Home Posts tagged 'Bi-Rite Market'

Posts Tagged ‘Bi-Rite Market’


Jason Rose

Meet the Chefs Behind Dinner at Bi-Rite

In the Bi-Rite family of businesses, we’re lucky to have an amazingly talented crew to bring you good food, from the smiling faces scooping up the newest flavor at the Creamery, to our buyers selecting the best, most flavorful products for the markets, to our operations teams making sure everything runs smoothly.

For the next few weeks, we’re giving a little extra love to the amazingly talented chefs behind the scenes at Bi-Rite, with a focus on their passion for our Dinner offerings. With experience at some of the top restaurants around the country and a true commitment to what they do, the chefs at Bi-Rite bring to life our philosophy of love, passion and integrity through our evening dinners. Each day the chefs craft their own dinner menu, featuring new dishes alongside some eternal favorites, and then have everything ready for you starting at 4:30pm, so you can stop in and grab a delicious, prepared meal to go.

Get to know the chefs that can help you get Dinner Ready every day.

Dinner_Salad  Dinner_Chicken  Dinner_Zoodles2

Jeff Amber, Chef, Bi-Rite Market 18th Street

Our head chef at 18th Street, Jeff Amber, has cultivated a career in food in the Bay Area for many years. He’s been honored with numerous awards and accolades throughout the years, including Rising Star Chef from the SF Chronicle. Longtime SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer once described his food and style of service as “the likes you’d find in the great San Francisco houses of Farallon and Masa’s”. Chef Jeff brings a world view of food with a honed love of California sensibility to everything he creates.

Summer is his favorite season to cook in, with tomatoes, corn, peppers, melons and summer squash in abundance!

Chef Jeff says, “To me, feeding people is a personal endeavor, eating together is universal, it’s unifying and celebratory… Bi-Rite Dinner highlights those ideas and gives our community an opportunity to share, eat, laugh and thrive together.”

Noel Franco, Sous Chef, Bi-Rite Market 18th Street

Chef Noel Franco has had a diverse culinary career in the Bay Area. He hasn’t shied away from a challenge, be it restaurants, food trucks, large scale banquets, butchering, or the kitchens of Bi-Rite.

He loves cooking with garlic: whether sautéing to get a nutty flavor, roasting a full head, or adding it raw to offer some heat to a dish.

Chef Noel enjoys the freedom of Bi-Rite Dinner, given that his “office” is a kitchen located within a grocery story. He says, “I can walk down an aisle and grab an item off the shelf and cook with it. This is the job chefs dream of. It gives me the freedom to try different cooking techniques as often as I like too. You have the freedom to come in every day with a blank slate, create a whole new menu as unique and challenging as you would like, and cook it.”

Michael Logan, Chef, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero

Our head chef at the Divisadero Market, Chef Michael Logan, found his love of cooking just after high school. After a stint in Southern California, he moved to New York to work with the Union Square Hospitality Group. His return to the west coast brought him to San Francisco, where he worked with Locanda, Hardwater and Trick Dog. His tuxedo cat named Reggie vows for his cooking skills.

His secret ingredient of choice is vinegar. “I love the way acid bumps up the flavors of produce, dressings, soups and sauces. It really makes the flavor pop and can make a dish go from ok to exceptional.”

Chef Logan loves Bi-Rite Dinner for the creative outlet it provides. He likes trying different products that might not get used frequently, and turning them into a fun, new dish. Plus, it offers an opportunity to start a conversation with guests and learn more about their preferences.

Jason Sumner, Sous Chef, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero

Chef Jason Sumner loves bright flavors and colors, and he has the highest respect for food, especially cheeses, honey, and farm-direct produce.

He loves the creative aspects of Bi-Rite dinner. For one, dinner chefs can try new things that may eventually take off in other areas of the store, from the deli case, to prepared foods, to the regular dinner menu offerings. Plus, utilizing ingredients that might otherwise go to waste helps respect the produce and meat that might otherwise go back out to pasture.

In Jason’s opinion, Bi-Rite Dinner helps separate Bi-Rite from other markets. “Our guests can get restaurant quality meals every night of the week, and they depend on making it part of their evening. Whether it coincides with their shopping or they are coming specifically for dinner, they know dinner is coming.”

