Heart Wine Bar Opens…Arizmendi to Follow

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when it first arrived in the mail.  Being a neighbor living within 500 feet of the new proposal, I received a letter from owner Jeff Segal about his ambitious plans to open a wine bar just around the corner, right next door to my landlord’s laundry place (damn–I knew there was  a reason why there’s no washer or dryer in my building!).

It was full of well-intentioned statements like (paraphrasing) “I live in the Mission, and I saw a really big need in the community for a place that brought wine and food to a place that makes it accessible,” and “I’ve been waiting my whole life to start a wine bar and restaurant like this.”  My roommates and I each rolled our collective eyes and thought “here we go again . . .“  Who needs another douche-and-yuppie magnet on Valencia Street?

Well, it’s finally here.  Furthermore, I think I might actually go check it out.  Perhaps Rosumunde and Pi Bar have softened me up to the idea of the casual eat-and-drink spot, but I find myself kind of rooting for this place a little bit.  The collaberation with Kitchenette might explain some of that, since so far every time I’ve biked out to the Dogpatch to try them out for lunch I’ve been greeted by an hour-long line.  Now maybe I’ll finally get to taste one of their beef & pork polpette sandwiches with amatriciana sauce (tomato, fatted calf bacon, chile flakes) and parmesan cheese or their sautéed chinese broccoli leaf and roasted butternut squash side salads with sultana raisins, slivered almond, chili oil.  They really know how to title entrees.

And it doesn’t look that bad in there!  I don’t know.  Am I misguided?  Do we really need a place like this on Valencia?  I do know one thing however:  the fact that co-op Arizmendi Bakery (whose mission is basically to bake delicious bread while training its staff how to own and operate their own bakery) is also opening a location right next door is a damn good thing for Valencia.

UPDATE:  MissionMission reader Mike Z. saw it go down:

i got a burrito at papalote yesterday and the crew that were putting up the sign on that place were punk/metalheads.  they had just finished and were drinking beers out of bags.  outside the wine bar.

[exterior photo from SFoodie]

[interior photo from Judy Parker]

Behind The Scenes At Arinell

Mission Loc@l posted a video (well, audio slideshow, really) behind the scenes at Arinell.

If you’re still on Windows 95, here’s the gist: employee Neil Aviles talks about eating “tons” of pizza (“like 3 slices… in 4 hours”… I’m pretty sure Andrew Sarkarati has broken that record), dudes passing out in the store, failed crank deals, mission gentrification, and yuppies.

Oh no he didn’t just drop the Y-bomb! Careful Neil… I got in trouble for that this week.

Bars of the Mission: The Attic, Refuge for Displaced Toronado Regulars

Last night at the Attic, a dank, dark bar next to the 24th Street BART station, we ran into six different regulars who we know from Toronado, the best beer bar in the entire world (not an exaggeration or just a personal opinion). I discovered Toronado a week after I moved to the city, and spent all the money I never had there. My palate started off with Liberty Ale, then quickly progressed to Trappist ales (read an Oakland Tribune article about me and Roquefort 8 and 10 here), to double IPAs, triple IPAs, and finally bourbon-barrel barleywines.

After a few years of being one of those people, my palate crapped out and now all I ever enjoy is a Sierra Nevada or a nice cold can of Tecate.

Because of the above, and because I graduated from SFSU and got a 9-5, I don’t really show my face around Toronado anymore.

Apparently the regulars don’t go to Toronado either. What might the reason be? I hereby speculate that it’s the yuppies. Like a perfectly poignant South Park episode, 6:15pm on the dot, yuppies descend on Toronado. They cram the bar with their date rape shirts, and the bartenders get bitchy not because they are bitches, but because they get fed up with the yuppie shenanigans. Yuppies especially like to throw around big beer nerd names: “oh, I like the complex flavors of Racer X, but my regular standard is Pliny the Elder“.

The funny thing about the Attic is the beer selection sucks. Oh, they’ve got Racer 5 and Sierra Nevada and other boring things on tap. Their bottled beers are also so-so, so I normally opt for a Budweiser, although not my favorites of the bottled.

So while people have this love for Zeitgeist being “the Mission’s Toronado”, know that the family members of the best beer bar in the entire world opt for the dark claustrophobia of The Attic.

More Bars of the Mission.