Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Uber Eats Comes to Eureka

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 1:13 PM

From Uber Eats' how-to video. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • From Uber Eats' how-to video.
Prepare to be disrupted, Humboldt. Uber Eats, the app-driven food delivery service that aims to serve 70 percent of the U.S. by the end of the year, has come to Eureka. As of 7:30 a.m. today, folks in Lodi, Yuba City, Redding, Chico, Visalia and Eureka are able to order from participating restaurants. Depending on where you're at, the app shows a handful of local options: Tandoori Bites Indian Cuisine, Ultimate Yogurt Eureka and Arcata, Diver Bar and Grill, Humboldt Bay Provisions, Stars Hamburgers in Arcata and Savory Grill and Cafe among them. Delivery fees, again according to your location, add roughly $3.49-$6.99 to your bill. Uber's transportation services became available in Humboldt in March of 2017.
A milkshake delivered from Ultimate Yogurt to the Journal office via Uber Eats. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A milkshake delivered from Ultimate Yogurt to the Journal office via Uber Eats.


We ordered a pumpkin spice milkshake from the Eureka Ultimate Yogurt (listen, I will not be shamed over that flavor because cinnamon, ginger and cloves are goddamn delicious, so stop pretending you're too cool for it) to try it out. It was delivered in 25 minutes and still plenty cold by Katie Bisson, a technician at Humboldt Medical Eye Associates who drives for Uber on her lunch and one of her days off. For her trouble, Uber paid her about $4 along with the in-app tip we tossed on. "I drive a Prius, so the mileage is good. Otherwise I might not do it," she said. Bisson's been driving people around Humboldt since March but this was her first milkshake transpo.

See Uber Eats' full press release and snappy how-to video below.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dulce Bistro Closed for Now

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Dulce's closed doors. - PHOTO BY CASSIE CURATOLO
  • Photo by Cassie Curatolo
  • Dulce's closed doors.

If you swung by the closed Dulce Bistro in Eureka this week, you might be wondering if the restaurant, which opened July 31, is shutting down for good. Well, apparently not. While there's no sign in the window, no mention of the closure on Dulce's Facebook page and no answer at the phone number, manager Antonio Lopez assures us it's just temporary. In an email reply to the Journal, he stated only, "We are making some functionality changes inside. Not permanently closed." Lopez did not specify a timeline for reopening so don't plan on brunch too soon. 
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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Boat to Table

Posted By on Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 9:24 AM

The Scrimshaw’s catch at Arcata Pizza and Deli. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The Scrimshaw’s catch at Arcata Pizza and Deli.

Long have we enjoyed the hefty sandwiches and stacked, house-ground burgers at Arcata Pizza and Deli. They’re almost enough to hinder exploring the rest of chalkboard menu. And, OK, maybe rolling in late at night, a little worse for wear, you weren’t in the mood to experiment with the seafood.

Let your gaze drop to the “Hook & Line” board with the big fish on top. The owners of APD are also the captains of a pair of fishing boats, the Scrimshaw and the Markit 8, the fruits of which arrive weekly on the board and in fried fillets via little red, paper-lined baskets from the kitchen.

The local lingcod fish and chips ($16) came courtesy of the Scrimshaw this week. The delicately panko-crusted fillets break open to steamy, tender, white fish that is lovely with just a squeeze of lemon or one of the two accompanying sauces: a sweet, tangy citrus aioli or a traditional tartar sauce. U.K. natives will sigh over the lack of batter and wedge-cut potatoes, but given our refusal to follow your spelling conventions, isn’t this rather a small thing? Let yourself enjoy a haystack of skinny fries that are as close as you can get to fast food (in the best way) without that one friend making you watch a documentary on factory farming again. Trust us, this is better.
A modest cup of excellent clam chowder. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A modest cup of excellent clam chowder.
If you still have room in your boat, the clam chowder ($3.80 cup, $7 bowl) will make you forget about the goopy business you can stand a spoon in. Instead, it’s none-too salty and full of skin-on potatoes and decidedly un-canny clams with a little white wine whisked into the cream.
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Monday, October 22, 2018

Cookies from the Burrito Place

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 12:44 PM

Homemade, grandma-level treats from Amigas Burritos. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Homemade, grandma-level treats from Amigas Burritos.

Amigas Burritos has long had a loyal following, one that's hanging in with the change of ownership since Jorge Bravo, who worked there some 12 years, bought it two years ago. Regulars come for the burritos but we're here for dessert. The saucer-sized cookies in plastic wrap by the register are unremarkable looking but they're grandma-level stuff.
Fat, fudgy brownie goodness. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Fat, fudgy brownie goodness.

These are the kinds of homemade goodies you used to have to mow somebody's lawn for. The thick, palm-sized brownie's flaky top is dotted with chocolate chips and wonderfully fudgy and moist, right to the crusty corners ($1.35). There's also a two-hander of a peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie with chopped peanuts that bends and breaks in that gentle way only fresh cookies do ($1.25). The oatmeal, cranberry and white chocolate cookie is a soft, lumpy fall treat alternative for those who are pumpkin spiced out ($1.25).

Tiny, fluffy, crumbly cheesecake. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Tiny, fluffy, crumbly cheesecake.
If you're lucky, the mini cheesecakes Bravo whips up won't be sold out ($2.50). More airy mousse than dense cheesecake, the lightly tangy fluff topped with berries comes in a cup of crumbly graham cracker crust that honestly could fall apart from a harsh word. But it's a simple, sweet surprise at the burrito shop. 
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Saturday, October 20, 2018

So Long, Mr. Fish

Posted By on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Mr. Fish Seafood, the little seafood shop on Broadway, is for sale. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Mr. Fish Seafood, the little seafood shop on Broadway, is for sale.

