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Milk Bar Casts Its Cereal Milk-Soaked Net Over the Bay Area

Plus, Sonoma County is getting some funds for wildfire prevention

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Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • While fans of Netflix star and pastry chef Christina Tosi’s desserts have been able to get cookies and cakes shipped to their front doors through the Milk Bar online store for quite some time, this summer marks the first time Bay Area residents can get their no-longer-offensively-named pie fix pretty much on demand. Thanks to a partnership with DoorDash (which may or may not be slowly destroying the entire restaurant industry, depending on who you ask), Milk Bar’s products are now available for delivery or pickup via the DoorDash Kitchens concept in Redwood City. The national chain of bakeries, known for infusing cereal milk flavor into soft serve and having really cute branding, is using this opportunity to test potential new markets for future brick and mortar locations, according to a company spokesperson. Milk Bar will also be announcing details about an in-person pop-up to take place in San Francisco this July, which pretty much means the Bay Area is getting more Milk Bar, need it or not.
  • Last year’s fire season was devastating for Northern California’s wine industry, but a grant from the federal government could help Sonoma County better prevent wildfires moving forward. According to a press release from the County Administrator’s Office on Wednesday, Sonoma County will receive a $37 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money is meant “to help local, state and tribal agencies in California receive reimbursement for certain costs related to wildfire risk reduction,” which includes cutting back potential fuel, creating fire breaks, and helping owners protect private property. The only catch: the funding will come in waves with the first round not expected to arrive for about a year and a half, the North Bay Business Journal reports.
  • Natural wine fans have a new place to explore the world of funky reds and cloudy whites. Snail Bar in Oakland will open its doors on July 3, the Chronicle reports. The wine bar will serve a menu of small plates from chef Andres Giraldo Florez, whose prior experience includes time in the kitchen at Michelin-starred restaurants including WD-50 in New York and Saison in San Francisco. Keep an eye on the bar’s Instagram for updates.
  • Congrats are in order to the team behind the 20th Century Cafe Cookbook, which was named a finalist in the “Baking Sweet & Savory, Confections and Desserts” category of the 2021 International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards. Though the Hayes Valley corner bakery, known for its retro-fabulous design and old-world European pastries, will close its doors after 8 years on July 10, the cafe’s cookbook, authored by pastry chef and owner Michelle Polzine, will forever testify to the “high stakes” baking that made 20th Century a haven for pastry lovers. The space won’t sit empty for long either; a new bakery and cafe called Loquat will move in from the owners of the Mill and Four Barrel Coffee. Polzine also says 20th Century may return in pop-up form.
Excerpted from Baking at the 20th Century Cafe by Michelle Polzine (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Aya Brackett.