Jay Abrams, Chef of Culinary Innovation

Jay Abrams is our chef of Culinary Innovation at Bi-Rite, and he’s earned his kitchen cred working in kitchens in and around the Bay Area. His close relationships with local farmers and ranchers combined with his experience in fine dining allows Chef Jay to develop our prepared and house-made food at Bi-Rite. Fun fact: he’s an avid oil painter and channels that creativity through the food he makes.

We love his passion for bringing our guests joy and satisfaction through what they eat.

Chef Jay’s favorite ingredient to work with is chilies! He says, “They can be subtle yet provide a complex palate adding heat, sweetness, meatiness, earthiness and sour flavors. Chilies are also one of the most versatile ingredients often found in cuisines throughout the world. They’re great on their own, fermented into pastes and sauces, or even pickled.”


Sana Javeri Kadri

Cook Your Heart Out with Phyllis Grant

 #BiRiteCommunityEats with Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella

FullSizeRender[15]Last weekend, we let Phyllis Grant of @dashandbella loose in the Market and asked her to please, cook her heart out. This weekend, she’ll be taking over our Instagram to give us a peek into the deliciousness that came out of it.

Phyllis’ cooking is the avocado and citrus laden dreams that we always hoped for Northern Californian cuisine to be, with a serious dollop of crème fraiche and real talk on the side. Just looking up #hellasalads on Instagram ignites a desire for crisp romaine hearts and green goddess dressing we never knew we had, and an ache for anchovies we never ever signed up for. Such is the power of Phyllis.

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Phyllis’ #BiRiteCommunityEats Weekend Menu:

Baby Gem and Radicchio Treviso Salad

Citrus Layer Salad

Anchovy, Gouda and Crème Fraiche Toasts

Beer Braised Beef Tacos with Quick Pickled Jalapeños and Onions

Chocolate Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies

Saturday: Make your crème fraiche and pickles, make your dessert-  just pop those suckers out of the cupcake pan right after they cool so they don’t stick and put them in a ziploc bag until tomorrow.

Sunday: Make your stew, while stew cooks, make your toasts and vinaigrette for salad, when the stew is out of the oven and the meat is cooling, prep you salads by washing greens and cutting citrus, shred the meat and put back into braising liquid, assemble salads but don’t dress, assemble toasts and EAT. Dress salads, put out condiments for tacos, heat tortillas and reheat meat, assemble, FEAST. 

CRÈME FRAICHE

 2 parts heavy cream

1 part buttermilk

Find a large glass jar. Fill it halfway up with heavy cream. Add half as much buttermilk. Stir. Let it fester at room temperature. All weekend. Without a lid. Leave it in your windowsill or next to your stove or on your kitchen table. If there are any kids around, give them the job of stirring it a few times a day. And tasting it. It will thicken. It will start to make your mouth pucker. Take it further than you think you should (in hot and humid weather, the souring process can happen very quickly so be vigilant). When you’re pleased with the flavor, cover and store it in the fridge.

FullSizeRender[3]QUICK PICKLES

 I use red wine vinegar for red onions. I avoid white onions because they can get slimy. A combination of white, champagne, and apple cider vinegar works well for jalapeños. Use the brine for everything from salad dressing to meat marinade. Don’t try to pickle the red onions and jalapeños together, it will not be pleasant or pretty.

 1 cup vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp white sugar

½ red onion OR 6 jalapenos

Combine 1 cup vinegar, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tsp white sugar. Bring it to the boil. Turn down to a simmer. Add your pickling ingredient. Cook for one minute. Turn of the heat. Cool. They keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

FullSizeRender[11]CHOCOLATE BROWN BUTTER CUPCAKE BROWNIES

Dude. These are so decadent. And so easy. Just trust that you don’t want to overcook them so follow the recipe pretty carefully. And they are hella hard to get out of the cupcake pan so use lots of butter/flour or non-stick spray. And definitely use a non-stick cupcake pan or else you will be cursing me. My mom likes them with crème fraîche. My husband likes them with vanilla ice cream. My brother likes them with crème fraîche AND ice cream. I like them for breakfast with coffee. They freeze beautifully!

