Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beauty's Bagel Shop Rules

by John Birdsall
Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Last week we checked out Spot Bagel, a new wholesale company reviving the pre-Noah’s tradition of boiling bagels, and pioneering some post-Noah’s future that references the farm-to-table ethos of Alice Waters. They’re available in Berkeley at Saul's Deli and both Berkeley Bowl markets.

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Boot and Shoe Expansion Starts with Breakfast

by John Birdsall
Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Meeting reskeds, checking Facebook to see who’s been owling over the weekend — a lot of laptop work gets done mornings at Pizzaiolo, during the informal coffee and pastry breakfast that started there in 2008. Last month saw the launch of Boot and Shoe Café (3308 Grand Ave.), the slightly better organized equivalent at Pizzaiolo’s spinoff in Grand Lake. The wall between Boot and Shoe Service and the former Café DiBartolo has been breached both front and back, in the brick-walled outer reaches of Boot and Shoe’s perennially jammed bar.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spot Bagels Roll Into the East Bay. Can They Succeed as the Anti-Noah's?

by John Birdsall
Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 10:37 AM

The bagel is toast. Or has been, until a new generation began the long road back to revival. On the artisan end of the revival continuum: the East Bay’s Beauty’s Bagel Shop (makers of Montreal-style boiled, wood-fire baked bagels), which is gearing up for an actual shop, reportedly in Oakland. At the more scaled-up end is Spot Bagel, a strictly wholesale startup based in Burlingame that began rolling out product last weekend. Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen on Shattuck began offering them earlier this week, along with Berkeley Bowl West. The original Berkeley Bowl expects to start stocking them Friday.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OMFG! There's a New Street Food Promoter in Town

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 5:02 PM

As Oakland struggles with embracing street food in neighborhoods not called Fruitvale, there’s a new mobile-food events producer in town: OMFG.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Phil's Sliders Gets Serious About the Tater Tot

by John Birdsall
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Downtown Berkeley got a taste of populist luxury last month with the opening of Phil’s Sliders, Hugh Groman’s storefront café devoted to the mini burger. And while there’s no denying that the Marin Sun Farms beef patties and Valrhona chocolate in the shakes sets Phil’s apart from Nation’s basic, there’s something else on the short, sweet menu here that'll make you put your slider down: tater tots.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Chefs at Sea Salt, New Breakfast at Paisan

by John Birdsall
Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 9:08 PM

After longtime chef Anthony Paone stepped away in January, Scott Gehring stepped up to lead the kitchen at Berkeley seafood restaurant Sea Salt. Now it’s Gehring’s turn to step away — Sea Salt’s Haig Krikorian confirmed yesterday that the restaurant has a new chef.

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Drive-By Trio on Richmond's 23rd Street

by John Birdsall
Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM

It’d been a while since I’d driven up 23rd Street in Richmond. Like East Oakland, it’s a string of taco trucks, Laundromats, remittance centers, carnicerias, and auto body shops, scrappy entrepreneurs of businesses that can seem held together by little more than Bondo and the daily needs of people in the neighborhood. Crusty old Andy’s Donut Stop, you still serving raised old fashioneds at 3 a.m. for guys about to hit the early shift or headed home from the swing shift? Still ladling out footy-smelling bowls of caldo de res, Pepito’s Deli? The guy cooking chickens over mesquite, sill setting up in an empty lot, grill anchored to the uneven ground with cinder blocks?

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A First Taste of Cosecha Cafe in Old Oakland

by John Birdsall
Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

When the lunchtime sandwich crowd recedes from Ratto’s, Old Oakland can feel semi-deserted, especially on days when the summer fog makes the corner of Washington and Ninth feel as dreary as the Outer Richmond. But things are looking brighter at Swan’s Markeplace, the historic food hall beset by closures. Friday saw the launch of Cosecha Café, the sprawling food stall by Dominica Salomon Rice, and the first tenant in a planned revival of Swan’s. Cosecha (Spanish for “harvest”) serves up a farm-centric taste of Mexico from a glassed-in counter that runs nearly the length of the market’s concrete-floored central hallway.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Smaller Bites on Broadway Resumes Tonight

by John Birdsall
Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 7:52 AM

A week after Oakland police shut it down, Bites on Broadway is back. Yesterday, organizer Karen Hester got a permit from authorities to resume the month-old Temescal street-food gathering — with conditions.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Opening This Week in Oakland: James and the Giant Cupcake

by John Birdsall
Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Nothing like cupcakes to brighten up an emerging microhood, a proposition that neighbors of Actual Café should soon be able to test. James and the Giant Cupcake’s Eurydice Manning told What the Fork her first retail shop and bakery should be ready to open this Friday, July 8, pending final inspections.

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