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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: T-Rex Changes Owners, Nizza La Bella and Belli Osteria Close, and Gio’s to Replace Giovanni

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 5:28 PM

The Berkeley barbecue spot is in flux once again. - T-REX
  • T-Rex
  • The Berkeley barbecue spot is in flux once again.

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

1) When it comes to East Bay barbecue restaurants, it almost feels redundant at this point to say that another one has bitten the dust. So it is with some trepidation that I share the news — via Berkeleyside Nosh — that T-Rex (1300 10th St., Berkeley) has been purchased by the Monteros group, which owns several Mexican restaurants in the area, including La Crema and Taqueria Talavera. No word yet, though, on whether T-Rex will continue to be mainly a barbecue restaurant, though it appears the name of the business won’t change.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: LocoL Expands to West Oakland; Burma Bear and Agave Open Uptown

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 1:25 PM

LocoL's West Oakland digs. - INSTAGRAM @RIDINGSHOTGUNLA
  • Instagram @ridingshotgunla
  • LocoL's West Oakland digs.

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

1) LocoL (2214 Broadway), the “revolutionary fast food” restaurant whose Uptown Oakland location is the subject of this week’s dining review, made another big announcement on Instagram: It looks like chef-owners Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson will be opening a small coffee shop in West Oakland, at the corner of Market and 35th streets — the old Tomm's Bar-B-Q spot, I believe. Details are scarce at this point, but Choi’s Instagram post mentions savory pastries.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mama’s Royal Cafe Is for Sale

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:04 AM

The counter at Mama's Royal (via Facebook).
  • The counter at Mama's Royal (via Facebook).

Attention prospective East Bay restaurant owners: It’s not every day that you have a chance to buy not just a popular dining establishment, but also a piece of Oakland history. That’s the “once-in-a-generation” opportunity that George Marino, the longtime owner of Mama’s Royal Cafe (4012 Broadway), has made available — to anyone who can afford the $395,000 asking price, that is.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Coffee Box, a Sicilian Spinoff, and ‘Broffee’

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Red Bay Coffee's Keba Konte - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Red Bay Coffee's Keba Konte

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

1) Red Bay Coffee’s long-awaited “Coffee Box” (a converted shipping container) is now open at Uptown Oakland’s Hive complex (2327 Broadway), Berkeleyside Nosh reports. Last year, I wrote about Red Bay’s radical business model, which entails sharing 100 percent of the Coffee Box’s retail profits with employees.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

After Fifty Years, Nellie's Soulfood Restaurant Says Goodbye

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Last chance to get your smothered-steak fix. - NELLIE'S SOULFOOD RESTAURANT
  • Nellie's Soulfood Restaurant
  • Last chance to get your smothered-steak fix.

It’s the end of an era: Nellie’s Soulfood (1155 3rd St.), one of Oakland’s longest-running soul food restaurants, will close its doors for good on Thursday, June 30.

The West Oakland restaurant will host a free community dinner on Monday, June 27 — tonight — from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. The event is open to the public, with live music and a menu featuring familiar standbys such as barbecue ribs, fried chicken, and fried fish.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

After a Seven-Year Run, Liba Falafel Is Taking Its Food Truck Out of Commission

The brick-and-mortar restaurant in Uptown Oakland will remain open.

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 11:25 AM

The end of an era. - LIBA FALAFEL
  • Liba Falafel
  • The end of an era.

When Liba Falafel first started slinging falafel sandwiches and salads in 2009, it was one of a handful of new-school food trucks to hit the streets in the East Bay. This was back when taco trucks were the only kind of food truck that most Bay Area folks had ever heard of — back when Off the Grid wasn’t even a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

It’s a pretty big deal, then, that Liba Falafel owner Gail Lillian — one of the real OGs of the East Bay mobile-food scene — has decided to take her popular falafel truck off the road for good.

See also:
Have a Ball at Liba Falafel’s New Brick-and-Mortar Shop
Oakland Aims to Allow Food Trucks to Operate All Over the City


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Kitchener Oakland Launches Online Ordering

Also: North Oakland Gets a Kebabery, and Temescal Brewing Opens for Business

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 4:48 PM

The Kitchener's Sophia Chang. - BRAD WENNER/FILE PHOTO
  • Brad Wenner/File photo
  • The Kitchener's Sophia Chang.

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

1) Long-time What the Fork readers may recall a 2014 story I wrote about the Kitchener Oakland’s plans to open ambitious new takeout window that would showcase dishes from a rotating selection of the food artisans who use the commercial kitchen as their home base. At the time, I said it had potential to be “the most innovative food-business model to hit the Bay Area” since Guest Chef.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Pal's Take Away Abruptly Shuts Down Operations at Oakland's Firebrand Artisan Breads

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Jeff Mason is now looking to open a brick-and-mortar deli of his own. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Jeff Mason is now looking to open a brick-and-mortar deli of his own.
East Bay sandwich lovers got some unpleasant news over the weekend, as Jeff Mason, the sandwich-maker-in-chief at Uptown Oakland's Pal's Take Away, tweeted this brief announcement on Sunday morning: "To all Pal's pals: as of right now Pal's is no longer making sandwiches at Firebrand in Oakland."

See also:
Pal's Take Away Isn't Your Typical Delicatessen 

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Icey Cream Opens, Grand Lake Kitchen Expands, and Berkeley Gets a Poke Restaurant

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 3:22 PM

img_4508.jpg
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) For more than a year, the residents of Oakland’s Adams Point neighborhood have been eying the hot-pink facade of Icey Cream (346 Grand Ave.) — the long-delayed ice cream parlor from the folks behind Oasis Kitchen, the shawarma joint next door. Icey finally opened for business this week and immediately takes the crown for the pinkest ice cream shop in The Town, even if it doesn’t wind up being the best.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Tian Jin Dumplings No Longer Sells Dumplings, Josephine Temporarily Shuts Down, and Beer Bike Tours Come to Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 12:51 PM

Sadly, the dumplings at Tian Jin Dumplings' are no longer available. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • Sadly, the dumplings at Tian Jin Dumplings' are no longer available.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) It saddens me to report that Tian Jin Dumplings (989 Franklin St., Ste. B, Oakland), purveyor of the best damn dumplings in the East Bay, is no longer selling its signature item. Following up on a letter from a distressed reader, I confirmed the news this morning. Owner Amy Liu said it was “too tiring” for her to keep making the dumplings — a sentiment I’m sympathetic to: She must have been making thousands of them each week, basically single-handedly.

See also:
The Dumpling of Champions

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