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Eat more artichokes!

ArtichokesItalians love artichokes and I know why! They’re healthy, surprisingly sweet, and easy to prepare at home.  They pair well with my favorite flavors and ingredients of Italy like lemons, garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs like mint.  Artichokes are great in salads, risotto, pastas and even open-faced sandwiches–try one with a spread of fresh cream cheese and herbs!

I often see folks with looks of amazement and curiosity when they see a bountiful display of baby artichokes at Bi-Rite Market. They’re beautiful to look at, but some can be confounded about just how to approach enjoying them. Next time you find yourself pondering how to prepare and eat an artichoke, let us know and we’ll be happy to introduce you to this amazing flowering thistle with an incredible taste. They’re delicious and  ready to eat raw, but it seems like sometimes the biggest obstacle to enjoying artichokes is knowing how to peel and cut them properly. This can actually be done in a few simple steps; let me take you through it.

peeling

First turn the artichokes in your hands, peeling down the pale leaves as you go.

topping stem

Next, peel and trim the stem…

topping stem 2

…taking off any woodiness or tough skin. Remove any of the tougher tips that are left.

halvin' the choke

Now you can half the artichoke…

halvin' the choke 2

…by cutting down the middle.

quartering the choke

If you like, you can go another step and quarter it by cutting the halves.

You can also easily shave the artichoke into smaller pieces. If you do this over a salad with arugula or radicchio, the raw bits of artichoke will make a great topping that you can mix right into the salad as you would with shaved fennel. You’ll find that the baby artichoke tastes slightly bitter at first, but its sugars will quickly lead to a finish with a surprising sweetness.

Italy grows more than ten times the quantity of artichokes than we grow here in the United States. California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and about 80% of that is grown in Monterey County, close to our Markets.  Artichokes are generally green but many of my favorite farmers, like Bluehouse Farm in Pescadero, CA, grow purple chokes which have a stronger flavor–wilder with a more pronounced bitterness.

After I prep and trim up some baby artichokes, my favorite way to enjoy is to roast them in the oven, which really concentrates the flavor. Half the trimmed chokes and toss them with olive oil, chopped garlic, and herbs. Roast in a 400° F oven until tender and golden. Once they come out of the oven, season with a nice pinch of Maldon Sea Salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a bit more olive oil.  Enjoy!


Spring Wine Blitz: Pre-Sale Tasting Events!

Bi-Rite’s Spring Wine Blitz is nearly here! From Monday, April 28 to Sunday, May 4, save 20% on mix-and-match cases from our entire selection of food-friendly wines! Come to our preview tasting events, and pre-order your favorites to lock in Wine Blitz savings! Get free home delivery of your Wine Blitz cases in San Francisco!

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Thursday, April 17
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market Divisadero—Wine Section
Wine Tasting with Faith Armstrong from Onward Wines
Faith will pour her delicious new sparkly made from the Malvasia grape, a first in California! Plus, her new Hawkeye Ranch Pinot Noir!

Thursday, April 17
6:00pm to 10:00pm
18 Reasons
18th Hour Cafe, featuring Kenny Likitprakong of Hobo Wines and Abe Schoener of Scholium Wines
Winemakers Kenny Likitprakong and Abe Schoener will be in the house pouring some of their favorite wines.

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Friday, April 18
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market Divisadero—Wine Section
Tom Switzer Previews Spring Wine Blitz Wines
Our beloved Tom Switzer will be previewing wines from Charles Neal Imports and Oliver McCrum. The best of France and Italy in one place!
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Saturday, April 19
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market Divisadero—Wine Section
Preview Tasting of Spring Wine Blitz Wines
Jeff Vierra from Farm Wines will be pouring some lovely Wine Blitz preview wines
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Sunday, April 20
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market Divisadero—Wine Section
Wine Tasting with Alex Finberg from Terra Firma
Alex Finberg from Terra Firma will be pouring some Bi-Rite exclusive wines in preparation for the Spring Wine Blitz
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Thursday, April 24
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Ticketed Event: $15 for 18 Reasons Members, $20 for non-Members–Purchase tickets here
18 Reasons
Bi-Rite Spring Wine Blitz Preview Tasting
Try more than 20 wines and place pre-orders to lock-in your Wine Blitz 20% Savings on mix-and-match cases!
- – -
Friday, April 25
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market Divisadero—Wine Section
Wine Tasting with John Khayami from Sacred Thirst
John Khayami from Sacred Thirst will be pouring some lovely Wine Blitz preview wines.

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Monday, April 28 through Sunday, May 4: Spring Wine Blitz!
Visit the Markets, call, or email our Wine Team to pre-order or check availability!

Email: wine@biritemarket.com

Bi-Rite Market 18th Street: (415) 241-9760

Bi-Rite Market Divisadero Street: (415) 551-7900

 


Raph

Easter Treats! Artisan-Made Chocolates & Baked Goods

Easter is this weekend, and we’ve got a ton of basket-worthy treats to help you celebrate!

