 got them a fiery taste from each of the five food trucks. Off the Grid founder, Matthew Cohen described the event as a “spicy tasting menu.” Patrons who did not wish to buy the $35 ticket were still able to attend and eat from the trucks, they just couldn’t partake in any of the special dishes.
6. In other food truck news, Oakland’s own Bites on Broadway got shut down last Friday. The weekly food truck meet up was told to disperse after cops cited at least one neighborhood complaint, and organizer Karen Hester was operating without the proper permits. The cart gathering is only a month old, but has gained a rather large following. Hester told What the Fork that despite this setback, she’s optimistic about the future of Bites on Broadway. She hopes to meet with city officials sometimes this week and believes that the event will be back on Friday.
7. The Mission district’s working class bar, the Carlos Club served its last drink on June 30. The bar was closed after a six-month investigation proved that owner Carlos Gutierrez and the cocktail waitresses were charging drunken patrons cocktails at a higher cost, and then splitting the difference. According to Mission Local, the waitresses were also soliciting drinks from patrons. This is not the first time Gutierrez has been in trouble, in 2005 he was cited for not paying his employees minimum wage.
8. Bernal Heights staple, the Liberty Café is up for sale. The café has been open for 17 years and according to Eater SF, cafe owner Tony Hua is selling the property due to personal health issues. Though the property is in limbo, the café remains open and operational for an undisclosed amount of time. If interested, the 2,000 square foot café is going for $275k. Get the chicken pot pie while you still can, according to some frequent patrons, it’s the best in the city.
9. In bittersweet news, Upper Haight’s legendary movie house, the Red Vic is closing, but gourmet cocktail and food spot, the Alembic, is rumored to be taking over. The Red Vic’s financial troubles were just too much for the small theater to handle, so after 31 years, the screen is going officially dark on July 25. Though the theater is leaving, a few sources have reported that The Alembic might be taking over what once was the theater’s lobby. Which, according to TheFeast.com, would be a good move, due to the fact that the, “craft cocktail bar is almost always elbows to elbows during peak hours.”
10. In city brunch news, two local spots will be serving a gourmet brunch within the next month. North Beach’s 15 Romolo is now serving Punch Drunk Brunch on weekends. The little bar’s brunch offers food for $10 or less and hair of the dog cocktails for those in need. Next weekend, the Mission’s own Bruno’s is debuting the (similarly named) Brunch Drunk Love. Brunch Drunk Love, a product from chef Ryan Scott, is being billed as more a restaurant than a pop-up and will be drink heavy. Now the only thing left is an Adam Sandler sighting.