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Monday, March 19, 2012

Top Chef Ryan Scott Opens Market & Rye in West Portal Next Week

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

  • Nicole Quihuis
West Portalians have been counting down the days until former Top Chef contestant Ryan Scott opens the doors to his new, casual restaurant this week. Scott spilled his secrets to SFoodie just before the big opening.

Let's start with the name -- once Please & Thank You, now Market & Rye. "Market" represents the fresh ingredients Scott hand-picks at markets and "Rye" plays on both his name and crafted rye bread. SFoodie has high hopes for Scott's bread because he hired a North Beach baker (whom Scott dearly loves) to develop a specially made rye pretzel dough for Market & Rye's sandwiches.

Market & Rye's sandwich menu offers Scott's own take on classics like roast beef and BLTs but also recipes he's collected during his travels in recent years. Imagine Scott's signature salted rye bread stuffed with chicken salad, avocado, pepper jack, cool ranch doritos, and iceberg lettuce (inspired by one of his meals during a visit to Georgetown, Texas). 

Market & Rye's kid's corner - NICOLE QUIHUIS
  • Nicole Quihuis
  • Market & Rye's kid's corner
Scott is not re-inventing lunch, he's just offering a practical option for commuters along the K, L, M, 48, and 17 Muni lines.

"It's a place that people can eat at five days a week," Scott says. "I don't want people to be constrained to a minimal menu that never changes."

"I have a huge problem with going to places like Whole Foods and paying for a 19 dollar salad," he says. "You have two garbanzo beans and you get charged for the box and the container that the dressing is in."

Instead of charging by the weight of salad, each Market & Rye guest will be charged by the scoop. One, two, and three scoops cost $4, $7, and $10, respectively. With soups and salads also on the menu, a guest might choose from 300 variations for one meal, says Scott. 

West Portal guests constantly occupy Scott's mind. Residents asked for a kiddie table-- Scott provides a four by four corner of his restaurant, complete with stuffed animals, chalkboards, and room for strollers.

"This is how committed I am to West Portal: I moved from the Marina to the Sunset," Scott says. Look for him commuting to Market & Rye on the L train. Lately he's been traveling even further to open another Market & Rye location in Portero Hill, hopefully open for summer.

Scott is a busy man: He also started a radio show and spilled to SFoodie that he has a television series in the mix. "I saw an article the other day 'chef selling out' and I was like, 'Fuck yeah, I sell out.' I have no problem saying I'll sell out."

But Scott will stick to his roots. He first did lunch at Myth Cafe. Then after a year at Brunch Drunk Love (which Scott claims was like a "shitty one-night-stand"), he is considering giving up his weekends yet again to provide a brunch service at Market & Rye.

But first things first. "I've never opened a place from scratch," Scott says. "So either it's going to be a shit show or it's going to be a calm opening so hopefully there will be some middle balance of that."

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @SFoodie. Follow me @eringobro.

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