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5 restaurants to try for Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic cuisine is known for its variety of dishes and flavors. From pan dulce to pupusas, there really is something for everyone. However, when you live in the Bay Area with a wide range of local businesses, the question is no longer where to find food, but where to find food first. To help answer that question, I have a list of recommendations from the Berkeley community of local Hispanic restaurants to try before Hispanic Heritage Month ends.

Casa Latina

Casa Latina is a small and beautiful restaurant nestled between the shops on San Pablo Avenue. Known for its pupusas, pan dulce and pozole, Casa Latina is a beautiful restaurant that has something delicious for everyone. Not only is the food tasty, but the long hours (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) make Casa Latina perfect for early risers in the morning or late night snacking.

The mission

With mole, carne asada and carnitas, La Mission is known for its delicious Mexican cuisine that will keep you coming back for more. The good thing about La Mission is that it’s on University Avenue and it’s not too long a walk from campus. Even though it was miles away the food is so good you might just want to make the trip.

Platano

Known for its delicious Salvadoran cuisine, Platano serves high quality pupusas, sopas and tamales that will delight everyone. However, the menu doesn’t stop at staples. If you fancy breakfast rather than dinner, Platano also has some delicious breakfast options for you. So if you fancy a breakfast or dinner, I recommend this delicious place on University Avenue.

Gordo Taqueria

Located on College Avenue, Gordo Taqueria serves comfortable Mexican staples at good prices and better quality. With great burritos and flavorful carne asada plates and guacamole to treasure, Gordo’s never disappoints and is perfect for a night out with friends.

Cafe Buenos Aires

Moving from Mexico to Argentina, Café Buenos Aires brings Argentinian flavors to Berkeley with empanadas, café con leche, and alfajores (an Argentinian pastry). Along with the great food, the prices are also very affordable and give you the most bang for your buck. The next time you want to sample Argentinian cuisine, try Café Buenos Aires.

Hope this list has inspired you to try new places in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. Bienvenidos to Hispanic Heritage Month!

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].


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Impossible Foods Plant-Based Pork Coming to Restaurants This Fall


Impossible foods went further in its product line by adding new meat to the range: vegetable pork.

The famous plant-based meat company has just launched its nuggets in popular restaurants, once again surprising us all with its ingenuity and the speed of expansion of its product line.

Over the next a few weeks, places like New York, Hong Kong and Singapore will start serving Impossible Pork. We don’t know exactly when it will be available for in-store purchase, but you might find it at your favorite restaurant.

Impossible Foods said its plant-based pork is not only healthier than real pork, but also more sustainable. It uses up 85% less water and as much as 82% less land when creating the product. They also said it creates up 77% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional pork.

Impossible foods also said that their pork contains less fat, fewer calories and more iron than the real one, making their plant-based pork a healthier and more sustainable option.

Vegetable pork seems to be the new meat alternative on the market! Other vegan meat distributors have also started offering their own versions of pork, making it easier for people to choose a better, milder option.

Make your own vegetable pork at home:

Learn how to cook plant-based meals at home!

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, intestinal health, and Following! Consumption of dairy products has also been linked to many health problems, including acne, Hormonal imbalance, Cancer, Prostate cancer and has a lot Side effects.

For those of you who want to eat more plant-based, we strongly recommend that you download the Food Monster Application – with over 15,000 delicious recipes, this is the largest resource of plant-based recipes to help you reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And while you’re at it, we encourage you to educate yourself on the environmental and health benefits of a herbal diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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Fire Department – NBC 7 San Diego

Firefighters fought a blaze in a commercial fire near a downtown Oceanside restaurant that spread to another restaurant on Saturday.

Smoke could be seen behind Benito’s Pizza Café in the 600 block of Mission Avenue, where several firefighters quickly responded. At the scene, the flames spread to the neighboring company, Angry Chickz, and caused “significant fire damage” to the two restaurants, according to the Oceanside Fire Department.

However, the crews were able to rescue a nearby Dairy Queen.

Yovani Arrija, who was in the area for his nephew’s football game, said he was in disbelief when he saw the blaze.

“I saw a fire and everything. I’ve seen employees run away, pretty crazy, ”Arrija told NBC 7.

He added that he immediately saw flames erupt from the building and hit the windows.

“(I saw) big flames right away,” Aririja described. “Through the door, they literally walked out.”

