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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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Look Down: Ecos Cafe at the Zoo

Posted By on Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 10:01 AM

With all the excitement over the newly opened Redwood Sky Walk at the Sequoia Park Zoo (3414 W St., Eureka) and its elevated view of the big trees, it's easy to miss changes on the ground. But descend the ramp, hang left past the flamingoes and the otter habitat, and you'll come upon the newish Ecos Cafe, completed during the pandemic.
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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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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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