Tuesday, May 4, 2021

South G Kitchen's Gastropub Fare on Wheels

Posted By on Tue, May 4, 2021 at 10:00 AM

After a soft opening April 29, Danny Emmenecker's fledgling food truck South G Kitchen has settled into the spot behind the Arcata Redwood Curtain Brewery (550 S. G St., Arcata), serving "pub fusion," food that’s "familiar but elevated,” with elements like kale slaw for the fish and chips and homemade pickles. "The beer at the Redwood Curtain is for a sophisticated palate and I believe our food truck is, too,” he says.

Ribeye tacos with black garlic aioli and pickled shallots. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Ribeye tacos with black garlic aioli and pickled shallots.

Originally from Michigan, Emmenecker says he worked in kitchens there, in Colorado and the Bay Area before settling in Humboldt six years ago. Some of the draw is the natural landscape and his love of trail running, which is how he spends his time off. Locally, he lists Mazzotti's, Salt, Harvest, Brett Shuler Catering and Loco Fish Co. on his resume. “I’ve always love line cook culture," he says, "food is my creative outlet.”

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

A Feast in Redway

Posted By on Sat, Apr 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Redway could use more places to eat, especially on Evergreen Drive, and now it's got that and then some. In January, Laura Lasseter and her family have opened up Cafe Feast in the old Meadows Cafe location. The menu still isn't committed to laminated paper  but a roster of items is developing, like the meatball street tacos and the marinated tri-tip sandwich with caramelized onion, organic greens and balsamic glaze. “We really wanted to be open," says Lasseter, "we wanted to hear what everybody wanted ... we're trying to see what works in our small kitchen.”
Cafe Feast's meatball tacos. - PHOTO BY MELISSA SANDERSON
  • Photo by Melissa Sanderson
  • Cafe Feast's meatball tacos.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Muddy and Metal Mashup

Posted By on Sat, Apr 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Local coffee purveyor Muddy Waters Coffee Co. has a fan. Last year Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's people reached out to say he's been ordering the coffee online and wanted to collaborate. Muddy Waters owner Chris Nicholas, who's been running the business on his own since the pandemic started, was up for it. Enter brand-man.
Kirk Hammett - FROM MUDDY WATERS COFFEE CO. WEBSITE
  • From Muddy Waters Coffee Co. website
  • Kirk Hammett

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hot Plates Coming Through at Nori

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 2:36 PM

Passersby have been either celebrating or scratching their heads at the sign for Nori (761 Eighth St.), heralding another sushi place joining Tomo and Sushi Spot on the Arcata Plaza. But according to its owners, the soon-to-open restaurant in the downstairs spot where Salt Fish House started out before moving to I Street will have a decidedly pan-Asian menu.
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While Joe Tan and Jack Wu, both among the partners at Eureka’s Bayfront, are planning to offer sushi from the gleaming white counter, the bulk of the menu will be a spread of Taiwanese teppan dishes presided over by chef Yee Wen, whom diners may recognize from the teppanyaki grill at Bayfront. Wen’s cooking will be behind the scenes at Nori and he’ll be working with different flavors, like black pepper and mushroom sauces for the meat, seafood, tofu and noodles served on searing hot metal plates.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Boba Cafe Makeover for the Former Chalet

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 8:53 PM

Sometimes the universe closes one restaurant and opens another. Stalwart fans of Eureka’s Chalet House of Omelettes have migrated from the shuttered Fifth Street location to its Cutten sibling for breakfast, but the little diner next to Annie’s Cambodian won’t be empty much longer. In fact, the new neighbors will be family.

Sarah Ith Phe and Henry Phe in front of their planned S.I.P. Cafe. - COURTESY OF SARAH ITH PHE
  • Courtesy of Sarah Ith Phe
  • Sarah Ith Phe and Henry Phe in front of their planned S.I.P. Cafe.

Namesake Annie Chau’s sister Sarah Ith Phe and her husband Henry Phe are busy pulling up carpet and painting the interior of the dining room, and replacing the stainless steel panels and hood exterior in the kitchen. Once the makeover and some electrical work is done, they’ll be opening S.I.P., a café serving Taiwanese boba teas, coffee drinks and snacks.

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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Esteban's Reopens in Arcata

Posted By on Sat, Mar 20, 2021 at 10:33 AM

After closing briefly upon of the death of its locally beloved proprietor Esteban Gonzales, Esteban's is open once again. His wife, Francisca Gonzales, reopened the tiny Mexican institution on March 4 with help from her nephew Luis Cilveron. Esteban was hospitalized in December of 2020 with COVID-19 and, despite the virus having left his system weeks later, succumbed to pneumonia in January of 2021. According to him, the family used the funds donated by community members to pay for Esteban's funeral and to reopen the restaurant.
An ofrenda for Esteban Gonzales. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • An ofrenda for Esteban Gonzales.
"She is the one who puts all the flavor in the food — she is the one," says Cilveron. That flavor, in the pastor burrito and its deep orange rice, for example, remains the same as when he stirred the pots in the side kitchen and passed food across the tiny counter. "She's working hard to keep the legacy of Esteban, with the food the way he want it." But it's not always emotionally easy.

