Plus Chris Cosentino will open a restaurant in a St. Helena hotel, Adele ate something that might make you hate her less or love her more, and life lessons from an ugly dumpling.
[jump] Sparky's Diner Appears to Be Closed
Five days after calling attention to the eventual demise of Doc's Clock, Broke-Ass Stuart reports that Sparky's Diner on Church Street appears to be closed. That a 24-hour restaurant closes at all would be news, but it appears to be really and truly closed. A little sleuthing revealed that the place could no longer afford the $30,000/month rent, although a woman at a nearby jewelry store claimed that the diner had endured repeated health code violations. We'll always have Orphan Andy's … right?
Chris Cosentino Will Open a Restaurant in St. Helena
Details are slim, but Inside Scoop reports that Chris Cosentino and Oliver Wharton (partners at Cockscomb) will open an eatery inside the Las Alcobas Hotel, scheduled to open in St. Helena this November.
Speed Rack Returns Feb. 21
Speed Rack, the breast-cancer fundraiser among women in the bartending profession, comes back to S.F. this Sunday, Feb. 21. Among this year's 20 contestants are Crystal Chasse of Blackbird and Dirty Habit, Carly Morrison of Rx and Whitechapel, and Jessica Everett of Mamacita and Tipsy Pig, who with 17 others will be judged on how quickly and accurately they can make cocktails from a list of 50. To date, the charity has raised more than $350,000.
Speed Rack, Sunday, Feb. 21, 3-7 p.m., $20-$25, at Gray Area Art + Technology, 2665 Mission, speed-rack.com.
So what do you think? Is Adele still “the patron saint of basic bitches” or is she kind of a little awesome?
We're Getting a Visit from the Ugly Dumpling
Portland author Stephanie Campisi will visit Green Apple Books on April 23 to promote her debut picture book, The Ugly Dumpling. A gender-neutral allegory about the joys of being different from everybody else, it's the story of a piece of dim sum at a restaurant called the Golden Swan who nobody wants to eat until a cocky cockroach teaches it some valuable life lessons. I've never met a dumpling I didn't love, but who doesn't sympathize with the underdog? Note: There will be steamed buns and coloring time at the reading.
Long Read: Food Coloring
Although I died a little after reading how Nestle seems to think it's on some kind of spiritual quest by phasing out food coloring, this Civil Eats article on FD&C Yellow No. 5 and all its sibling dyes is quite fascinating. Kids eat a ton of it, and apparently there are unsafe levels. As an ominous non-warning, one FDA spokesperson says, “Color additives are very safe when used properly.” You remember how the entire plot of Stephen King's Cujo stems from a dad leaving his wife and kid to handle an emergency at his cereal company when red dye causes kids to throw up what looks like blood…?
Waffle House's Chili Guy Wrote a Book
Sometimes, I get press releases that are simply too weird not to share. Former Waffle House president and COO Bert Thornton (who created the restaurant's signature Bert's Chili in 1983) has a new book out, with the title Find an Old Gorilla: Pathways Through the Jungle of Business and Life. I expect this to rank somewhere between Trump's The Art of the Deal and a particularly folksy shareholder address by Warren Buffett, with copious references to higher primates. But since the 24-7 Waffle House is so good at staying open during natural disasters that FEMA created an index based around it, maybe they could teach Sparky's a thing or two.