Bumzy’s is back

bumzy

THEIR FANS WERE almost ready to give up, but not the mother-daughter duo Sheila and Toni Young.

Their labor of love — Bumzy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, at 1460 Fillmore — was shut down by flooding last September and stayed closed for nine long months.

But just in time for Fillmore’s annual Juneteenth Festival, their cheery pink balloons were back on the sidewalk and an entirely new Bumzy’s was baking all-natural, handmade cookies.

“We had to start all over,” says Toni Young. “It was a real nightmare. But we’re back better and stronger than before. Something positive always comes out of something negative.”

Their chocolate chip cookies have been hailed as the best in the neighborhood.

“We make homemade products,” she says. “So we want it to feel like home.”

In addition to a dozen kinds of cookies, made one small batch at a time, they also churn homemade ice cream. And now they’ve added Hawaiian shave ice — snow cones to the locals.

“It’s a happy thing,” says Young. “My mom says people come in as an adult and skip out as a happy kid.”

EARLIER: “Cookie lovers in the jazz district

High tea in J-town

Photograph of Crown & Crumpet co-owner Amy Dean by Frank Wing

Photograph of Crown & Crumpet co-owner Amy Dean by Frank Wing

By FRAN JOHNS

Proper English tea in the heart of Japantown? It happens on any given day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Crown & Crumpet in the New People building at 1746 Post Street.

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And now: la microboulangerie

“Bread is part of our heritage,” says Pascal Rigo. “I’d like to restore that for my country.”

“Bread is part of our heritage,” says Pascal Rigo. “I’d like to restore that for my country.”

“THE PROBLEM IS with the economics of the boulangerie, not the bread,” Fillmore’s Pascal Rigo tells The New York Times today. “I’m going to show that you can make good bread and good money.”

Both older and richer than he was in 1999 when he began a bakery empire on Pine Street he later sold to Starbuck’s for $100 million — and then got back again — Rigo’s newest venture is back home in France.

Reports the Times: “Mr. Rigo, an ebullient baker with a seemingly perpetual gaptoothed grin, has embarked on a personal crusade to rescue this pillar of French cuisine one bakery at a time, starting with La P’tite Boulangerie du Ferret, a shop that he opened last summer. He sees it as the first in a nationwide chain of what he calls microboulangeries.”

MORE: “Let them eat cake

The wait is over

BBFlowers

FIRST PERSON | BARBARA WYETH

For us early morning folk, the long awaited opening of Blue Bottle Coffee on the busy Jackson and Fillmore corner is a blessing. In my mind, a strong cup of coffee is always a good thing, any time of day. That bracing dark, sweet shot of warmth and energy is one of life’s simple pleasures. Sometimes it’s also a necessity, a predictably effective motivator if I am going to accomplish anything the rest of the day.

We in the Jackson and Fillmore pro-coffee faction mourned the day the friendly, patient staff at Tully’s closed their doors. Once a beacon of light, warmth, and caffeine — especially in the winter months — the corner remained dark for two years. I would often see  members of our tribe looking wistfully at the closed doors and the posted notices on the papered-over windows. It was especially difficult this last very cold and very wet winter. Sloshing through puddles to a distant cafe early in the dark morning was not an ideal way to start the day. I would occasionally catch the eye of a former Jackson-Fillmore regular scurrying up the hill with soggy paper cups and trays.

When the sparkly new Blue Bottle Cafe opened, I saw many of those same folks standing patiently in the line, looking relieved, and eager to enjoy the much-acclaimed coffee. The cafe is modern, bright and open, with wrap-around windows to watch the comings and goings on that lively intersection. The cheerful staff seems eager to make friends of all the neighborhood folk. And those meticulously prepared espressos and macchiatos and pour overs are are gradually clouding my memory of the long wait for that early morning elixir. Truth be told, they take a little too long for me, at least most mornings — but damn, it is mighty fine coffee!

A classic cake lives on

Photographs of the legendary Coffee Crunch Cake by Frank Wing

Coffee Crunch Cake photographs by Frank Wing

CLASSICS | FRAN MORELAND JOHNS

Ask any true San Franciscan with a serious sweet tooth what tops the list of local culinary delights and the answer you’ll likely hear: Coffee Crunch Cake.

For more than three decades, customers have found this delicacy at Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop, tucked away inside Super Mira Market at 1790 Sutter Street in Japantown.

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A spiritual rebirth at the London Market

Maison Corbeaux offers a depth of collectible wines — especially older vintages.

Maison Corbeaux offers a depth of collectible wines — especially older vintages.

By MARK J. MITCHELL

The windows tell the tale at the corner of Sacramento and Divisadero these days: bright and beckoning, calling passersby into Maison Corbeaux, an Aladdin’s cave of wines, spirits and beers.

