Thursday Eleven: Every Bay Area McDonald's Will Have Gilroy Garlic Fries as of Wednesday

Veal with corn

Plus Sophina Uong won the Lamb Jam again, Orbit Room puts out a new cocktail and food menu, and two new sushi restaurants come on the scene.

[jump] McDonald's Gilroy Garlic Fries Are Back
The South Bay test run was apparently successful. Starting July 27, all McDonald's throughout the Bay Area will roll out Gilroy Garlic Fries, made from various types of Russet potatoes tossed in “stainless steel bowls with a purée mix of garlic” and “olive oil, parmesan cheese, parsley, and a pinch of salt.” I know this whole thing solicits a lot of eye-rolls, but I remain unwavering in my conviction that regionalism is exactly the direction McDonald's ought to be going.

Sophina Uong Won the Lamb Jam Three Years Running

Last Sunday at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio, I was one of nine judges for the seventh annual San Francisco Lamb Jam, where, for the third year running, Sophina Uong (of Calavera) took first place in three categories: Best in Middle Eastern, Best in Show, and People's Choice. Her lamb shoulder-pave-eggplant-date lutenitsa with sumac-pickled corn and cherry bomb harissa was as original as it was creative and delicious, and she'll now be taking it to New York in September to compete against winners from four other cities who all hope to be the Lamb Jam Master.

Canela's Mat Schuster and E&O Kitchen and Bar's Sharon Nahm Team Up
The two chefs will collaborate next Thursday, July 28 from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on an Asian-Spanish prix fixe. It's part of the Guest Chef program at Canela Bistro & Wine Bar (2272 Market) and the eminently affordable $49, five-course dinner includes tasty nibbles like a gazpacho made with Korean melon, cucumber, Spanish olive oil, and sizzling rice, as well as a curry-marinated lamb pinchos with tomato chutney romesco. Additionally, Canela has rolled out a set of fermented craft cocktails, which will be available that evening as well.

Orbit Room Launches Retro Food and Cocktail Menu
We noted not long ago that it's now doing coffee and weekend brunch, and now Orbit Room (1900 Market) embraces its highbrow-dive Deco setting with a new menu of cocktails and nibbles, including a quasi-make-it-your-own Shut the Front Door (whatever spirit you like, plus lime, ginger beer, and either hibiscus or hellfire). On the food side, there's a charcuterie plate, a Hawaiian pizza (Canadian bacon, pineapple, jalapeños), and Dagwood sandwich (a double-decker monster with salami, smoked ham, roast beef, peppered turkey, bacon, tomato, mixed greens, Swiss, Havarti, pickles, and olives on whole wheat). We're starting to like the reincarnation of this classic bar more and more.

21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon Partners With Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water (the forthcoming crime drama starring Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges) and Hell or High Watermelon, the refreshing beer from 21st Amendment Brewery, are coming together on National Watermelon Day (Aug. 3) in a genuinely impressive show of triple synergy. Everybody who goes to happy hour at 21st Amendment's San Francisco pub (563 Second St.) will get a ticket to a screening that night at 8 p.m. at the Delancey Street Screening Room (600 Embarcadero).

Christmas in July at Anchor Brewing
Since it's officially colder in July than it was in February, we might as well pretend it's December. Anchor Brewing has put out its Christmas in July Bucket, a $25 package that of two Christmas Ales from 2013, 2014, and 2015 (plus the bucket, Anchor Brewing Sunglasses, and an Anchor Brewing Beach Ball for just). You can throw in a magnum of 2015 Christmas Ale for an extra $15.99, and a good place to grab this bounty is the July 29 Firkin Friday, 5:30-9 p.m., at the Anchor Beer Garden at The Yard at Mission Rock (100 Terry A. Francois Blvd.)

1760 Opening Chef to Debut The Starling 
Adam Tortosa, who opened 1760 and has since been at Akiko's, will soon open a sushi restaurant called The Starling at 388 Fulton. With a $79 omakase and an approachable vibe, it's meant to take the intimidation factor out of a the chef's counter experience. Eater reports that the restaurant, housed in a brand-new building, will have 10 seats at the bar and another 20 at tables, with an estimated opening date of early winter.

Sushi Hon Soft-Opens in the Mission
According to Hoodline, Sushi Hon (2598 Harrison) soft-opened last night, serving a $65 prix fixe in anticipation of its full opening. Sushi chef Zhe Song and chef Sung Jang's menu carries French-Mediterranean overtones, and Jang previously worked with Michael Mina (and a Korean celebrity chef named Edward Kwon, and the price point is considerably lower than some of the more high-profile sushi places that have opened in the last few months.

Nute's Noodle Night Goes Full-Time
Inside Scoop reports that Nute Chulasuwan's four-night-a-week, ramen-and-Thai-noodle-heavy pop-up at 903 Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights will soon become full-time, now that she's in the process of purchasing the space from Mutsumi Takehara of the now-shuttered 903 Cortland. Check back in September.

Hopsy Moves Into Home Tap Delivery
Hopsy, the growler delivery service based in Albany, will soon begin delivering a home tap manufactured by KRUPS (the makers of Nespresso). The Business Times reports that it costs $150 and keeps beer fresh and cold for two weeks without refrigeration.

Giant Beer Merger Chugs Ahead
According to Bloomberg, the federal government allowed Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to take over SAB Miller, but the resulting megabrewery has to spin off the Miller brand (and get approval from China before the marriage can be consummated).

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