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Comment Archives: stories: Food & Drink: What the Fork

Re: “Reem's California: The Power of a Corner Bakery

OMG WE CANNOT WAIT!!!! I started reading this article and said to myself "PLEASE GOD MAKE HER SERVE MANYEESH. And then i read the rest of the article and saw my prayers will be answered. Welcome to the Fruitvale we cannot wait to have you!

Posted by Heather Haxo Phillips Yoga on 09/14/2016 at 2:00 PM

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

This is really disappointing especially hearing that he is still so passionate about making food. I wonder if he could go through Kiva local to help fund his start up. With so many people who loved his food, his generous heart and charitable intentions I'd be he'd make money in no time. Just a thought... maybe Luke you can pass on the idea to Tony?

Posted by Kai Tokugawa on 09/10/2016 at 6:55 PM

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

Wow. What a loss. I would trade one of the "high end gourmet places" for this any day ... Tony was a true delight and so was his food. One of the high points of the East Bay (Oakland in particular) is being able to spend less than $10 for lunch and getting not just something "good" ... but something truly special and truly unique. Whether it's Mongolian or Viet-Mex fusion doesn't matter ... what matters is great, affordable food made by great people. Let's hope Tony gets his dream ... and hopefully you'll let us know when he does!

Posted by Alan J Miller on 09/09/2016 at 12:30 PM

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

That's too bad. We did our laundry at the laundromat next to Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso just so we could eat there while we washed. They will be missed. Good luck to Tony finding a new space.

Posted by Michelle Castro on 09/07/2016 at 12:39 PM

Re: “Six Ways to Fried Chicken in the East Bay

Merritt Bakery is closed. Although someone told me they took over the old Kwik-Way drive-thru, so maybe they have their chicken there.

Posted by BTP on 08/26/2016 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Six Ways to Fried Chicken in the East Bay

Merritt bakery in Oakland is hands down the best fried chicken in bay area. not even mentioned?

Posted by Scout on 08/22/2016 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Six Ways to Fried Chicken in the East Bay

What about the Southern Cooking joint on MacArthur on the Glenview side of Fruitvale? I heard that has great fried chicken - haven't been there yet but plan to go.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 08/17/2016 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Six Ways to Fried Chicken in the East Bay

Good guide. I am hungry

Posted by Darryl Sladden on 08/16/2016 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

There's a much more pressing problem in our own back yard: the Bay Area's many live animal food markets. California annually imports some TWO MILLION non-native American bullfrogs for human consumption (commercially-raised). Plus an additional 300,000 to 400,000 non-native freshwater turtles, all taken from the wild in states East of the Rockies, depleting local populations. These markets are common in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles, mostly in various "Chinatowns." Often illegally released into they wild, they prey upon and displace our native species.

Worse, the majority of the bullfrogs (60+ %) test positive for the dreaded chytrid fungus (Batrachrochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd), which has caused the extinctions of 200+ species of frogs and other amphibians worldwide in recent years.

ALL of the market frogs & turtles are diseased and/or parasitized, though it is ILLEGAL to sell such products: E. coli, pasturella, salmonella, blood parasite, giardia, et al. Many of the animals are stacked four and five deep, often without food or water, and butchered while fully conscious.

Now THERE's an issue where the Berkeley and Oakland City Councils could REALLY make a difference. Follow the money.

x
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
Oakland

Posted by Eric Mills on 07/27/2016 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I can't wait for a branch group of Direct Action in Mumbai to take exception to Americans devouring cows.

Do something real people.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/25/2016 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

In South Korea, which has a strong and long duration of Western cultural influence, dog restaurants remain somewhat common and a choice for older Koreans who are feeling under-the-weather. The trauma of the dog being beaten adds stress-related chemicals to the flesh, which in turn are supposed to provide health benefits to the people who eat it. It is pricey meat. However, dog eating is not popular with younger Koreans and small dogs are increasinglng finding their way into apartment dweller homes as pets. Kudos for Berkeley City for flexing their soft power, but don't expect this practice in Asia to go away in the near future.

