Wednesday: The SF BBQ Fest is Saturday

Plus The Bird opens, Umami Burger creates exclusive burgers for each of its three NorCal restaurants, and SERENITY NOW! at Onsen.

Adriano Paganini’s The Bird Has Arrived

The fried chicken joint from the fast-casual master responsible for Super Duper, Uno Dos Tacos, and many, many other restaurants around town, The Bird (115 New Montgomery) is open as of today. (It’s signage is a fox, presumably to evoke the untrustworthy henhouse-guarder who eats his fill.) The team was only prepared for 200 $8 sandwiches starting at 11 a.m., and tomorrow will be no different, although if you arrive early enough, you can get your chicken spicy or mild and throw in some curly fries. Inside Scoop has a droll early review, comparing it favorably to Chick-fil-A but looking down on the (insufferably cutesy) hashtag #cluckyeah.

Forty Judges at the San Francisco Barbecue Fest Shower $10K on a Team of Cooks

This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Yard at Mission Rock, a panel of 40(!) judges empaneled by the Kansas City Barbecue Society will convene at the San Francisco BBQ Festival and award $10,000 to one of 40 barbecue teams. Their chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket will be be judged on presentation, texture, and taste, as 15 craft breweries from the Bay Area keep people lubricated. It’s the second year running for this baby, and tickets start at $25.

Onsen, a “Holistic Spa and Tea Room” to Open in the Tenderloin

In the former City Automotive Building at 466 Eddy comes Onsen, a 3,200-square-foot Japanese bathhouse with tea service, craft beer, and a 25-seat seasonal Japanese restaurant run by chef George Meza (previously of Ame and Oro). It’ll open for dinner on Friday, Nov. 11 and for lunch in December, and considering the serenity levels, I don’t think anyone will be shaming this place with any noise bomb icons when he reviews it. You should really check out Onsen’s Instagram while you’re at it, because it’s pretty much one extraordinary image after another.

Facebook Looking to Compete Directly With Yelp

“I really wanted to like this place, but…”
“Amazing food and service, but NO PARKING! 1 star.”
“They wouldn’t accommodate my daughter’s peanut allergy during the soft opening!”
“Needless to say, I won’t be coming back.”

According to the Business Times, we may soon get to read comments like these on Facebook as the company seeks to crush Yelp. By letting business opt-in to use a new set of Facebook features, you’ll be able to streamline your social life “by soliciting dining recommendations, scheduling reservations and paying for event tickets, all without leaving Facebook at any point.”

Umami Burger Expands Its Menu

It’s not quite a veggie burger that bleeds, but Umami Burger‘s three Bay Area locations — Oakland, Palo Alto, and the Marina —will have new non-beef options like Japanese wings with a soy glaze and shichimi peppers, gochujang sliders, and a fried chicken breast with diablo sauce and roasted garlic aioli. Additionally, each of the three locations will have its own exclusive burger. The Marina’s is Smoke on the Water (beef, smoked Gouda, miso maple bacon, Umami BBQ sauce, hatch and piquillo peppers, and smoked salt onion strings).

The Market Not Opening in the Big Apple Market on Polk

The Market — the upscale grocery on the ground floor of Twitter’s HQ at 1355 Market St. — was hoping to open its second location at 1650 Polk, where the Big Apple Grocery used to be. Hoodline says it’s not happening, citing the possibility of a nearby Whole Foods as one factor. It also might be a sort of reverse-Goldilocks space, too small for most supermarkets and too large for most other forms of retail.

Ghost Pepper Hospitalized Daredevil Eater for Three Weeks

Scoville units. They’re so benevolent-sounding! But they’re a measurement of capsaicin, and one S.F. man spent 23 days in SF General “violently and repeatedly retching and vomiting” after eating a burger topped with a ghost pepper, according to SFGate. He had a one-inch tear in his esophagus. Jesus, dude, just swallow a sword or something.

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