Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Airport Food, Food-Court Poke, and an Essential Dungeness Crab Update

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Hopefully, crab fishermen (and crab eaters) won't have to wait long for the Dungeness season to start. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Hopefully, crab fishermen (and crab eaters) won't have to wait long for the Dungeness season to start.

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) After a toxic algae bloom wreaked havoc on last year’s Dungeness crab season here in Northern California, Bay Area crab fishermen and crab eaters are keeping close tabs on the domoic acid levels in waters off the coast of California ahead of the traditional November 15 kickoff to the commercial crab season. So far so good, the Chronicle reports: While some domoic acid has been detected up and down the coast, state health department officials say the levels are normal for this time of year. Fingers crossed that that bodes well for those of us hoping to have Dungeness crab for Thanksgiving this year.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Year's Eat Real Festival Features an Anti-Sausage Party

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 5:05 PM

Katy Quinn (left) competed in last year's Eat Real butchery contest. - PHILLIP YIP
  • Phillip Yip
  • Katy Quinn (left) competed in last year's Eat Real butchery contest.

When Eat Real Festival hits Jack London Square this weekend, its annual whole-hog butchery demonstration — one of the street food festival’s signature events — will have a bit of a new look. The butchers will, of course, be as badass as they always are, with knives and hand-saws just as sharp. But this year, for the first time, all four participants will be women.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Shiba Ramen Is Coming to Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Spicy tantanmen-style ramen at Shiba Ramen. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Spicy tantanmen-style ramen at Shiba Ramen.

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) This week in vital noodle-related news: Shiba Ramen, the popular food court kiosk in Emeryville’s Public Market, has just announced that it will open a second location at 1438 Broadway in Downtown Oakland — the former Bittersweet Cafe spot.

See also:
Food Court Noodles

Ex-Chemists Aim to Bring Authentic, Fuss-Free Ramen to Emeryville


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Former Employee Who is Suing Burma Superstar: 'It Was Complete Madness'

by Winston Cho
Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 10:41 AM

The Bay Area's best-known purveyor of Burmese tea leaf salad faces a major lawsuit. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE
  • Chris Duffey/File
  • The Bay Area's best-known purveyor of Burmese tea leaf salad faces a major lawsuit.

Former employees of Burma Superstar are speaking out about the labor lawsuit filed last week against the popular Bay Area restaurant chain.

William Navarette — who worked as a dishwasher, kitchen helper and cook at Burma Superstar — is a plaintiff in the suit. He told the Express that Burma Superstar owners owe him and more than one-hundred other employees back wages.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reem’s California Aims to Bring Fresh-Baked Man'oushe and Socially Conscious Employment Practices to Fruitvale

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Reem Assil making man'oushe. - BROOKE ANDERSON
  • Brooke Anderson
  • Reem Assil making man'oushe.

Reem Assil was part way through a soul-searching trip along the coast of Syria and Lebanon when she walked into a corner bakery in Beirut, felt the warmth of the place, and realized that she had finally found what she was looking for.

“I wanted to bring that warmth and hospitality back [to the Bay Area] and show people those Arab traditions,” she said.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Burma Superstar Kitchen Staff Sue Bay Area Chain Over Wage Violations

by Winston Cho
Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Burma Superstar's tea leaf salad — one of the Burmese dishes the restaurant chain helped popularize. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE
  • Chris Duffey/File
  • Burma Superstar's tea leaf salad — one of the Burmese dishes the restaurant chain helped popularize.
Current and former employees of Burma Superstar filed a lawsuit against the Bay Area restaurant chain Thursday, claiming it hasn’t been properly paying its kitchen staff.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dominica Rice-Cisneros Wants to Lift Up Women Chefs

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Cosecha chef-owner Dominica Rice-Cisneros. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Cosecha chef-owner Dominica Rice-Cisneros.

Word is only now starting to trickle out about the presentations at the MAD Symposium, a gathering of the world’s foremost chefs, farmers, and other food-world luminaries, which took place last week in Copenhagen, Denmark. The broad theme of this year’s symposium was “Tomorrow’s Kitchen,” and the select group of culinary leaders who attended were asked to consider questions such as, “What do we hope our kitchens will be like in the future?”

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In East Oakland, a Popular Banh Mi Shop and Taqueria Closes

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso co-owner Tony Torres. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso co-owner Tony Torres.

For the past five years, Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso (1400 14th Ave., Oakland) has been one of those quintessential “Only in Oakland” businesses — a taqueria located inside a banh mi shop, marking the happy marriage between two of The Town’s most beloved cuisines. It was the only place in the Bay Area I knew of where you could order an al pastor banh mi or shrimp a la diabla served with the accoutrements of a Vietnamese rice plate.

See also:
Saigon Deli Sandwich & Taco Valparaiso Offers a Lesson in Cross-Cultural Communication Via Banh Mi

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: The Dock Reboots, Herbivore Closes, and The Duchess Comes to Rockridge

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 10:26 AM

The patio at The Dock. - THE DOCK VIA FACEBOOK
  • The Dock via Facebook
  • The patio at The Dock.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Big changes are in store for James Syhabout’s The Dock (95 Linden St., Oakland), which closed this past weekend to gear up for a major reboot, the Chronicle reports. Of particular note: Syhabout and longtime business partner Adam Lamoreaux will take over the space next door currently occupied by Linden Street Brewery. They plan to reconfigure the entire building into a restaurant/brewery/taproom combo, with Lamoreaux taking on the role of head brewer. (You may recall that Lamoreaux co-founded Linden Street Brewery and was its original head brewer; the company’s board members removed him from that position in 2014.)

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