Here's the latest on San Francisco's food and drink scene. In this edition, a SoCal-based chain opens today in the FiDi, a Vietnamese-inspired breakfast and lunch spot appears to be close to its debut, a recently expanding dessert spot shutters with a spuds shop poised to take over, and a family-run deli slings sandos in North Beach.
Mendocino Farms (465 California St.)
As we reported late last month, Mendocino Farms is poised to debut its first San Francisco location in the historic Merchants Exchange building at 465 California St. (between Leidesdorff and Montgomery streets) in the FiDi.
Tipster Al stopped by earlier this week to take a peek and learned that recently-hired employees are going through training and the new spot is expected to open today.
Diners can expect to see signature sandwiches and salads like the "Not So Fried" Mary's chicken sandwich, a pork belly banh mi, and an avocado and quinoa superfood ensalada, as well as a few special menu items unique to this location.
Mendocino Farms will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. It eventually plans to open its doors earlier in the day, once its breakfast program is up and running.
Mr. East Kitchen (276 5th St.)
Next, Al reports from South of Market that a new eatery called Mr. East Kitchen, at 276 Fifth St. (between Clementina and Folsom streets) is getting closer to opening. "Word has it that it will open August 14," our tipster said.
As we reported last April, the restaurant will specialize in American breakfast fare with Vietnamese influences. When the new spot is open, expect to see dishes like eggs and avocado toast for breakfast, along with pho, rice bowls, salads, banh mi and bubble tea, according to its Facebook page.
Public records indicate that the space has been transformed from retail use with extensive renovations, including ventilation work, new lighting, plumbing and electrical, and a full kitchen build out.
Hot Spud (845 Market St - Westfield Centre)
Hot Spud is preparing to open its second location in the space that was recently occupied by dessert chain Chocolate Chair in the Westfield Centre.
As we reported last week, the dessert shop's Castro location had closed after less than six months in business. At the time, an unnamed employe at its Union Square location hinted that the Market Street mall's location was closing as well. Al stopped by this week and confirmed the closure, but could see that Hot Spud, which has its flagship location at 2640 Mason St. in Fisherman's Wharf, had already posted signs indicating its impeding arrival.
The banner posted to the space says to expect a winter 2018 debut. As always, Al promises to keep an eye on the space and report back with updates as warranted.
Palermo Delicatessen II (658 Vallejo St.)
Lastly, our informant headed to North Beach to check out the opening of Palermo Delicatessen II (between Stockton Street and Kenneth Rexroth Place), which comes from Gaetano "Tommy" Balistreri, who is managing the space with his uncle, Vince Balistreri.
Balistreri comes from a family of restaurateurs — Palermo II Delicatessen is the rebirth of his family's former Palermo Delicatessen eatery, now Tony's Slice House at 1556 Stockton St., which closed in 2008.
The family-run deli is now open for business, so, Al decided to order the North Beach special for good measure.
Thanks to man about town Al M. for the tips! If you've seen something new in the neighborhood, text your tips and photos to (415) 200-3233, or email email@example.com. If we use your info in a story, we'll give you credit.
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