Business / Economy

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Annie's Cambodian Cuisine Finds a New Home

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM

Since the owner of the building housing Annie's Cambodian Cuisine in Eureka  submitted plans to demolish it and build a Starbuck's and another chain restaurant in its place, the search has been on for a new spot for the popular family-owned Southeast Asian restaurant. Now, after weeks of negotiation, Annie's has landed new digs in Henderson Center, though the Fifth Street location is still open for business. (Don't let the plywood on the door — the result of a break-in last month — fool you.)
The future home of Annie's Cambodian Cuisine, 2850 F St., the former home of Manzanilla. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The future home of Annie's Cambodian Cuisine, 2850 F St., the former home of Manzanilla.

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Saturday, March 5, 2022

Il Forno Bakery Takes the Cannoli

Posted By on Sat, Mar 5, 2022 at 10:07 AM

Chris Valk, born and raised in Garberville, already owned the Chimney Tree Grill on the Avenue of the Giants when she began eyeing the spot by the movie theater on Redwood Drive where Treats used to be. When the newly gutted space became available, she jumped at the chance to tailor it for Il Forno Bakery (764 Redwood Drive, Garberville). “For a long time I felt like we needed a bakery in the area,” she says. Baking, if not in her training, is in her blood, since her mother worked for years at San Francisco’s Just Desserts before moving back to Humboldt and baking at Ramone’s.
Coffee, charcuterie boxes and sandwiches on the menu at Il Forno. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Coffee, charcuterie boxes and sandwiches on the menu at Il Forno.

Head baker Walter Chumley starts work at 2 a.m. every day to fill the cases with eclairs, cheery miniature tarts, fat whoopie pies and big, glossy croissants sometimes stuffed and topped with almond or fruit and ricotta filling by the 6 a.m. opening time. The slightly salty buttermilk biscuit with honey and fig jam is utterly satisfying with crusty edge and tender middle. The shells of the traditional cannoli with chocolate chip and citron-dotted ricotta filling break with that unmistakable muted crunch for which there must be a word for in Italian or ASMR lingo. “It’s very classic,” says Valk.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Same Sandwich, Different Name at Pile High Deli

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2022 at 3:16 PM

Given the changing lineup of eateries lining Broadway in Eureka — with fast food and chain restaurants crowding the corridor — it’s a wonder there were no pile-ups as drivers craned their necks at the new sign for Pile High Deli replacing the old one for Hole in the Wall (1331 Broadway). *Cue the crushing of chip bags in anguished fists.

Pile High Deli’s muffaletta sandwich on Dutch crunch. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Pile High Deli’s muffaletta sandwich on Dutch crunch.

If you’ve stopped in lately, you likely got a flier in your bag explaining how the name of the business, which John Forest bought from the owners of the Arcata Hole in the Wall in 1991, had to change before the place could be sold. It also assured customers the sandwiches would remain the same. *Cue slight relaxing of anguished fists around crushed chips.

In fact, in a couple months, the Pile High Deli will be in the hands of current manager Jesse Galloway, who’s been behind the counter for the past two years. “Everything’s the same except for the name is kinda the catchphrase we’ve been throwing out to everybody,” says Galloway. “I wanna keep that comfy family vibe we’ve always had … staff who know your order,” he says.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Sugar Bear's Holiday Spirit

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 11:16 AM

We did not expect to get hit with Sugar Bear fever but here we are. The victory lap the 84-foot-tall tree took around the county as it made its way from its home in the Six Rivers National Forest to Washington, D.C., where it will serve as the Capitol Christmas tree, won it some fans.
The Sugar Bear edition of Little River Gin by Humboldt Craft Spirits. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The Sugar Bear edition of Little River Gin by Humboldt Craft Spirits.
Thirsty tree huggers can now sip craft gin distilled with actual boughs from the famous fir, while aiding a good cause. Humboldt Craft Spirits is releasing a Sugar Bear edition of its Little River Gin. The bottles, which can be found at local retailers, bear little signs around their necks denoting their lineage from the limbs of our county's evergreen holiday ambassador to the Capitol and the $1 donation each one scores for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Las Michoacanas' Regional Redo

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 4:22 PM

Muscle memory still brings the odd patron to Las Michoacanas (1111 Fifth St., Eureka) thinking it’s still Rita’s. Don’t feel bad for them. New co-owners Socorro Sanchez and Perla Sanchez (no relation) have made themselves at home with a full bar (no margarita mix, just the real thing made to order) and a menu with Western Mexican specialties hat reflect both women’s Michoacán roots.
Enchiladas Michoacanas with a curl of flash-fried dried beef. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Enchiladas Michoacanas with a curl of flash-fried dried beef.