Recipe via Food52

BEER BRAISED BEEF TACOS

If you don’t have a powerful blender like a Vitamix, don’t add the parsley and cilantro stems, just add the leaves. 

6-pound chuck roast

salt and pepper for seasoning

1-2 beers (i usually drink half of the 2nd one while cooking)

1 glass white or red wine

1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves

1/3 bunch parsley, stems and leaves

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup pickled red onions

1/4 cup pickled jalapeños plus brine

1 teaspoon kosher salt

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Preheat your oven to 300°F. 
Open your windows. Turn on your oven vent if you have one. Season your chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Crank heat in a Dutch oven or any other ovenproof pot with a lid that will accommodate your chuck roast and braising liquid. Add a splash of canola oil. When the oil starts to smoke, carefully add your roast. Cook a few minutes on each side. Be brave. You want some deep dark brown color to add flavor. Remove roast and rest on a plate. Turn off the heat under the Dutch oven. You will come back to this post so don’t clean it yet.

In your blender, blend the heck out of the beer, wine, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, garlic, pickled onions/jalapenos, and salt. Blitz until almost smooth. Pour into your hot Dutch oven. Careful. It might splatter a bit if it’s still hot. Use a wooden spoon to remove the goodies on the bottom of the pan and incorporate into the braising liquid. Gently lower your roast into liquid (it should come up about halfway). But no stress if it doesn’t, you can always add a bit more beer, wine, or any kind of meat or vegetable stock. Put on the lid. Cook for 3-4 hours. Check after two hours. It’s ready when it shreds easily by pulling the meat apart with two forks. Take meat out of the liquid. Cool until you can handle it with your fingers.

I hate it when I bite into a taco and I get a gelatinous blob of fat. This extra step will prevent this disaster. If there is string wrapped around the chuck roast, take it off. Then, with your fingers, slowly tear the whole thing apart. It’s nice to have some strips of meat so don’t over-shred it. But anytime you find anything slimy or fatty, set it aside. Feed it to your dog.

Serve the braised meat on warm tortillas with crème fraîche, jalapeño pickles, red onion pickles, and cilantro leaves.

FullSizeRender[13]ANCHOVY, GOUDA, CREME FRAICHE TOASTS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thinly slice a baguette. Spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet. Paint one side with garlic oil. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and coarse salt. Flip over and do the other side. Bake until crisp all the way through and lightly browned. Around 15 minutes. Cool. With a vegetable peeler, make wispy pieces of Gouda (or Parmesan). On each toast, layer one slice of gouda, a Boquerón, and then a big dot of crème fraîche. If you like a little kick, add a small piece of jalapeño pickle.

CITRUS LAYER SALAD

FullSizeRender[16]I used a combination of blood oranges, Cara Cara navel oranges, pink grapefruits, and Kishu mandarins. This can be garnished with mint for dessert. Or if you’re a savory person like me, you can turn it into a refreshing salad to go with tacos (particularly essential if you’ve eaten too many jalapeño pickles). This can sit for an hour or so but be warned that it can get a bit juicy beyond that as the salted citrus loses its water.

Chop a few scallions and place them in a bowl. Add a splash of jalapeño pickle brine (or champagne vinegar) and a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Microplane in 1/2-clove garlic and a few swipes of lemon zest. Stir.

Using an incredibly sharp serrated knife, peel your citrus. Slice thinly (east to west) making delicate discs. Layer on a plate, overlapping a bit but not stacked like pancakes. Sprinkle with a few pinches salt. Spoon the olive oil and scallion mixture all over the sliced citrus. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves.

BABY GEM AND RADDICHIO TREVISO SALAD

I have been torturing my kids with radicchio salads for the past few months. I am in love. They are getting there. Here is the key: honey. Your vinaigrette must be sweet in order to balance out the bitterness of the greens. You can also bring in some sweetness and fat with nuts, fruit, and cheese. But because I was making beef tacos, I decided to keep the salad simple.

