Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Vegan Deli, a Scare for Sandwich Lovers, and a High-Profile Chef Change

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Take the (vegan) cannoli. Via Facebook.
  • Take the (vegan) cannoli. Via Facebook.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) The Butcher’s Son (1941 University Ave., Berkeley), the Bay Area’s first vegan delicatessen (to my knowledge), is now open for business. Bay Area Bites has a first look at the East Coast deli-inspired spot, and even though the proprietors are only serving a limited selection of sandwiches for now, the offerings certainly look promising.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Polynesian Food Calamity, a Pasta Tasting Menu, and the Long-Awaited Start of Dungeness Crab Season

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 12:47 PM

One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) We’re halfway through February, but news is still trickling in about restaurants that didn’t make it into the new year. One of Oakland’s biggest losses: Mo’s Hut (2676 Fruitvale Ave.), a low-key Samoan/Hawaiian spot that was one of my favorite new restaurants to open last year, had its last day of business on December 31. According to the restaurant’s Facebook announcement, the owners are searching for a new permanent location — but possibly not in Oakland. I will miss the grilled meats, crab mac salad, and warm hospitality.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Nonprofit Restaurant in East Oakland Will Aim to Prioritize People Over Profits

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:22 PM

A training session at the Colors restaurant in New York. - ROC UNITED
  • ROC United
  • A training session at the Colors restaurant in New York.
Diners who walk into Colors, a gluten-free restaurant in New York City’s East Village, might not notice anything special about the place — maybe the social justice-themed artwork or the choice quotations from Eleanor Roosevelt and Cesar Chavez. But Colors differs from a traditional restaurant in several key respects: It’s run as a nonprofit, and in many ways the whole point of its existence is to provide a more equitable and humane labor model for the rest of the industry.

If that sounds like a good fit for Oakland, then here’s good news: The worker advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Center United and the Ella Baker Center — the Oakland-based human rights organization — are partnering to open a new Colors restaurant in East Oakland. The restaurant won’t be gluten-free, given that each Colors location has its own chef and menu concept, explained Rosanne Martino, Colors’ national coordinator. The Oakland restaurant will probably have a soul food theme.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Antoinette Opens, Hawker Temporarily Suspends Lunch Service, and Blue Bottle Launches New Food Menu

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Dominique Crenn (via Facebook). - ED ANDERSON
  • Ed Anderson
  • Dominique Crenn (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Earlier this week, Dominique Crenn, the latest big gun to hit the East Bay restaurant scene, unveiled her first project on this side of the bay, Eater reports. Located inside the newly rebranded Claremont Club & Spa (in the former Paragon spot), Antoinette (41 Tunnel Rd.) aims to be a French brasserie with a luxurious bent (not to mention an amazing panoramic view of the bay). And whoa if the opening night menu — posted here by Inside Scoop — doesn’t have some seriously eye-popping dishes: roasted monkfish tail for $95? A whole duck with foie gras and abalone mushrooms — meant to serve three to four — for $200? The brasserie also offers versions of French classics such as coq au vin ($29) and salade Lyonnaise made with mangalitsa lardo ($15).

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Oakland Aims to Allow Food Trucks to Operate All Over the City

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:53 AM

An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland.
Off the Grid-style mobile food gatherings might have taken the Bay Area by storm, but here in Oakland, the food truck revolution hasn’t gained much traction. It’s been limited, for the most part, to East Oakland’s vaunted taco truck scene and a handful of high-profile events elsewhere in the city.

But all that may be about to change. The city recently unveiled a proposal for a new mobile food policy that would greatly expand opportunities for local food truck operators. In theory, your favorite Fruitvale taco truck would now be able to set up shop on, say, Piedmont Avenue. And it would become much easier for individual food trucks to get permission to pull up to a metered parking space in Oakland to do business, the way they do in other cities that have a vibrant street food culture.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Genova Deli’s Landlord, Marzano’s Rebirth, and Pretty Lady’s Ownership Change

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Genova Deli's stock-in-trade. - _E.T/FLICKR (CC)
  • _E.T/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova Deli's stock-in-trade.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Last week’s big news was the possibility that Genova Delicatessen’s Oakland retail shop, a fixture in Temescal since 1926, might close due to an impending rent increase. According to longtime general manager, Julio De La Cruz, the deli’s lease is set to expire at the beginning of June. Not much has changed since the Express first broke the story on Friday, but here’s a brief update:

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