Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: A16, Brotzeit Lokal, and Berkeley Ice Cream Drama

By Luke Tsai
Wed, May 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

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

1) Oakland’s booming Italian restaurant scene now has another heavy hitter: The new Rockridge outpost of the San Francisco’s A16 restaurant will open this weekend at 5356 College Ave., in the former Hudson space. The opening was originally slated for as early as this Thursday, but Inside Scoop reports that it’s been pushed back to Saturday, June 1. A seafood-intensive menu, from chef Rocky Maselli, will focus on Italy’s Puglia region. As with the original San Francisco A16, there will also be Neapolitan-style pizza from the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. Check out a preliminary menu here, courtesy of Tablehopper.

New Orleans-inspired fare at Berkeleys Easy Creole (via Facebook)
  • New Orleans-inspired fare at Berkeley's Easy Creole (via Facebook)
2) It’s crawfish season, y’all. So it’s good to know that Easy Creole (1761 Alcatraz Ave.), a former pop-up operation, is now open for business in its permanent brick-and-mortar space in Berkeley, as Tablehopper reports. The restaurant’s rotating New Orleans-inspired menu features dishes like turkey pozole, chicken Creole, shrimp and crawfish maque choux, and assorted gumbos and étouffés. There are lots of vegetarian options, too.

3) Brotzeit Lokal (1000 Embarcadero), Chop Bar chef Lev Delany’s new German sausage-and-beer restaurant on the Oakland waterfront, will softly open to the public on Thursday, June 13, with an official Grand Opening on Saturday. Stay tuned for details (on hours, etc.). In the meantime, check out the initial menu, and get ready to get your schnitzel on.

4) According to East Bay Dish, there’s a new coffee shop in Oakland called Cafe 3016 (3016 MacArthur Blvd.), located near where the Laurel and Dimond neighborhoods meet. The cafe serves, among other things, Wrecking Ball coffee (roasted by Third Wave OGs Trish Rothgeb and Nicholas Cho), Authentic Bagel Company bagels, and Hodo Soy tofu.

5) Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the owners of Berkeley’s C.R.E.A.M. (2399 Telegraph Ave.) ice cream sandwich shop have asked the city to revoke the permit for the (very similar-sounding) Dream Ice Cream takeout window, which Rasputin Music owner Sarachan wants to open directly across the street, at his music store. The city council will revisit the issue later this year.

A pastoral scene from one of last years tour sites.
  • Luke Tsai
  • A pastoral scene from one of last year's tour sites.
6) The nonprofit Institute of Urban Homesteading, which offers classes on various urban farming and D.I.Y. skills, is hosting its annual urban farm tours on Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with the last tour starting at 5 p.m.). During last year’s tours, which focused on urban farms in Oakland and Berkeley, local homesteaders gave pointers on everything from alternative irrigation systems to beekeeping and raising goats. This year’s participants should expect much of the same, except this time the featured farms are located in Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, and El Sobrante. Tours are $5 each ($3 for kids under 12), and you can pay as you go or make a $30 tax-deductible donation in advance for access to all seven farms. Check out the Institute website for more details, and sign up for their mailing list and you’ll get an email with the exact locations of each farm about a week before the tours.

7) During the past couple of years, Walgreens has launched a fresh food program at select stores nationwide, including several Bay Area locations. In order to promote its fresh food offerings, the pharmacy mega-chain is currently touring the Bay Area in a 40-foot bus, from which it will serve FREE samples of juices, smoothies, frozen yogurts, and coffees. The oversized food truck will be parked outside of three East Bay Walgreens locations this week: Today, from noon to 4 p.m., at 1333 Broadway (Oakland); tomorrow, May 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 2801 Adeline St. (Berkeley); and Friday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 5055 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland).

8) Berkeleyside Nosh has a story about Will Gaudet Jr., an Edible Schoolyard alum — that is, a guy who attended Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School as a kid and went through Alice Waters’ acclaimed cooking and gardening program there — who is launching a new line of veggie burgers made with a heretofore unheralded ingredient: hemp seeds. Gaudet's start-up, Bay Roots, is, among other things, one of the more creative ways we’ve heard of to promote marijuana legalization.

9) Finally, ICYMI, What the Fork talked to Guest Chef owner Scott Cameron about the end of his innovative restaurant’s year-and-a-half-long run. Also, don’t forget that tomorrow night is Berkeley’s Dining Out event, during which participating restaurants will donate part of their proceeds to benefit BUSD’s soon-to-be-dangerously-underfunded school garden and cooking programs.

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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