Alyssa Whitlock, who lives a few blocks from the scene, said she learned about the fire when she received a message from a friend asking if she was okay.

“I live on the street, I got stuck here and saw the fire department,” Whitlock recalls.

She added that the site of a few local businesses in distress was overwhelming.

“I actually walked in and started crying. It’s emotional, “she said.” You want to make sure everyone is okay. It hurts the city, it hurts everyone.

The response to the fire prompted authorities to close Mission Avenue from Nevada Street to North Coast Highway.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported in connection with the fire.


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Louisiana oysters are slowly returning to restaurants, markets; month of industry recovery | Environment

For the first time since the state’s oyster harvesting areas were closed for safety after Hurricane Ida, fresh Louisiana oysters are back on local menus.

But a return to pre-Ida supply levels is likely in months, according to Mitch Jurisich, an Empire-area oyster grower and restaurateur, who is also chair of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

“It will be months before the oyster farmers and fishermen in western Plaquemines and other places further west return to normal,” Jurisich said. “We’re a few weeks away from having a good supply.”






Vincent Mitchell grills oysters at Acme Oyster House in Metairie, Louisiana on Friday, September 24, 2021. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)




As of Friday, only seven of the 28 oyster-farming areas along the Louisiana coast had been reopened for harvest by the Louisiana Department of Health, including five on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, in the parishes of St. Bernard and de Plaquemines, and two on the west bank near Empire at Plaquemines.

The limited number of health department inspectors available to sample the oyster beds and the oysters themselves, if necessary, is slowing this process. The Louisiana agency has up to 10 employees who perform inspectors at any given time, which is actually far more than any other state that practices oyster harvesting, said Justin Gremillion, who oversees the testing program. oysters.

The agency follows guidelines set by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program to determine whether oysters are free from contaminants like sewage or pollutants. These guidelines could also help speed up demining of remaining areas where there are no clear sources of pollutants, he said.

“If the waters return to normal temperatures for this time of year, to normal salinity levels, you can count that after 21 days of life an oyster can purge itself. Theoretically, after 21 days some areas will be able to reopen without sampling and everything will be fine, ”said Gremillion. This would not include areas where there have been reports of pollutants, he stressed.

But health approvals are only the first step for oyster farmers in what should be a very slow recovery process. Oyster farmers living in parishes most affected by Ida are suffering damage to their homes, businesses and boats. All of them add to the time it takes to get oysters into restaurants.

The raw bar menu at Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar is as detailed as a wine list and reads like a love letter to the world of oysters, to routine …

“The oysters were very, very difficult to obtain,” said Tommy Cvitanovich, owner of Drago’s seafood restaurant at Six Locations. “On Monday, the Louisiana oysters came back into the pipeline and we were able to serve fresh oysters on Tuesday. Obviously, they were a bit more expensive. But that’s the end of the good news.

Paul Rotner, general manager of the Acme Oyster House chain, agreed.

“The biggest challenge after every storm is always availability,” he said. Its chain uses 8 million fresh oysters and fried an additional 3.5 million per year. After power was restored to New Orleans and other Acme sites after Ida, the chain turned to Virginia oysters for a time to fill the void.

On Friday, Acme was again serving Louisiana oysters in three of the regions that were reopened by the Department of Health.

“In a week, you can spend 150 bags of oysters in a restaurant, but with the storm, business has slowed down, especially in the French Quarter,” Rotner said, as well as in Metairie, Baton Rouge and even in his Texas. restaurant.

Stay up to date on the latest news on the Louisiana coast and the environment. Register today.

“The state immediately closes all beds in the event of sewers and whatnot, for basic precautionary reasons. We expect this after every storm, ”he said. But with Nicholas following Ida so closely, this process was further delayed.

Once an oyster farmer returns to the water, there is still a lot of work to do before harvest begins. In a number of places overrun by the powerful central Ida storm, with winds close to 150mph, the two “floats” – floating swamp grasses – and the mud in which it was rooted eventually covered the walls. growing oysters.

Producers will need to determine which areas are hard hit and attempt to remove the worst of the mud and grass to ensure their oysters don’t suffocate before they are harvested in the weeks and months to come.

