The disparity between real life and the city's increasingly out-of-touch gastronomic set came to light over the weekend when Mission Local published a revealing article about the overlap of foodies and gangs in the Mission. After Gaspar ‘Tio’ Puch-tzek, a line cook at Hog & Rocks, was shot and killed last month in a case of mistaken identity, Mission Local asked neighborhood food fans for their thoughts on the recent spat of shootings. The answer may not surprise you. Check it:
“It’s kind of scary, but kind of fun,” says Dana Humphrey, 28, as she sat eating at Gracias Madre, a vegan restaurant where the tacos aren’t cheap. Her friend Alexis Papeshi, 28, who lives in the Marina, agrees. “It has some cachet,” she says. ’Oh we are in the Mission, we are so cool.’”
As Grub Street notes, "Please don't let the family of slain cook Gaspar Puch-tzek read this."
Worrisome quotes aside, who stands to benefit, if you will, from gang warfare and insouciance in the Mission? Hungry white people who can't snag a reservation or find parking. Mission Local goes on to report:
On Mission Street, Eduardo Reyes, owner of Acaxutla, says when he moved here from Guatemala 25 years ago, the neighborhood was a meeting place for Latinos from all over the Bay Area. Acaxutla was opened to reflect that Mission - a restaurant where working-class Latino families could come to eat.
If violence erupts, however, Latinos stay away. They’re afraid to be mistaken for a member of a rival gang, and business has dropped by 20 to 30 percent since the recent murders, he says.
Mission Local goes on to talk to other restaurant owners who feel that the neighborhood's grittiness is all part of the experience, that there's a desire" to be in that crazy dangerous neighborhood." Read all about it.