Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Off the Grid Coming to North Berkeley

Tue, May 17, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Off the Grid, San Francisco’s fiercely popular food-truck events, is jumping the bay. Organizer Matt Cohen is in the final stages of environmental health review from the city of Berkeley to launch a weekly Off the Grid street-food event Wednesday evenings in North Berkeley, on the stretch of North Shattuck at Rose, site of the Thursday farmers’ market. Target launch date: Wed., June 1, though permitting delays might push the launch back to June 8.

Cohen launched the first Off the Grid in June 2010 at Fort Mason Center. There are now weekly (or twice-weekly) Off the Grid food-truck pods in five locations in San Francisco. In the past several months Cohen has hinted that Off the Grid was seeking to expand outside the city, citing the East Bay as a likely target. The North Berkeley event represents OtG’s first foray off San Francisco soil.

No word yet on how many vendors will regularly set up at Off the Grid North Berkeley, or if the roster will also include cart vendors, as at Fort Mason. We’ll let you know more as details emerge.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Burgers in Berkeley and the End of an Era at Chez Panisse

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, May 6, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Happy May, eaters and drinkers. Here's your week in food news and miscellany:

Longtime Chez Panisse chef David Tanis will be leaving the uberfamous restaurant later this summer to write a food column for the New York Times, according to Inside Scoop and literally every other publication in the Bay Area.

on to greener pastures
  • on to greener pastures
Tanis, who's been working at Chez Panisse for about 25 years now, splits his time between Berkeley and Paris, swapping six-month postings as the restaurant's chef with Jean-Pierre Moulle. After his current such stint, he'll leave for good. Queen Alice and the rest of the gang at Chez Panisse have yet to announce a replacement for Tanis.

And while we're on the subject: haven't you always wondered Chez Panisse's meat locker looks like? Of course you have. Behold:

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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Two Openings and a Sweet Jimmie's Update

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Stuff your face in new and exciting ways! Here's this week's roundup of openings, closings, and other food-related miscellany:

Rockridge wine bar Toast (which we wrote about in a cover story a couple months back) officially opened for business on Tuesday and is offering 30 wines by the glass, red wine on tap, and a smallish tapas menu. Eater SF has graciously uploaded a PDF of the opening menu here and has plenty photos of the space (at 5900 College Ave.) here.

Heather Sittig and Kristen Policy of Toast
The folks behind adorably named Pleasant Hill tapas-y place Nibblers Eatery & Wine Bar are opening a new "farm to fork" restaurant in the space most recently occupied by (dearly departed) Locanda da Eva. According to Diablo Dish, the restaurant, opening sometime this summer, will be called Origen and will focus on local, sustainably sourced, smallish plates:

Origen will offer a daily changing prix fixe menu in addition to a la carte options with an International flair that will also include casual fare such as a burger and wood fired pizzas to take advantage of the existing brick oven.

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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.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: New Rudy's Can't Fail Opening Within a Month, Plus Burgers, Pasta, and Other Carby Fun

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Here we go: this week in East Bay food and drink news, reviews, and miscellany. Enjoy!

General Manager Tracy Reinstein reports that construction is on track at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe's new Uptown outpost, and that the restaurant is now set to open in mid-May at the corner of 18th and Telegraph in the same building as the Fox Theater. "Things are looking fantastic," she said. "It's going gangbusters, and it's a lot of fun." Reinstein said that the new restaurant will have a full bar as well as a private dining room, with seating for ten people and a private entrance into the Fox. Like the insanely popular original Rudy's, it'll offer cheap, classic American food in a kitschy-hip space and be open from 7 a.m.-1 a.m. seven days a week (which makes it the latest addition to Uptown's burgeoning late-night dining scene).

The Five Guys burger: Coming soon to a mouth near you!
  • The Five Guys burger: Coming soon to a mouth near you!
Five Guys, the East Coast analogue to In N' Out, is expanding into NorCal, according to The LA Times. The three confirmed East Bay locations are in Fremont's Pacific Commons shopping center, in Dublin's Hacienda Crossing shopping center, and in Pleasant Hill at 100 Crescent Drive. (The Kitchen Sink has been to one of the chain's Manhattan outposts, and it is, indeed, very good! Get excited, East Bay.)