All of the same issues affecting commercial oyster farmers have also slowed the efforts of the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to clear the 1.7 million acres of public oyster beds. These oyster beds, once opened, will be the subject of captures of bags of oysters grown by commercial fishermen and, just as importantly, of spat or “spat” oysters, which producers capture and move into their own parks. oysters to create new cultures.

“The problem is, Hurricane Ida was so powerful that it was not only a natural disaster, but also a disaster for all of our employees, for our public buildings,” said Carolina Bourque, program manager. of oysters for the wildlife agency. “We have employees who are still trying to fight with their insurance companies, or who are still out of town, waiting for the power to be restored. “

The good news for public beds, she said, is that there appears to be a mix of areas where no damage was caused by the storm, with some areas experiencing the same coating of mud and grass. than on private leases.

“We haven’t sampled all the reefs yet, especially in the parishes of Terrebonne and Lafourche,” said Bourque. “But I expect we will still have a decent oyster season if the dealers in the area are able to recoup their electricity and begin operations.”

The state has also already started collecting information to seek a federal declaration of emergency on fishing, which could provide federal funds over the next two years to add tumbling – rocks and shells that oysters can. use as anchors – both on state public oyster beds and private leases.

One of the hardest-hit oyster farmer subsets is a member of the new ‘alternative oyster farming’ industry, about six producers who have established above-bottom caged oyster farms in the sea. Barataria Bay, just north of Grand Isle, said Earl Melancon, a Louisiana Sea Grant biologist and oyster expert.

“Whether big or small, most of them have lost all of their cages and oysters,” he said. “You would expect a lot of desperation, rightly after the hurricane hit, if they were to get back into the industry. But I am amazed at their resilience. They will all try to come back and that’s a good sign.

Oyster-bottom oyster culture efforts are in part aimed at finding alternatives for traditional bottom-growing areas that might be made too cool by the water from the Mississippi River used to provide sediment by the diversion of the Mid-Barataria sediments. proposed by the State.

But new producers have significant hurdles to overcome, Melancon said, as no current insurer in the state was willing to provide them with policies. Sea Grant is in the process of developing a grant proposal to identify better ways to anchor grow cages in the face of weather challenges, Melancon said. “But honestly, in the face of a Category 4 storm, it’s hard to say you could have a hardening that would handle something like this.”

For the oyster industry as a whole, a key question in its takeover of Ida is whether large oyster farms that contract with smaller producers to move their oysters to market will see those producers return. .

“Many workers and operators at the factory are homeless,” he said. “It will be a difficult climb for them to even have a sense of normalcy.”

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Skateboarding Icon Tony Hawk Goes Into Restaurant Game – NBC 7 San Diego

Skateboarding icon Tony Hawk has yet another trick up his sleeve: he’s getting into the restaurant business, teaming up with former chef de Jeune et Jolie at an Encinitas restaurant and bar. Eater San Diego shares this story, along with other top news of the week from our local food and drink scene..

Chick N ‘Hawk arrives at Coastal Encinitas
By Spring 2022, Chick N ‘Hawk is a collaboration between skate legend Tony Hawk and chef Andrew Bachelier, formerly of the famous Young and Jolie of Carlsbad. The ‘fine casual’ restaurant and cocktail bar will focus on seafood, chicken and seasonal produce with dishes like fried chicken sandwiches, fish ceviche and more. This takes us back to when Hawk brewed craft beer with Black Plague Brewing in 2019. The northern San Diego County resident certainly likes to keep it local: he’s also an investor in places like Animae, Herb & Sea, Market Del Mar and Steel Mill Cafe in Oceanside.

The Michelin guide awards Bib Gourmand status to five local restaurants
Ahead of the upcoming announcement of the Michelin Star in the International Restaurant Guide, the company awarded Bib Gourmand awards to San Diego’s Callie, Cesarina, Ciccia Osteria, Dija Mara and Morning Glory restaurants, deeming them to be “of good quality and ‘A good price-performance ratio”.

15 essential sushi restaurants in San Diego
The city is full of remarkable sushi restaurants serving top quality local seafood as well as fresh fish from Japan. Eater’s latest guide lists 15 of the best sushi restaurants in a Diego, ranging from omakase-only sushi bars to Michelin-rated restaurants and establishments with more creative versions of the kitchen.