PaintedEggsChocolat Moderne is a producer whose incredible chocolates I always bring in for holidays. Their flair for the decorative and decadent in both their product and packaging make them ideal candidates for an Easter basket centerpiece. This year we are stocking Chocolat Moderne’s Hand-Painted Purple Rose Swirl Egg, a sea-salted caramel with Halen Mon Sea Salt from the pure ocean currents of the Welsh Coast. We also have their Hand-Painted Yellow Rose Swirl Egg, a dark chocolate ganache from 72% Venezualan Cacao, and the 3-Pack of Hand-Painted Rose Swirl Eggs, which includes one each of the purple and yellow rose swirl eggs, as well as a pink egg with creamy dark chocolate ganache with raspberries. They are so beautiful they almost resemble fine painted china.

Frans1For chocolate bunnies, your first stop in our chocolate aisle is Fran’s Chocolates. Fran’s Dark Chocolate Bunny, an exceptionally smooth dark chocolate that balances subtly toasty notes with dark berry fruitiness, creates a luscious, long-lasting experience that closes on a note of bright citrus. It’s made with 38% cacao from single origin Venezuelan milk chocolate and is creamy and chocolaty with quiet notes of honey and caramel. And Fran’s also makes Easter eggs! Their Filled Easter Eggs are a decadent foil-wrapped collection of two peanut butter eggs, one hazelnut crunch egg and one caramel egg.

OliveBunnyPoco Dolce is a phenomenal San Francisco-based chocolate company whose confections we stock year-round. They are also getting in on the rabbit game for Easter with their amazingly smooth, hand-made Peanut Butter Rabbit, blending organic peanut butter with bittersweet chocolate and a touch of sea salt, and their beautiful, hand-crafted Olive Oil Bunny, made with California olive oil and a bittersweet chocolate that is velvety, rich and has a decadent texture you’ll remember long after Easter and spring have both passed by.

Rounding out our selection of Easter eggs are two other favorite chocolate producers of ours, world-renowned Vosges Chocolate and Bay Area legend Michael Recchiuti. We have Vosge’s The Goose’s Golden Eggs and their organic Wink of the Rabbit Caramel Eggs; Vosge’s deep, rich milk chocolate touched with soft caramel. From Recchiuti we’ll have the Egg Hunt Box, wherein Recchiuti’s egg-hunt designs adorn eight pieces of his signature Burnt Caramel Truffles. Each confection is a blend of Recchiuti’s dark, smokey caramel with 70% dark chocolate ganache-enrobed in semisweet chocolate.

flowers2HotCrossBunsFor bakery treat options, try the Colomba di Pasqua from Starter Bakery. This traditional Italian Easter Cake is the springtime counterpart of the popular Christmas dessert panettone. Starter Bakery’s version is a sweet bread coated with marzipan and studded with candied orange peel, almonds and pearl sugar. It’s hearty, filling and delectable – an Easter treat to be shared. And from the Bi-Rite Creamery, we will have our beautiful and delicious take on the traditional Easter treat of Hot Cross Buns. Ours are made with a rich, buttery yeasted dough, crossed on top and finished with warm spices and raisins. Bi-Rite Creamery’s Hot Cross Buns will be available Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20 ONLY, so don’t miss these iconic holiday buns!

Don’t forget we also have a full Easter Menu available, and we’ll be selling incredible local, organic, and sustainably-grown flowers and bouquets in front of Bi-Rite Market on 18th Street on Saturday and Sunday!

Happy Easter!


Matt R.

Bi-Rite’s Spring Wine Blitz: Drink Pink!

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Spring has sprung! With the warm weather, the abundance of spring produce suddenly available, and the arrival of new fresh goat and sheep milk cheeses, we’ve definitely made the transition into springtime. And what better way to ease your wine drinking into spring than with the latest rosé releases!

Rosé Season, as we call it, is the time of year to celebrate the release of the wide range of rosés available this time of year. And we’ve got plenty of pink on our shelves right now and will throughout the spring and summer as we rotate through exciting and limited release rosés from our favorite producers.

And don’t forget, our Spring Wine Blitz is coming up very soon! From Monday, April 28th through Sunday, May 4th, you can get 20% off mixed cases of wine with free delivery within San Francisco – now at both Markets! So come by and try some of these rosés and start making your Spring Blitz wish list!

Wine12012 Chateau Coupes Roses Fremillant Rosé – $11.99; Blitz Price – $9.59
Chateau Coupes Roses is located in the small one-street village of La Caunette, just upstream from the townof Minerve in the Languedoc. Their vineyards are located on some of Frances more dramatic landscapes, planted on a rocky limestone plateau 1350 feet above sea level. It almost seems as though life shouldn’t exist on these high rocky plateaus surrounded by sheer cliffs, but their vines’ roots dig deep into the limestone to thrive. The rosé is a blend of mostly Mourvedre along with Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. A beautiful ruby hue, the wine has notes of herbs, spice, and ripe strawberry with a dry and refreshing finish. A heartier rosé that will pair well with heartier spring fare!

