Categories
Restaurants

Popular Bay Area BBQ Joint Is Serving Free BBQ To Medical and Frontline Workers

horn bbq brisket

Burgeoning underground pop-up Horn Barbecue has been making a reputation around the Bay Area. It was started in 2016 by head chef and pitmaster Matt Horn through a desire to impress his wife. Her disapproval of some ribs he cooked once inspired him to never cook another piece of bad ‘cue. Horn has since honed his skills in Central Texas-style barbecue that’s dry rubbed, smoked, and hormone-free. Now, his popular ‘cue garners queues of hundreds. And as such, the last few years have quickly made Horn BBQ one of the go-to Bay Area spots for locals. 

Another contributor to Horn BBQ’s success is it’s family owned, co-ran with his wife, Nina. As a black-owned business in a city rich with black history, Horn feels a responsibility to his community and those that came before him. Those strong community ties are present in Horn BBQ’s recently launched initiative, which was created in response to the on-going corona pandemic. The Horn Initiative is a philanthropic effort that stems from a lifelong commitment to give to those in need. Being of service was a fundamental part of Horn’s upbringing and during these dire days, he wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to him. Horn recalls a recent interaction with a police officer: 

“While hosting one of our community ‘cues, I had an officer ask why I was doing the [pop-up] cooks. I explained to him that it is my responsibility to my community to step up and be a blessing to those that need it. He asked, “Why me?” and I told him that he is a vital part of our community and through love, we can get through this together.”

Committed to serving the community, with your help, The Horn Initiative will continue into the post-covid future. To donate, Horn BBQ has created a Gofundme to cover food costs. For the moment though, as we move towards overcoming this, you can stay up to date on the next pop-up here. To bolster their efforts, they’ll also be dropping off food at homeless camps and hospitals. Meals are open to anyone in need.

 

Photos: Matt Horn/ Horn BBQ
Categories
Fast Food News

New York Times Gives Highly Controversial Zero-Star Review Of Roy Choi’s Locol

Chef Roy Choi is known for turning everything he touches into gold. He changed the food truck game with his Korean BBQ taco trucks, his Chego restaurants are wildly popular in Los Angeles, and in 2016 he tried to revolutionize the fast food industry by providing more wholesome options to economically challenged areas that are ‘food deserts’ in California.

While people have been singing praises to his and Daniel Patterson’s ‘Locol’ restaurants in Watts, and Oakland, the New York Times recently published a pretty scathing review of the restaurant.

The Times’ Peter Wells went in hard, saying that the food was so bad, it deserved a zero star rating from him.

“The neighborhoods Locol is targeting have serious nutritional problems, from hunger to obesity, but the solution isn’t to charge people for stuff that tastes like hospital food,” Wells said in his review.

On the other hand, zero stars might be a little rough, considering there are a lot of favorable reviews of Locol on Yelp. A closer look at these reviews, however, shows that most of the positive vibes come from praise for Choi and his concept and intentions, and not so much the food.

So while a less than favorable review might have been in order, zero stars is a bit shocking, so much so that Choi himself responded in an Instagram post:

“I know many of you want me to respond or snap back at him but the situation to me is much more than that. I welcome Pete’s review. It tells me a lot more about the path. I don’t know Pete but he is now inextricably linked to LocoL forever.”

Zero stars. I know many of you want me to respond or snap back at him but the situation to me is much more than that. I welcome Pete’s review. It tells me a lot more about the path. I don’t know Pete but he is now inextricably linked to LocoL forever. So I’ll share with you what I wrote to a friend and our team. We got that PMA: “The truth is that LocoL has hit a nerve. Doesn’t mean all people love it, some hate it. But no one is indifferent by it. That’s the spirit of LocoL. It has nothing to do with my ego. It’s something bigger than all of us. Pete Wells is a component to its DNA. His criticisms are a reflection of us and the nerve that LocoL touches. And our imperfections. Also the nerve of challenging the binary structure of privileged thought patterns and how life is not just about what’s a success or failure, but some things are real struggles and growth journeys. We all know the food is not as bad as he states. Is it perfect? NO. But it’s not as bad as he writes. And all minorities aren’t criminals either. And all hoods aren’t filled with dangerous people either. But the pen has created a lot of destruction over the course of history and continues to.. He didn’t need to go there but he did. That’s why he’s a part of LocoL. The power of this change and this nerve that it hits. It compelled him to write something he knows would hurt a community that is already born from a lot of pain and struggle.. Crazy, right? But I see it as a piece to this whole puzzle.” #LocoL #Watts #Oakland

A photo posted by Chef Roy (@ridingshotgunla) on

Wells did provide some positive feedback, saying the coffee was “excellent,” and the atmosphere was also a success. Doesn’t that warrant at least one star?

The review got Choi’s attention, the internet’s attention, and put Locol at the forefront of headlines.