Hermosa Beach Tower12 extends to Pacific Beach
Land near Crystal Pier in PB’s former Fat Fish Space is an unnamed restaurant and bar from the owner of Tower12, a popular pier-side hangout in Hermosa Beach, California. Inspired by an expansive beach bungalow, the restaurant will feature multiple dining areas and a wraparound patio, and serve Tower12’s premium food menu.

New to San Diego’s Little Italy neighbor, Wolfie’s Carousel Bar, a restaurant with a unique centerpiece: a slowly spinning carousel bar.

Where to sip thoughtful mocktails in San Diego
Local bars and restaurants get savvy with mocktails, using zero-proof spirits, homemade herbal teas, and aromatic bitters to create drinks for the sober as well as for those cutting back on alcohol. Eater’s map highlights 17 places in San Diego where bartenders mix things up.

After years of back and forth, it looks like the plan to bring legendary Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles restaurant to San Diego is back.

Candice Woo is the founding editor-in-chief of Eater San Diego, a leading source for information on the San Diego restaurant and bar scene. Keep up to date with the latest content from Eater San Diego via Facebook or Twitter, and sign up for the Eater San Diego newsletter here.



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Latino restaurants serve up a home flavor in the Midlands

Some Latino-owned restaurants showcase the richness of their culture through their food.

COLUMBIA, SC – Latino restaurant owners have said the heart of their culture is their food.

“I know how to cook original Puerto Rican dishes, which is why I opened the restaurant to introduce the Spanish community, the American community, to my country,” said Isla Bonita owner Angela Crespo.

Crespo said her Puerto Rican restaurant was the first of its kind in the city and that she is proud to represent the island where she was born and raised.

“I am proud to be born in Puerto Rico and to be a part of Puerto Rican culture,” she said.

Crespo left Puerto Rico for Colombia at the age of 21 to join the army. Later, she decided to be an entrepreneur.

She said her favorite dishes to serve are chicken, rice and plains.

RELATED: Here’s Why Dozens of New Hispanic Businesses Opened in British Columbia

“The food, the music is what keeps my culture my Puerto Rican race and speaks Spanish to my daughters, to my children,” Crespo said.

Joseph Cagan was also born and raised in Puerto Rico and owns Lulu’s Latin restaurant in Lexington. He said he used the kitchen as a way to showcase his culture.

“We use proteins that everyone is familiar with. We use it in a very Caribbean way. We just want to show it, ”Cagan said.

He said some of his most popular dishes are steak and onions, and shrimp and chicken. Cagan said he hopes his food will help connect people, regardless of culture.

“I want to show with my food, with my drinks, that we are not that different. That we are here, ”he said.

Evelyn Lugo of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said Hispanic businesses statewide have thrived in the past year. Most of them are in the food industry.

RELATED: ‘It’s My Passion, Helping People’: Midlands Man Honored by Mexican Government

“Over the past year and a half I would say it has increased since like June. Things are accelerating. More and more people are calling us, ”Lugo said.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce offers workshops to help business owners learn about financing and connect them with financial centers.

“I know the struggle and I know firsthand what you need to do when starting a business. So it’s very important to be here to serve and connect our business owners, ”said Lugo.

Crespo said she hopes her restaurant will continue to thrive for years to come.

“I am proud that my restaurant is still open and I will continue to do so to please my client,” she said.

RELATED: SC Campaign Highlights Hispanic Heritage Culture and Traditions


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Dave’s Hot Chicken opens three restaurants

Dave ‘s Hot Chicken, the mind-blowing late-night pop-up that turns into a hot chicken sensation, today announced the grand opening of three new locations, each opening this Friday, September 24, continuing its expansion and goal of bringing the most coveted hot chicken to communities across the county.

The company’s first location in Houston, and the second in the state of Texas, is located at 12161 Westheimer and will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. Dave Hot Chicken’s Houston location has drive-thru and ceilings nearly 20 feet high, with outdoor seating as well.

The company’s first site in Northern California, in Santa Rosa, is located at 2240 Mendocino Ave., and will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The Santa Rosa Restaurant has a generous outdoor dining area, as well as custom interior graphics that reinforce the brand’s commitment to delivering irresistible ‘out of this world’ hot chicken.