Wine22013 Matthiasson Rosé – $24.99; Blitz Price – $19.99
The SF Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year, Steve Matthiasson has released his latest rosé and it’s stunning! It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise, and Syrah from the Windmill vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County. Steve is all about preserving acidity in his wines and so his rosé is made in a lighter, fresher style. Notes of tart grapefruit and white peach lead to a minerally and mouthwatering palate. Great alongisde fresh pasta with spring veggies and goat cheese!

Wine32013 Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé – $19.99; Blitz Price – $15.99
Winemaker Wells Guthrie crafts some of the most elegant Pinot Noir and Syrah in the Anderson Valley. His Tous Ensemble Rosé is a blend of various vineyard sites in the Anderson Valley and is as elegant as Copain’s other wines. A rounded soft texture and lovely floral and red berry notes make this rosé an easy companion any warm spring or summer evening. No wonder it was on the SF Chronicle’s most recent list of Best 20 Wine Under $20!


Wine42013 Ameztoi Txakoli ‘Rubentis’ Rosé – $21.99; Blitz Price – $17.59
Ok, time to remember your Basque pronunciation skills! This Txakoli (say ‘chok-oh-lee’) rosé is a rare and special wine from Basque country Spain. Usually, Txakoli is made into white wine and is the everyday drink of the Basque people, with its typical tart acidity and light effervescence that pairs so well with the abundant seafood of the region. This rosé is a lovely expression of typical Txakoli, but pink! Tart blood orange and lemon notes lead to a crisp palate with that typical spritzy-ness that is too mouthwatering to only enjoy one glass of.

Wine52013 Birichino Vin Gris  -  $14.99; Blitz Price – $11.99
To us, this is what rosé season is all about! Fresh, light, quaffable, and affordable rosé all in a beautiful package! Made from Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Rolle (Vermentino) from vineyards both in the Sierra Foothills and Gilroy, this rosé gives some Provencal rosés a run for their money! Bone dry, with notes of cranberry, rose petal, and mouthwatering acidity. Drink it now!

Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or special requests (415.241.9760 for 18th St. or 415.551.7900 for Divis) or email wine@biritemarket.com.

Upcoming Events:

Spring Wine Blitz! – Monday, April 28 through Sunday, May 4 – At Both Bi-Rite Markets!


Simon

Strawberries Galore! The Best Farm-Direct Berries from Organic Growers

StrawberriesChandlerWe’re pretty lucky to be living in the Bay Area considering we have access to farm-direct, organic, local strawberries for about half the year. The fun starts in the end of March to early April, and really gets going in late April. Most of the farms we work with at Bi-Rite grow in the coastal environments that are perfect for strawberries. We’ve found it really important to build relationships with numerous strawberry farms so we always have a locally-grown berry on our shelves to share with guests during the Spring and Summer months.

Here are some of the incredible farms we work with, and the strawberry varieties they’ll be providing us this year: 

Swanton Berry Farm—Davenport, CA (62 miles close to Bi-Rite)
CCOF Certified Organic, Union-Grown (United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO), and Food Justice Certified by the Agricultural Justice Project
Varieties:  Chandler, Seascape

StrawberriesSwantonYerena Farms—Watsonville, CA (90 miles close to Bi-Rite)

  • CCOF Certified Organic
  • Varieties: Albion, Seascape, Eclair

Live Earth Farm—Watsonville, CA (90 mi close to Bi-Rite)

  • Certified Organic
  • Varieties:  Albion, Seascape

Fifth Crow Farm—Pescadero, CA (46 miles close to Bi-Rite)

  • CCOF Certified Organic, Bee-Friendly Farm Certified
  • Varieties:  Albion, Chandler, Seascape

Blue House Farm—Pescadero, CA (46 miles close to Bi-Rite)

  • CCOF Certified
  • Varieties:  Albion, Seascape

Tomatero FarmWatsonville, CA (90 miles close to Bi-Rite)

  • CCOF Certified Organic
  • Varieties:  Albion, Seascape, Sweet Ann

StrawberriesJW2JW FarmsWatsonville, CA (90 miles close to Bi-Rite)

  • CCOF Certified Organic
  • Varieties:  Albion

Strawberry Varieties You’ll See at Bi-Rite Market

Albions are a dark colored red and have the most consistent sweetness. They are the most common commercial variety in California because of their flavor and yield. It’s pretty amazing how different they can taste from one grower to the next.

Chandlers are red, firm, juicy, sweet, and tangy berry. Not as common in the retail world because they are so juicy and delicate, and need to be handled with more care than the Albion. This is the main berry that Swanton Berry Farm works with and they are the master growers of this variety.

Seascapes are a longer, conically-shaped berry with a glossy finish. They’re a very delicate, dark-red berry with a complex and floral flavor. They usually aren’t as sweet as other varieties but are very juicy. Seascapes are not common in the retail world but when we get them in it’s time to celebrate!

