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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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Peg House is Up for Sale

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 7:16 PM

According to an SFGate story by former Journal staffer Ashley Harrell, now the outlet’s associate editor covering California parks, owners Diana Ballard-Doll and Gary Ballard are ready to sell the iconic burger pit stop to the right people for a cool $3 million. That includes 5.5 acres of land, the general store, the burger joint/patio/stage and the gas station. Their hope is to find new owners who'll run it all with the same community spirit they have. Ballard-Doll is quoted saying, “No one goes by here hungry or thirsty. If they’re cold, we give them a blanket. If the park is closed, people know they can come here and put up a tent on the stage. When there’s a fire, everyone knows the Peg House is a safe spot, and they come park here.”

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  • File
Even if you're not looking to invest, the story is a fascinating trip down Peg House history, starting with its first white settlers and the lumber industry, the start of the shop in the 1920s, and the visitors and psychedelic concerts it has hosted over the decades. And, of course, and the burgers folks "never don't stop" for.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Dokkaebier Spices it Up

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 8:48 AM

If the Booth Brewing was your gateway to Korean beer aesthetics, you'll be pleased to know Dokkaebier has made its way into Humboldt stores. The independent beer company's CEO Youngwon Lee, formerly of the Booth's Humboldt operation, launched the Bay Area-brewed beer at San Francisco Beer Week in February on the cusp of shelter in place. His head brewer is fellow Booth alumnus Aaron Weshnak, who cooks up the recipes — featuring flavors like galangal, bamboo leaf and lemongrass — here in Humboldt.

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Lee, who came to Humboldt from South Korea in 2017 (though he grew up in Guam and New Jersey), is based in Oakland and, unable to find the right facility in our county, works with a brewery there to produce what Weshnak cooks up in his kitchen. “I trust him with the recipes," says Lee. "And we brainstorm about what we want to make.” Under normal circumstances, they might be traveling more to collaborate but shelter in place rules that out. Lee says it's a good thing they're comfortable working remotely. “If I never worked with him this wouldn't have been possible.”

As to the Asian-inspired flavors, “The beer market is very IPA dominant," says Lee, who wanted to make something unique. Weshnak stepped up to the challenge.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Start a New Year with an Enormous Challah

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 4:09 PM

If you're like me, you want two things right now: bread and for this year to just be over.

Well, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year begins on Friday, Sept. 18 at sundown, when people all over the world will celebrate the end of the Hebrew year 5780 and the start of 5781. Among the traditional holiday foods are rounds of challah bread, symbolic of the year, endless blessings and a crown recognizing God as king. (NPR has a great piece on challah and its many forms here.)
This is a big challah. But we believe in you. - COURTESY OF LOS BAGELS
  • Courtesy of Los Bagels
  • This is a big challah. But we believe in you.
In celebration, Los Bagels has rounds of challah — glossy and browned outside, egg-rich yellow and pillowy soft inside — in three sizes: 11 inches ($6), 18 inches ($25) and 24 inches ($30). If you're considering the big one, let me offer my support. Fresh challah is lightly sweet and utterly satisfying on its own, though impossible to refuse with a little jam and butter. Leftover, it makes for the most wonderful French toast and bread pudding.

If you're lucky enough to be with family, pulling a piece each from the round and sharing is exactly the comforting ritual for which the moment calls. It won't make 2020 or its calamities go any faster, but it might remind us, like the traditional Rosh Hashanah dish of apples dipped in honey, of the sweetness to be had in the future, and even now. Shanah tovah
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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Frankie's Develops a Sweet Tooth

Posted By on Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 12:04 PM

Since shelter in place, Frankie Baker has scaled back. Where once a trio sliced and slung bagels in the Redwood Acres bakery, there's only Frankie's NY Bagels' namesake, baking and selling online orders for pick-up on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Now those orders include a shifting lineup of desserts.
Taste the rainbow cookies. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Taste the rainbow cookies.
Painstaking Italian rainbow cookies ($2.50), the first cookie everybody snatches off the assorted tray from bakeries back East, are in the rotation. The stacked layers of almond-rich cake with jam in between and chocolate on top are originally Jewish and not really cookies, but that's what they're called. And as I've said before, cheesecake is pie and Boston cream pie is cake, so free yourself from arbitrary binary constructions. 

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Island Delight Opens in Eureka

Posted By on Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 7:02 PM

While fans of Hawaiian cuisine are rending their Aloha shirts over the impending closure of Eureka's Banana Hut, they may find solace over on Harris Street, where Island Delight opened this weekend. Just a block from the recently opened Jerk Kitchen, it offers a distinctly Pacific Island flavor in the spot that formerly housed Amy's Delight.
Island Delight springs up in the former home of Amy's Delight. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Island Delight springs up in the former home of Amy's Delight.

Island Delight is the first restaurant Samasoni Fonoti and his wife Keaka Roberts-Fonoti have opened, and the couple was surprised by the wave of customers that rolled in on their first day for kalua pig, chicken katsu and Spam musubi. “On the first day with the big rush, we didn’t expect that,” says Fonoti, who admits so far the restaurant has no official internet or social media presence. For now, they are only taking phone-in orders for pick up Wednesday through Saturday, and while he's grateful for the business, he feels a little bad for those he had to turn away. 

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Drink to That: Six Rivers Joins Stout Project to Benefit Black Humboldt

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM

On Thursday, Six Rivers Brewery announced the release of its Black is Beautiful stout, joining breweries across the country raising cash to fight racial inequity and police violence.

Started by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. in San Antonio, Texas, the project is "a collaborative effort to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily and raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged." Participating brewers, who are invited to use the signature label and tweak the provided base recipe, donate all the proceeds from a stout sold under the Black is Beautiful label to local organizations fighting police brutality and supporting equality and inclusion. They are also asked to "commit to the long-term work of equality."

It’s Thirsty Thursday and we have a special beer release. Black is Beautiful is a collaborative effort organized by...

Posted by Six Rivers Brewery on Thursday, August 20, 2020


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Recent Comments

  • Re: Babetta's is Back

    • I'm excited, my wife and I ate there monthly for years. There has been a…

    • on October 20, 2020
  • Re: Deo's is Closed and Looking for a New Owner

    • We will miss you, Joe and Juliana!!! Great sandwiches and great company! Good luck on…

    • on October 7, 2020

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