1 tablespoon diced shallot

1/2 clove microplaned garlic

juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon champagne, white wine, or sherry wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Big bowl of greens (any combination of radicchio, Treviso radicchio, baby gems, escarole, endive)

FullSizeRender[1]Put shallots, garlic, lemon juice/zest, vinegar, and oil into a jar with a tight lid. Shake the heck out of it. Dip a leaf into the vinaigrette and taste. You want it to be a little sweet and quite acidic. These greens need big flavor. Sprinkle greens with coarse salt and pepper. Add parsley. Add dressing a few splashes at a time. Toss. Taste. Add more if you like.

Fix heaping plates, eat well, look forward to leftovers. Congratulations, you’ve just cooked your heart out.

*All photographs were shot by Phyllis on her mighty iPhone!


Simon

The California Citrus Experience is here!

 

cacitrus3webOne of the most prolific crops that grow throughout the state of California is citrus. From the Navel orange groves in San Diego County to the Satsuma mandarin orchards in the Sierra foothills there’s a citrus variety for everyone.  California citrus seasons always kicks-off at Bi-Rite in middle of November with the easy-peel, seedless Satsuma mandarin and ends in the beginning of April with the candy-like Pixie tangerine.  The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses loves to celebrate the peak of citrus season by launching the California Citrus Experience in January and February. Over these two months there will be over 25 varieties of citrus on the shelves of the produce department, tasty citrus themed cocktail recipes and plenty citrus products coming from our creamery and bakeshop. From snacking, to colorful salads, to zesty sweet treats, to potent cocktails to seasonal scoops- we’ve got just about every way to make the most of California Citrus Season on deck!

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The beginning of citrus season is all about Satsumas- the perfect intro to the season with its sweet/tart flavor and extra refreshing juice. Unfortunately the season is short and usually over by the second week of January.  Next up- the Clementine has the classic tangerine flavor with superbly sweet flavor and less acid than the Satsuma, followed by the Page mandarin- a clementine and grapefruit hybrid with a sweet rich juice.  Perfect for eating out of hand or juicing. We are fortunate to get our Page tangerines from Lagier Ranch in Escalon, CA for 2 months every year.  All of these Mandarins are a treat, but none draw the attention that the Kishu Mandarin does- believed to be native to China and was brought to California in the early 80’s, this tiny mandarin is extra easy to peel and pop in your mouth.  Jim Churchill aka “the Tangerine Man” located in hills of Ojai, CA and really knows how to grow the perfect Kishu. Weather permitting we will have Kishus at both Markets thru mid-February.

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Beyond Mandarins, our friends at Deer Creek Heights Ranch in Porterville, CA are harvesting beautiful blood oranges, navels and pomelos.  The Moro Blood orange has the perfect balance of sweet/tart flavor with berry- like tones and is one of the most versatile pieces of fruit in the kitchen. The Cara Cara pink navel offers a mild sweet flavor and a little less acid than navel oranges.  Lastly, the African Shaddock pomelo with its powerful fragrance and tasty meat-like texture, a must-try for any citrus lover. Up your salad game, up your citrus palate, gotta catch ’em all!

 

Our in-house mixologist Kitty Gallisa put together two different cocktail recipes to celebrate the season-

bitterblow6webThe Bitter Blow – Who are we kidding, 2016 was rough! We’re drinking away last year’s feelings with this colorful and potent kick to a new year!

thewakeup6_cardwebThe Wake Up – After all of the rich holiday foods, shake things up with a cocktail that’ll make your taste buds sit up and say, “Hello!”

 

 

And just in case you need some extra citrus dessert inspiration this weekend –

Caramelized Citrus from NYT Food

Blood Orange Curd with Honey Bourbon from A Brown Table

Winter Citrus Meringue Tarts from Local Milk

For the next couple months we will be introducing new citrus varieties to the Markets on a regular basis. Please swing by our Produce Department, enjoy a tasty sample and really see how amazing California Citrus can be when grown organically and harvested at the perfect level of ripeness! #PeakSeasonProduce!


Jon Fancey

Cheese Trek Travelogue: Queseria El Gazul, Acala de los Gazules, Spain!

CheeseTrek9The ninth stop on the Bi-Rite Cheese Trek takes us to a small town in the province of Cadiz, Spain – only an hour drive from the very Southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. A region known for its many culinary traditions – cured hams, olive oil, cold soups and incredible sherry! Fresh and brined cheeses are the everyday fare in most regions this far south where cheese is not traditionally matured due to the warmer climates.  However, there are a few exceptions, of which Payoyo Curado is one.

CheeseTrek91Payoyo Curado is a small wheel of cheese crafted by master cheesemaker Jorge Puerto at Quesería El Gazul. He uses organic milk from the celebrated and rare Payoya goat.  Payoya are indigenous to this region and thrive in the rocky and shrubby landscape.  At one point they were almost extinct but have since been tended to, bred, and documented much like the famous Iberico pig.

Whilst visiting a Manchego producer in Spain, I had the opportunity to check out a wonderful new cheese shop in Madrid. Always on the hunt for cheeses that I’ve never tasted, this shop was a treat, with selections mainly from the northern regions of Spain.  I was offered a taste of Payoyo, the ‘rarest’ cheese in their selection from the far South.  The texture was dense and the flavors were gentle, yet assertive, like no other goat cheese I had tasted before.  It has taken a few months to arrange for us to offer Payoyo as part of our Cheese Trek, but we’re so excited to finally have these very unique wheels!

Enjoy it with a simple meal of our 25-09-2009. ALCALç DE LOS GAZULES. CçDIZ. QUSOS EL GAZUL./ ROMçN RêOS.house made gazpacho and crusty bread. It also pairs beautifully with slices of Jamon Iberico and a drizzle of fine olive oil.  It’s one of the few aged goat cheeses that I would pair with red wine; an easy drinking Rioja would be best.  A glass of sherry would also be lovely if enjoying Payoyo after a meal.

The next stop on the Bi-Rite Cheese Trek takes us to a chalet on the border of Germany and Austria for a one of a kind alpine treat. As a reminder, this will be the tenth cheese on our Trek and the first opportunity to claim the Cheese Trek tote bag with a fully punched passport.  If you don’t have your passport, ask a Bi-Rite monger for one and join our journey as we #cheeseyourownadventure.


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?

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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

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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!


“What is THAT?” A Cheesy Comment Contest!

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Nestled into our cheese counter, the sight of Abrigo, one of our favorite Spanish cheeses, will literally stop some of our guests in their tracks. Abrigo stands out among buttery yellow and straw-colored wheels and the occasional square, not just for it’s lively color but also for its unique shape. We’ve heard so many fun ideas about what Abrigo must be (my personal favorite is a Celtic spaceship!) that we decided to have a contest!

Let us know what YOU think Abrigo looks like, and you could win a custom Tapas Kit for Two!

prize tag (2)How to Enter:

Abrigo’s unique shape, like that of its sister cheese Tronchon, comes from the traditional volcano-shaped Maestrazgo mold used in cheesemaking. Its name, which means “coat” in Spanish, refers to the range of colorful white-to-gray-to black mold covering the rind. We give them a good scrub down before bringing them to the counter to cut.

Let us not focus solely on the aesthetic merits of this cheese, though, however spectacular they may be. The nose of this cheese is a bit mushroomy but gives way to a flaky well-balanced paste that dances between sweet and tangy with an earthy finish.


Eleanor

New Blooms: Local Dahlias, Peonies, and Flowering Artichokes

LocalGroupCloser

New at 18th Street and Divisadero are a range of locally-grown flowers in a palette of brilliant pink, red, gold, and purple.

DahliasCloseupDahlias are beginning to reach their ideal size and color for the season. Just in today are dahlias from Lupe Farms in Daly City, a local grower we love.  Lupe Rico has just a couple acres of land, and uses it to grow dahlias ($9.99/bunch), hydrangea ($14.99 for a big beautiful bunch), strawflower ($7.99/bunch), and many other blooms. Dahlias will continue to come in over the next couple of weeks, so expect lots of different colors and varieties soon.

Peonies2Peonies ($3.99/stem) are still blooming strong, including my favorite, the coral charm variety.

ArtichokeCloseup1Another cool find at the flower market this morning: flowering artichokes! These large blooms are a brilliant neon violet and make a real impact as a single stem or in a bouquet . ($4.99/stem).

Stop by for a bunch!