Those looking for tacos, burritos and enchiladas will find them alongside regional takes. For the enchiladas Michoacanas, the action is on the outside, with a mere swipe of red sauce and cotija cheese inside three homemade corn tortillas that are cooked in sauce and topped with carrots, potatoes chopped cabbage, tomatillo sauce and more cotija, as well as a curl of crunchy, cecina, flash-fried dried beef. The cecina, says Socorro, a Humboldt native, is sourced from the Bay Area but a must-have when visiting the Mexican state from which her family hails.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Back to the Grind

Posted By on Tue, Sep 28, 2021 at 11:22 AM

A moment of appreciation for grab-and-go coffee shops. There, early risers are accommodated and those of us who struggle with morning are soothed without fuss. There, the good people at the counter prep for the breakfast rush and brew
hot coffee while so many of us turn in our covers, thinking of reasons not to
get up just yet. Nowhere is that succor more urgently needed than across from institutions like the courthouse.
The breakfast sandwich at the Grind makes the case for morning plantains. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The breakfast sandwich at the Grind makes the case for morning plantains.
In July, Gaby Long , proprietress and chef at A Taste of Bim, bought the Grind Café (734 Fifth St.), with its front window view of Blake Reagan and Lucas Thornton's floaty trompe l'oeil mural alongside the Humboldt County Courthouse. After a few interior touch-ups and a menu reboot, it remains a solid stop for a hot Humboldt Bay Coffee Co. latte and a bagel. But scan the full menu before you order your usual.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Logger Bar Reopening Cut Short by COVID Numbers

Posted By on Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 12:12 PM

Well, crap. After a brief and much anticipated reopening, the Logger Bar, Blue Lake's iconic watering hole, has shut its doors once again. Owner Kate Martin, who'd closed the bar for more than a year and put it up for sale, spoke with the Journal last month about the additional outdoor seating she hoped would help keep customers safe with COVID-19 still circulating and much of the county still unvaccinated.

In her Facebook post, Martin says how "deeply wonderful" the last three weeks of being open have been. "However, due to the sharp increase of Covid-19 cases in Humboldt County it no longer feels in the best interest of our community to stay open at this time." (See the full post below.) That increase yielded a single-day record of 69 confirmed new cases on Friday, July 30, and a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent for the month of July, the highest for any month since the pandemic began.

Over the phone, Martin, who is vaccinated herself and has been getting tested weekly, says she knows vaccinated people who've fallen ill with so-called breakthrough cases of COVID-19. Serving only outside, she says, isn't worth it financially and it's impractical to require masks indoors for people who are drinking. Martin adds that she has people in her life with medical issues that make them particularly vulnerable. "I don't want to have to choose between running my business and spending time with my family."

For her, says Martin, especially in a community like Blue Lake with so many older residents, being open doesn't feel right. But she's hopeful about reopening if and when Humboldt's COVID-19 infection numbers go down. Hopefully, she says, it won't be another year. We'll drink to that.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Love for Local Restaurants

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 10:55 AM

Restaurants and their workers helped get us through the last year. The Journal wants to hear about the ones closest to your heart and share your appreciation in the upcoming Menu of Menus. Shout out your gratitude, letting us know which restaurant meant the most to you with a brief explanation of why in the comments or by emailing jennifer@northcoastjournal.com, and it might end up in print. So, Humboldt, who do you love?

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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Folie Douce to Become The Kitchen Arcata

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 9:47 AM

Last week, a joyful Chris Hollen announced the sale of her restaurant Folie Douce to Jacob Masslich, who'll be spending the summer transforming it into The Kitchen Arcata. Hollen says she's excited for Masslich and relieved the sale is completed, as it never was when Reda Salhi briefly took it over in 2019. The Folie Douce name and recipes remains with Hollen.

The restaurant itself isn't the only thing the 26-year-old Masslich will be revamping. His concept for The Kitchen Arcata revolves around a special that changes daily, rather than a broad menu.


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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Some Pig

Posted By on Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 5:04 PM

Opening the county’s first cannabis consumption lounge without food would have been an opportunity missed. And so the upscale Pig and Leaf truck is installed at Papa & Barkley Social’s patio (4325 Broadway, Eureka), complete with heat lamps and fire pits, on the site of the old Kmart that, I’m told, opened with the fanfare by the Eureka High School marching band back in the ’80s. The only throwback from that period now is the sign for a smoking section.
The Pig and Leaf truck. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The Pig and Leaf truck.

The minimalist black Pig and Leaf truck is one of three food operations Pawel Gago, also owner-operator of Pizza Gago, is executive chef for as part of the expanding Humboldt Social empire, along with Jetty at the Humboldt Bay Social Club and the restaurant in the works at the Scotia Lodge.

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