Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
Will you continue to review at San Francisco Magazine?
I made a point of reading the Express every week so as not to miss your reviews. I always thought you captured not just the Bay Area but the East Bay voice perfectly - enthusiastic, knowledgeable, adventurous, unpretentious. I was especially happy that you would review my favorite hole-in-the-wall places and throw some much needed spotlight on good, hardworking, non-celebrity owners and chefs. I will greatly miss your reviews.
Luke, although we never had the privilege to have met one another. I truly enjoyed all of your commentary and articles ,especially the ones that were about my past business the "BBQ HUT" (smile). But really you will be missed...don't stay away too long just continue to enjoy yourself!
You'll be missed. I've greatly appreciated your searching out of smaller places that would otherwise be completely overlooked. I hope your successor will maintain this ethos, and that you'll imprint some of that perspective to the glossy pages of your new gig. Good luck!
I just saw this. We will miss you! I was going to eat elsewhere in San Leandro but to honor your reviews of the East Bay's thriving Asian restaurant scene I will now go eat again at Noodles Pho Me:
Luke you were an East Bay treasure. NO ONE used the turn of phrase "lush fattiness" like you. San Francisco is lucky to have you. You will be deeply missed.
Luke, your reviews will be missed. Hope you choose to return soon
Your reviews have always been spot-on, and your net widely cast. You'll be missed! Best of luck in all your future endeavors!
Best of luck in your new ventures! Thanks for the wealth of tips, including so many curiosity piquers in this final issue, and for putting so many deserving businesses in the spotlight.
Oh goodness you will be missed!
Best of luck with your new gig!
Where can a bay area native with a master's in creative writing and a deep love of all things epicurean apply for your position?
Thank you Luke!
No! You have been great and we need more voices like yours. For you food from non-European origins wasn't "exotic" and you demonstrated a true connection and appreciation of real peoples' food. You will be missed.
Always a pleasure to read your reviews and discover new places with you. Good luck with your new position and keep on eatin'!!
Good luck, Luke. Reading your reviews each week has become something I greatly look forward to.
Word! Great article but Alchemy Collective in Berkeley next time! Worker-owned by mostly queer/POC folks.
For real! How is Alchemy Collective not on this list? They've even been a member of EBX's Think Indie Campaign for over a year!
Here are a few reasons why they might deserve to be on this list:
(1) THE SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
Alchemy is 100% worker-owned and 100% democratically run by a squad of predominantly Black, brown, and queer folks.
Alchemy was founded by three low-income baristas who wanted to create dignified careers (and business ownership) for themselves and other working class folks. And that's more impressive than businesses founded by well-meaning well-off investors with predetermined missions who hire members from marginalized groups to execute those missions without giving them real control over the capital they create. Right? Right.
They let community groups host events and fundraisers after hours for FREE. Such groups include Hasta Muerte Coffee, Community Democracy Project (Oakland), Sustainable Economies Law Center, Alipato Project, Justice for My Sister, an art therapy group, an anti-gentrification reading group, and more!
They incubate other worker-owned businesses for free and provide a lot of free emotional labor to houseless folks and other folks in need.
(2) MOVEMENT-ART GALLERY
Months after movement-artist Oree Originol's art show at Alchemy ended, his "Justice for Eric Garner," "Justice for Mike Brown," and "Justice for Sandra Bland" posters remain on Alchemy's windows. They host other local artists every month.
(3) ANTI-GENTRIFICATION AND LOCAL POLITICS
Alchemy is a member of the only business association in Berkeley that fights criminalizing homelessness. Ever aware of the dangerous effects of gentrification, instead of relying on the police, Alchemy established a network of social workers, family members, and neighboring businesses to help de-escalate potentially dangerous conflicts.
(4) NATIONAL POLITICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Alchemy joined the national inaugural strike on January 20th. A portion of the proceeds from Alchemy's Snakebite blend goes to Standing Rock. But their #NODAPL efforts don't stop there. Alchemy inspires folks to be more aware and more accountable: To the left of the Alchemy cash register is a list of banks that fund DAPL. To the right of their cash register is a Standing Rock donation box.
Alchemy sources food from the farmer's market, their beans are organic, their take-out stuff is compostable, and they use solar power. They have hosted events about community-owned renewable energy and fundraisers for environmental justice.
(5) COMMUNITY EDUCATION
They provide access to an expensive curated radical book collection to the public even though someone keeps stealing their James Baldwin books. They help resisters of domestic violence by selling the Radical Feminist Coloring Book and distributing "know-your-rights" brochures.
How is Alchemy Collective not on this list?
I suggest a conference specifically geared to local restaurants in the medium price & affordable price ranges to help them buy rather than rent. That way they can transcend rent increases & property ownership changes. They would be the owners.
There are several organizations specializing in these type of programs. We've got to help them target & meet restaurants.
anyone that wants a serious cheese steak should not go to either pat's or geno's. These are the fisherman's wharf of cheese steak places
It is ironic that, as a new citizen, the character goes to racist "Geno's Steaks" in South Philly, where until the Pope's recent visit had signs on their restaurant stating "This Is AMERICA, When ordering, SPEAK ENGLISH" and "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Deportation". The character should have gone to "Pat's Steaks" across the street, the actual creator's of the cheesesteak sandwich, which they serve to everyone.
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