Posted by Vince Rubino on 07/20/2016 at 8:51 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

There are many animal rescues in CA, Hope for Paws and MarleyMutts to name two, which are working with rescues in China and Korea to stop this practice. But what they can do is just a drop in the bucket compared to the dogs that are languishing in small cages waiting to be killed and eaten. Particular types of dogs are also being bread as a food source (they look like a combo Samoyed/Husky). It's quite sad when you think about it. A tiny number of these animals are "saved" by rescues and shipped here - but should we really be doing this with the amount of dogs in shelters needing to be "saved" from extermination as well.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 07/20/2016 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I appreciate Kriss Worthington for putting this item on the agenda. It brings grotesque practices such as those described to the fore, and creates political pressure that may eventually be effective.

Posted by David Cohen on 07/20/2016 at 12:56 PM

Re: “Mama's Royal Cafe Is for Sale

Thanks, Luke! Have followed the Miliki story a bit, but was never sure whether that was the same chef. I certainly hope they find a way to make it.

As for Mama's needing an update: only a few details, perhaps, like fixing the stools (and maybe some fresh paint)! When it comes to retro/camp, that place is already the real deal!

Oakland doesn't need a Mama's Redux with Edison lightbulbs and faux-industrial fixtures, any more than it needs yet another hipster beer garden to replace Miliki. Stick with the genuine article!

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 07/08/2016 at 6:00 PM

Re: “Mama's Royal Cafe Is for Sale

Love Mama's grits and hash, but man that place needs a serious update. Getting very tired and worn in a not-good way.

Posted by Jean Komatsu 1 on 07/08/2016 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Mama's Royal Cafe Is for Sale

Hey Mitchell, my understanding is that the Full House chef has since moved onto Miliki (whose own future is a big question mark). But yes, Marino said he wants to find a new owner who will keep the staff — though of course it may be impossible to guarantee it.

Posted by Luke Tsai on 07/06/2016 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Mama's Royal Cafe Is for Sale

Has he held onto the former chef from the Full House Café? Any talk of whether the staff (as well as the recipes) might be part of the package when he sells?

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 07/06/2016 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Liba Falafel Takes Its Food Truck Off the Road

As a falafel fiend (and alternative press newshound) living in the "financially innovative" CARTOPIA of Portland, Ore aka Po'Town, I appreciate the coverage of brave Gail Lillian's attempt to make a go of both her LIBA Falafel food cart and her brick & mortar restaurant. However, reporter Luke Tsai is way off-base to jump on the national Chamber of Commerce line that LABOR SHORTAGES are causing U.S. businesses to suffer. THERE IS NO LABOR SHORTAGE for any type of job in our diverse U.S.

Up here in Po'town one of our otherwise admirable alternative weeklies, namely the PORTLAND MERCURY (sister indie of Seattle's alt weekly THE STRANGER) also ran a food feature this week by Andrea Damewood trying to explain the latest "financial innovation" of 'Pop-ups' in the restaurant biz by blaming this phantom LABOR SHORTAGE. Damewood explains:
http://www.portlandmercury.com/The-Food-Issue-2016/2016/06/29/18302257/why-is-it-so-damn-tough-to-open-a-new-restaurant-in-portland

"The result is a ballooning number of pop-ups, carts, and other low-cost entries into the food scene, like Cho's hybrid restaurant Han Oak, or Mae, chef Maya Lovelace's twice-weekly Southern feast run out of the back of Northeast Portland's Old Salt Marketplace."

A Commenter using the moniker GB1 weighed in before me briefly noting:
"The only labor shortage described in the article is line cooks. There are many people looking for work in this city, the easy solution is to train your own line cooks, which restaurants used to do."

My own reply to GB1's concise analysis and response to the national canard of any actual U.S. LABOR SHORTAGE is as follows:

GB1's Comment above about there being NO LABOR SHORTAGE, however, NO LINE COOK training anymore seems about right. Yet, it begs the question: With all the culinary academies turning out graduates, and not much access to start-up capital available, how low is the pay being offered to line cooks?

