July 2012 - “On the Go Lunches in Union Square”
November 2011 – “Winners: CRAVED Restaurant Award Winners by Seamless“
October 2011 – “Your New FiDi Breakfast Spot“
August 2011 – “Gourmet Banh Mi: The Next Food Trend Hits San Francisco Restaurants”
October 2010 - “#1 for Best Lunches Under $10 in Union Square”
February 2010 – “Urban Picnic“
February 8, 2010 – “Fruit of the Luym: Your SFoodie Lunch Planner“
December 2009 - “inDULGE Restaurant Picks“
November 16, 2009 – “Around Town“
After a year of serving sweets and frozen yogurt under the Chill Cafe name, Trang Nguyen has expanded and refined her vision of her Financial District eatery with the new Urban Picnic (125 Kearny at Post). While she has kept the light and airy interior intact, Nguyen brought in Poleng Lounge chef Tim Luym to collaborate and help refocus her concept, veering away from mostly sweets to a more lunch-friendly menu with an eye on big, bold flavors that are healthy and affordable. “I realized after a year that the neighborhood is a lunchtime destination primarily, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring Tim in and evolve the concept,” she says. “Both of us have Asian backgrounds, so we used those flavors as a base, incorporating as many local, seasonal ingredients as we can. Urban Picnic is sort of a baby cousin to Chill Cafe.”
Nguyen has kept the Vietnamese-style bánh mì sandwiches — a definite crowd favorite — and is using the same sweet-and-spicy Asian flavors for salads, soups, and sandwiches. The lemongrass chicken sandwich features pickles, roasted jalapeños, and cilantro slaw, while the roast beef sandwich comes with spinach, arugula, red onions, tomatoes, and mashed-potato mayonnaise (yes, you read that last item correctly).
Urban Picnic’s salads are packed with intense flavors. The ‘Slaw Salad is composed of shredded chicken and cabbage, jicama, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, red onions, peanuts, crispy shallots, carrots, pomelo, and garlic-lime vinaigrette; the Apple a Day is a Fuji apple and chicken salad with spinach, candied walnuts, pomegranate seeds, flax seeds, and quinoa.
For die-hard Chill Cafe fans, Nguyen is quick to point out that Urban Picnic is still all about the sweet stuff: The current lineup includes pumpkin-spice frozen yogurt and Belgian chocolate gelato. “I haven’t forgotten my sweet-tooth history,” she says. For more info, call 433-1233.
November 15, 2009 – “What’s New“
November 12, 2009 – “San Francisco | Pic and Choose“
November 10, 2009 – “Fi Di Lunch Alert“
November 10, 2009 – “Urban Picnic Freezes Out Chill Cafe“
November 10, 2009 – Table Hopper: Chatter Box
Opening today, ~URBAN PICNIC~ is the new concept launching in the former Chill dessert cafe in the Financial District. Owner Trang Nguyen hired Poleng Lounge’s Tim Luym to develop a new menu of healthy and ethnically inspired salads, sandwiches, and soups, ranging from turkey with honey guacamole on a baguette, to a house salad with additions like lemongrass chicken, to a chicken coconut lime soup. Grab-and-go selections will be coming soon. The location’s original dessert concept means there will be desserts and beverages as well, including all natural–frozen yogurt, frozen custard, gelato, and coffee. Open Mon–Fri 10:30am–4:30pm. 125 Kearny St. at Post, 415-413-1233.
November 10, 2009 – “Urban Picnic”
November 10, 2009 – “The Slaws Come Out: Urban Picnic’s Pomelo Slaw Recipe”
November 6, 2009 – “Chill to Change Concept, Become Urban Picnic”
November 5, 2009 - Urban Picnic debuts at the Chic Meets Geek San Francisco Opera’s BRAVO! event, held @ Automattic Lounge, Pier 38.