Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Charitable Doughnuts, Manly Sandwiches, and a Vegan Chef on the Move

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Last week we got the sad news that Marion Cunningham, the iconic food writer and cookbook author, had died. She was 90 years old. Here in the Bay Area, many will recall her long friendship with Alice Waters, and the role that Cunningham played in helping to bring Chez Panisse into the national spotlight. Cunningham had Alzheimer’s disease, and to celebrate her life, Oakland’s Camino (3917 Grand Ave.) is donating the proceeds from each order of the doughnuts on their brunch menu — through this weekend — to the Alzheimer’s Association. The recipe is adapted from Cunningham’s Frannie Farmer Cookbook. There are three doughnuts in each $7 order.

2) Earlier this week I got an email from a reader who wondered what ever happened to Chef Elijah Joy — I first wrote about his Organic Soul Live vegan pop-up back in May. As it turns out, Joy is no longer slinging shiitake bacon and vegan mac and cheese at the Oakland Chinatown branch of Tutti Frutti. But he’s still around: As of yesterday, he’s moved his pop-up operation a few blocks away to the Old Oakland taqueria La Calle (1000 Broadway). Since La Calle only does weekday lunch service, Joy will take over the restaurant during dinner hours and also for weekend brunch. He’s got a Groupon promotion available right now. (Meanwhile, those of you who read my initial story might appreciate this Twitter exchange.)

Savory bread pudding at Hopscotch
  • Savory bread pudding at Hopscotch
3) Inside Scoop reports that Toast (5900 College Ave.), the Rockridge wine bar, has hired a new executive chef: Rebecca Boice, a former Zuni Cafe sous chef. Last September, Express critic John Birdsall gave opening chef Peter Jackson’s small plates menu a bit of a mixed review — Boice will take over full-time in the fall.

4) Hopscotch (1915 San Pablo Ave.), Uptown Oakland’s new Japanese-American fusion diner, launched brunch service this past weekend. The menu includes things like savory bread pudding, beef tongue eggs benedict, and Vietnamese chicory iced coffee. Take a look at the full menu here.

5) Oakland’s own James Syhabout is featured prominently in a story in The Atlantic on “Asian Soul Food.” Check it out.

A manly sandwich?
  • A manly sandwich?
6) Defying all logic, Men’s Health has nominated Bakesale Betty as one of the “Manliest Restaurants in America” — one of the five “manliest” sandwich shops. I’ve eaten a few of those fried chicken sandwiches in my day, but ... manly? I’m still puzzling over that one. (Voting runs through the end of the month, though, so feel free to throw Bakesale Betty some love if you’re so inclined.) Hat tip to SFoodie.

7) Berkeleyside has a rundown of cool Berkeley coffee shops, excerpted from a piece on Refinery29. The full story also covered a number of Oakland spots — sadly, we’ll have to cross Remedy off the list.

8) Finally, if you missed our coverage of Remedy’s sudden closure, and of the refreshing cold soba at Ippuku, go ahead and get caught up.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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