Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can Berkeley's Bazaar Replace San Francisco's Shuttered Underground Market?

by John Birdsall
Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Berkeley’s Firehouse Art Collective is trying to rally food vendors for an East Bay spinoff of San Francisco’s Underground Market, which lurched to an abrupt halt earlier this month after public health authorities slapped organizer Iso Rabins with a cease and desist order.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Liege-Style Waffle Shop Coming to Temescal

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood could get its very own Liege-style waffle shop by the end of the year. Owner Peter Fikaris received the last batch of permits to finish his gut rehab of the long-vacant shotgun space at 4140 Telegraph Avenue, which he'll call Waffle Boss.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

When Dining at Commis, Should You Pack Heat?

by John Birdsall
Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

It’s late afternoon, and a woman and her teenage daughter swing open opposite doors of a Sienna minivan parked at the southwest end of Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, near the restaurant Commis. They seem to be engaged in a well-worn squabble. “Mom,” the girl complained in a nasal whine. “I told her I was coming over!”

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Owners Want to Move Peaberry's from the Dark Side

by John Birdsall
Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 12:30 PM

For anyone serious about coffee, it’s the ultimate dichotomy. You pledge allegiance to either the single origins and lighter roasts of Third Wave companies like Ritual and Four Barrel, or to the megablends and super-dark roasts that’ve defined Peet’s since Alfred first cupped in North Berkeley. But if the three guys who bought Emeryville-based Peaberry’s Coffee & Tea last month are able to realize their plans, the current coffee dichotomy might end up about as irrelevant as used espresso grounds.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Remedy Readies Berkeley Spinoff

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Perk up, Third Wave coffee geeks: Remedy number two is opening this week in Berkeley. Owner Todd Spitzer told What the Fork he’s putting the final touches on his Temescal café’s sibling in the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, in the courtyard space that once housed Café Muse.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Tamales for Jesus

by John Birdsall
Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Mary Gutierrez is on a mission. Every day but Sunday — the Lord’s day — she fires up her wood grill and smoker in a nameless Oakland carwash lot at MacArthur Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Way to hawk tamales for Jesus.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What the First Lady's Getting for Breakfast in Oakland Today

by Anneli Rufus
Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM

First Lady Michelle Obama is breakfasting this morning at Berkeley Oakland's Claremont Resort & Spa — where Josh Thomsen, executive chef of the resort's Meritage restaurant, told me yesterday which dishes he's helping Alice Waters prepare for the First Lady, who is raising money for her husband's re-election campaign.

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Now Flipping Eggs: Nick's Wheely Good Breakfast Truck

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 8:37 AM

The latest new-school mobile vendor to roll out of the East Bay is slinging pancakes and fried egg sandwiches. Alameda-based Nick’s Wheely Good Breakfast Truck pulled up to a soft launch in Emeryville last week. On Sunday, the truck debuted a regular slot out front of Berkeley’s Acme Bar, helping the Bloody Mary and Ramos fizz regulars get something solid in their stomachs.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Bites on Broadway: Long Lines and a Last-Minute Change

by John Birdsall
Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Oakland’s first-ever event devoted to street food brought as many as 600 to the Temescal Friday night. Bites on Broadway — the Friday night food pod scheduled for the summer — featured snaking food lines, lawn games, and an unexpected venue shift. Organizer Karen Hester had hoped to set up on the broad plaza in front of Oakland Technical High School, but lacking permission from the school district, Friday’s handful of vendors set up instead on 45th Street, along Tech’s northern perimeter.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chop Bar Partner Breaks Away to Open His Own Place at 1015 Clay

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Chef Jesse Branstetter has ended his day-to-day involvement in Chop Bar to open his own restaurant in Old Oakland, a place temporarily going by the name 1015 Clay.

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