Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reem’s California Aims to Bring Fresh-Baked Man'oushe and Socially Conscious Employment Practices to Fruitvale

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Reem Assil making man'oushe. - BROOKE ANDERSON
  • Brooke Anderson
  • Reem Assil making man'oushe.

Reem Assil was part way through a soul-searching trip along the coast of Syria and Lebanon when she walked into a corner bakery in Beirut, felt the warmth of the place, and realized that she had finally found what she was looking for.

“I wanted to bring that warmth and hospitality back [to the Bay Area] and show people those Arab traditions,” she said.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Burma Superstar Kitchen Staff Sue Bay Area Chain Over Wage Violations

by Winston Cho
Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Burma Superstar's tea leaf salad — one of the Burmese dishes the restaurant chain helped popularize. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE
  • Chris Duffey/File
  • Burma Superstar's tea leaf salad — one of the Burmese dishes the restaurant chain helped popularize.
Current and former employees of Burma Superstar filed a lawsuit against the Bay Area restaurant chain Thursday, claiming it hasn’t been properly paying its kitchen staff.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dominica Rice-Cisneros Wants to Lift Up Women Chefs

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Cosecha chef-owner Dominica Rice-Cisneros. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Cosecha chef-owner Dominica Rice-Cisneros.

Word is only now starting to trickle out about the presentations at the MAD Symposium, a gathering of the world’s foremost chefs, farmers, and other food-world luminaries, which took place last week in Copenhagen, Denmark. The broad theme of this year’s symposium was “Tomorrow’s Kitchen,” and the select group of culinary leaders who attended were asked to consider questions such as, “What do we hope our kitchens will be like in the future?”

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In East Oakland, a Popular Banh Mi Shop and Taqueria Closes

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso co-owner Tony Torres. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso co-owner Tony Torres.

For the past five years, Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso (1400 14th Ave., Oakland) has been one of those quintessential “Only in Oakland” businesses — a taqueria located inside a banh mi shop, marking the happy marriage between two of The Town’s most beloved cuisines. It was the only place in the Bay Area I knew of where you could order an al pastor banh mi or shrimp a la diabla served with the accoutrements of a Vietnamese rice plate.

See also:
Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso Offers a Lesson in Cross-Cultural Communication Via Banh Mi

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: The Dock Reboots, Herbivore Closes, and The Duchess Comes to Rockridge

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 10:26 AM

The patio at The Dock. - THE DOCK VIA FACEBOOK
  • The Dock via Facebook
  • The patio at The Dock.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Big changes are in store for James Syhabout’s The Dock (95 Linden St., Oakland), which closed this past weekend to gear up for a major reboot, the Chronicle reports. Of particular note: Syhabout and longtime business partner Adam Lamoreaux will take over the space next door currently occupied by Linden Street Brewery. They plan to reconfigure the entire building into a restaurant/brewery/taproom combo, with Lamoreaux taking on the role of head brewer. (You may recall that Lamoreaux co-founded Linden Street Brewery and was its original head brewer; the company’s board members removed him from that position in 2014.)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Twenty Restaurants to Consider When Eating 'Ethnic' in the East Bay

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 2:25 PM

Nan gyi thoke at Grocery Cafe. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Nan gyi thoke at Grocery Cafe.

Last week, my cover story in the Express tackled the issue of cultural appropriation in the East Bay restaurant scene — and how the unequal distribution of media hype allows certain chefs who decide to take up a new “ethnic” cuisine to attain far more fame and success than that food’s native practitioners.

See also:
Cooking Other People's Food

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Drake's 27th Anniversary Party is Friday. Here's the Beer List.

by Nick Miller
Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 7:31 PM

East Bay craft beer godfather Drake's Brewing Co. celebrates 27 years this Friday in San Leandro. And, in true Drake's fashion, they're busting out quite the birthday list of beers.

From their Facebook page:

Aroma Coma, IPA
Aroma Therapy, Triple IPA
Aroma Session, Session IPA
Aroma Prieta, IPA
Aroma Flora, Farmhouse Saison
On the Tap Trailer-
Aroma Coma, IPA
Aroma Therapy, Triple IPA
Aroma Session, Session IPA
Aroma Prieta, IPA
Strawberry Oaklander Weisse, Berliner Weisse
Flyway Pils, Pilsner
1500, Dry Hopped Pale Ale
Denogginizer, Double IPA
Robusto, Robust Porter
Firkin Station-
1500 Pale Ale w/ Grapefruit
Winning Lager w/ Bourbon Vanilla Oak
At the Meet the Brewers Station-
Unholy Alliance, Viognier Grape American Sour
Headzo, American Strong Ale
Mission Kriek, American Sour
Too Many Candles , Blonde American Sour
Santa’s Brass, American Barleywine
Brette Davis Eyes, Blonde American Sour
BA Drakonic ’14, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Lusu’s Love Child, Zinfandel Grape American Sour
Harlequin, Bourbon Barrel Coconut Brown Ale
Zin Barrel Drakonic, Zinfandel Barrel aged Imperial Stout
BA Jolly Rodger, Barrel Aged Imperial Coffee Porter