Sweet Ann is a fairly new variety, created in 2005 to grow in the coastal climates like Santa Cruz County. Sweet Anns are usually big, conically-shaped berries with excellent sweet flavor. Tomatero is the only farm that we work with that is growing Sweet Ann right now and they are very limited.

Éclairs are medium-size berries and are very sweet and fragrant. We don’t see them often, but every once in a while Yerena Farms treats us to a handful of flats.

Mara des Bois (French variety) is a small, delicate variety with an incredible fragrance that resembles a wild strawberry. It is a gourmet strawberry that is most commonly grown in home gardens and not for commercial productions. The farms we work with don’t take the time to grow these berries because of their delicate nature and low yield which require a lot of precious labor. However, with the help of some friends who work with farms in the North Bay we were able to get our hands on some for the first time last season. Shelton Market Garden in Healdsburg sometime have a small bumper crop of Mara Des Bois and they make their way to the City.

Everyone’s Favorite, Bi-Rite Creamery Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream!
StrawberryBalsamicScoop
This delicious seasonal flavor is the perfect combination of amazing local strawberries and extremely talented ice cream makers. Strawberry Balsamic is easily one of the most popular ice cream flavors the Bi-Rite Creamery makes and we always wait until our favorite farms have a steady supply of  extra-ripe berries to make it. The Creamery is making there test as we speak and it will be available at both Bi-Rite Markets, Bi-Rite Creamery, and the Scoop Shop at Bi-Rite on Divisadero on April 28th.


Jason Rose

Our Menu For Your Passover Celebrations

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We’re delighted to bring our 2014 Passover Menu to our Markets from Saturday, April 12 through Tuesday, April 22. The menu includes a variety of  our yearly favorite house-made dishes, plus an array of desserts from the Bi-Rite Creamery Bakeshop, traditional grocery items to stock your pantry, and more.

From Our Kitchen

Jewish-Style Artichokes – White Wine-poached, then fried
with Lemon, Mint & Sea Salt 
$3.99/ea

Local Asparagus with Sieved Egg, Capers, Fines Herbs & Dijon  $12.99/lb

Citrus-Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Sumac, Pistachio, Apricot, Radicchio,
Mizuna & Honey 
$10.99/lb

Red Wine-Braised 5-Dot Ranch Brisket  $19.99/lb

Spring Frittata with Pasture-Raised Farm Egg, Asparagus, Ricotta,
Bi-Rite Farms Spring Onion, Tarragon & Lemon 
$6.99/slice

Grilled Coho Salmon with Lemony Spring Pea Hummus &
Shaved Bi-Rite Farms d’Avignon Radish 
$10.99/ea

Fennel & Garlic-Crusted Slow-Roasted Grass-Fed Lamb with Raisin,
Meyer Lemon & Horseradish Salsa Verde 
$24.99/lb

Whitefish Salad $6.99 / ½ pt

Homemade Organic Apple Sauce $2.99 / ½ pt

Chopped Chicken Liver with Caramelized Onion & Egg $3.99 /½ pt

Dried Fruit & Almond Haroseth with Golden Raisins  $4.99 / ½ pt

Homemade Free-Range Chicken Stock  $6.99 / qt

Organic Potato Latkes  $4.99 / each

From Our Butcher

Pasture-Raised Grass Fed Spring Lamb from Anderson Ranch:
Bone-In Leg of Lamb  $11.99 / lb ▪  Boneless Leg of Lamb  $13.99 / lb

Pasture-Raised Beef Brisket from California’s Five Dot Ranch  $7.99 / lb

House-Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon, sliced to order  $34.99 / lb

House-Smoked McFarland Springs Trout Fillets  $23.99 / lb

From Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop

Flourless Cheesecake  $12.99

Flourless Coconut Macaroons  $5.50

Chocolate-Covered Flourless Coconut Macaroons  $8.99

From Our Grocery Department

Manischewitz Concord Grape Juice  $6.99 750 ml

Bubbies Prepared Horseradish  $3.49 5 oz

Ba-Tampte Beet Horseradish  $4.99 8 oz

Mrs. Adlers Gefilte Fish  $8.99 24 oz

Osem Matzah Cake Meal  $4.99 16 oz

Streit’s Matzo Meal for Passover  $5.99 16 oz

Osem Passover Matzo Crackers  $4.99 16 oz

Osem Whole Wheat Matzo Crackers  $4.99 16 oz

Bazzini Dark Chocolate-Covered Matzo Crackers  $6.99 7 oz

From Our Wine Department

Domaine Bunan Côtes du Provence Rouge  $24.99 (Kosher)
Trac’s tasting notes: A big, rustic red made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Rich and full bodied with flavors of black currants, thyme, and rosemary.

Galil Mountain Chardonnay  $19.99 (Kosher)
Trac’s tasting notes: Located in the Upper Galilee, a mountainous region in Israel,
this Kosher Chardonnay delivers flavors of citrus and tropical fruits with
hints of oak and butter.

