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May 18, 2010 06:20 AM

NY Times: Bernal Heights: May 6

A Neighborhood Stages a Culinary Comeback by Tara Duggan makes note of Sandbox Bakery, Avedano's, and more.

235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

Sandbox Bakery
833 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

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  1. Those precious little articles kill a decent scene IMHO, but thanks for the posting...

    Decent article on Radius in SF a few months back, did make me go and I like that spot

    2 Replies
    1. re: Munching Mark

      It rings pretty true to me. I'm a Bernal resident and have been in all the place mentioned. Don't think I'd call it a "Culinary Comeback" as it not like there was some lost Golden Age of food in Bernal in the distant past. But that's headline writing for you.

      1. re: Calvinist

        Yeah, they love alliteration.
        I was surprised to read about the planned tea room...any Bernal people have ideas about the location?

    2. I guess you all can thank me for the 'comeback' since it all happened as soon as I moved out of the 'hood... :-)

      Seriously, I think 'decent' in MM's description might be the operative word, at least in my experience. Some of the better food on Cortland is not in the newest places mentioned in the article. (thinking of Piqueo's and Little Nepal).

      I did get a chance to stop into 331 Cortland on Saturday morning. It was early (about ten am), and while the store was open, the sandwich place was not, which put a bit of a damper on my plans to pick up something to take to the ball game. The empanadas from El Norteno were mostly still in the oven, but I did pick up two humitas. $3.75 each, IIRC. Aren't they a bit less at the Farmer's Markets?

      Perhaps I've become too much of a (Central)Valley girl, but I found the tiny square footage to be downright claustrophobic, even though we were practically the only customers. Wouldn't want to shop there if they were crowded. If I still lived a few blocks away I might stop in now and then when I wanted a snack, but nothing about it was particularly compelling at first glance...

      830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Little Nepal
      925 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

      11 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        I do agree that Piqueo's is the best resturant on Cortland.

        830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. re: susancinsf

          I'm assuming you need a bigger business than the small footprint @ 331 Cortland to be sucessful -- catering, farmer's market stall, etc. We shall see if the economics work out!

          1. re: susancinsf

            I think that's what I paid for the El PorteƱo empanadas at the farmers' market, give or take a quarter. They discount if you buy six or more.

            To be fair, the idea is to keep overhead low so that specialized businesses like a knife sharpener that can't profitably support a storefront on their own can afford to have a public face/space.

            And agreed, Piqueo's is my favorite spot on Cortland.

            830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. re: Windy

              If you haven't been to Liberty Cafe in a while, I recommend going. While it may no longer be the best on the neighborhood, it's really improved over the last few months.

              1. re: Windy

                Nice info, have to go check that area out deeply soon!

                1. re: Windy

                  I'm on the fence. I agree that the space is awfully cramped -- anything like a crowd would overwhelm the space. And I agree that it could be a boon for specialized vendors who need more than carts / farmer's markets -- and that it could really enrich the retail 'ecology' on Cortland.

                  Hopefully they will be nimble enough to adapt their experiment to match the market they find. Seems like a work in progress at this point.

                  1. re: BernalKC

                    I've gotten sushi from ICHI Lucky Cat Deli there several times now. I love having a good daytime sushi option. It fits my needs perfectly for the days I work at home.

                    1. re: Calvinist

                      I agree-- ICHI Lucky Cat is a nice sushi option. My husband and I went to pick up lunch today, a Saturday- fish was fresh. Unfortunately, our experience with the service was off-putting. We waited quite a while just to place an order. But the strangest was the person kept on working without acknowledging us at all, and we had no clue what the system and wait was. We were happy to place an order and come back but he prepped 2 other orders before talking to us. When we came back to pick up our order, we saw a person who placed an order confused as well, and he ended up cancelling his order. Maybe the weekdays are the days to go. We don't live nearby so we won't make the trip out again just for the sushi.

                      Nice to be able to get El Porteno empanadas!

                      1. re: rln

                        Thanks for the feedback on our ordering system. We'll try a new approach to see if it works better!

                        1. re: erinichi

                          And I'll again mention how much I like the freshness and quality of the fish @ ICHI Lucky Cat.