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San Mateo’s First Black Mayor is Selling her Version of Blum’s Iconic Coffee Crunch Cake

Also: Michael Mina’s first restaurant in wine country prepares to open, and more news you need to know today.

Officials in South San Francisco say that delivery apps like DoorDash and Postmates cannot charge restaurants over 15 percent of an order.
Sanfranman59 / CC BY-SA (

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your lunchtime (or so) roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • Claire Mack is San Mateo’s first Black mayor, an activist for racial equity who led the city for 12 years. Now she’s turned her attention to Blum’s coffee crunch cake, the beloved SF treat also served at places like Japantown’s Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop. “Blum’s (had a store) here in San Mateo,” Mack tells NBC Bay Area. “We never went in to eat. We would only go to buy. I’m not sure we were welcome. And I’m pretty sure we were not welcome. ... Black people weren’t welcome in restaurants in San Mateo.” Now aged 83, she’s developed her own recipe for the cakes, and is selling them as part of business she’s calling “Claire’s Crunch Cake.”
  • South San Francisco is the latest Bay Area city to legally mandate how much delivery apps like SF-based Postmates and DoorDash can charge restaurants. The San Mateo Daily Journal reports that its city council “unanimously agreed” to cap delivery app fees at 15 percent, joining Berkeley, San Leandro, San Francisco, Oakland, and others. At present, the cap will remain for six months after indoor dining resumes in the city, but there are already rumblings about making it a permanent law. “I’m not sure I support getting rid of this altogether after six months,” council member Mark Nagales says.
  • Good news for outdoor diners who don’t want to tote a parka for that post-sunset temperature drop: forecasters are predicting a heat wave all weekend, the SF Chronicle reports. The bummer side of this is that “hot weather can also bring high levels of ozone pollution, which is different than the particles from smoke, and that could exacerbate the already bad air quality.” The environment giveth, and the environment taketh away.
  • SF-based chef-entrepreneur Michael Mina has restaurants around the globe, but he’s never opened a spot in wine country. That changes this month, as Mina is bringing his Wit & Wisdom Tavern to the former Carneros Bistro space in Sonoma’s the Lodge, the Bay Area News Group reports. Expect a long local wine list, hearth-oven cooking, and dishes composed of ingredients from nearby farms.
  • If you haven’t had enough smoke to last you for a while, here’s a roundup of East Bay barbecue specials for Labor Day weekend. [East Bay Times]
  • Restaurants near UC Berkeley are breathing a sigh of relief, as the return of students to campus provides a much-needed lifeline. [Daily Californian]

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