Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Marzano Sold, Paisan Chef to Open Longbranch Saloon, and a Waffle-Centric Wine Bar in Alameda

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM

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

1) Marzano (4214 Park Blvd.), the Italian standby in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood, has been sold, Inside Scoop reports. Owners Justin Hafen and John Hurley, who also own Garibaldi’s in San Francisco, have decided to close Marzano this summer in order to focus on the residential design business that they own in Napa, where the couple recently moved. The yet-unnamed new owners of the restaurant will reopen it as The Growler’s Arms, which will reportedly be a gastropub in a similar vein as New York’s Spotted Pig.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Strawberry Daze

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The long slog of the winter fruit season is finally coming to an end, and as much I love a good apple or orange, enough is enough. Thankfully, May and June are peak strawberry season in the Bay Area, and the ruby-red beauties at the local farmers’ markets have been getting sweeter and sweeter with each passing week. That also means East Bay restaurants and dessert shops are now serving up strawberry-centric items you won’t be able to find during other times of year. Here are five you’ll want to check out:

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Bissap Baobab Brings ‘Express’ Senegalese to Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 7:50 AM

The popular San Francisco-based Senegalese restaurant Bissap Baobab is opening a new location in downtown Oakland, at 381 15th Street, giving the East Bay a much-needed new option for West African cuisine. During its soft opening period, which will kick off this Sunday, the restaurant will only be open for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Homestead’s Sunday Suppers, Kingston 11’s Brunch Service, and Galeto’s Italian-Influenced Brazilian Churrascaria

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

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

1) It’s Oakland Veg Week, and a number of local restaurants are running vegan/vegetarian promotions. Two that caught my eye: the four-course vegetarian tasting menu ($34) at Italian stalwart Bellanico (4238 Park Blvd.) and the array of Chinese vegetarian specials at Lin Jia (3437 Lakeshore Blvd.). Check out the full list of Veg Week participants here.

Other meat-free festivities this week include happy hour at Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon (48 Webster St.) on Saturday, April 26 (4-7 p.m.), and a vegan pop-up at Baia Pasta (431 Water St.) on Sunday, April 27 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.).

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Chef’s Camp for Kids

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

On the surface, Elazar Sontag seems like a typical sixteen-year-old kid — until you learn that he has his own food blog and moonlights in the kitchens of two prominent East Bay restaurants. Sontag wants to open his own restaurant someday, but although he has been cooking for his family since he was little, he credits his career aspirations to COOK!, a kids’ cooking camp that Sontag has attended every summer since he was twelve.

“Something just clicked, and I knew this is what I was going to do,” he said. “[The camps give] you a tool kit: Here’s what it’s like to provide for other people.”

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Alamar to Serve Sustainable Seafood, The Golden Bull Reopens, and The Olde Depot Morphs into Annex Burger

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM

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

1) A new upscale Asian Cajun seafood restaurant called Alamar is opening in the former Noble Cafe space (100 Grand Ave.) in Uptown Oakland, Inside Scoop reports. According to chef-owner Nelson German, the emphasis will be on sustainable seafood sourcing and cheffed-up sauces and sides: housemade sausage, Meyer lemon pepper sauce with sweet tea bitters, and organic Brentwood corn. The restaurant’s opening is tentatively slated for the week of April 28. Edit: German wrote us an email to clarify that, while Alamar will serve boiled seafood, the overall concept isn't Asian Cajun — "not even close," actually — but rather New American, with Mediterranean and Latin influences.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vegan Recipes of the African Diaspora

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Bryant Terry opens the introduction to his new cookbook, Afro-Vegan, by recounting a search-engine query for “African-American beans” — a search whose first page of results, he explains, yielded not one article about the types of beans that have historically occupied a place of honor in African-American cooking. There were no recipes for long-simmered green beans, no paeans to Creole red beans and rice, or to black-eyed peas. Instead, there were multiple links to articles about black beans — that staple of Latin-American cuisine — and one about the film Catfish in Black Bean Sauce.

Terry writes, “In many ways, that comically sad moment on the Internet symbolizes the invisibility and marginalization of food from the African diaspora that was a major impetus for writing this book.”

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: The Return of Genny’s BBQ, KronnerBurger’s Piedmont Avenue Location, and Blue Bottle’s Latest Power Moves

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 7:00 AM

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

1) Good news for barbecue aficionados: The East Oakland brisket-and-ribs joint Genny’s BBQ (6637 Bancroft Ave.) is back in business after a fire shut the restaurant down last year. Owner Virginia Roberson told What the Fork that the menu is the same as before, though she’s added a few new sandwich options, including a barbecue brisket po’boy and a fried catfish po’boy. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m. As a reopening special, for the entire month of April customers will get a free pastry or soda with any order.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hot Jamaican Patties Here

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:00 AM

With the influx of upscale, gourmet-oriented food options in North Oakland, let’s not forget about all of the family-run holes-in-the-wall and tiny international markets that give many of the Town’s neighborhoods their charm.

During a recent trip to scout out the location of a new — and, almost assuredly, fancy — butcher shop and whole-animal restaurant coming to the corner of Broadway and 40th Street, I stumbled upon one such gem: Minto Jamaican Market (4042 Broadway).

It’s a small, cluttered market, packed from floor to ceiling with just about every Jamaican food item that you can think of: Scotch Bonnet peppers, ripe plantains, frozen cured pig’s tails, canned ackee, and an assortment of cakes and buns. There are three whole shelves dedicated to various brands of Jamaican hot pepper sauce.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

The CRO Cafe Grows

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Temescal’s tiniest coffee kiosk is all grown up. After a shop shuffle in Temescal Alley and a months-long build-out/hiatus, The CRO Cafe will reopen on Friday, April 11 in a new location on the other side of the alley, with expanded hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week) and a revamped menu.

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