Dave’s Hot Chicken’s second restaurant in California is located in Santa Ana at 3332 South Bristol St. Ana’s Firefighter Uniform. The restaurant will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

The quick and casual concept specializes in hot chicken fillets and sliders, as well as sides of house kale salad, creamy mac and cheese, and crispy fries. Offered in seven different spice levels ranging from No Spice to Reaper (which requires a signed waiver for those who dare), each hand-breaded, juicy piece of chicken uses a proprietary spice blend designed specifically for its heat level. . The brand started a few years ago as a pop-up parking lot and has drawn lines around the block, with rave reviews from its fanatic Instagram followers.

“Dave’s hot chicken will blow your mind!” Every offering is tangy, juicy and spicy, ”says Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken. “Our founders started Dave’s as a pop-up restaurant in a Hollywood parking lot with a portable fryer and picnic tables in their backyard just three years ago. We are excited to open these new locations in California and Houston! “

The news and information presented in this press release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media or Journalistic, Inc.


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Contra Costa County restaurants prepare to ‘watch the public’ with COVID vaccine checks – Silicon Valley

Some of Hazy Barbecue’s Instagram followers disliked Tuesday’s announcement that Restaurant Danville would begin checking diners inside to prove they had received their COVID-19 photos.

The post was immediately inundated with so much vitriol that the restaurant shut down comments completely.

It was a rocky start for Hazy Barbecue’s attempt to comply with Contra Costa County’s latest health order, which went into effect on Wednesday.

Intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 fueled by the delta variant since the start of the summer, the health order requires anyone entering restaurants, bars and gyms to prove that they have been vaccinated. The order broadly applies to all indoor businesses where people breathe heavily from exercise or remove their masks to eat or drink.

Contra Costa is the first Bay Area county outside of San Francisco to adopt the “vaccine passport” policy, which also went into effect last month in Berkeley.

“People need to know that it is not our fault that the regulations change and that we have to comply with them,” said Brendan Harrigan, co-owner of the Hartz Avenue restaurant in downtown Danville.

DANVILLE, CA – SEPTEMBER 22: Spencer Umidon, left, and host and hostess Michele Johnson, respectively, wait for customers to enter the Revel Kitchen and Bar in Danville, Calif. On Wednesday, September 22, 2021. The Contra Costa County begins its mandate that customers must show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they wish to dine indoors or enter gyms and bars. (Ray Chavez / Bay Area News Group)

Customers who refuse to show proof of vaccination are supposed to either be directed to the outdoor space of a business or be asked to leave.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the new health order was already complicating a Danville couple’s plans for an early dinner. Doug Thompson said he was fully vaccinated but will have to sit outside with his wife, who left her phone and vaccination card at home.

Thompson sympathized with the restaurateurs, saying they would now be forced to play the hall monitor. And he was skeptical that the order would have the desired effect at the end of the day.

“I think anti-vaxxers are going to continue to be anti-vaxxers, although that can be troublesome,” Thompson said. “I don’t think it’s going to change anyone’s mind… it might change a few, but not a lot.”

A restaurant manager said on Wednesday morning he was preparing for the difficult conversations he expected to have hours later with customers who could prank him if he was turned down.

“We want to comply, but we don’t think it’s our responsibility to watch the public,” said Patrick Kelly, who manages Norm’s Place restaurant and cocktails in Danville.

DANVILLE, CA – SEPTEMBER 22: Miranda McCurry, left, and coworker Paull Penn dine at Revel Kitchen and Bar in Danville, Calif. On Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Contra Costa County begins tenure as customers must show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to go to dinner indoors or enter the gym and bars. (Ray Chavez / Bay Area News Group)

Kelly said patrons who dined inside Norm’s Place – which flaunts an American flag above the bar – complied with past health rules, such as mask warrants, without causing grief to staff.

As the latest wave of COVID-19 appears to be abating, 126 people are currently hospitalized with the virus in Contra Costa, and 44 of them have been admitted to intensive care, according to county data.

The county has recorded eight deaths from COVID-19 so far in September. Of 631 deaths since December – when vaccines first became available – 95% were people who had not received COVID-19 vaccines.

Contra Costa Health Services, which announced the new ordinance last week, said its main goal was not to crack down on non-compliant companies, but rather to educate them, as well as the community, on the practices. sure.