 


DaveW

An Interview with Eleanor Gerber-Siff, Head Florist for Bi-Rite Market

Eleanor photo

If you’ve ever passed by the front of Bi-Rite Market and wondered who is behind all of the incredible flowers, bouquets, branches, and seasonal greenery we offer, the answer is Eleanor Gerber-Siff. I sat down with Eleanor to talk about her approach and learn about the producers behind the movement toward local, organic, and sustainable floral.

 

Eleanor, who are you and what do you do?

I work for Bi-Rite Market as the Head Florist and Floral Buyer for Bi-Rite, covering both our 18th Street and Divisadero Street Markets.

Is that what you’ve always done for Bi-Rite? What is your background in flowers?

I’ve been working in flowers for about six years and I’ve been with Bi-Rite for about a year and a half. Before Bi-Rite, I worked in different flower shops and did some freelance work, including floral arrangements for weddings and events. For about a year and a half before I started at Bi-Rite, I worked with Rebekah Northway, also known as The Petaler, an incredibly talented local floral designer.  My work with her was focused on large-scale arrangements for her restaurant accounts.

Before I started working for Bi-Rite, the flowers we sold here were coming in through the Produce Department. There was no full-time staff devoted just to flowers. The Department just wasn’t up to par, and it didn’t make sense, considering how beautifully displayed everything else in the store is. I saw that there was an opportunity for Bi-Rite to make use of a full-time florist, and I convinced our Produce Buyer Simon and Sam Mogannam to let me be that florist. I haven’t looked back since!

How do you source the flowers we sell at Bi-Rite?

flowers3

I go to the San Francisco Flower Mart every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and order directly from vendors. Going to the market is a huge part of maintaining relationships with those vendors, and it helps me trust that they know their product and that I can rely on them. Because I maintain close relationships with them, I’m often able to get good deals on great flowers.

Plus, seeing the same people three times a week is fun!  The Flower Mart is a whole micro-community that operates for the most part before most people are even awake!  The market is housed in a big cement building at 6th and Brannan Streets in San Francisco, which takes up almost a whole city block. It doesn’t look good from the outside, but once you get inside, it’s filled with the most beautiful and unusual flowers and greens.

Having a market where I can pick things out personally is important because the good product varies from day to day. I work with what’s available and looks great, rather than sticking to a set list of specific flowers I’m going to buy.

I also work with several farms that grow flowers and also sell us lots of other kinds of produce. That’s a special thing about working for Bi-Rite; I have access to these great local farms and the amazing flowers they grow. The Flower Mart doesn’t source those flowers, so I feel fortunate that I can get them for our guests. These farms are organic and use sustainable growing practices, so their flowers are better across the board – better for the people that grow them, better for me and my flower crew, and better for our guests. They’re creating a new flower economy based on principles of sustainability, and it shows in the flowers! They tend to be happier and more beautiful. An organic flower looks better than one that’s been sprayed with chemicals, and you don’t have to worry about sticking your nose right in there. I get to communicate with our flower farmer vendors several times a week, and that’s a good way to feel connected to something that’s growing – to stay close to the person who’s growing it.

There are three farms from which I get the biggest volume of flowers. Thomas Farm, in Aptos– they’re Certified Organic and grow mostly flowers.  Full Belly Farm–also Certified Organic; Bi-Rite gets lots of produce from them and they’re super awesome people. And Oak Hill Farm in Sonoma. They’re not certified organic but they use organic growing practices.

We work with some smaller farms as well – Blue House Farm and Fifth Crow Farm in Pescadero and Little City Gardens, which is actually in San Francisco – it’s a two-acre organic farm right here in the city. These farms grow some really unique fresh flowers.  Last year, Fifth Crow Farm had some Chinese Forget-Me-Nots that blew my mind.

How do you select the flowers you stock?

flowers1I’ve found I have a “Spidey Sense” about flowers. That’s part of what I bring to this job. I follow my intuition and in a room full of flowers, I pick out what I feel our guests will be most excited about.

My job is exciting because I also get to work directly with a bunch of local flower farms – our guests are cool and they respond to that. That’s something I want to educate more people about, because most of us aren’t necessarily thinking about farm-direct or organic flowers.  Many Bay Area folks think and care deeply about where their food comes from and how it’s produced.  I’d like to increase awareness about the benefits of local, organic flowers to ourselves and our community.  Organic, sustainably grown flowers promote the health and well-being of the people that are growing the flowers and of everyone who comes into contact with them.  What’s the first thing you do when someone hands you a bouquet of flowers?  You stick your nose in it and take a big whiff!  You don’t want gross chemicals in your lungs or in your home. Because they are not food, there is far less regulation on the chemicals people use on flowers than on produce, and this is especially true of flowers shipped in from countries outside the U.S.

What kinds of flowers do you personally like, and how do you prefer to arrange them?

