There’s lots of innnnnteresting news to share about our glamorous Bernal Heights food scene, so let’s just dive right in…
Suite Foods Waffle Shop
Yes, the moment you’ve been waiting your entire life for is finally here. The Suite Foods Waffle Shop will open for business in the 331 Cortland marketplace tomorrow, on Saturday, June 1. As owner Sivan Wilensky told Bernalwood a few weeks ago:
We will be offering both sweet and savory waffles. Flavors that we will offer on a rotating basis will include espresso, brownie, mapbe bacon, and matcha. We will offer sweet and savory options as well, which will include poached eggs with smoked sea salt, frozen custard (from our friends at Frozen Kuhsterd), and fresh, seasonal fruit.
Kiss that silly paleo diet goodbye!
They’re calling it The Palace, but it will always be the Palace Family Steak House to us. The latest iteration of The Palace will also open for business on Saturday, June 1. Unlike the previous culinary horror show, all indications suggest that this second reincarnation of The Palace will actually be quite good, if spiritually quite different from the original Palace Family Steak House of yore.
All eyes are on The Palace, as it’s even attracting coverage from our pals at SFist:
Taking over operations will be Chef Manny Torres Gimenez, who has a thing for pairing a fine dining experience with the vintage restaurant signage and homey cafes along Mission Street. Gimenez previously took up residence inside Mr. Pollo up the street at Mission and 24th without doing much more than ensuring the kitchen was up to code. (Adorably, when the food won accolades, the newspaper clippings would be posted proudly in the window.)
More recently, Manny picked up two-and-a-half stars from Michael Bauer for his food at Roxy’s Cafe, where the interior was “decorated on a shoestring” and “had nothing in common with any of those high-end restaurants” from Manny’s past experience at top spots like SPQR, Coi and Quince. Like the decor, the tasting menus were surprisingly low budget at $20-25 for a three- or four-course Chef’s Choice menu.
The new spot, which they’re just calling The Palace now, will open this Saturday, June 1st as a 48-seat affair with most of the interior retaining the comfy squeak of booth seating, and four at the chef’s counter. True to the steakhouse roots, Gimenez and his GM/Wife Katerina Barkauskas will focus on butchering and curing their own locally sourced meats to create à la carte steakhouse staples with inspiration from his Venezuelan roots.
As you can see above, Bernalwood snagged an *exclusive* photo of the slightly-updated, somewhat toned-down interior of The Palace on Thursday evening as we chatted with Samir, the new restaurant’s friendly sous-chef.
Samir told us that the exterior sign strategy for The Palace remains a work-in-progress, so don’t be deterred if the vestigial sign from the ill-fated”Palace Steak & Pizza” days remains over the front door for a while.
Oh, and speaking of which… Samir also mentioned that the new entrance to The Palace will be on the
Serpentine Avenue Capp Street side of the building, not Mission.
Finally, never mind whatever The Michael Bauer might have to say about this new restaurant; the only critic who matters when it comes to The Palace will be Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable.
Lest we be accused of neophilia amid all this news of grand opening events, Bernalwood is also very happy to report that the venerable and delicious Angkor Borei Cambodian Restaurant on Mission Street near Cortland recently got some serious love on KQED-TV’s “Check Please” show.
The premise of “Check Please” entails several people you’ve never heard of sitting around a table to discuss the meal they ate at a restaurant you’ve probably never noticed. The show has a low-fi, pre-Food Network feel, which is somehow appropriate for Ankor Borei, which has been in Bernal since the 1980s. Angkor Borei is not hip, it’s not artisanal, and it’s not particularly stylish. But Angkor Borei makes very excellent and very unique food — and it’s good to be reminded of that.
The video is charming, so let’s watch:
PHOTOS: All photos by Telstar Logistics, except for the Ankor Borei facade, which comes from the Ankor Borei website.