There will also be stations with Drake's alumnus pouring beers from their new breweries:
Collin McDonnell, Henhouse - Saison
Jeff Kimpe, Triple Rock - Francis, Belgo American style Pale Ale
Rodger Davis, Faction - The Penske File, Strong Pale Ale
Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers - Knotty, DIPA
Roger Lind, Schubros - Ship to Shore BB4 IPA
Cortlandt Toczylowski, Barebottle - Thickets & Wickets, English Summer Ale
Jesse Houck, Maui Brewing - Coconut Porter
Melissa Myers (Former Drake's Brewer, current owner of the Good Hop, collaboration beer w/ Iron Springs), Midnight Kolsch, Black Kolsch

So, yeah, that's a helluva list.

Tickets and more info here. Cheers!

What: Drake's Brewing Co. 27th Anniversary Party
Where: 1933 Davis Street, Ste. 177, in San Leandro
When: 5 p.m.
Who: 21-and-over, no pets
Why: beer, eh!

Mid-Week Menu: A Hotel Restaurant Reinvents Itself, a Sandwich Pop-Up Re-emerges, and a Fish Market Shutters

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 1:46 PM

  • Fairmont Hotels

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news. Regular What  the Fork readers may have noticed my absence from these interwebs for the past couple of weeks, but now that I’m back, let’s get caught up.

1) Berkeleyside Nosh got the first word on the new restaurant that will take over for Antoinette — the short-lived, spectacular failure that it was — at Oakland’s Claremont Club & Spa: Limewood Bar & Restaurant will be a little bit less expensive and more down to earth, according to the general manager, and it appears that chef Joseph Humphrey (most recently of The Advocate) will ditch Antoinette’s French brasserie theme — despite the hotel’s previous statements to the contrary — for more of a straightforward California cuisine approach.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mikkeller Oakland Grand Opening on Friday

by Nick Miller
Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 4:52 PM

  • Courtesy Mikkeller Oakland
The big beer news in the East Bay is that Mikkeller Oakland's grand opening goes down this Friday, August 19, beginning at 4 p.m.

The Danish brewer's eccentric lineup, and his newer West Coast-produced hoppy stuff, will parachute into the old Trappist Provisions location for at the week's end. A post on Mikkeller Oakland's Facebook promises killer brews on draft, and also some desirable bottles for in-house consumption and to-go, so be sure to pop in as soon as you get off work. A quick tease of what could be poured this Friday:

Acid Trip BA White Wine
Ahhh BA White Wine
Nelson Sauvignon Wild Ale BA
Raspberry Trippelbock BA
Recipe 1000 BA Sauternes
Vild BA Bordeaux
Barrel Aged Beer Geek Brunch
Birthday Bruit

So, basically, brew that's hardly ever made it across the Atlantic. I'm down.

It was announced last month that the beloved and quaint Provisions would transform into a Mikkeller location, and the remodel has occurred gradually in recent weeks, complete with all sorts of Keith Shore artwork (he does all the Mikkeller logos and labels).

Learn more at MikkellerOakland.com.

What: Mikkeller Oakland Grand Opening
Where: 6309 College Avenue in Oakland
When: 4 p.m. to close
Who: You
Why: Beer

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

East Bay Bars and Restaurants Embrace the Pokémon Go Craze

When a Pidgey walks into a bar.

by Jasmine Guillory
Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 12:46 PM

A wild Doduo in its natural habitat — perched on a cocktail glass at Make Westing. - JASMINE GUILLORY
  • Jasmine Guillory
  • A wild Doduo in its natural habitat — perched on a cocktail glass at Make Westing.

Hudson Bay Cafe, Blue Bottle, Rockridge Cafe, Homeroom, Pizzaiolo, Luka’s Taproom, and Cafe Van Kleef. A restaurant and bar crawl to take an Oakland newcomer from day to night? That too, but this is also a list of PokéStops and Pokémon Go “gyms” in the East Bay.

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