Saturday, October 20, 2018

So Long, Mr. Fish

Posted By on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Mr. Fish Seafood, the little seafood shop on Broadway, is for sale. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Mr. Fish Seafood, the little seafood shop on Broadway, is for sale.

You're going to have to get your Christmas crab someplace else this year. Mr. Fish (2740 Broadway), the iconic Eureka shop that's been shelling out shellfish and doling out sole for 47 years, is closing indefinitely Oct. 26.

Owner Mark McCulloch originally bought the place from a friend when he was barely in his 20s and has spent his working life running the business. He's had employees in the past but now it's a one-man operation and he's ready to retire. An upcoming shoulder surgery moved up the timeline, he says, since managing the smokehouse, the counter and the stock with one arm is impractical and he's told recovery is slow.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , ,

Saturday, October 13, 2018

In-N-Out in the Planning

Posted By on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 12:44 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

Like an online dating match leaving breadcrumb text messages, In-N-Out Burger periodically lets us know it's interested in coming to Humboldt County. Someday. Maybe. And every time, die-hard fans of off-the-menu ordering get worked up only to be put off again. Let's keep in touch!

Things are looking decidedly more committed since The Carrington Co. submitted plans for a four-tenant structure on the coastal side of Broadway near Vigo Street to the Eureka Planning Department with an In-N-Out on the corner of the site. (Calls to The Carrington Co. were not returned.)

“They have definitely submitted permits, so that means they are very invested in the project … there’s still a lot to sort out," says Planning Department Director Robert Holmlund. "We’re working with them on the project to make sure it’s as good as it can be for the community.” That work includes nailing down a coastal development permit, a conditional use permit and a California Environmental Quality Act mitigated negative impact declaration, which touches on traffic, aesthetics, air quality and other issues. The proposal is tentatively scheduled to go before the planning commission Dec. 10.

But is In-N-Out Burger really into us? The folks at corporate headquarters remain cautious about a timeline for a yet unapproved project. In an email to the Journal, Vice President of Development at In-N-Out Burger Carl Arena wrote, "We do hope to open a restaurant in Eureka in the future. That said, it is still very early in the development application process so design elements such as building layouts, site circulation and access are still evolving." He goes on to say, "Once we begin construction on a new location, it usually takes us four to five months to build a restaurant and open for business. However, there is still quite a bit of work to be done before we can even set a time to begin construction. Because it is still so early in the process, it would be premature to comment on a timeline or if we will even achieve a development approval."

The burger chain isn't a franchise anybody can buy into — instead it's run by the Snyder family. And if the Bible references on the cups (a simple "John 3:16," for example) didn't tip you off, they're a conservative Christian outfit. The company's political donations sparked some controversy this summer when its $25,000 donation to the Republican Party in California became public. (The company also donated $50,000 to a political action committee that supports moderate Democrats.)

In a New York Times article, Arnie Wensinger, the burger chain's vice president was quoted as saying, “While it is unfortunate that our contributions to support both political parties in California has caused concern with some groups, we believe that bipartisan support is a fair and consistent approach that best serves the interests of our company and all of our customers.”  Whether those donations affect who's in or out among the Humboldt customer base remains to be seen. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Friday, October 12, 2018

Saturday Special

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 4:50 PM

The bành mí (aka khao chī) sandwich you can only get on Saturdays — if you're quick. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The bành mí (aka khao chī) sandwich you can only get on Saturdays — if you're quick.

While you are poking around the Lao Oriental Market (2908 E St., Eureka) on a Saturday, rooting through boxes of bitter melon and eggplants both long and golf ball sized, it's easy to overlook the unmarked stack of a couple dozen paper-wrapped bành mí sandwiches ($5.99). Easy and tragic.

Let's appreciate for a moment the Vietnamese creation — called khao chī  in Laos — that looks France in the eye and asks, frère, do you even sandwich? The flavors of fragrant cilantro and the spicy, tart, sweet pickled radish and carrot against the mix of savory meat, eggs, tofu or fish are unmatched. Its variations are many, even reaching into the realm of dessert.

Those found at the little Henderson Center shop, brought up from the Bay Area on most Saturdays (and Saturdays only), are the version we see perhaps most often in the U.S., with a schmear of peppercorn-spiked pâté, layers of pale Vietnamese pork sausage, ham and head cheese, along with cilantro, sliced fresh jalapeños and a smattering of pickled daikon radish and carrot. The baguette is a little more delicate than the usual around here, flaking off as you unwrap your slightly dented prize. Don't dwell on the superficial imperfections. Focus on the riot of tastes, the vegetable crunch and the perfect balance of something that's come so far to meet you. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, October 8, 2018

Waiting on Abruzzi's Next Act

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 3:14 PM

With its kitchen under renovation, Abruzzi relaunches as a jazz lounge, for now. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • With its kitchen under renovation, Abruzzi relaunches as a jazz lounge, for now.

