What’s new in East Bay food XXXIV

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Sliders at SliderBar. Photo: SliderBar

Openings, closings…

SLIDERBAR SliderBar, the small-burger place with locations in Palo Alto and San Francisco, will be opening its third restaurant, at 2124 Center St. between Oxford and Shattuck, in the former location of the Green Earth Café, according to Inside Scoop and the restaurant’s Facebook page. The opening is about two weeks away, and the owner, Ashwani Dhawan, is promising to give away 1,000 sliders on Aug. 24. The beef sliders are all Niman Ranch or Kobe beef. There will be some new flavors offered in Berkeley, including a “concoction of corned beef, gold sauce, and sauerkraut,” dubbed the Red and Gold, according to Inside Scoop. No, that title is not named for Cal’s nemesis, Stanford, but the San Francisco 49ers.

The Sandwich Shop. Photo: Eden Teller
The Sandwich Shop. Photo: Eden Teller

NEW SANDWICH SPOT The Sandwich Spot, run by siblings Bill and Andrea Armanino, opened Thursday at 2126 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, right near Center Street. It features dozens of sandwiches with colloquial local names like Bezerkeley, the Yellowjacket, the Golden Bear and the Shattuck Express. The Sandwich Spot has a full Italian espresso bar serving Verve coffee of Santa Cruz, and a cold press juice bar, which Armanino says “is the Rolls Royce of juicing.” There are several Sandwich Spots in the Bay Area, but this is the first in the East Bay. See photos on the Berkeleyside facebook page.

Fred and Elizabeth Sassen, co-owners of Homestead, a new restaurant coming to Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Photo: Homestead
Fred and Elizabeth Sassen, co-owners of Homestead, a new restaurant coming to Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Photo: Homestead

HOMESTEAD Homestead, a new restaurant under the helm of co-owners and husband-and-wife team Fred and Elizabeth Sassen, opened its doors Aug. 7 in a 1920s Julia Morgan building at 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st streets) in Oakland. It takes over the old Zatis space. Sassen, formerly of Camino and Farallon in San Francisco, will run the kitchen, and he is planning an “upscale farm-to-table menu.” His co-owner and wife, Elizabeth, a former sous chef at Farallon and Waterbar, will oversee the entirety of the Homestead experience. Abigail Reser, former co-manager at Bay Wolf in Oakland, will run the front of the house. The menu includes starters ($9-$14) such as baked ricotta with bitter greens and red walnuts, and grilled asparagus with spicy coppa and preserved Meyer lemon. Main dishes ($18-$24) include spit roasted leg of lamb with spiced baby fava beans, green garlic and Strauss yogurt, and Petrale sole with morels and grilled pea tendrils. For dessert, diners can enjoy a rhubarb and wild strawberry tart with crème fraîche ice cream, or bittersweet chocolate mousse with malted milk shortbread cookies. The beverage menu includes craft beers and an international wine list compiled in consultation with sommelier and beer connoisseur Stephen Laborde of The Trappist Provisions in Oakland. The wine list offers more than 25 vintages, with about 15 available by the glass. Dinner hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

greatchinaGREAT CHINA Construction is continuing on the site of the new Great China restaurant at 2190 Bancroft at Fulton, but the opening has been delayed until October. When renovation work began in April, Tai Yu, the architect whose family owns the restaurant, was optimistic Great China might open its doors in August. But there have been some unexpected delays, he said. Great China closed its doors in January 2012 after a kitchen fire gutted the space. The new Great China space, at 4,600 square feet, will be much larger and will have a modern look. The food and extensive wine list will remain the same.