“That said, the application for not complying with this health ordinance is the same as for not complying with other health ordinances,” agency spokesman Will Harper said in an email. . “The county will investigate complaints about businesses that violate health ordinances and act accordingly. “

Maria Gonzalez, an employee of the Valley Medlyn cafe, said a couple of customers initially refused to show proof of vaccination on Wednesday, but did so reluctantly after learning about the new policy. Nonetheless, she is concerned that other interactions with customers will become more confrontational.

The outdoor patio at the Revel Kitchen and Bar is large enough that owner Curtis deCarion is hoping it can accommodate those who are not vaccinated or who refuse to prove they are.

As a business owner, deCarion said, he “would never want to turn away clients” even though it is a reality he is about to face.

“We understand why we have to do it,” said deCarion. “We’re not really excited about it, but we’re doing what we have to do these days to survive.”

A calm Wednesday afternoon saw only a few patrons sitting at Hazy Barbecue – the calm before a storm of patrons expected during dinner hours. While Harrigan, the restaurant’s co-owner, was being interviewed, he noticed that some customers at a table inside had yet to show his staff their vaccination cards.

Dealing with them would be the next item on his to-do list, Harrigan said.


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Angelo’s transforms Federal Hill restaurant into an indoor-outdoor place

Wednesday September 22, 2021

Enlarge +

Angelo touted the completion of the new installation of new windows on Tuesday. Photo: FB d’Angelo

Federal Hill’s nearly century-old Italian restaurant has announced the installation of new windows for an enhanced dining experience.

On Tuesday, Angelo’s – located at 141 Atwells Avenue – announced the completion of the renovation that now allows for increased ventilation – and more.

Veal and sausage and fries may even be better – and that’s a high bar.

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And although this is a major benefit during a pandemic, Jamie Anitgano d’Angelo said on social media that the project has been in the works for four years, to bring more light into the restaurant and connect the spaces interior and exterior catering.

“Ciao Bella,” Angelo wrote. “The secret is out, our new windows are here! They open fully, allowing open air circulation and beautiful natural light. It’s a long-held vision that has finally come to life – we can wait for you to see them! Thank you to everyone at Towne Glass for working with us and protecting our historic building!

Latest for Federal Institution Hill

During the pandemic, Angelo’s, like many restaurants, has struggled to “think outside the box” and deal with state restrictions on coronaviruses.

In October 2020, the restaurant featured a twist on an Italian classic and offered take-out ‘Halloween cannoli kits’, which included’ mini mummy cannoli shells, green mud cannoli cream. and Halloween nuggets for all your favorite ghouls and elves ”.

Earlier that fall, the restaurant offered its own “twist” on PPP loans – naming one dish the “PPP”.

“Bowtie pasta sautéed in oil and fresh minced garlic mixed with crispy prosciutto and peas topped with pecorino romano cheese,” wrote Angelo’s “Restaurant week has never looked better.”

During the pandemic, Angelo’s announced that it had obtained a ServSafe Restoration Commitment Seal.

Story

The restaurant writes the following of its history on its website:

“In 1924 Angelo’s Civita Farnese restaurant opened on Atwells Avenue. Farnese is a small town 60 miles northwest of Rome (central Italy) and the name reflected the style of Italian cuisine to which the new Federal Hill settlers might have expected. Angelo’s was the “worker” restaurant, a no-frills restaurant serving simple and delicious cuisine based on village recipes. Every dish was plentiful and filling, never expensive, and the restaurant had an ambience which was and still is unique.

A place where food is known to be plentiful and the prices affordable, Angelo’s has had the help of history to establish itself as a landmark in Rhode Island. The humble restaurant survived the Great Depression. That’s when Angelo’s tradition of serving French fries with meatballs began, providing customers with an inexpensive way to have a full stomach without emptying their wallets.

When founder Angelo Mastrodicasa retired in 1954, his daughters took over and in 1965 moved the restaurant for the third and final time to its current location at 141 Atwells Avenue. In 1988, the family business was transferred to nephew, Bob Antignano, his wife Lee and their two daughters, Cindy and Jamie. With the Antignano family at the helm, the same spirit of generosity continues at Angelo, as thick and hearty as the tomato sauce, which is still fresh every morning. “

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Sonoma County restaurants still struggling in 2021

Martin said it was painful to see all of the effort and hard work the couple put into the restaurant over the past two decades fading away.

“It’s really sad, to be honest, and it’s been hard to stay motivated, but we force ourselves to keep going. We’ve worked harder than ever in the past two years. It would be easy to quit, but I can ‘can’t afford that,’ he said.

