Food & Drink

Pure Imagination: The Hidden Cafe conjures longing for a...

Tucked away on a residential street, you could walk by the Addison Street side of Strawberry Creek Park and never associate the congregation of park goers with a cafe. The front façade features several large windows. Looking inside, people were sitting at a communal table reading, talking and sipping drinks. An entire wall is a bookshelf. The view indoors looks directly out onto the park. The location is idyllic.     

Sesame: What began as a little seed and a...

Marykate McGoldrick is the baker, owner and resident watercolor painter at Sesame, which she describes as a “tiny bakery.” She admits she had a hard time coming up with the name, but in the end, “Sesame just felt right.”

Berkeley’s El Tiny Cafe has a diverse menu and...

“Everything requires time,” Vizcaino says, sounding like a patient proprietor who’s slowly growing her business. For the first four months of 2021 when El Tiny Cafe opened, Vizcaino ran the place by herself. Opening her first business has been “challenging,” she admits, but once she renews her lease she is going to continue to expand the menu, and hopefully, the kitchen.

Chef Omri Aflalo describes the reincarnation of the former...

While some chefs have gained local and national acclaim—Aflalo mentions Dominica Rice-Cisneros of Bombera, Scott Eastman of Juanita & Maud, and Nelson German of Sobre Mesa—he feels that Michelin stars, with notable exceptions like Commis, go to chefs in San Francisco, Napa and Palo Alto. “We thought Oakland needed to be revived,” he says. “We need to put Oakland on the map.”

Don Blanc: A carnivore’s dream come true

"While Don Blanc is never going to delight vegans or vegetarians, the array of banchan was mostly splendid and pickled to perfection. I loved a string of translucent white onions, pretty red discs of watermelon radish and cubes of daikon—nearly apple-flavored—that had all sweetened in their separate brines. "

Hallouminess: Lulu serves delicious and sometimes confounding California dishes...

Halloumi and preserves is a slightly confounding dish. It’s both sweet and savory, a grilled cheese sandwich topped with jam and arugula. Halloumi, like many similar cheeses, is a lot to take in huge doses. I wanted more acidity, a thick tomato slice, a carrot and cabbage slaw or sautéed zucchini to contend with all that hallouminess.

Brews With Benefits: Tannery Bend Beerworks provides hops with...

Opened by partners Matt Cromwell, Lauren Cromwell and Tyler Rodde, friends since they met in high school in Napa—Matt and Lauren have since married—Tannery on Telegraph is meant to represent the gathering of friends and family to celebrate a pairing that appeals to most: quality beer and food.

Taking Ownership: Oakland’s first Black-owned brewery mixes barley and...

Customers have asked the co-owners where Hella Coastal is from and why they are defining the company with beers tied to racial and social causes. ‘We want to be a brewery but at the same time we want people to know that we’re taking ownership,’ Benjamin said. ‘We’re black in Oakland, and there are no other black breweries in Oakland — and that’s something, especially when it comes to ownership.’

Busting Beer Myths: Jeff Alworth’s second edition of ‘The...

Alworth says that during the past few decades a gravitational shift has occurred in the United States. “There are now 9,000 breweries,” he begins. “We used to think of hotspots. What’s changed is that most cities of any size have brewing going on. Breweries sharing information and professional standards are causing a huge expansion. I’m sure there are amazing still-undiscovered little pockets all across the country.”

Sweet, Sweet Solano: From Berkeley to Albany, sate your...

"While the event is now over for 2021, this may be just the moment for our own Solano Stroll, with stops along the way for some sweet treats. The shops listed below are stand-outs—but by no means our only options."

SJ Boney: The Patron Saint of Sandwiches

"Boney asked himself the essential, existential question: What do I want to do with the rest of my life? The answer pushed him to open The Saint. 'If it fails, at least I tried,' he says. 'I talked about it with all my friends, and it just seemed like the right time.'"

Catfish Croutons: Jo’s Modern Thai cures post-taco distress

"The atmosphere inside Jo’s Modern Thai is aglow and energetic, like the flickering filaments of a light bulb. Servers rush past the kitchen, calling out orders or busily delivering drinks and dishes to their customers. The robust cocktail and beverage menu is clearly conducive to chatter, laughter and conversation."

Carlo Espinas Takes The Lede

According to The Lede’s website, Espinas’ food “represents the geography, history and seasonality of California.” The latest version of a dish called “Three salads” marries Jimmy Nardello peppers, cucumbers and avocados on the plate. Each vegetable is seasoned simply, in its own particular way, but eaten together the flavors still complement each other.

Good Bites: Livermore’s Wingen Bakery is on the rise

"My BLT sandwich—by far the best BLT I’ve had this century—was delayed because a local farmer had just delivered the lettuce. And in the summer veggie bowl, I discovered a new favorite: lemon cucumbers cleaved apart like giant gemstones," writes Jeffrey Edalatpour in this week's 'What The Fork'.
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