Chippery, Skyhawk Village Market

Chippery closed
From a weekend note to BiteClub: “What happened to the Chippery?!!?!?!?! My husband and I drove all the way across town to Montgomery Village last night to get our favorite burgers ever in all the world (because I fully agree with you that it’s hands down the best burger joint around), and they were CLOSED! Like, forever!!! My husband actually almost started to cry because he was so upset, and he’s been bitching about it all day talking about how he doesn’t know how to live without his Jesse James! Do you have any idea why they closed, or if they plan to re-open elsewhere?”

BiteClubbers noticed a sign in the Santa Rosa burger and chip joint saying that the spot was closed as of September 22. There was no answering machine or disconnection notice as of today, when we called. The website says the site is for sale, and I’m hoping for a return phone call from owner Jason Moore to explain the situation. As one of my absolute favorite burgers (it actually won the Best Buns in Town last year), we’re sorry to see it go.

Meanwhile, click here for BiteClubber’s other favorite burger spots.

Following some recent grumbles about Phyliss’ Giant Burgers, I headed over for another peek this weekend, and ended up cold. Surly service lackluster food won’t be bringing me back anytime soon. It’s too bad, because I loved grabbing a Heavenly Burger on my way to the Valley. Word up to the Marin transplant: That ain’t how we do in SoCo.

Best spot for Sonoma Valley picnic provisions
BiteClub finally got around to stopping into the Skyhawk Village Market this weekend and was mucho impressed with the spot. The small gourmet grocer is stocked with great produce, an impressive cheese counter, and a massive deli section with everything from spring rolls and roasted artichokes to make-your-own sandwiches and a nifty little salad station where you can get a hacked Hoisin chicken salad custom-made. It’s a perfect detour for fall picnic provisions. 5755 Mountain Hawk Dr., Santa Rosa, (707) 537-1954.

Next Iron Chef

In case you missed the recent buzz, the Food Network has announced the candidates for The Next Iron Chef. The show pits eight well-established chefs against each other for a coveted spot on the Iron Chef lineup along with Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and the rarely seen Masaharu Morimoto and Cat Cora.

Two of the contestants, Chris Costentino (Incanto) and Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere) are from San Francisco. Frankly, my money’s on Chris who is hands-down one of the most imaginative and talented chefs I’ve met in recent years. Check out his blog, Offal Good. He takes on Mario tonight, Oct. 1 at 8pm.

The bad news: I’d rather see Traci and Chris in the kitchen than hawking watches, shoes and crappy kitchenware, which ahem, has been known to happen to some other Iron Chefs.