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Northern California Will Have a Garlic Festival This Year

Plus, why some Bay Area restaurants are ditching Martin’s potato buns and more food news

Shopping at the local market Photo by Donato Fasano/Getty Images
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Following a flurry of back-and-forth between two festival organizers earlier this spring, Northern California garlic fans can finally rest easy knowing they’ll once again have the opportunity to celebrate all things allium this year. According to ABC10, the Noceti Group, which organizes an annual asparagus festival will be hosting an event dubbed the California Garlic Festival on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 from noon to 7 p.m. at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.

The event has yet to be listed on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds website (Eater SF has reached out to the venue to confirm the event dates), but according to a Facebook event page, expect dishes like garlic fries, garlic pesto pasta, and maple brown sugar garlic ice cream up for grabs. ABC10 reports admission will range from $15 for adults to $10 for children ages 6-17 years old.

The new event comes after the organizers behind the beloved annual Gilroy Garlic Festival announced plans to cancel the festival for “the foreseeable future” in April. The event had been held every year for more than four decades, but after the pandemic and a mass shooting when a gunman killed three people and wounded 17 others in 2019, organizers said the event was no longer financially feasible.

2 Bay Area bars among North America’s list of 50 Best

Congrats to Oakland’s Friends and Family and San Francisco’s ABV on being named among the 50 best in North America. Friends and Family came in at number 33 on the ranked list, while ABV holds the 39th spot.

Why a handful of chefs are boycotting Martin’s potato buns

According to reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle, a number of Bay Area restaurants including Matt Horn’s Kowbird and Wesburger in the Mission are opting out of using potato rolls from Pennsylvania-based Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe after a Philadelphia news outlet reported the owner’s support of state senator Doug Mastriano, who the Chronicle describes as “a pro-Trump Republican and QAnon conspiracy theory promoter” who’s known for his “efforts to assist Trump in his attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election.”

Disgraced wine country restaurateur attempts a comeback

Less than a year after more than a dozen employees accused Lowell Sheldon of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviors, the Sebastopol restaurant owner has applied for a new liquor license to open a wine bar and restaurant called Piala, the Chronicle reports. City officials, however, denied the application, a decision Sheldon plans to appeal.

Raising Cane’s cancels plans for additional Sacramento outpost

The Sacramento Bee reports cult-favorite fast food chain Raising Cane’s has pulled out of plans for a new location in the Sacramento suburb of Natomas following issues with the site’s landlord. The restaurant would have been the chain’s fifth in the area, following a recent expansion that’s brought the menu of chicken fingers and Texas toast to Davis, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, and Roseville. A first location for the Bay Area is expected to debut in Oakland this summer, per SFGATE.