Saturday, October 31, 2020

Costco Brings Back Samples ... to Go

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 10:25 AM

For some of us, it's the simple things from the pre-pandemic days that bring about a wistful sigh. Like the slow cruise around Costco, casually sidling up to an end-cap cart for a toothpick-impaled ravioli. Or two. (We see you.) And yet it was with some concern that word spread of the return of samples. The wholesale chain is indeed handing out Cheez-Its and cookies again, you just have to take them outside to nibble. 
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According to store staff, the workers at sample stations, both employees and third-party vendors, are explaining the featured products and sliding over pre-bagged portions for customers to take outside while maintaining distance. Eating is still banned on site (down your fro-yo in your car like everyone else) and masks are still required at all times. Senior hours are still Monday through Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. 

The same staff said customers have been following the rules well, though at least one person lost their temper over the protocols set by corporate offices and county guidelines. If you're that pressed about not getting samples, allow me to help: Gummy vitamins are weird but better than pills; you already know the Lindt truffle balls are bomb; salami is never bad; Cheez-Its remain unchanged, as do granola bars; and if you're truly hungry, the pizza is like a buck 50. Splurge and mind your manners.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tea Hehe Turns from Festivals to Delivery

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 2:23 PM

One million years ago in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Alina Alishoev and Lily Gene were running pop-up tea lounges at music festivals and other events around California and Oregon. But with the festivals, still banned under current shelter-in-place restrictions, went Tea Hehe's self-serve, donation-based business.
The makings of a tea tote with cookies, tea bread, tea and homemade pickles. - COURTESY OF TEA HEHE
  • Courtesy of Tea Hehe
  • The makings of a tea tote with cookies, tea bread, tea and homemade pickles.
But Alishoev, who began her journey into teas with a course at the Dandelion Herbal Center, says, “I just wanted to share the healing power of plants with people.” So she and Gene, who handles most of the business side as well as "all the tasting," put their dream of a tea truck on hold and came up with tea totes, deliverable tea-time sets complete with teas, baked goods and snacks.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Babetta's is Back

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 3:13 PM

When Eureka Italian family restaurant Babetta's moved from its Myrtletown location, people adjusted. But when it closed its Broadway location, leaving only memories and a trail of marinara-stained shirts behind, regulars were hit hard. But this week proprietress and chef Babetta Francis returns with a takeout-only menu of family dinners three days a week.
Babetta's spaghetti and meatballs dinner. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Babetta's spaghetti and meatballs dinner.

"My husband's been sick so I'm just doing the supplemental thing," said the 71-year-old Francis over the weekend. Since closing the restaurant she's only cooked as a favor for friends. "I always fed everybody," she said, adding, "I'm Greek and Italian." But now, with her licenses in order, she's set up in the commercial kitchen of St. Bernard's Academy, where meals were formerly cooked for international students. The setup is temporary and she may be on the lookout for another place now that she's back in the game.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Deo's is Closed and Looking for a New Owner

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 11:29 AM

Since Sept. 20, visitors to Henderson Center in search of lunch have been greeted by a sign on the door of Deo's Sandwich Shop announcing its closure. It reads, "It was an honor serving our community in Henderson Center and we thank you for your warm support throughout the years!" Those years added up to about 47, with the torch passed to new owners here and there, the lastest being Joe Sandoval, who ran the shop for three years with his mother Julianne Gilman. But after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, keeping it going just wasn't feasible. 
The recently shuttered Deo's Sandwich Shop. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The recently shuttered Deo's Sandwich Shop.
“It was a kind of labor of love,” says Sandoval, a former Cal Fire firefighter who at first considered making the space into a taco or ramen shop before sticking with tradition. He and his mother kept it old school with a menu of hearty sandwiches befitting a shop with a pass-through window to the bar next door. “People had memories of back to when they were kids … I think it harkens back to a different age,” he says, adding that it was a great experience running a true neighborhood establishment.

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