Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
Love eating at out of the way places in yet undeveloped restaurant neighborhoods - and tried Philomena's on the recommendation of a friend. We were hoping for the best but it was not to be. Sam Lowry was right - soggy and flavorless and scant toppings too. Big disappointment on pizza night. This pizza can't hold a candle to The (new) Leaning Tower of Haddon Hill at Newton and Wesley off the lake which is our go-to joint. Isaac the owner has researched and developed his pizza crust down to a delicious science - best pizza in the East Bay. Philomena, you have to be better than this to get us back for a second try.
Looks like typical flavorless, soggy bay area pizza that every place is doing now.
great spot :)
Good guide. I am hungry
I read this review/article yesterday so a co-worker and I ventured over there at lunch to try it. I'm with Jono...I wasn't impressed. I got the Hawaiian ham torta and she got the 5 taco platter. While they weren't "bad", they weren't "great" either. Let's just say I wouldn't venture over there JUST to stop by for a bite to eat. One thing I will say is their staff was very pleasant. So good job for that. Of course I recommend you give it a try, so you can come to your own conclusions, but I've had much better and cheaper tortas and tacos.
I'm so not in agreement. Place has bland food and is insanely overpriced for Mexican. And don't tell me the price is justified by the neighborhood. Cactus on Solano and College is half the price and twice as good.
Come and enjoy the best the gourmet ghetto has to offer. You won't be disappointed.
AGREE 100% - We had lunch 8/03 and it was likely the best food we'd had in over a year (including Farmhouse Inn, Auberge du Soleil, and Passionfish). Lunchtime Wed was empty and the waitress delightfully enthusiastic. By far the best Italian restaurant in Northern CA right now, even surpasses Perbacco.
5395 Bancroft Ave at Fairfax. Can't wait to visit!
I'm less than enthused by a picture of a meatball sub — probably 800 calories or more — on a half loaf of unappetizing white bread, for $8 (plus tax = closer to $9).
I literally saw a $10 box of dried pasta in the grocery section of that shop.
They also very obviously went to a wholesale grocer, got various dry goods, put them in plastic bags with "Stay Gold Deli" stickers on them, and added price tags that are 50% higher than Whole Foods.
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.
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
I can't wait for a branch group of Direct Action in Mumbai to take exception to Americans devouring cows.
Do something real people.
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.
I have made this place a regular weekly excursion. Food is delish.
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.
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.
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!
Love Mama's grits and hash, but man that place needs a serious update. Getting very tired and worn in a not-good way.
Well, Sam, he already had the space and has been operating there since well before Uber decided to move there. That area serves a lot of people, not just the new white folk. I applaud Patterson for learning more about the community he serves, closing the pricey destination Plum restaurant (yes, Plumbar is still there, a scaled back version with more affordable food), and trying something that might actually appeal to the broader base of customers in that area. As to the "he is only employing people to help make his profit" ...well, yes. But a lot of hot Oakland restaurants are not at all concerned with employing or training people in the actual community, or providing healthy, tasty, affordable food. Could he change his business model and do more? Maybe. But he could have bailed on Oakland entirely and instead is is doing something.
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