Cragel Wars: Brooklyn "Bagel Artist" Claims to Have Invented the Tasty Hybrid

Pete Kane
House of Bagels' "cragel," a tasty mashup of croissant and bagel, has inadvertently stepped on some toes. Scot Rosillo of the Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a self-proclaimed "bagel artist" who claims to have invented the cragel and that "Everything Else Is A [sic] Imitation." "Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but there's no substituting the real thing," Rossillo told SF Weekly, noting his hybrid's appearances on the Food Network and the Chew.

See Also: Enter: the Cragel, House of Bagels' New Croissant-Bagel Hybrid

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Enter: the Cragel, House of Bagels' Croissant-Bagel Hybrid

Pete Kane
A fresh tray of cragels emerges from the oven.

Doubtless some people, when informed that there is now such a thing as a "cragel," will think, "OMG, no. Just no," while others will jump with joy at the prospect of maybe, possibly getting to wait in the rain for three hours for something. And they're both wrong. The cragel is imminent, it is delicious and it's not a day-old gimmick flown across the country. It's in the Richmond, at House of Bagels.

See Also: CDXX, a Burger Joint in the Bayview, With a Croughnut!

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Presidio: Hot Eating and Drinking Destination?

Presidio Social Club
The Martini series at the PSC.
The Presidio is a national park that is by all accounts a pretty and nice place to exercise and look at spiral art. Now, there's more of a draw as the area morphs into something of a food and beverage destination.

Scenery, history, and a true sense of place may have something to do with the latest crop of projects to call the Presidio home (the views are killer, too). Since 1776, the location has been a key military spot, and much later park location. Lucasfilm and the Disney Museum are recent cultural draws; George Lucas is pushing to get his somewhat controversial museum plans pushed through. Chef Traci des Jardin's new Presidio restaurant will be called The Commissary and is slated for a spring opening;

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The Bay Area's Distillery Scene is Taking Off

Flickr/Charles Haynes
Customers on a tour at St. George Spirits.
I spent Christmas week in my hometown Seattle, where I was surprised to find that a whole microdistilling scene had sprung up in my absence. The city is now home to nearly a dozen craft distilleries making creative versions of whiskey, gin, vodka, and more (when I left in 2008, there was one). It made me wonder why San Francisco, with all of its emphasis on local, small-batch food, doesn't have a bunch of craft distilleries of its own.

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The Year in Review: Cronuts, Ramen Burgers, and the Rise of BuzzFood

Categories: Trend Watch

The Ramen burger.
For our last issue of 2013, SF Weekly staffers looked back on the ups and downs of the past year. Amid drunk marmots, BART sex, America's Cup, and overwhelming musical nostalgia, we identified a troubling new trend in the culinary world: BuzzFood.

2013, Our Year of the Cronut, was the year the culinary mashup exploded onto the scene like so many Pop Rocks. Most of the unholy concoctions cooked up by enterprising chefs were devoured by the Internet with relentless enthusiasm: ramen burgers, cheeseburger ramen, burgers with grilled-cheese-sandwich buns, burgers with mac-and-cheese buns, ramen wings, Cronut burgers, on and on it went. It didn't matter that many of these items weren't especially practical or even good. Novelty trumped substance, at least when pageviews and social-media followers were involved.

See also: The Year in Review: Nudity! Yachting! Marmots! And BART Sex!

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Trend Watch: The Rise of Fast-Casual Pizza

Categories: Trend Watch

A pair of stories today illustrate the next trend in fast-casual dining: pizza. Denver's Westword got the scoop that Chipotle is a major investor in the town's seven-month-old pizza spot, Pizzeria Locale. Like the burrito chain, customers can customize their own meal by mixing-and-matching toppings that include the traditional (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms) and the more adventurous (corn, broccolini, prosciutto). The thin-crust pizzas are cooked in two minutes in a 1,000-degree oven. Chipotle founder Steve Ells consulted on the project as well as backed it with the intention of growing it into a national brand.

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Blue Moon Probably Isn't America's Most Searched Beer: A Close Read of Google's Trend Data

Categories: Tech, Trend Watch

(The seasonal rise and fall of Bud Light Lime)

In our modern times, the search engine is the keeper of our collective dirty secrets, our obsessions, our embarrassing gaps in knowledge. And Google has released its annual trend report, capturing the top searches for celebrities, brands, symptoms, sports teams, song lyrics, gadgets, TV series, stocks, and food categories like beer, cocktails, and recipes.

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Three Non-Alcoholic Drinks So Good You Won't Miss the Booze

Categories: Trend Watch

Hortensia Mitura
Ginger-mint soda at Boot and Service
Every once in a (very long) while we eschew our Sunday morning Bloody Mary or French 75 in favor of a something a little less potent. We recently gave our livers a brief reprieve and sampled three craft non-alcoholic beverages throughout the Bay Area; evidence that a drink does not have to be 40 proof to be delicious.

See also: This Week in Coffee: S.F.'s Best Roasters, Annoying Orders, and Upcoming Openings
C&B's Syrup Creating a Tonic Boom in SF
Where to Find Drinking Vinegar in San Francisco

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Malt Is The Flavor of Sweet Summer

Recchiuti Confections
We've noticed a few things while out in the field doing copious amounts of confectionery research (strictly for the people) this summer. We've been getting serious Eighties Ovaltine flashbacks because dessert vixens are using malt a lot right now. A few of these fine specimens that we're going to recommend to you will disappear before Labor Day, so we suggest you start planning a malt mission immediately.

But what is malt, anyway?

See also: Chocolate Lab Is An Elegant Extension of Recchiuti Brand

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Got PMS? Overrule It With Chocolate and Gourmet Treats

A sample monthly box from Juniper.
A woman-owned, San Francisco-based company called Juniper offers a subscription of monthly deliveries of chocolate, gourmet snacks, and the recipient's feminine product of choice from major brands for the clever amount of $28 per month. Listen up, ladies and the men who empathize with them -- that's not even the only cool package you can arrange to have shipped to your house or office at the correct time when you need such necessities the most.

See also: Dandelion Chocolate Smoothies Contain Real Cacao Fruit

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