If your plans for an evening out at Abruzzi were halted by rumors of its closure, don't despair entirely. Open since 1980, the Italian eatery has shut down its kitchen for renovation and relaunched itself as a jazz club — Abruzzi Lounge — at least for now.

Bill Chino, who co-owns Abruzzi with Chris Smith, says while the kitchen is blocked off, the bar is open and a few tables have been moved out to make way for leather chairs and a sofa. In its Abruzzi Lounge incarnation, the space is "a very informal, I guess I'd call it a jazz club." Opening night was this past Thursday and guests can seat themselves to hear live or recorded jazz, and nibble charcuterie and warm olives on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. on. There are plans to get performers back on the cordoned off stage, as well.

However, given that the building was built in 1857, its unclear right now how much renovation is needed and how much the owners are up to undertake. And so it's equally unclear what the future of the restaurant will be. "We're working in a transition and we'll know better in 10 days or so," says Chino. At least you can have a drink while you wait.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. Open in Eureka

Posted By on Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 8:05 PM

Inside the new taproom in Eureka. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Inside the new taproom in Eureka.

If you've been driving up and down Myrtle Avenue in Eureka and wondering when that new branch of Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. is going to show up, you're not crazy. The offshoot of the Arcata tasting room opened Aug. 15 but it's hard to spot from the street, tucked as it is beside Boyd Sewing with only a modest sign on the dark glass door (1595 B Myrtle Ave.).


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Taco Brothers Truck Rolls into Eureka

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:22 AM

Everybody loves dancing food. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Everybody loves dancing food.

As you zip down Eureka's Fifth Street, you're bound to spot the new taco truck that just claimed a spot on Monday at the corner of O Street under the golden pawn shop orbs. The snazzy Taco Brothers truck (1415 Fifth St.), with its dancing mustachioed burrito and taco, is hard to miss.

It's owner Cristal Pozos Ramirez's first food venture but she's not alone. Her father Raymond Pozos and uncle Guadalupe Miguel Pozos (the brothers) are doing the cooking, along with her mother, Luz, and aunt Pilar. "It's a family business," says Pozos Ramirez. Lifelong Humboldt residents, the family has roots in Oaxaca, which she says comes out in the cooking. "We kind of give it that special hit."

On the menu at Taco Brothers. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • On the menu at Taco Brothers.
Monday through Saturday you can find a member of the family working a shift turning out foil-wrapped burritos and plates of tacos. Pozos Ramirez says so far the cabeza and pastor are the big sellers, but she's not ready to pick a favorite. "I can't choose," she says. "It's hard."
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Monday, August 20, 2018

On a Stick: Deep-fried Daredevilry at the Fair

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 1:48 PM

The corn dog, gold standard of fair food. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The corn dog, gold standard of fair food.

There are plenty of innocent pleasures to be had at the fair, from riding the Ferris wheel with your sweetheart to perusing the prize-winning livestock. But if you're not going to indulge your gastronomic id by eating something deep fried and totally unreasonable, you're not really getting the whole experience. The Humboldt County Fair is in full swing so we returned to the stalls and trailers, strolled past the familiar corn dogs, gator tail nuggets and fried pickles we rated a few years back to sample a few items we hadn't already investigated. Here are three contenders to balance out the wholesomeness of your day at the fairgrounds and add another layer of drama to your turn on the Typhoon.

A heap of curly fries. Good luck. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A heap of curly fries. Good luck.
Giant Kurly Fries: This $8 shoebox-sized knot of skins-on, spiraled fries is made with tools that look better suited for a woodworking shop than a kitchen. Potatoes are spun and stripped into ribbons of starch by a lathe. Stuffed into a fry basket, they're plunged into bubbling oil until crispy  and passed to you through a window by a smiling teen who knows you have no shot in hell of finishing them. Season them as you like — making it rain with a cardboard box of salt with holes punched in the top or pumping ketchup wherever you can fit it — but accept that unless you are sharing with a hungry group, you won't make it down to the paper tray where all those salt crystals have sifted. Well, maybe, but at what cost?

Shoot, that's just fried cheese on a stick. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Shoot, that's just fried cheese on a stick.
Cheese on a Stick: At first glance, it looks like its similarly priced sibling the corn dog: a pebbly cylinder of deep-fried corn bread batter with a wooden stick jabbed in one end. But inside this evil twin is a block of American cheese rendered molten in the fryer to yield the nihilist carney version of a grilled cheese sandwich ($5). The young woman at the cash register will warn you it's "very, very hot" and offer the pro-tip of removing the wooden stick to "let it vent." It's OK to be afraid. After a couple minutes of venting, the sweet, crusty cornbread breaks open to a golden yellow center of creamy, processed cheese magma. Salty, sweet, greasy, crunchy and artificially creamy. There are only two kinds of people in this world — you will either recoil or wish for tomato soup.

