Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: A New Burmese Cafe, Booze at Umami Mart, and Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Grocery Cafe's tea leaf salad (via Facebook).
  • Grocery Cafe's tea leaf salad (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Grocery Cafe (2248 10th Ave.), the combination Burmese cafe and neighborhood bodega that I reported on earlier this year, is finally open in East Oakland, a Chowhound poster reports. The opening menu includes such Burmese classics as tea leaf salad and mohinga (a kind of fish and rice noodle chowder). No word yet on whether the grocery component of the business has launched.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Beyond Cracked Crab: Seven Dungeness Crab Dishes to Try in the East Bay

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Crab and grits at Miss Ollie's (via Facebook).
  • Crab and grits at Miss Ollie's (via Facebook).
When Dungeness crab is at its peak-of-the-season freshest, it feels like a shame to eat it an y way other than the simplest: steamed, cracked, and served naked but for a tub of drawn butter and a pile of lemon wedges. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Now that the local Dungeness season is in full swing, you can look forward to expanding your crab-eating horizons beyond that classic prep — and even beyond longtime favorites such as Southie’s crab roll and China Village’s ma po tofu with whole Dungeness crab.

Here are seven East Bay crab dishes to try (or happily revisit) in the coming weeks:

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Paleo in North Berkeley, Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown, and a New Taiwanese Import in Shattuck Square

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Yucca-based crackers get a starring role at Mission Heirloom (via Facebook).
  • Yucca-based crackers get a starring role at Mission Heirloom (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Diablo Dish got word that the Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe (2085 Vine St., Berkeley) — a paleo-friendly, grain-free, and gluten-free cafe and purveyor of prepared foods — is opening this week in North Berkeley. In fact, it appears that their first day of business is today, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check out my earlier story about Mission Heirloom for details about the owners’ food philosophy, which is premised in part on the idea that many conventional foods — not just GMOs and such, but also grains, anything with excessive umami, and even heated olive oil — are too toxic for human consumption.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Liquor License Mixup Prompts Mockingbird to Go BYOB

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Via Facebook.
  • Via Facebook.
Mockingbird (1745 San Pablo Ave.), a year-old neighborhood bistro in Uptown Oakland, is probably best known as a low-key date night spot — a place where you could sit down to a plate of roast chicken and a glass of wine before catching a show at the Fox. Or it used to be, anyway, until a recent liquor license mixup prompted husband-and-wife co-owners William Johnson and Melissa Axelrod to halt alcohol sales entirely.

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Food Policy Report Gives CA Legislators a Mixed Review

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

A meeting of the California Food Policy Council. - DORIS MEIER / ROOTS OF CHANGE
  • Doris Meier / Roots of Change
  • A meeting of the California Food Policy Council.
From the labeling of sugary drinks and genetically engineered foods to a proposed increase to the statewide minimum wage, California’s legislature has tackled no shortage of hot-button issues related to food policy in the past year. According to a new report, a total of 22 bills appeared before the state legislature that advocates believed would have a sweeping impact on making California’s food system more sustainable and equitable.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Clove & Hoof’s Opening, Hang Ten Boiler’s New Location, and Cocktails on Tap in Emeryville

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Clove & Hoof's Analiesa Gosnell, practicing her craft (via Facebook).
  • Clove & Hoof's Analiesa Gosnell, practicing her craft (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) As previously reported in the Mid-Week Menu, Clove & Hoof (4001 Broadway), North Oakland’s schmancy new sustainability-minded butcher shop and whole-animal restaurant, is opening soon — as early as Wednesday, November 19, according to Inside Scoop’s latest update. Chef and co-owner John Blevins said he’ll be putting a “stoner emphasis” on some of his New American creations, which will include a kind of hush puppy stuffed with baked beans. Check out our preview of Clove & Hoof from back in March.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

At Stateside Bakery, Twinkies Go Gourmet

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

A new and improved Twinkie. - STATESIDE BAKERY
  • Stateside Bakery
  • A new and improved Twinkie.
Kate McEachern, the cupcake maestro behind the CupKates food truck, said the idea for her newest business venture came about after her brother had a baby and started waxing nostalgic about the desserts of his youth, such as Twinkies and Oreos. Wouldn’t it be great if he could introduce his kids to those sweets — if they weren’t made almost entirely out of garbage ingredients?

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Monday, November 10, 2014

A New Oakland Pop-Up Serves Vegetarian Food with a Modern Edge

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Gnocchi with parsnip cream at Veg 388. - VEG 388
  • Veg 388
  • Gnocchi with parsnip cream at Veg 388.
Kitchen 388 (388 Grand Ave.) is a popular brunch spot in Oakland’s Adams Point neighborhood that’s known for its fried chicken and waffles and for serving about a dozen pounds of bacon on any given Sunday. So it was with a certain sense of mischievousness that chef Kevin Schuder chose the cafe to be the site of his new vegetarian dinner series, which he’s dubbed Veg 388 — a vegetarian pop-up that takes over the normally meat-heavy restaurant five nights a week.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Gourmet Twinkies, Pumpkin Spice Latte Burgers, and a Cabin Inside a Restaurant

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Sweet treats at Stateside Bakery (via Facebook).
  • Sweet treats at Stateside Bakery (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) The proprietor of CupKates, the popular mobile cupcakery — and one of the OGs of the Bay Area’s recent food truck renaissance — has opened her first brick-and-mortar bakery in Berkeley. Stateside Bakery (3001 Telegraph Ave., Ste. E) softly opens today, November 5, at 11 a.m. We’ve reached out to owner Kate McEachern for additional details, but it sounds like the focus will be on wholesome, updated versions of the snack cakes and other classic American desserts made by companies like Hostess and Little Debbie.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Oakland’s New Geek Cafe

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Where the gamers go to game: upstairs at Endgame's retail shop (via Facebook).
  • Where the gamers go to game: upstairs at Endgame's retail shop (via Facebook).
Even as Old Oakland’s dining scene has blossomed in the past few years, a cup of coffee and a quick, inexpensive bite to eat have remained rare commodities, at least in the evening hours. Chris Hanrahan, the co-owner of board game store EndGame (921 Washington St.), explained that the neighborhood’s coffee shops and casual takeout joints all close at around 7 p.m. — much to the chagrin of the hungry, undercaffeinated souls who flock to Hanrahan’s store multiple nights a week for Dungeons and Dragons or Magic: The Gathering.

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