You're going to have to get your Christmas crab someplace else this year. Mr. Fish (2740 Broadway), the iconic Eureka shop that's been shelling out shellfish and doling out sole for 47 years, is closing indefinitely Oct. 26.

Owner Mark McCulloch originally bought the place from a friend when he was barely in his 20s and has spent his working life running the business. He's had employees in the past but now it's a one-man operation and he's ready to retire. An upcoming shoulder surgery moved up the timeline, he says, since managing the smokehouse, the counter and the stock with one arm is impractical and he's told recovery is slow.


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Saturday, October 13, 2018

In-N-Out in the Planning

Posted By on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 12:44 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

Like an online dating match leaving breadcrumb text messages, In-N-Out Burger periodically lets us know it's interested in coming to Humboldt County. Someday. Maybe. And every time, die-hard fans of off-the-menu ordering get worked up only to be put off again. Let's keep in touch!

Things are looking decidedly more committed since The Carrington Co. submitted plans for a four-tenant structure on the coastal side of Broadway near Vigo Street to the Eureka Planning Department with an In-N-Out on the corner of the site. (Calls to The Carrington Co. were not returned.)

“They have definitely submitted permits, so that means they are very invested in the project … there’s still a lot to sort out," says Planning Department Director Robert Holmlund. "We’re working with them on the project to make sure it’s as good as it can be for the community.” That work includes nailing down a coastal development permit, a conditional use permit and a California Environmental Quality Act mitigated negative impact declaration, which touches on traffic, aesthetics, air quality and other issues. The proposal is tentatively scheduled to go before the planning commission Dec. 10.

But is In-N-Out Burger really into us? The folks at corporate headquarters remain cautious about a timeline for a yet unapproved project. In an email to the Journal, Vice President of Development at In-N-Out Burger Carl Arena wrote, "We do hope to open a restaurant in Eureka in the future. That said, it is still very early in the development application process so design elements such as building layouts, site circulation and access are still evolving." He goes on to say, "Once we begin construction on a new location, it usually takes us four to five months to build a restaurant and open for business. However, there is still quite a bit of work to be done before we can even set a time to begin construction. Because it is still so early in the process, it would be premature to comment on a timeline or if we will even achieve a development approval."

The burger chain isn't a franchise anybody can buy into — instead it's run by the Snyder family. And if the Bible references on the cups (a simple "John 3:16," for example) didn't tip you off, they're a conservative Christian outfit. The company's political donations sparked some controversy this summer when its $25,000 donation to the Republican Party in California became public. (The company also donated $50,000 to a political action committee that supports moderate Democrats.)

In a New York Times article, Arnie Wensinger, the burger chain's vice president was quoted as saying, “While it is unfortunate that our contributions to support both political parties in California has caused concern with some groups, we believe that bipartisan support is a fair and consistent approach that best serves the interests of our company and all of our customers.”  Whether those donations affect who's in or out among the Humboldt customer base remains to be seen. 
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Saturday Special

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 4:50 PM

The bành mí (aka khao chī) sandwich you can only get on Saturdays — if you're quick. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The bành mí (aka khao chī) sandwich you can only get on Saturdays — if you're quick.

While you are poking around the Lao Oriental Market (2908 E St., Eureka) on a Saturday, rooting through boxes of bitter melon and eggplants both long and golf ball sized, it's easy to overlook the unmarked stack of a couple dozen paper-wrapped bành mí sandwiches ($5.99). Easy and tragic.

Let's appreciate for a moment the Vietnamese creation — called khao chī  in Laos — that looks France in the eye and asks, frère, do you even sandwich? The flavors of fragrant cilantro and the spicy, tart, sweet pickled radish and carrot against the mix of savory meat, eggs, tofu or fish are unmatched. Its variations are many, even reaching into the realm of dessert.

Those found at the little Henderson Center shop, brought up from the Bay Area on most Saturdays (and Saturdays only), are the version we see perhaps most often in the U.S., with a schmear of peppercorn-spiked pâté, layers of pale Vietnamese pork sausage, ham and head cheese, along with cilantro, sliced fresh jalapeños and a smattering of pickled daikon radish and carrot. The baguette is a little more delicate than the usual around here, flaking off as you unwrap your slightly dented prize. Don't dwell on the superficial imperfections. Focus on the riot of tastes, the vegetable crunch and the perfect balance of something that's come so far to meet you. 
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Monday, October 8, 2018

Waiting on Abruzzi's Next Act

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 3:14 PM

With its kitchen under renovation, Abruzzi relaunches as a jazz lounge, for now. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • With its kitchen under renovation, Abruzzi relaunches as a jazz lounge, for now.

If your plans for an evening out at Abruzzi were halted by rumors of its closure, don't despair entirely. Open since 1980, the Italian eatery has shut down its kitchen for renovation and relaunched itself as a jazz club — Abruzzi Lounge — at least for now.

Bill Chino, who co-owns Abruzzi with Chris Smith, says while the kitchen is blocked off, the bar is open and a few tables have been moved out to make way for leather chairs and a sofa. In its Abruzzi Lounge incarnation, the space is "a very informal, I guess I'd call it a jazz club." Opening night was this past Thursday and guests can seat themselves to hear live or recorded jazz, and nibble charcuterie and warm olives on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. on. There are plans to get performers back on the cordoned off stage, as well.

However, given that the building was built in 1857, its unclear right now how much renovation is needed and how much the owners are up to undertake. And so it's equally unclear what the future of the restaurant will be. "We're working in a transition and we'll know better in 10 days or so," says Chino. At least you can have a drink while you wait.
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