A deep fried Twinkie with enough powdered sugar to make Scarface sneeze. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A deep fried Twinkie with enough powdered sugar to make Scarface sneeze.
Fried Twinkie: The fact that this $5 hybrid of childhood nostalgia and poor adult decisions is for sale at the same stand as the deep fried Snicker's bar that nearly did us in a couple years back is a very bright red flag. The funnel cake batter-dipped Twinkie is roughly the shape of a harbor seal and nearly the weight of one. It's blanketed by a snowfall of powdered sugar and criss-crossed with chocolate syrup — you can order it without but that's hardly the path of moderation. Crack open the crust and the yellow snack cake with the alarmingly long shelf life is revealed. Whither the creamy filling? Oh, it's in there, just transformed by the heat of the fryer to a translucent, sugary goo that's, holy hell, somehow exponentially sweeter than in its original fluffy form. One bite in and any plans you had to ride the Zipper or ever look your dentist in the eye again are dust. Powdery, sugary dust. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Deli-ish Delish on 5th Coming to Old Town

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 3:47 PM

The future home of a "modern deli" on Fifth and F streets. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The future home of a "modern deli" on Fifth and F streets.

The windows are still covered up where the Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe once revved its engines and panini presses at Fifth and F streets, but not for long. Christine Silver, owner of Humboldt Soup Company, plans to open Delish on 5th sometime in the next couple of months.

Says Silver, "It's gonna be what I'm calling a kitchen store and a modern deli," meaning a meat-centric menu of sandwiches with house-made corned beef pastrami and roast beef, plus cheeses and charcuterie in the 11-foot deli case. There'll also be a kitchen store with upscale home cooking tools and specialty food products.

The remodel is still in progress, though the range hood has been installed in the kitchen and all the permits are in order. Silver will be hiring about 10 staff for the place, too. Outdoor seating may be in the cards down the line but right now she's "just getting the doors open."
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dulce Open in Eureka

Posted By on Sun, Aug 5, 2018 at 6:32 PM

Pastry case at the newly opened Dulce Bistro. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Pastry case at the newly opened Dulce Bistro.

For those of you who've been watching the glacial transformation of the space at 415 Seventh St. in Eureka, waiting for Mity Nice, then Fat Cat to open, surprise! It's Dulce Bistro.

Dulce's manager Antonio Lopez says there were plans to open a restaurant elsewhere when the Mity Nice/Fat Cat team decamped and this spot became available. The move-in started in June and the doors opened Tuesday, July 31. Construction of the outdoor seating area remains in progress.
The Thai quinoa burger and fries at Dulce Bistro. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The Thai quinoa burger and fries at Dulce Bistro.

The bakery case up front holds a scattering of scones, muffins and fruit pastries, while the menu lists classic breakfasts like omelets, French toast, chicken-fried steak ($5.50-$13), and sandwiches, soups and salads at lunch ($8-$14). Dinner offerings include a pair of prix fixe options alongside á la carte surf and turf, and a vegan cassoulet ($21-$43). 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, June 1, 2018

Crab Sandwich with a View

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 5:27 PM

PHOTO BY JONATHAN WEBSTER
  • Photo by Jonathan Webster

When the day opens up with blue skies, warm breezes and sunshine on the calm waters of Humboldt Bay, nothing could be better than heading out to King Salmon, where kayakers are paddling in the waves, and making a hard turn into the parking lot of Gill's By the Bay (77 Halibut Ave.).

There you can find a seat on the patio and survey the nautical-themed garden with its landlocked rowboat, fluttering sweet peas and ship ropes, while the more intrepid glide by in their wetsuits and boats. If sitting with your back to a harpoon launcher makes you skittish, head for the corner. Novelty may lure you, siren-like, toward the grilled crab sandwich with cheese but stay the course to the plain, cold crab sandwich ($17.50). By my eye, it's at least a full cup of crabmeat tossed with mayonnaise and chopped green onion on soft, mild sourdough and accompanied by equally straightforward potato salad, slaw or fries. It's a simple arrangement that lets the sweet, briny flavor of the meat shine.

There are those who will whistle at that price for a sandwich — those who have never watched a full episode of The Deadliest Catch or picked a crab clean from claw to claw for someone else without nibbling as they went. You'll be happier if you accept that Dungeness crab, caught by professional fishermen making their living, and served to you by smiling restaurant staff doing the same, costs. Consider what you'd pay for its Kennedy cousin the lobster, shipped frozen and not nearly as delicate in flavor or texture. Then take a deep lungful of sea air, squint at the boats in the distance and thoroughly enjoy your sandwich.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

the most

Read | Commented

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2018 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation