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The peak of our local tomato season has finally arrived. While in many parts of the country, tomato season coincides with the heart of summer, due to our cooling onshore flow from the Pacific Ocean that we experience in the Bay Area, our tomatoes usually wait until the last month of summer to ripen and bear sweet fruit. Not coincidentally, other members of the nightshade family such as chiles and sweet peppers also ripen at the same time.
Throughout the year we receive requests for pico de gallo, but I have been hesitant to use out of season tomatoes that often are mealy and flavorless. The tomatoes are so good right now that for the next several weeks there will be the option to add a bowl of fresh Early Girl pico de gallo to an order of tortilla chips and trio of salsas.
We have also added a new salad to the menu consisting of Heirloom tomatoes, grilled Jimmy Nardello peppers and zucchini chips with a black olive-serrano chile salsa and cotija cheese. Normally tomato season rolls into the fall until the end of October, or when the first rains fall. Hopefully we have a nice long tomato season, but El Nino may have something to say about that. So, please come and savor some great tomatoes while they last.
The Crossroads of Food and Rock ‘n’ Roll
On Wednesday, August 26th, The Commonwealth Club will present a panel discussion exploring the often intertwining, increasingly converging worlds of food and music in The Crossroads of Food and Rock ‘n’ Roll. John Paluska, co-owner of Comal and The Advocate, and former manager of the band Phish, will join Ken Friedman (co-owner of five restaurants including Tosca Café and The Spotted Pig), Dave McLean (founder and brewmaster of Magnolia Brewing Company, Magnolia Pub, The Alembic, and Smokestack BBQ) and moderator Dan Stone, founder and editor in chief of Radio Silence to share perspectives on the exchange and overlap between the two industries, from music and food festivals and concert-hosting restaurants to the ways music vets and fans are turning their passion for food into careers.
DATE: Wednesday, August 26, 2015
TIME: 6:30 pm check-in, 7 pm program
PRICE: $20 General Admission Non-Member, $8 General Admission Members, $7 Students
ADDRESS: 555 Post Street (between Mason and Taylor Streets), San Francisco
On Tuesday, August 25th, Comal will welcome Collin McDonnell from HenHouse Brewing Company and Kim Sturdavant from Social Kitchen and Brewery to join them in featuring a selection of small batch beers paired with dishes by Comal’s executive chef Matt Gandin. HenHouse was founded in Petaluma in 2011; Social Brewery, only steps from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, was established in 2010. The two breweries have worked together before and this special event dinner will highlight beers from each brewery, as well as a collaboration brew, all paired with the flavors of Oaxaca found in Chef Matt’s dishes. Like previous dinners, the HenHouse & Social Brewery beer dinner will be held in Abajo, Comal’s private dining room.
Both HenHouse and Social Brewing are established new American-style breweries in the Bay Area. The goal at HenHouse is to be fearless and uncompromising in the pursuit of brewing innovative and fresh products. They are focused on hand-crafted quality and have a true love of making beer – as they say on their webpage: “HenHouse is the work of our hands, hearts and brains.”
Social’s beers are produced in-house at their pub, located in the heart of the Sunset district of San Francisco. Their hands-on, small batch approach assures top quality all the way to your glass. They source ingredients from around the world to replicate traditional styles with their own twist. They strive to produce beer that is accessible, balanced, complex, and interesting all in the same sip. Finally, Social believes in finesse, flavor, and delicious, small batch, rustic beer you can’t find anywhere else.
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, August 25th at 6:30pm
PRICE: Tickets are $60 (inclusive of food, beer and service charge)
RESERVATIONS: Space is limited – to purchase tickets, follow this link: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/933845
ADDRESS: Comal is located at 2020 Shattuck Avenue (at University Avenue) in Berkeley
Yellowtail crudo w/ fresh coriander, avocado and cracked pepper
HenHouse Saison – Northern French farmhouse-style ale brewed with black pepper and coriander
Jamon Serrano with spiced melon
Collaboration Sterling Cross – Hoppy saison with sterling and brambling cross hops
Grilled chicken livers with chipotle salsa
HenHouse Oyster Stout – Coffee forward stout brewed with oysters
Pork picadillo tamal with mole coloradito
Social Pan Au Chocolat – Belgian brown with lactose and cacao nibs
Flan tradicional with raspberries
Social Tony Tripel – Belgian tripel conditioned with brettanomyces