Photo: Shakewell
Photo: Shakewell

SHAKEWELL Two Scala’s Bistro — and Top Chef — alums are teaming up to try to raise $100,000 to open a new restaurant in Oakland. Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent, formerly the executive chef and executive pastry chef at Scala’s, have started a Kickstarter campaign to help build Shakewell Bar & Kitchen. They hope to open near Grand and Lakeshore in Oakland, and have raised more than $37,000 so far, with their campaign set to run through Aug. 22. For the last five years, Biesty has been executive chef at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel; Nugent has been executive pastry chef at hotel for the last seven years. He also has ties to Berkeley; he worked as the general manager at Café Rouge in Berkeley for three years. They describe the new eatery as “a new ‘Americlectic’ restaurant and bar with its roots in Mediterranean cuisine.”


What else is going on…

A cup of joe is also a work of art at Local 123.
A cup of joe at Local 123.

LATTE FIGHT The Bay Area Coffee Community is continuing the second season of its latte art competition Thursday, Aug. 8. The event starts at 6 p.m. at Local 123, 2049 San Pablo Ave., and the buy-in to pour is just $5. Competitors in the Latte Art Series get points that, for winners, carry over from month to month. The series finale takes place in December at Four Barrel Coffee. The next East Bay event in the series will take place at Timeless Coffee Roasters on Piedmont Avenue in October. Follow BACC on Twitter (@HelloBACC) and keep up with with group on Facebook for updates. Read about last season’s competition on Berkeleyside. Learn more about the events on Sprudge.

BAGEL ANNIVERSARY Coming up Aug. 25, Beauty’s Bagel Shop in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood will celebrate its one-year anniversary. Owners are planning to have live music, free small bites and possibly mimosas, and perhaps even some t-shirts available for sale at a discounted rate. Speaking of Beauty’s, a new pop-up endeavor is underway every Monday in August from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s called Augie’s Smoke Meat, and features Montreal-style cured and spiced brisket.

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LAUREL STREET FAIR About 8,000 people are expected to attend the 14th annual Laurel Street Fair in Oakland on Aug. 10. In addition to lots of good entertainment, there will be numerous food booths featuring all sorts of cuisine, from vegan to African. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, on Saturday on MacArthur Boulevard between 35th and 38th avenues.

POLLINATE FARM CLASSES A couple classes coming up this month from Oakland’s Pollinate Farm & Garden shop include home mead making on Aug. 11 and a “Know your Farmer: Farm Talk and Tomato Tasting” on Aug. 15. Alameda County Beekeepers Association swarm list manager Jonathan Zamick will teach the mead session; participants will taste some samples and receive a kit including local honey and all the supplies needed to ferment a gallon batch. (Must be 21 at the time of the class.) The “Know your Farmer” event will features Nigel Walker of Eatwell Farm, which offers a weekly veggie box for sale year-round. Walker will “introduce us to his farm and tell us what it takes to fill a CSA box 50 weeks a year. After the talk, we will taste heirloom tomatoes, many of which are from seeds Nigel saves year after year. This event is free with registration.

bacon-wayne-SFBACON AND BEER The group behind Boston’s extremely popular Boston Bacon and Beer Festival is starting one in San Francisco in collaboration with Berkeley microbrewer Bison Organic Beer. Last year, the 1,200 tickets for the Boston festival sold out in three minutes flat. The San Francisco Bacon and Beer Festival will be held Aug. 25 from 2:30-5 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. A number of Bay Area restaurants, including Haven, Tacolicious, Nojo, Avedano’s, Hopscotch and Fatted Calf will be serving up their bacon-infused delicacies, and local breweries, including Bison Organic Beer, Speakeasy, Lagunitas, Knee Deep, Sierra Nevada, and Drakes will serve craft beers to compliment the snacks. Zoe’s Meats will provide the bacon. A portion of the $50 ticket price will be donated to Sprouts Cooking Club.

Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):
Contest: Name that Nosh (08.07.13)
Desco’s restaurant opens in Oakland (08.06.13)
Demolition begins at Safeway on College Avenue (08.06.13)


Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Some of these items will have first appeared in Berkeleyside’s Shop Talk column. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.com. Catch up with previous Bites columns.