POWERS THAT BE Tammy Powers, the owner of the Treasure Island food cart, Tammy’s Chicken in Waffles, is about to open her first brick-and-mortar location in Berkeley, about a block from the Cal campus. Powers herself has an amazing story. She moved to San Francisco from Colorado in 2010 to transition from male to female and eventually found herself on the street, living hand-to-mouth for a couple years. Fortunately, Power’s interest and skills in bicycle mechanics and her unflappable drive and spirit led her to turn her life around. In 2013, she opened A Tran’s Bay Bike Shop on Treasure Island, followed by a coffee cart in 2016, which morphed into a successful chicken and waffles business.
As her food cart’s name suggests, Tammy’s specialty is fried chicken strips cooked right into the waffle batter, and in Berkeley, she’ll be offering even more treats than her OG cart. The menu will also include Know Love Waffles (Belgian waffles served with butter and syrup), Mouthful Waffles (waffles with chicken strips, bacon and shredded cheese), The Pirate’s Booty (waffles with Oreos baked in, topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream) and several other sweet and savory rotating specials. Waffles can be ordered in Lanesplitter (two) or Quadrunner (four) portions. Powers told Nosh she hopes to be up and running in June. NB: Locating the new Southside Berkeley spot may be like hunting for buried treasure. Although the address is on Bancroft Way, the space is tucked down a flight of stairs in Sather Lane. Once in the alleyway, just look for the colorful sign for Tammy’s and pink waffle plants painted by artist Nigel Sussman. Tammy’s Chicken in Waffles will be at 2466 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
AN ARGENTINIAN CAFÉ TO COME Longtime Berkeley neighborhood corner store Roxie Delicatessen (2999 Shattuck Ave. near Ashby) has recently changed hands and will become a new Argentinian eatery called Café Buenos Aires next month. Roxie owner Bill Bahou, 75, who’s operated the neighborhood convenience store-deli for more than 35 years, has sold the store to retire. (In 2003, at age 60, Bahou told the Daily Planet he’ll never retire because it “only makes you die quicker.” Apparently, he’s changed his mind, but hopefully, he’ll continue to keep on ticking for years to come after Roxie!) According to the Daily Cal, the new owner, Diana Days, who moved to Berkeley from Argentina last year, plans to keep Roxie’s deli offerings (breakfast, wraps, sandwiches, salads) but add Argentinian foods, like empanadas, to the menu when she opens. When Nosh contacted Bahou, he told us that Roxie will officially close on June 15, and it will be another week or two before the space reopens as Café Buenos Aires.
NEW MEDITERRANEAN SPOT WILL CHECK IN AT HOTEL SHATTUCK PLAZA This summer, downtown Berkeley’s Hotel Shattuck Plaza will reset its dining offerings. What’s currently farm-to-table contemporary American restaurant FIVE (2086 Allston Way, Berkeley) will close on June 18 and will be replaced by Zino, a modern Mediterranean restaurant helmed by chef Brandon Hicks. New York diners may already be familiar with Hicks, who’s worked in the kitchens of Michelin-starred Picholine, Ilili and Brasserie 8 1/2.
At Zino, Hicks will highlight his passion for Mediterranean cuisine, riffing off of flavors and dishes from 22 regions for his modern takes on traditional dishes — like tagines and mezze plates. Zino will also offer a full bar program, with signature craft cocktails, wines and local craft beers. When Zino opens in late summer, it’ll have a refreshed look, thanks to Anthony Laurino Design, which will transform the dining room and bar and lounge to be a more open and communal space. We’ll keep you abreast of more details, including an opening date for Zino, as more details emerge. And if you’re a fan of FIVE, definitely head on over before it closes.
