Friday, April 22, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Lots of Activity in Uptown, Plus the Triumphant Return of Kwik Way

By Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Major noms this week. Here's your food and drink roundup:

Xolo, the fourth restaurant from the foodie power couple behind Flora, Tacubaya, and Dona Tomas, officially opened for business this week at 1916 Telegraph, across the street from the Fox Theater. The casual Mexican restaurant is already doing solid business in its first week, according to Andee Brown, a Flora manager who's currently pitching in a couple doors down at Xolo. "We've had a lot of interest, a lot of people coming through," she said. I stopped by Thursday night around 7 and, indeed, the restaurant— a sunny, deceptively large two-story space with robins-egg blue walls and an open kitchen — was more than half-full on its very first night of dinner service. Meanwhile, some poor keyboard monkey/intern at Grub Street has typed up the full menu; check it out here. Of particular note: the birria, a delicious-looking goat dish available only on Fridays and Saturdays; the extensive selection of burritos and tacos both traditional (chile verde) and more creative (surf n' turf); the respectable wine and beer selection; and, especially, the prices, all of which are below the ten-dollar mark. Also, and most importantly: the aptly titled "danger dog," an artery-clogging gauntlet of bacon, mayo, avocado, pinto beans and jalapeno, all atop/encasing a hot dog. Herewith, blurry iPhone pictures, just for you!:




Cute, right?? It'll eventually be open til 11 Monday-Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Kwik Way, the long-blighted retro-y burger joint near Lake Merritt has officially been resurrected and is now back in business, per Inside Scoop SF. Our BFFAEs at Yelp already have screenshots of the menu, which looks to consist mostly of burgers, fries, and other diner-y stuff.

We're just getting word about a cool new super-duper-green cafe opening in Uptown in about eight weeks. Noble Cafe — which is set to open in the Grand apartment complex at 100 Grand Avenue, between Webster and Valdez — apparently bears the distinction of being the first, and presumably only, zero-carbon footprint cafe in the country, with sustainably-constructed furniture, solar lighting, local and 95-percent organic food, and compostable everything. The menu features coffee drinks and light fare like a rotating fritatta of the day, a duck breast-pecan-cherry salad, a house-made mac n'cheese, and more.

Berlyn's, an Oakland soul food joint we mentioned a couple weeks back, is finally opening for real this weekend. The Feast apparently got a sneak peek at the restaurant's soft opening and has some food porn for you here.

Tender Greens, Walnut Creek's hotly anticipated eco/green/sustainable/etc quick-service restaurant, has experienced a couple setbacks in the construction process, but is finally set to open next week, according to Eater SF.

Three weeks after filing for bankruptcy and shuttering its Solano Avenue store, San Leandro-based A.G. Ferrari has closed three more outlets — in Belmont, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. As we've previously reported, the Italian food store is in the midst of a "reorganization" and hopes to stay afloat even after filing for Chapter 11 on March 28.

Modern Coffee is opening a cool mobile "coffee container" on 13th Street this fall, according to Paolo Lucchesi at Inside Scoop. The 20-foot-long "mobile brew bar," a repurposed shipping container, will be built by the folks at Oakland's Arcsine Architecture, and will operate out of a parking space a few yards away from Modern Coffee's brick-and-mortar outpost inside the Tribune Tower. According again to Lucchesi, it'll be unveiled sometime around Park(ing) day, which goes down in September. Peep a PDF of the floor plans here.

Eaten at any of these places and have expert opinionz? Leave 'em in the comments. And, as always, if you see any "Coming Soon" signs, liquor license applications, or boarded-up restos in your neighborhood, holler at


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