Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: Noble Cafe Is Closed, Olde Depot Public House Is Open, and an Oakland Firehouse Is Turning into a Restaurant (Maybe)

By Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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

1) Diablo Dish has the scoop on Hutch Bar & Kitchen (2022 Telegraph Ave.), a new restaurant coming to Uptown Oakland next month from chef-owner David King, a native Tennessean who recently helped open San Francisco's Southpaw BBQ. The basic concept sounds somewhat similar to the one at Old Oakland’s yet-to-open The Cook and Her Farmer — a kind of hybrid between a raw bar and a Southern-inspired restaurant. There will be a couple of different crawfish preparations and lots and lots of grits, and pork fetishists will happy to hear that Allan Benton's legendary country ham will be on the menu.

2) We weren't able to get official confirmation, but it looks like Olde Depot Public House (468 3rd St., Oakland) — the all-vegan restaurant and beer garden project that’s adjacent to, and run by the owners of, Beer Revolution — opened (softly?) this past weekend. The website mentions a “beerunch” that the restaurant hosted on Sunday afternoon. We’ll pass along more details as we get them.

Cafe Noble, all cleared out.
  • Cafe Noble, all cleared out.
3) Uptown’s Noble Cafe (100 Grand Ave.), the self-proclaimed “first carbon-neutral cafe” in America, has closed, a little over a year after it opened on the first floor of a luxury apartment building. A Web posting had said the cafe would be closed until January 28 for “staff training,” but all the furniture inside was cleared out shortly thereafter. “Due to a partnership issue, we sold the space back to the building,” owner Dimitri Thompson told me via email. Thompson said he’s looking for a new location and hopes to reopen in the next few months. (Thanks to Gene, of Our Oakland, for the initial tip.)

4) KronnerBurger, the San Francisco-based permanent pop-up, will expand to an undisclosed location in Oakland this June, according to Grub Street. As with the original pop-up (at Bruno’s, in the Mission), this second burger shop location will also be housed inside an existing business.

5) BANG reports that a number of local residents and neighboring businesses in Oakland’s Dimond district are trying to convince city officials to sell a long-closed firehouse to Rick Mitchell and Maria Alderete, the proprietors of Luka’s Taproom (2221 Broadway, Oakland), who would turn the space into a sit-down barbecue restaurant with a focus on craft beer. It sounds like the city is still a couple of months away from a decision (h/t to Inside Scoop).

6) A couple of interviews of note: Inside Scoop chats with Haven chef Kim Alter of Haven about her farmers’ market routine and the future of Jack London Square. Meanwhile, Berkeleyside Nosh asks Bartavelle’s Suzanne Drexhage about the contents of her refrigerator and her opinion on junk food: “I don’t eat junk food. Street food, sure. Taco trucks, yes!”

7) Homeroom (400 40th St.), Temescal’s mac-and-cheese specialist, celebrated its two-year anniversary last week, just in time for owners Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade to announce the release of a mac-and-cheese cookbook they co-authored. The Mac + Cheese Cookbook will be available for purchase in August. Eater reports that the restaurant also recently started serving weekend brunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays — of particular note is a bacon-and-egg topped “breakfast mac.”

8) The Daily Cal has just launched a new food site, Eating Berkeley, and among its first batch of stories is this interesting Alice Waters-related tidbit: Apparently, through If Only — a website that deals in “extraordinary experiences for good,” many of them food-related — you can pay $10,000 to spend the morning shopping at a local farmers’ market with Waters as your guide, followed by lunch for two at Chez Panisse. Proceeds will benefit Waters' Edible Schoolyard Project.

9) Finally, ICYMI, check out everything you need to know about Cholita Linda's brick-and-mortar restaurant, coming soon to Temescal; Hawker Fare's new booze-friendly menu additions; and my latest snack discovery: tiny, inexpensive, easy-to-peel roasted chestnuts at the Pacific East Mall.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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