I knew Magnini's was sold and it was finally reported in the Chronicle ...
"Cruz, who also owns the Santa Fe Market in Point Richmond, says he plans to keep Magnani the same, but better. Since he took over in September, he's been planning renovations that will provide space for more products.
He's already brought in organic turkeys. Down the road, look for organic beef from Marin County and local lamb. Cruz also says he's looking for a steady supply of pastured eggs, and that his pal Paul Bertolli (Fra'Mani handcrafted salumi) is helping him find great pork."
But ... but .. but ... I just discovered Magnini's house-made cold cuts and bacon.
That smoked bacon is something else ... deep smoke flavor with a touch of maple sweetness. The meat is sooo tender.
And the pastrami ... different but so good. Cold it is ok, very spicy. However, zapped in the microwave for 15 seconds the outside fat lighlty glazes the meat ... on a nice rye with assertive mustard ... this is something. It is not conventional pastrami, but stronly spiced so that your mouth is on fire for a while.
Boiled ham ... I forgot how boiled ham should taste … moist with a little smoke flavor ... lean with a touch of fat ... not too salty and suggestion of clove but in a good way … I don’t usually like foods with clove.
They also make a nice roast beef with a pepper coating.
Oddly enough, I'm not crazy about the roast chicken, so they can change that ... though I'm not all that thrilled with what Santa Fe Market roasts up in Point Richmond. They use good-quality chicken, but it is only ok.
As far as the original Magninni chicken which I had last week ... the good was that half a chicken was a little over $4. The bad was that they undercook it so it can hold up under hot lights. It was so raw I had to throw it in the freezer for future soup ... I hope this isn't an indicator of bad things to come. It did have a nice brothy flavor, but due to undercooking the skin wa a little too flabby (shudder).
Not bad fried chicken with a thick coating that seems to have some cornmeal in it. It stands up to sitting around a while.
Anyway, pastrami lovers might check it out while it is still there. Hope they keep it.
1576 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA