Random Find

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Dupe a ‘Moderately Ok’ Food Critic

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM

The fish was "ok" (photo courtesy of Yelp user "Sung L.").
  • The fish was "ok" (photo courtesy of Yelp user "Sung L.").
The East Bay’s most exclusive underground Chinese restaurant can be found inside an unassuming bungalow on a residential street nestled high in the El Cerrito hills. Chiu’s Moderately Ok Chinese is a dining establishment that’s so far under the radar it doesn’t have its phone number or hours of business listed anywhere on the internet — but, according to Yelp user “Sung L.,” it’s so popular customers routinely have to wait in line, and it serves wonton soup and salt and pepper spareribs that are, in the words of Yelp user “Shirell B.,” where “heaven can be found on earth.”

Oh, and there’s also this: Chiu’s doesn’t exist.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Face to Face: Shandong Noodles in a Parking Booth

by Luke Tsai
Mon, May 11, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Beef noodle soup on the go. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • Beef noodle soup on the go.
Regular readers of the What the Fork know I’m always on the lookout for regional Chinese food — for unusual dumpling varieties, obscure noodle dishes, or a better-than-average version of stinky tofu, which has long been my white whale. My latest discovery: Face to Face, a Shandong noodle shop located in a converted parking attendant booth in downtown Berkeley, at 2109 Milvia St. (between Center and Addison streets) — the spot formerly occupied by Tsunami Dogs.

See Also:
Beyond Dim Sum
The Dumpling of Champions


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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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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Double Dutch Sweets’ Six-Dollar Snickers Bar: 1.8 Ounces of Childhood Bliss

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM

In the world of artisan sweets, you hear a lot about pâtissiers and chocolatiers, and even makers of specialty doughnuts are having their moment in the sun. What you don’t hear about much is the humble candy bar.

But that may change soon enough if Oakland’s Shiyuan Deng has her way. Since last fall, the self-taught confectioner has been selling an all-natural, 100 percent handmade version of a Snickers bar — a product she’s dubbed the Ramona Bar, after the protagonist of the popular Beverly Cleary children’s books — at high-end Bay Area food shops.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vegan Soul Food Comes to Oakland Chinatown

by Luke Tsai
Tue, May 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

There’s something about finding interesting eats at an unlikely location that really gets the ol’ food writer’s blood pumping. Authentic ghormeh sabzi at an Oakland Hills delicatessen? Hell to the yes. Cambodian meat skewers from a hole-in-the-wall donut shop? We hardly knew ye.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Your Tuesday Night Food Adventure: Cameroonian Food at Room 389

by Luke Tsai
Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Chowhound indicating that the Grand Avenue bar Room 389 was serving Cameroonian food, of all things, on Tuesday nights. “Anyone try it?” the curious tipster had asked.

Apparently, no one had. And so, on a recent Tuesday, I decided to go check it out.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Double D Saga Continues

by Jesse Hirsch
Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Last week I finally got word back on Double D BBQ, adding a new wrinkle to the ongoing saga (yes, it's been upgraded from mystery to saga). If you recall, I’ve made multiple visits to this mythical joint during apparent business hours, only to find the doors locked, the lights on, and the smoker in chains. Writing about it allowed me to vent, but what I really wanted was to smoke the owner out of seclusion.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oakland’s Most Elusive Barbecue

by Jesse Hirsch
Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a full-on food mystery here.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been mining the Express archives, researching crucial pit stops on the East Bay foodways. Double D BBQ, this year’s Best Of winner for “The Best Barbecue Place You’ve Never Heard Of,” struck a particular chord. Promising tender and lush slow-cooked brisket by-the-pound, the blurb mentions Double D is only open limited hours, three days a week.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Talent Lifts Addie's Pizza

by John Birdsall
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM

A restaurant review, a former editor liked to say, is a snapshot in time. Kitchens change: staff moves on, recipes change, ingredients move in and out.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Berkeley's Local Butcher Shop Makes Sandwiches. We Tried One

by John Birdsall
Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Back in May, What the Fork broke the news about The Local Butcher Shop, Aaron and Monica Rocchino’s whole-beast meat shop just starting its build-out in Berkeley. Last week it opened, a lovely space that feels more Upper West Side than North Berkeley, all gleaming white tiles, soaring blackboards chalked handsomely, and a rambling case with squab, beef, chickens — all sorts of pristine-looking meats — overseen by butchers rocking neckties and crisp-looking aprons.

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