Uptown Welcomes Xolo 

Plus, soul food near Lake Merritt, and the triumphant return of Kwik Way.

Xolo — the fourth restaurant from Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz, the foodie power couple behind Flora, Tacubaya, and Doña Tomás — 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 manager at Flora 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. Indeed, on a recent Thursday evening around 7, the restaurant — a sunny, deceptively large two-story space with robin's-egg blue walls and an open kitchen — was more than half-full, on its very first night of dinner service. Of particular note on the menu: 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 menu; and, especially, the prices, all of which are below the ten-dollar mark. Also: the aptly titled "danger dog," an artery-clogging gauntlet of bacon, mayo, avocado, pinto beans, and jalapeno, all atop/encasing a hot dog. The restaurant is slowly rolling out its full hours; it'll eventually be open till 11 Monday through Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

New Super-Green Cafe in Uptown

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, locally sourced 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.

Table Scraps

Kwik Way, the long-blighted retro-y burger joint near Lake Merritt, has officially been resurrected and is now back in business at 500 Lake Park Avenue, with its iconic neon sign and an updated diner-oriented menu. ... Berlyn's, which focuses on take-out soul food, officially opened for business at 132 International Boulevard in Oakland last week. ... 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 at 1532 Locust Avenue. ... Three weeks after filing for bankruptcy and shuttering its Solano Avenue location, San Leandro-based A.G. Ferrari has closed three more stores — in Belmont, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. 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. ... The area near UC Berkeley now has a new falafel place: Fa-La-La Falafel, located at 2518-B Durant Avenue. In addition to traditional falafel, the restaurant also carries French fries, Nutella-pita sandwiches, and something intriguingly called "chocolate falafel." ... Modern Coffee is opening a "mobile coffee container" on 13th Street this fall. The twenty-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 an unspecified parking space a few yards away from Modern Coffee's brick-and-mortar outpost inside the Tribune Tower.

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