My favorite flowers are ones that have a wild look to them.  Things that are slightly weird, too…or off, or crooked, or have a weird seed pod – I just like things that are unusual! I love that nature makes strange stuff and I like things that are a little bit ugly as much as I like things that are pretty.  Right now I’m really excited about all of the insane Ranunculus we’ve been getting in, especially the ones we get from Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California.

Every day that I work, there’s always one single flower that’s the best of the day. My Instagram is full of those “one best flowers.” I admit I’m a flower nerd…I care about them, so I think about them all the time.

My arranging style is a hodgepodge of ideas and techniques I’ve gathered from different places I’ve worked, but also from just experimenting on my own. I know what I like and let that guide me. I know it when I see it.

What floral services does Bi-Rite offer? Do you have anything special planned for Easter?

We offer custom floral work for any occasion – weddings, parties, events, and gifts. This week I’m doing

flowers6

flowers for a wedding as well as a dinner for 18 Reasons. We’re looking to do more stuff like that.  I love working with a client to create a beautiful event filled with flowers.

For Easter, we’ll have a table out in front of Bi-Rite Market 18th Street all day on Saturday, April 19th from 9am to 9pm. On Easter Sunday, we’ll be out there from 9am to 5pm. We’ll be doing custom floral arrangements in whatever way you need for your Easter celebration, so stop by and say hi to us.

We also make bouquets, pre-made and custom, and we have a wide variety of flowers for sale by the bunch and by the stem. Every single day you can see a beautiful array of flowers out in front of our 18th Street Market, and you can usually find me around there tending to the flowers and making floral arrangements.

I’m always available to work with our guests on anything related to flowers. And you can call either of our Markets to ask questions, place an order or try to track me down. Talking about flowers is what I love to do!


Spring Inspiration – one head of Little Gem lettuce at a time

little gems

Little Gems from Fifth Crow Farm

I make a lot of raw salads with my dinner every week for a few reasons. First of all, they’re easy to make and fun to share. Secondly, they’re healthy and satisfying. And finally, they give me a great outlet to use crunchy mini-head lettuces, a kind of produce I love so much that I’ve planted every inch of my own city garden with them.

Three months into every year, a switch gets flipped on the wet-racks in the produce aisles at Bi-Rite Market 18th Street and Bi-Rite Market Divisadero. Farm Direct and Organic Spring baby head lettuces, like Little Gems, become the highlight of the wet-racks and open up a range of new options for hungry and imaginative salad-crafters. These beauties liven up our produce sections, and we love to sample and share their baby lettuce leaves with our guests to help you appreciate how buttery-smooth and satisfyingly crunchy they are.

little gems 1Because baby or mini-head lettuce varieties like Little Gems make such great-tasting and gorgeous salads, we make sure to bring in a large variety as soon as they come into season. This gives our guests a range of options and showcases how many unique lettuce varieties farmers are growing these days – from Breen to Mottistone to Australe to Speckles and, of course, to Little Gem. Young, energetic  farmers like Teresa Kurtak and Mike Irving from Fifth Crow Farm in Pescadero, CA grow beautiful Little Gem hearts and really have the mini-head lettuce situation dialed in. They plant round after round of small starters every week and start harvesting about thirty to forty days later. Next time you’re in one of our produce sections, keep an eye out for the beautiful produce grown by Teresa and Mike; they’re perfectionist farmers and their hard work and dedication really shows in the beautiful products they supply to us.

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Little Gems at home on the wet-rack at Bi-Rite Market 18th Street

Mini-lettuces have to be picked at the proper time to allow for maximum crunch. Look for heads that are super fresh and have deep and intense colors of red and green. Some varieties, like Little Gem, should be dense and feel heavy for their size. On the other hand, Mottistone and Breen can be a tad leafy and can add amazing color to a dish. To add a personal touch to your next salad bowl, try mixing different varieties of mini lettuces to build your own salad mix base. Then add your personal favorites, such as avocado, radishes, beets or carrots. You’ll love how fun, healthy and satisfying these greens and salads can be. But you don’t have to take my word for it  – stop by our Markets for a taste and let this beautiful produce speak for itself. Happy Spring!

 


Patrick

Celebrating a Year on Divisadero Street with Special Offers!

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since we opened our second Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero Street in the Western Addition, bringing our mission of creating community through food to a whole new neighborhood. It was a big undertaking that took several years to bring to fruition, and all of that work has been worth it! We’ve felt at home in the Mission District since Sam Mogannam‘s family first took over the original Bi-Rite neighborhood grocery 50 years ago, and we’ve continued to grow Bi-Rite into a family of businesses with our Creamery & Bakeshop and our non-profit community space, 18 Reasons, all located on the same block of 18th Street. It has been an honor over the past 12 months to expand that work into another burgeoning, vibrant area of San Francisco. From the day we first cast open our new doors on Divisadero Street, the people and businesses of the Western Addition have made us feel welcome, and we are incredibly grateful.