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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Laissez le Shanty Truck Rouler

Posted By on Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 10:00 PM

No shade on the long-ago Shanty hot dogs but the solid food offerings have leveled up recently. A peek at the Shanty’s (213 Third St., Eureka) adjacent lot finds a lit patio built by a friend of the bar and a red truck with a sandwich board menu that will allow the bar to stay open under COVID regulations.
The Shanty truck parked beside its recently built parking lot patio. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • The Shanty truck parked beside its recently built parking lot patio.

The New Orleans offerings are an homage to owner Lynn Sandstrom’s wife Rana Krueger, whose 2020 death friends and regulars marked with a second line brass band parade through Old Town. Stacie Nunes, one of the bar’s managers, says, “Mardi Gras was one of her favorite bar holidays and we wanted to honor her and everything she meant to the Shanty.”

The Cajun-spiced Shanty burger. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • The Cajun-spiced Shanty burger.

To that end, co-manager and bartender Jon Fisher, with assistance from bartender and former chef Mike Vitiello, put together a lineup of hushpuppies, red beans and rice and fish po’boys, as well as a Shanty burger with remoulade. New Orleans-style Brabant fried potatoes take a tumble in garlic butter and Cajun spice, and come with sauce vert and remoulade. Order the Shanty fries and get them under red beans and andouille sausage, melted Swiss cheese, scallions and parsley.

Enjoying Brabant fries and a grilled cheese under the Shanty's patio heat lamp. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Enjoying Brabant fries and a grilled cheese under the Shanty's patio heat lamp.

Times, Nunes notes, are tough and the bar hopes to give its regulars a break with items priced from $4 to $11. “We tried to keep it really cheap because we know people have to buy food in order to get a drink,” says Nunes. Not as cheap as a Shanty dog but close.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Jon Fisher's role in creating the menu.
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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Humboldt Brewing Co. Back in Humboldt

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 1:52 PM

After decades of out-of-county ownership as far away as South Carolina, Humboldt Brewing Co. is back in local hands. Andy Ardell, owner of Humboldt Brews, has bought the operation with his brother David Ardell. Starting this week, Carlos Sanchez, who brewed the company's original Red Nectar pale ale 30 years ago, will do so again today at Six Rivers Brewery on the very equipment it acquired from Humboldt Brewing Co.
New Humboldt Brewing Co. co-owner Andy Ardell with brewer Carlos Sanchez at Six River Brewery. - COURTESY OF MEREDITH MAIER
  • Courtesy of Meredith Maier
  • New Humboldt Brewing Co. co-owner Andy Ardell with brewer Carlos Sanchez at Six River Brewery.

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Taqueria Martinez Pulls Up

Posted By on Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 9:00 AM

While the pandemic has robbed us of so many simple pleasures, getting a burrito from a truck parked at a gas station and eating it in your car in blissful solitude is not one of them. A week ago, Taqueria Martinez parked at the Texaco station on the Eureka side of the Samoa Bridge and reminded us to count that blessing.

Miguel Santiago's asada super burrito at Taqueria Martinez. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Miguel Santiago's asada super burrito at Taqueria Martinez.

According to his son Christo, owner Miguel Santiago worked in kitchens at Shamus T. Bones, Rita's and Taqueria La Barca before striking out on his own. On the menu are Santiago's Oaxacan and Azteca-style burritos, tacos, tortas and quesadillas, including an ochre-tinged asada marinated with chile California and mixed with grilled red onions. He's hopeful the different flavors will set Taqueria Martinez apart from other local offerings. Translating for his father, Christo says, "There's no other place you can get food like this truck."

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Eureka Gets Kentucky Fried

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:28 PM

If the addition of In-N-Out and Chipotle to the Broadway lineup didn't slake your thirst for fast food, a KFC has arrived to bulk up the ranks. Anticipation has been building for years, even before the massive chicken chain broke ground and built its new location on the site of the infamously run-down Blue Heron Motel, previously owned by Floyd and Betty Squires. Read more about the new restaurant's owner and how it came into its digs here.

To those braving the potential traffic snarl from today's opening, good luck. To those less intrepid or perhaps feeling a little salty, Humboldt has a bevy of alternatives. If you have patience, Arcata's Plaza Grill has a fried chicken dinner in its takeout rotation, as does Six Rivers Brewery, and Restaurant Five Eleven has a popular buttermilk fried chicken. Ferndale's Fat Anne's has fried chicken dinners and buckets that can be made gluten-free upon request, and the recently opened Couxp truck in Arcata features a lineup of fried chicken sandwiches. These represent just the crispy tip of the mountain of local options. Feel free to share your favorites with us.
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