Monday Nine: 21st Amendment Repeal Day, Hamlet Opens, Bananas Might Go Extinct

Plus some tentatively good news on soda taxes, and there are some seriously weird things happening in Utah around dirty soda.

21st Amendment Celebrates Repeal Day

If you have a flapper dress, a cloche hat, cutaway coats and/or spats, it's time to 23-skidoo over to San Leandro for the celebration of Repeal Day. The beer that's named for the 1933 constitutional amendment that ended Prohibition will take the lead, beginning with the annual “We Want Beer” march around the brewery, a seven-piece Dixieland band, a casino to benefit charity, house-made sausages, and lots of beer. And if the location sounds like a long drive, 21st Amendment is running free shuttles to San Leandro BART.
Repeal Day Bash, Saturday, Dec. 5, noon – 6 p.m., at 21st Amendment Brewery, 2010 Williams, San Leandro,

Hamlet Now Soliloquizing in Noe
While Hamlet the Danish prince lamented how his mother's wedding was so close on the heels of his father's funeral the same food was served, we are nothing short of elated over how quickly Hamlet the restaurant opened in Noe Valley in what used to be Horner's Corner. A meaty, under-$30 menu (lamb shoulder, bavette steak, a burger) and $11 cocktails fill out this project from John Dampeer of Caskhouse and Pei Mew of Urchin, with brunch coming soon.
Hamlet, 1199 Church, 415-829-3286,

Volta Arrives in December
Bjork's album Volta has a track called “The Dull Flame of Desire,” but our desire is anything but dull for the bar-and-restaurant coming to the Westfield, a.k.a. the mall one floor below where I am currently typing this. Scheduled to open in the “first part of December,” this project by the owners of Perbacco and Barbacco will mix French and Scandinavian influences in a brasserie atmosphere. There will be housemade aquavit!
Volta, in the Westfield, 868 Market,

Fat Angel Holiday Beer and Cake Pairings
Starting tomorrow, Dec. 1, Western Addition bar-restaurant Fat Angel will launch a holiday beer menu with 26 bottles plus one rotating guest tap per week. Paired with those draft beers (from 21st Amendment, The Bruery, and others) are slices of spiked seasonal cakes from Sainte G. Cake Company. The first duo is a mocha mousse with brownie crust paired with Drake's Brewing's Jolly Roger.
Fat Angel, 1740 O'Farrell, 415-525-3013 or

Bananas Might Be Going Extinct
A disease called Tropical Race 4 is annihilating banana crops on every continent where they're grown, and because bananas are clones that don't reproduce sexually, their ability to out-evolve the disease is dubious. More ominously still, according to Quartz, this has all happened before. An earlier strain of the disease wiped out a different banana cultivar in the 1800s.

Dominique Crenn Profile
Food Republic profiled S.F.'s own Dominique Crenn.  She has no patience for egos in the kitchen, or for antisocial behavior in the dining room: “It’s crazy; there are 21-years-olds, and they come in with an iPad and you try to talk to them and they totally ignore you,” Crenn says.

Soda Taxes Work (But Maybe Not in Berkeley)
According to The Economist, no Maoist organ they, soda taxes work largely as intended, curbing excess sugar consumption. Although bottled water is hardly without its problems, people in Mexico started drinking more of it (and less soda) after the introduction of a tax. However, according to SPUR, the initial analysis of Berkeley's soda tax (introduced in March) paints a slightly murkier picture. It's expected to bring in $1.2 million in 2015, but because Berkeley is geographically small, people might just be buying their soda in Oakland.

Dirty Soda Tears Utah Apart
Meanwhile, in bizarre soda trends, heavily Mormon Utah is the site of a battle between “dirty soda” purveyors. According to the New York Times, the state where many people refrain from alcohol and caffeine is where people add extra shots of sugary, flavored syrups to their sodas for a jolt of energy, but a trademark dispute over who gets to call it a dirty soda is taking on existential proportions. And the closing paragraph, laced with the mildest of profanity by a hopped-up believer, is just too adorable.

Breitbart Vs. Starbucks
Because the Starbucks War on Xmas cup controversy will not die, let me fan the flames a little further by not linking to right-wing zoo Breitbart, which is selling a $10 red coffee cup designed to stick it to your local godless barista.

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