If there’s a silver lining, Lucas said, it’s that the couple have come full circle, leading a lean operation together and trying to look to a brighter future. “This little restaurant that started with two of us has come full circle. I love this place. It’s our heart and our soul,” he said.

The $ 22 Turkey Sandwich

Chef Chris Ball of the Seafood and Eat restaurant in Windsor and Down To Earth Cafe in Cotati has had to increase the prices of his menus to keep up with the rising cost of produce.

He knows customers hate it.

“We’re incredibly busy and we can’t break even,” Ball said of his restaurant Cotati. “I can’t charge enough because any increase I make is only half enough, but when I increased the prices on my menu people went crazy.”

Ball has always prided itself on using ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches, paying good wages and doing as much as possible from scratch, like the pastrami which takes nearly a month to heal, his au pesto or whiskey sauce for his donuts. According to Ball, basic ingredients from factory farms, pre-made sauces and processed ingredients are up to 40% cheaper.

Cash strapped, restaurants are already turning to prefabricated products that solve their labor issues and cost a lot less.

“The sad thing is that people probably only notice once that things are different,” he said. “You don’t need talented staff when all they have to do is show up and put it in a bag.”

“Restaurant owners lower their products to stay profitable, and it’s a smart business time. I could cut prices, and I would lose a few people, but the rest would still show up, which doesn’t support anything around us. This is not the model we have to adopt. It is not good at scale. Our entire food chain and distribution chain depends on us, “he said.

Ball said when factoring in the cost of the right ingredients, wages, workers’ compensation, rent, insurance and all other business-related costs, a turkey sandwich should cost him around $ 22. $ to make a profit, but no one would pay it. .

Instead, business is shifting to less labor-intensive restaurants.

“If you serve pizza, Chinese food, burgers, or Mexican food, you’ve probably done very well during the pandemic. But white tablecloth meals are not coming back,” he said.

This means that talented chefs move into different careers, and high-end waiters extend their sales skills elsewhere.

“There is a massive brain drain from this industry,” he said.

“The older guys who know what they’re doing are gone, and there’s no one behind them who can cook. All of a sudden, you’re a chef at 22 because you can buy everything ready-made. Most of the people I know have been released on bail.

Ball is looking to cash in on the take-out market with a new ghost kitchen, a food business with no physical presence, just cooks preparing food in a commercial kitchen for delivery. He can use his kitchen and staff, use ingredients at lower cost, and outsource delivery to Doordash or Grubhub.

It’s not what he dreams of as a training chef, but at least it will help pay the bills.

A light at the end of the tunnel

With seven restaurants and 475 employees, Mark and Terri Stark faced their own challenges. This includes the opening of their new restaurant, Grossman’s Noshery & Bar, in March 2020, which was not eligible for any of the federal relief programs, and is working to achieve 100% voluntary vaccination for staff.

While each restaurant operates independently, the group benefits from unified management practices that have enabled restaurants to retain employees by prioritizing employee salaries and benefits. Despite being forced to lay off most of their staff in early 2020, Terri Stark said restaurants have kept much of their old team and hired several hundred more during the tight labor market.

The Stark owns Stark’s Steakhouse and Seafood; the Willi’s wine bar; Seafood from Willi; Monti’s; The bird and the bottle; Noshery by Grossman; and Bravas.

With places easily accessible and popular with tourists in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, Terri Stark said that in April 2021, when diners started to go out in droves, things started to improve in their restaurants.

“It’s been ups and downs, but we’ve seen a few months even better than 2019. We’re holding out,” Stark said.

The management of unvaccinated diners and the emergence of the delta variant were, however, difficult. Stark’s mission is to encourage immunization compliance, including a raffle of 21 $ 1,000 gift cards and a party for immunized staff in early September.

More than 90 percent of the group’s workers are now vaccinated.

“We’re waiting for the inevitable… people will probably need to be vaccinated to get into a restaurant soon. We’re trying to understand our protocol and get on the train as soon as possible,” Stark said. San Francisco recently required restaurants and bars to require guests to show proof of vaccination before entering.

Despite their challenges, Stark has a long-term view.

“I would like people to be optimistic that the current staff situation is not forever. People cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it will come,” she said.


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