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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Goodbye to A.G. Ferrari in Berkeley; Hello to Sandwiches and Soul Food in Oakland

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Alright, East Bay, here's your weekly roundup of food and drink news:

San Leandro-based specialty-food chain A.G. Ferrari Foods declared bankruptcy earlier this week, citing rising costs and a still-slow economy. The chain's Solano Avenue store closed on Sunday night; the Sunnyvale store shuttered shortly thereafter. According to a story in yesterday's Chron, the 92-year-old company isn't necessarily planning on closing all of its eleven remaining stores, but is in the process of renegotiating its leases and reorganizing its finances.

Its been real, A.G. Ferrari
  • It's been real, A.G. Ferrari

According to SFoodie, Eastlake will soon be getting a new gourmet take-out spot, Berlyn's Gourmet Eatery, helmed by Dontaye Ball and Larry McClendon. The restaurant will have limited seating and will serve sandwiches, salads, and the like, in addition to a daily specials menu and soul food entrees like gumbo and jambalaya. According to McClendon's Twitter feed, Berlyn's is set for a soft opening next week, while SFoodie indicates it'll open officially on April 23.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Beer, Here

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Slow week! Nonetheless, here's all the news that's fit to print put on the internet:

Ethan Fletcher at Diablo Dish reports that Oakland's got yet another craft brewery in its midst: Let's all give a warm welcome to the aptly named Oakland Brewing Company, which is apparently up, running, and temporarily operating out of other local beer facilities while renovations are being made on what will be its permanent location on 22nd Avenue.

Meanwhile, Fletcher also reports that three Pyramid alums are set to open Elevation 66 Brewing Company, a brewpub on San Pablo in El Cerrito, sometime in May.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: All-You-Can-Eat Pizza in Berkeley; Death of a Donut Shop in Alameda

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Here we go. All the news that's fit to print put on the internet in East Bay food and drink this week:

Alameda institution Golden Pin Donuts is closing after a whopping 26-year run, according to Rin Kelly at the Merc. Owner Rahim Seyedein is apparently shuttering the business in order to spend more time with his family.

Berkeleyside and the Daily Clog report that the area around Cal campus has a new pizza place, Pepe's, which offers — wait for it — a $6.99 all-you-can-eat buffet. Yes, you read that right! All the pizza (plus salad, soup, and so much more) you can possibly stuff down your gullet for less than the price of like, a latte. We'll leave the munchies jokes up to you on this one.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Ice Cream in North Berkeley, Mac n'Cheese in Emeryville, Sushi on Piedmont

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM

This week: good news for fans of ice cream, sushi, coffee, and comfort food; bad news for Nation's customers.

1) After an unbelievably protracted permitting process, iScream finally opened last week near the top of Solano in North Berkeley. The Yelp reviews are, of course, already rolling in, and they're more or less positive: Yelper Eric L. says "This is just seriously great ice cream. I still can't believe how good it tastes," while Mollie M. even compares it favorably to SF legend Bi-Rite creamery.

2) Food-truck mecca Emeryville will soon be getting yet another purveyor of mobile deliciousness. According to one of the trucks' owner-chefs, Zak Silverman, Doc's will begin setting up on Hollis by the start of next week, and will serve what Silverman calls "classic American comfort food": cheeseburgers, pulled pork, mac n'cheese, and the like.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Kitchen Sink: Cocktails, Cured meat, Cuban food

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM

News, notes, and miscellany from this week in East Bay food and drink:

As we reported last week, Uptown is set to get a flurry of (well, three) new bars in the coming months. The first of those, Dogwood — a classy cocktail joint with an expansive menu of charcuterie-style snacks — officially opened this week, and the first assessments seem to be pretty positive: bloggeth Urban Daddy:

We think you’ll agree that more cocktail dens would do well to augment their bar with a designated meat counter. Especially one slicing up house-cured meats with a hand-cranked, Ferrari-red slicer. Until then, this spot should tide you over.
The Kitchen Sink stopped by at around 8 this Wednesday and the place was, indeed, fairly full. Blurry iPhone pics below!



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