Slow cooking as fast food
The idea of putting a slow-cooked stew on top of a tortilla and serving it as a taco is, of course, nothing new in Mexico, and in recent years the mainstream Bay Area dining public has also warmed up to the concept thanks to the success of restaurants like Tacos Cala and El Buen Comer. The latest restaurant to put tacos de guisado front and center is Tacolicious Chico, the new pint-sized (450-square-foot) outpost of the Tacolicious mini-chain, which will open in the Financial District at 685 Market Street tomorrow, October 31. The idea here will be quick service for the office lunch crowd: It’s the Cal-Mexican chain’s first counter-service location, the idea being that stews like lamb birria and guajillo-braised beef, already cooked and ready to be ladled onto a tortilla, make for what founder Joe Hargrave calls “the ultimate fast food.” See the full menu below.
The Old Ship gets a sister saloon
Old Ship Saloon, the classic Jackson Square watering hole, now has a sister location: Babe’s Monte Carlo, a new bar in the Financial District at 582 Washington Street — the old Taverna Aventine space along the Hotaling alley. According to a press release, the bar’s name is a nod to the Barbary Coast days and Old Ship’s brief Prohibition-era tenure as a cafe called “Cafe Monte Carlo,” run by a gentleman named Babe who essentially saved the business. Run by Gary Danko alum Juan Carlos Tejeda, Babe’s features $12 cocktails and elevated bar bites.
A Bay Area Diwali celebration doesn’t shy away from the hard questions
South Asians in the Bay Area and around the world have just wrapped up the five-day festival known as Diwali, or the festival of lights as it’s often described. KQED digs into the politics and points of contention around the holiday’s food traditions, given that the festival may be celebrated very differently depending on whether you’re Sikh or Jain or Hindu — so that the decision of whether or not to serve meat during the holiday feast can be a very loaded issue. As KQED reports, one Diwali party in Oakland this Saturday will embrace all of the festival’s complexities and points of controversy — but with plenty of dancing and good food as well.
Vineyards may be one of the unsung heroes of the fire relief effort
The Kincade Fire stories coming out of Sonoma County have mostly been utterly bleak, but the Chronicle offers one small silver lining: It turns out that vineyards — the actual grapevines, when they’re manicured and well tended to — act as a kind of natural fire break and may be responsible for helping to limit the amount of damage to wineries and other buildings in places like the Alexander Valley. “Vines are green and full of water,” a UC Davis professor of viticulture and oenology told the Chron. “With the amount of water they can hold in their tissue, they become an oasis in a hot environment.”