So, to celebrate our One-Year Anniversary at Bi-Rite Market Divisadero, we’re offering special products and great values in every department of our store from Monday, March 31 through Sunday, April 6. Most of these will be available both at Divisadero AND at our original 18th Street location, so stop on in and enjoy!

  • Pixies2Produce: Just $7.99 for a 4 lb bag of organic, farm-direct Seedless Pixie Tangerines from Jim Churchill, “The Tangerine Man” in Ojai, CA. Sweet, juicy, and easy to peel!
  • Butcher: Grass-Fed New York Strip from Estancia Beef, value priced at only $13.99/lb (regularly $17.99/lb)
  • ChristinaToteBagGrocery: Bi-Rite Canvas Bag for $1 (regularly $4.99). Made from organic repurposed cotton. *ONLY available at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero
  • Grocery: Bi-Rite Creamery Chocolate Midnight Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, 2-pack for just $5 (regularly $5.99)
  • Cheese: Special Anniversary Cheese! Tarentaise Reserve, made on March 1, 2013, the day that Bi-Rite Market Divisadero opened. Ripened just in time for our 1st Birthday! *ONLY available at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero
  • Wine: Two incredible values! Celebrate Spring with a sparkler! M. Bonnamy Crémant de Loire Rosé for $11.11/bottle (regularly $14.99)–100% Cabernet Franc Extra Brut. Or try the red Rejadorada Toro for $19.99/bottle (regularly $24.99)
  • birthdaysundaeBi-Rite Creamery Scoop Shop: $5 Birthday Sundae Special!—You choose your ice cream favor, we’ll add whipped cream & sprinkles! *ONLY available at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero

We look forward to seeing you!


Chili

Incredible Spring Lamb from Anderson Ranches and Don Watson

Easter and Passover are both coming up in a few short weeks. is  If you’re planning to serve traditional lamb as part of your celebrations (or if you just want to try a truly special meat option), stop by our Markets to talk to the folks behind the Deli or Butcher counters. We have some of the best lamb available, and are here to provide you with just the right cut and help out with cooking and serving tips.

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Anderson Ranches’ heard of lambs

I buy lamb year-round from Anderson Ranches out of Oregon. These guys were recommended to me by our great local friend and lamb expert Don Watson. The Anderson folks have been raising grass-fed lamb for five generations and they know what they’re doing. The lambs are fed on a strict diet of 100% grass, which means their meat is lower in fat and healthier for humans. Unusual for this lamb ranchers, Anderson owns their own processing facility, which means that they can oversee every aspect of their production without outsourcing to a third party. The result of all of this is that they consistently turn out a delicious lamb with total transparency in raising and processing that is an excellent option for a traditional Easter or Passover dish.

For something different and excitingly off-beat, we have another option available this spring. The above-mentioned Don Watson is an excellent lamb farmer in his own right, albeit it on a smaller scale. One of my favorite products that we get from Don is milk-fed spring lamb, which is only available at this time of year, typically just for the month of April. Milk-fed lamb tends to be hard to find in the United States because it is not economical to cultivate on a large scale. Fortunately for us, Don is doing it on just about the smallest scale possible, personally overseeing his small herd of lambs (with the help of his expert Peruvian lamb-herders) and exemplifying the sort of local producer that we love working with. Don’s Napa Valley-based herd lives on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway, saving on the cost and environmental impact of lawnmowers by munching on the grass and keeping the Raceway grounds in good condition.

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Don with his herd of lambs

Don’s milk-fed lambs, which have been described by the New York Times as, “some of the best milk-fed lambs on the planet,” are only available in the spring. They are harvested right at the stage when they’re about to be weaned off of mother’s milk, so they have never had any other form of sustenance pass through their systems. This produces a sublime tenderness and distinctly mild flavor.

We love working with Don because of his sustainable, hands-on approaching to raising livestock and doing business. When the season is right, Don hand-delivers lamb to us every week, and since these are peak-of-the-season animals, their availability is limited. We won’t have milk-fed spring lamb for very long after April, so it’s worth coming by now to pick some up. Or better yet, if you want to play it safe, give us a call! We’d be happy to set some lamb aside for you to help make sure that your celebrations or any meal you want to cook with lamb is a stunning success.


Jason Rose

St. Patrick’s Day Menu Specials

st pats rainbowWe’ve had a great time creating a full weekend’s worth of celebratory dishes for St. Patrick’s Day. Chili has been perfecting his house-made Corned Beef, the team at Bi-Rite Creamery is baking fresh Irish Soda Bread, and the kitchens are buzzing in anticipation of our special Brunch, Dinner, and Sandwich dishes. We look forward to seeing you!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Specials
Available in our Deli Friday, March 14 through Monday, March 17

Colcannon Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Leeks    $6.99 /lb     
Irish Stew with Atkins Ranch Lamb   $14.99 /lb
Chili’s House-Made 5 Dot Ranch Corned Beef   $16.99/lb  
Shepherd’s Pie with Guinness-Braised Beef  $9.99/lb 
Rustic Vegetable Medley  $8.99/lb

 Make your celebration complete with a Guinness 4-pack
for just $7.99 (regularly $8.99).
Or try a bottle of John L. Sullivan 10 Year Irish Whiskey, a rich, complex,
and layered small-blended whiskey.

