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Coffee Enthusiast Sam Smith Visits Berkeley’s 1951 Coffee

Mama’s Royal Cafe reopens in Temescal, emergency Thanksgiving prep, and more

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Sam Smith/Facebook

Last-minute Thanksgiving farmers market alert

Thanksgiving cometh, and CUESA will host its typical emergency farmers market on Wednesday for holiday slackers at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco. They’ll then skip their usual Thursday market. For more last-minute Thanksgiving preparations, see also: Eater SF’s list of delicious pies to order for the holiday, and a roundup of where to get take-out Thanksgiving dinner instead of making it yourself.

Sam Smith spotted at 1951 Coffee

Singer Sam Smith appears to enjoy Berkeley’s 1951 Coffee shop, and he knows he’s not the only one. Smith, whom coffee blog Sprudge has noted is pretty into his coffee, swung by the Berkeley shop yesterday, which is named for the year that UN refugee guidelines were set and is known for its barista training program to help refugees, asylees, and Special Immigrant Visa holders find jobs in the US coffee industry. Smith ordered an espresso and an almond milk cappuccino.

Hasta Muerte Coffee opens in Oakland

Speaking of coffee shops with a purpose, a new, Latinx-owned business, Hasta Muerte Coffee, is now open in Fruitvale, Oakland. It’s a worker-owned coffee shop, self-described radical bookstore, and community space at 2701 Fruitvale Avenue selling coffee — at the community-serving price of $1.60 a cup.

Ribeye bowl at AL’s Place
Aaron London

AL’s Place rolls out bowls

AL’s place chef Aaron London has a new dining option at his acclaimed Mission District restaurant, and at least one version involves a little more meat than he’s typically known for. After 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, he’ll offer big bowl options, like shrimp, or shrimp and pork, for about $30, trout for $32, and a ribeye that’ll be more expensive, priced depending on the size of the cut. The combination will be “a bunch of dope ingredients from our garden, seafood and meat caramelized with aromatics and fish sauce, and rice noodles made fresh daily down in San Jose,” says London.

Dandelion Chocolate’s 12 Nights of Chocolate returns

SF chocolate company Dandelion is ringing in the holiday season with its fifth annual 12 Nights of Chocolate celebration, a fundraiser in support of the SF-Marin Food Bank. It’s a little like an advent calendar in the form of chocolate-focused events, from the popular Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory screening night at Dandelion’s Valencia cafe on December 4th to a party with bites from State Birds Provisions on the second floor of the chocolate makers’ new, not-yet-open factory on 16th and Alabama.

Mama’s Royal Cafe back open under new management

Temescal breakfast favorite Mama’s Royal Cafe, which closed in October for a remodel, also changed hands, and is now operated by new owners who are keeping things mostly the same but also seeking to “modernize” aspects of the restaurant. It’s back open — and for the first time ever accepting credit cards — today.

The Alembic’s new menu

Alembic executive chef Rachel Aronow, who arrived at the Upper Haight cocktail den and restaurant this summer, has introduced her new fall menu, which is below. The chef is a whole-animal cooking devotee, and when she started at the Alembic, Aronow described her inclinations to Eater SF as “a bit of ‘Jewish grandmother doing fine dining.’”

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