If this headline helps the progress of Locol going forward, we might look back at it as something positive for the chain.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Roy Choi Wants To Save ‘The Hood’ With His New Restaurant

“In the ghettos of america we feed our children corrosive chemical waste.” – Chef Roy Choi, Owner of Locol

Powerful words from one of Southern California’s most influential chefs who is working to change the dynamic between healthier eating habits and people living in poverty-stricken communities.

With the opening of Locol, in Watts, Choi and business partner Daniel Patterson are taking on the fast food industry to make healthy food less expensive and accessible to all.

In this video, uploaded by Uproxx to YouTube, we get a first hand look at exactly what Locol is all about.

With locations now open in Oakland, California and the flagship store located in Watts, customers are beginning to understand what they’ve been missing out on.

Roy Choi speaks candidly about his vision and his determination to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods.

“What we’re going to do is tackle the fast food industry. And we do it like we know how as chefs; we just get in and cook.”

Locol features recipes built from scratch and all food made by hand, Locol is creating waves throughout the communities it serves, simply by creating an environment for people to care about food.

In areas dominated by franchised fast food chains, mom-and-pop grocery stores lacking organic produce, Locol is coming to the rescue. Reasonable prices and outside-the-box menu items have made venturing to Locol a new dining experience, while also providing employment opportunities for those living in the communities Locol aims to serve.

Photomenu_Locol

During a 2014 MAD Symposium and Conference, in Coppenhagen, Choi shared his well-spoken philosophy when describing exactly how he envisions the Locol legacy will endure.

“You wouldn’t have record execs making the music, right? That’s what musicians do,” he said. “But right now, we’re in a situation where cooks aren’t designing the food that most people are eating. The suits are. Let’s get back to the chefs making the food and the moral choices for the people. Let’s get in and cook.”

When describing how he came up with the name, Choi simply explained that there’s two very specific meanings behind “Locol.”

The name ‘Locol’ is two concepts together, like we’re fucking crazy to be doing this, and we’re local,” he said.

With a well known brand throughout Souther California, Roy Choi’s chef-driven vision is sure to stay alive.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

These Former Apple Employees Created User-Friendly Weed Edibles

This November California voters will have the opportunity to vote on cannabis legalization the in Golden State. However, the legalization movement is already spreading quickly with the success of states that have already passed recreational use policies, like Colorado and Washington State.

Now, with loosened regulations around cultivation and legalization, new businesses are beginning to jump at the opportunity to create the newest trends in cannabis culture — specifically with edibles. From weed gummy bears to extract-based gelato, as the market for these weed-based eats is expanding, companies are working hard to make using these psychoactive-products enjoyable — and safe.

The Oakland-based edible company, Dèfoncè Chocolatier, which is linked to former Apple employees, is working to create an aesthetically-pleasing, and ‘user-friendly’ edible that won’t make you feel like you’re in a Salvador Dali painting.

With an innovative pyramid shaped design, the culinary-cannabis engineers behind the brand wanted to eliminate the guessing game when it comes to users trying to figure out how large of a dose they should consume — or have already consumed.

By incorporating the geometrical shapes into the chocolate bar, the company was able to precisely measure the amount of THC in every bar and include a diagram of recommended doses.

defoncechoco

 

As the canna-business industry begins to merge into the legal realm, it’s refreshing to see companies like Dèfoncè Chocolatier paving the way for new concepts that will change the way people think about and interact with the recreational cannabis industry.

Categories
Cravings

CRAVING: Pancetta-wrapped, Sausage-stuffed Chicken Breast & Leg

pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Most days I know before I enter a restaurant if I’m going to post about something here on FOODBEAST. While we love dining out and sharing our experiences, not every meal we experience is noteworthy enough for you guys. But this was a stark exception.

I got the chance to try Baywolf, a Berkeley/Oakland area restaurant to celebrate my brother’s recent graduation from the Haas Business School. Again, I didn’t plan on writing about anything – just wanted to spend time with friends and family – but then I read this:

Pancetta-wrapped chicken breast and sausage-stuffed legs with mushrooms and spring onions

Immediately I knew that was going to be a contender for my entree choice ($18.50), even while the pan-seared salmon with saffron risotto cake ($24, delicious, thanks vanessa) and the moroccan-style lamb ($22.50, more delicious, thanks John) with couscous seemed to stare seductively into my soul/belly. But pancetta-wrapped anything (or bacon-wrapped for that matter) is hard to pass on, let alone it being stuffed with sausage as too. And it didn’t disappoint.

innards pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Excited to come back to this place since the menu offerings seem to change every couple of weeks (farm-to-table) and the ambiance and service was just overall well-done. If you’re in the bay – make the trip.

Baywolf

3853 Piedmont Ave., Oakland CA 94611