Not only can nobody live on $9.25 per hour minimum wage in Po'town, but with the remedy we've chosen of phasing in the climb to $15.00 per hour being years away, no current or new venture seems likely to survive to see what a $15.00 minimum wage will mean in 2022, or whenever the few states phasing in token minimum wage increases take effect.

Unlike Seattle, where with the sensible exception of businesses with fewer than 50 employees their $15.00 minimum wage enacted 4 years ago has created more money circulation on the city's streets (unlike the FEDERAL RESERVE's QUANTITATIVE EASING or QE I and II that only fed the banks and other lenders who did not improve cash circulation on Main Street, only on Wall Street). Even the PUGET BUSINESS JOURNAL which cried Cassandra in greeting Seattle-Tacoma Socialist Alternative council member Kshama Sawant when she and her fellow labor activists launched the $15.00 NOW! minimum wage movement, the same PUGET BUSINESS JOURNAL went back after 2 years to study the results and headlined their own admission of error in screaming there'd be a mass exodus of locally-owned businesses from Seattle by declaring "APOCALYPSE NOT."
http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/print-edition/2015/10/23/apocolypse-not-15-and-the-cuts-that-never-came.html

Moreover, this week's EAST BAY EXPRESS down in Oakland-Berkeley-Richmond-Albany-El Cerrito-Emeryville etc ran the same scare tactic of floating the ridiculous claim of a LABOR SHORTAGE in explaining why food carts are not the low-overhead remedy to the boom\bust cycle of commercial real estate markets. THE EB EXPRESS' reporter Luke Tsai used long-time Oakland food cart and restaurant entrepreneur Gail Lillian as his illustration of why a LABOR SHORTAGE was forcing her to close her popular LIBA FALAFEL food cart. See: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/li…

I support alternative weeklies that try to broaden coverage, but both the MERCURY & EB EXPRESS could use a BUSINESS section that broadens the discussion of failed local businesses to the wider trends of the 1/10th of 1% that can access capital to start up businesses without resorting to Kickstarter friends in shifting the risk of a new venture. Even the mainstream business community, so slow to recognize the Reagan-Bush-Norquist-Wanniski SUPPLY SIDE HOAX, TRICKLE DOWN FALLACIES and the laughable LAFFER CURVE (you can buy used LAFFER CURVES on Ebay autographed by Ted Koppel of ABC's NIGHTLINE which lent Arthur Laffer the credibility to sway even DNC legislators) are, with the possible exception of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback coming around to acknowledge the snake-oil about WHO REALLY CREATES JOBS and who should be able to shift costs & risks to the public while keeping all the profits. Why even SUPPLY SIDERS (except for Gov. Brownback and the GOP field of unfettered capital dreams) are facing the contradiction of cutting costs of LABOR so much over 40 years of Stag-flation on worker wages that DEMAND has dried up because there is no money left for working folks to spend.

All those GLOBAL TRADE DEALS never did create a middle class demanding anything but high-tech weaponry (our last surplus trading export) in kleptocracies or slave-labor states like Mexico and China. DEMAND has never been made up to counter our TRADE DEFICITS from where the NIKE's and other off-shore labor-seekers have gone in shredding our hard-earned Social Contract and reasonable tariff and trade barriers that once made U.S. internal markets, diversified manufacturing base and the growing middle class the envy of the world.

(Creative Commons) Mitch Ritter
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Nike-Town, Intel-Land LLC
Pheudal Phiephdom of Phil, Ka-ching
In Anti-Trust PERP-E-tuity Throughout the Universe

Posted by Mitch Ritter on 06/29/2016 at 10:43 PM

Re: “Eddie Huang Doesn't Care About the New Shit in Your City

there is alot of responsibility in being a serviceman/women, we defend and protect, while most just sit on their fat ass and reap the rewards!

Posted by JL Brown Jr on 06/26/2016 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Eddie Huang Doesn't Care About the New Shit in Your City

I dont give a damn about him or his ideas, I am a strong supporter of the Bill or rights, all of them. I served 23 yrs in the military, and if I could afford a assault weapon I would have one, but I cant, so I keep a AR15

Posted by JL Brown Jr on 06/26/2016 at 4:13 PM

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