ORIGINAL DA NANG REOPENS IN ALBANY Nosh got word from reader and Da Nang superfan Robyn Wang that the restaurant on San Pablo Avenue reopened earlier this month. Before you get too excited and head out the door, note that Da Nang is currently closed until June 3 due to a family emergency. And, let me step back to explain the history of the place: Bill and Kim Benton, the original owners, opened Da Nang, a Vietnamese restaurant, on San Pablo Avenue back in 1983. In 2005, the Bentons sold Da Nang to Charlie Khamruang. After he took over, Khamruang, who had owned and operated a Thai restaurant called Krung-Thep in El Cerrito, kept many of Da Nang’s Vietnamese offerings (and its signage outside, too), but added a whole selection of Thai food, too. Although the restaurant was officially called Muang Thai, many knew it as Dan Nang Krung-Thep. Last February, Khamruang closed his restaurant following a rent dispute with the building’s owner, which led to an eviction. Today, the latest iteration of Da Nang is run by the original owners, the Bentons (who also owns a location in Antioch called Da Nang Tourane), and once again, serves only Vietnamese fare, including noodle soups like pho, bun bo hue, mi quang, bun rieu, as well as vermicelli noodle bowls, rice plates and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. Da Nang, 905 San Pablo Ave. (at Solano Ave.), Albany
WILL THESE BURGERS MAKE THE GRADE? Further down Telegraph Avenue, a new burger spot soft opened this week in North Oakland. Called A+ Burger, it takes the place of Oaxacan restaurant, El Macho, which was only open for a few months last year. A+ offers 16 types of burgers, including a few with Asian flavors, such as the Korean BBQ Burger, the Menchi Katsu Burger and the Teriyaki Burger. If you don’t eat beef, there are chicken, fish, and vegetarian patty options (including the Impossible Burger). Other menu items include fries, onion rings, pastries, hot sandwiches, rice or noodle bowls and salads. Prices are affordable, from $5.25-$10.99 for most menu items. There’s an outdoor patio in the front that would be a perfect spot on a warm day to enjoy your meal. Owner Tiffany Chung said she hopes to eventually offer beer, but for now, it’s BYOB. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. A+ Burger, 6228 Telegraph Ave. (at 63rd), Oakland
FREMONT BURGER FEST Speaking of burgers, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the Fourth Annual Fremont Burger & Brew Fest is taking place 11 a.m to 5 p.m. this Saturday. Bay Area food vendors (Locos Only, Mini Street Burgers, Crazy Curry, Street Steam Bunz, more) will serve up traditional and specialty burgers, while local craft breweries (Ale Industries, Drake’s, Fort Point, Hidden Star Orchards, Palmia, Shadow Puppet, and others) will be on hand pouring beer. There’ll also be a charity burger throwdown, where teams made up of local firefighters, police officers and politicians will compete to make the best burger. Admission is free, but food and drinks are for sale (Beer tasting packages are $40-60). The Fremont Burger & Brew Fest takes place on Capitol Avenue, from Paseo Padre Parkway to Liberty Street, Downtown Fremont.
FROM CHOCO TACOS TO REAL DEAL TACOS Last week, Nosh tipster Sean Rouse spotted a sign in the window of the long-vacant former Stateside Bakery space on Telegraph Avenue announcing its new tenants. Mexican restaurant and catering service Enedina Taqueria is opening its second location here (its first is at the Bayfair Center on East 14th Street in San Leandro). Stateside, known for its homemade Oreos, Twinkies, Choco Tacos and other sweet treats, closed back in 2016 and the neighborhood has been patiently waiting for what’s to come next.
We reached out to the Enedina Taqueria and spoke with Alex, one of the owners who told Nosh that the restaurant plans to mirror its San Leandro menu. That means Berkeley can expect standard taqueria fare, like tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas at this spot. But unlike many traditional spots, it also offers marinated grilled tofu as a protein option, for those who don’t dig on flesh. Although the sign on the door announces Enedina is coming soon, an opening date is still TBD. The restaurant hopes to open this summer, but there is still a lot of construction that needs to take place. Enedina Taqueria will be at 3001 Telegraph Ave. (near Ashby), Berkeley
FROM NOAH’S BAGELS TO BOICHIK BAGELS Big bagel news for Berkeley. The original Noah’s location, on College Avenue near Alcatraz, which closed late last year, is about to get a new bagelry. Alameda pop-up, Boichik Bagels is taking over the space. Proprietor Emily Winston told J. Weekly the shop may be kosher, and will most likely sell bagels, shmears and smoked fish. Boichik hopes to open by the end of the year. We’ll keep you abreast of more details as we get them on Nosh. Boichik Bagels will be at 3170 College Ave. (at Alcatraz), Berkeley
CLASS IS IN SESSION Remember last November when we spotted a film crew outside of Alice Waters’ house in North Berkeley? At the time, Waters was being filmed for an episode of online video instruction series, MasterClass, and this Friday, her online class finally launches. In her 10-episode series, Waters teaches “The Art of Home Cooking,” concentrating — as she does at Chez Panisse — on seasonal cooking. The series will focus on selecting ingredients at a farmers market, menu planning, kitchen tools and skills, building a pantry and more. The cost to view Alice Waters’ MasterClass is $90 (alternately, it’s $180 per year for unlimited access to all new and existing MasterClass series).
HOT HOT HOT The downtown Berkeley location of Sacramento-based Fire Wings has finally opened. The fried chicken spots serves 21 different flavors of chicken wings (which you can also get boneless or as strips), plus salads and sides like french fries, garlic noodles, macaroni and cheese and tater tots. The Berkeley location is currently in soft opening mode, but will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow, Thursday, May 24, offering half-price combo meals. Fire Wings, 64 Shattuck Sq. (near University), Berkeley