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St. Patrick’s Day Brunch Specials
Available in our Deli Sunday, March 16 from 10am to 1pm

House-Cured Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs  
Roasted Potatoes with Confit Garlic & Guinness-Braised Onions
French Toast-Bread Pudding featuring Bi-Rite Creamery Irish Soda Bread
Llano Seco Ham, Egg, Irish Cheddar & Greens Breakfast Sandwich

Don’t forget the bubbly!
Trac recommends pairing our Brunch dishes with a bottle of
M. Bonnamy Cremant du Loire!

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St. Patrick’s Day Special Sandwich
Available in our Deli All Day Saturday, March 15 through Monday, March 17

Chili’s House-Made 5 Dot Ranch Pastrami Sandwich  $10.99
with Guinness-Braised Onions, Dubliner Cheddar, Sauerkraut,
& Roasted Garlic and Dijon Aioli on Josey Baker Rye Bread

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Pastrami

St. Patrick’s Day Specials from Bi-Rite Creamery
Available in the Markets Friday, March 14 through Monday, March 17

Bailey’s Irish Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust
Irish Soda Bread with Golden Raisins & Caraway Seeds

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Irish soda bread

Irish Cheeses

Anthea loves the cheeses of the Emerald Isle.
Try adding these selections to your St. Patrick’s Day meal!

Cashel Blue—an Irish blue made by the Grubb family in Co. Tipperary.
Nicely balanced cheese that oscillates between sweet and savory notes.  Enjoy it with a hearty stout and a wedge of crusty bread!  (cow pasteurized vegetarian)

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Dubliner Cheddar

Coolea—A beautiful gouda-style cheese with milk from some of the greenest pasture available!
Bright and butterscotchy, this is a cheese to savour. Made by a Dutch family that moved to Ireland!
(cow pasteurized traditional)

Gubbeen—A ‘stinky’ cheese with notes of bright fresh cream, balanced by a slightly meaty and smoky quality.
(cow pasteurized traditional)

Dubliner Cheddar—Buttery, sweet, tangy, with just a little bite to it.  Great to snack on or for cooking.


Jason Rose

The Season’s Bounty in our New Dishes

I’m excited to unveil some fresh new dishes from our Deli Service case! Come by our Markets, talk to our cooks and try them out. We’d love to hear what you think.

RedRice2First, a new Red Rice Salad. I love red rice for its texture, taste and nutritional density. And during this time of year it feels fitting to pair it with Orach (or “purple passion” spinach). Orach has three times the vitamin A of normal spinach, as well as a beautiful minerality that makes it a perfect accompaniment to earthy red rice, crunchy toasted hazelnuts and sweet, jammy apricots. To top all of that off, I’ve chosen a bright winter citrus vinaigrette that nicely ties these flavors together.

 Red Rice Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts,  Apricots, Orach
and Winter Citrus Vinaigrette

Red rice, apricot, hazelnuts, celery, spring onion, parsley, orach, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, rice grain oil, Meyer lemon, orange, honey, Champagne vinegar, Dijon
$11.99/lb

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Asparagus season is upon us, and the perfect way to ring it in is with grilled asparagus. As soon as I see asparagus in our Markets I begin to daydream about backyard barbecues, grilled fish, and one of my personal favorites from my childhood–asparagus and eggs. I’ve decided to compliment the sweetness of the asparagus with the more delicate flavors of grilled fennel and onions. But ultimately I chose to keep this dish simple because I really wanted the flavor of the asparagus to take center stage. Tossed with a honey Dijon and Meyer lemon vinaigrette, this dish is a perfect way to get you ready for spring.

Grilled Seasonal Asparagus with Charred Fennel, Onions
and Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Asparagus, fennel, onions, rice bran oil, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon, orange, Dijon, honey, Champagne vinegar
$12.99/lb

CousCous2Chicken Curry Salad–some of my favorite words, all put together!  When I think of classic market dishes, chicken curry salad always comes to mind. It’s sweet, salty and satisfying, but our twist on this classic is a little different, retains many of the same flavor profiles and doing away with the mayonnaise. Freshly marinated and grilled chicken co-mingles with sweet currants, cilantro and crunchy almonds. We toss in healthy doses of crisp celery and savory green onions and toss it all with a sweet honey curry vinaigrette.

Curry Chicken Couscous Salad with Currants, Cilantro, Almonds
and Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

Israeli couscous, currants, green onion, cilantro, celery, chicken breast, almonds, Tandoori spice, curry powder, salt, lemon juice, honey, Champagne vinegar, turmeric, cumin, fennel, extra virgin olive oil, rice bran oil
$11.99/lb