The hanging sign still says London Market, but partners Kyle Nadeau and Evan Krow — the store’s name is a French twist on Evan’s last name — have stripped the old corner store to its bones and reanimated it as a destination for those interested in small batch whiskies, collectible wines and the latest tastes in hand-crafted beers and ales.

The new logo has been splashed on the street level plate glass. And the once-hidden upper windows bathe an open sales floor in bright San Francisco light that shines down on artfully displayed bottles of wines and spirits from around the world.

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Ice cream is in, yogurt is out

A long line of bundled-up customers welcomed Salt * Straw on its opening day.

A long line of bundled-up customers welcomed Salt & Straw on its opening day.

FROZEN YOGURT IS DEAD on Fillmore Street. Long live artisan ice cream.

Today is the final day of business for Fraiche, the upscale frozen yogurt shop at 1910 Fillmore that brought Apple founder Steve Jobs’ favorite yogurt plus pour-over Blue Bottle coffee to the street for the past seven years. That follows by a few weeks the closure of Yoppi, another frozen yogurt shop, at 2208 Fillmore.

But the neighborhood will not long for frozen treats. Yesterday, just across the street from Yoppi’s now-papered windows, Salt & Straw opened its new shop on the corner of Fillmore and Sacramento — and was promptly greeted by a long line of customers waiting to try its unusual flavors: cinnamon ancho and cajeta, cascara shrub with candied hibiscus, and teranga baobab juice and coconut, among more than a dozen others.

“We’ve crafted a menu of seasonal delights to serve as an introduction to our scoop style and let us get to know and collaborate with local artisans,” says the company, promising to “shake up our flavors every month.” A single scoop is $5; a double $7.

Salt & Straw is a block north of Smitten Ice Cream, at 2404 California, which has been serving up its made-on-the-spot flavors over the past year.

Still the best value: Miyako Old-Fashioned Ice Cream, a few blocks south at 1470 Fillmore, where Tom Bennett has been scooping up Dreyer’s and Mitchell’s ice cream, and all sorts of other sweets, for decades.

Shell station won’t have a garage

Construction continues on the new Shell station at California and Steiner.

Construction continues on the new Shell station at California and Steiner.

AS THE demolition, excavation and reconstruction of the Shell gas station on the corner of California and Steiner proceeds, it has become apparent it will no longer include a garage when the station reopens this summer with more gas pumps and a Loop convenience store.

Neighbors rallied to save the garage, which had been on the corner for decades, when new owners of the station proposed to replace it with twice as many gas pumps and a massive grab-and-go store offering soda, snacks and more food options, including a sushi bar.

Before giving its go-ahead, the Planning Commission reduced the number of additional gas pumps, limited the size of the store and directed the owners to rebuild the garage.

But soon after its renovation plans were approved in June 2015, Au Energy evicted the mechanics who leased the garage and shut it down. It remained empty until demolition began earlier this year.

As construction began, the general counsel for the company said “I don’t know” whether a garage would be included. He said the project “turned into a full rebuild” and was expected to take at least five months, with the station reopening “at the end of May at the earliest.”

EARLIER: “Shell gets go-ahead, garage gets the boot

Carol Field tied tradition to captivating stories

Carol Field at home in her kitchen on Washington Street.

Carol Field at home in her kitchen on Washington Street.

By MARK FANTINO

My introduction to Carol Field came in the spring of 1997, in the weeks preceding the release party for her book In Nonna’s Kitchen. An informal dinner was planned with dishes from the book, which was at least one part investigative journalism into the secrets and traditions of Italian grandmothers.

The dinner was to be held at Vivande Ristorante in Opera Plaza, and all of us cooks were to page through the house copy of In Nonna’s Kitchen and select recipes that spoke to us. I chose Tuscan Chicken Liver Pâté (Crostini di Fegatini), which was a bewitching concoction of soft-cooked onions, capers, anchovies and chicken livers, all moistened with Vin Santo.

I remember testing a batch. My coworker peered into my pot, squinched up his face and declared: “That’s everything I hate all mixed together.” I disagreed. But livers, like anchovies, will forever fall firmly into two dividing camps: those who think it must be an acquired taste and those, like me, who insist it is instead a required taste. It remains one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken livers, though difficult to talk about without causing some kind of reaction.

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Fire at the Elite

Elite

IT WAS A sunny Friday morning, and it looked as if the historic neon sign fronting the Elite Cafe would at last be fully lit. Then suddenly a swarm of fire trucks was on the scene.

“We finally found the part to fix the sign to light both sides,” says owner Andy Chun, “and the sign guys somehow caught the thing on fire when they were installing it.”

Chun says the extent of the damage and how long repairs will take are both unknown at this point.

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