Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Best burgers in the East Bay: Nosh readers call it

Burgers from TrueBurger on Grand Avenue in Oakland, which got the most votes among Noshers
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A while ago (OK, three months ago — what can we say? We got busy reporting other news), we asked readers who makes the best burger in the East Bay? The answers came in thick and fast: juicy grass-fed beef burgers oozing with cheese and bacon, nutritious veggie sliders accompanied by garlicky french fries, gourmet gluten-free or straight-up regular — there was no shortage of favorites.

The votes were scattered over nearly 50 burger purveyors, and there was little wiggle-room between the total tallies for each restaurant, which just goes to show how spoilt we are in the East Bay when it comes to that all-important decision: where to grab a superior burger right now.

So, with the understanding that this was a totally unscientific poll, and that everyone was a winner, we give you the most popular burgers as voted by Noshers — and we’ve also created a nifty interactive map with details about each spot, so you know where to head to try local favorites. … Continue reading »

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News

8 Berkeley stories you may have missed this week

For the first time last week, the Berkeley City Council weighed in on improvements planned for the downtown Berkeley plaza and BART station. (Click the image for details.) Image: BART
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1. Man convicted of first-degree murder of Berkeley woman: exclusive Berkeleyside coverage 2. Pot for the poor: National media scream “Berzekeley,” but it’s nothing new 3. New 6-story apartment building to rise in downtown, part of construction boom 4. City backtracks on evicting homeless encampment at Gilman underpass 5. Hurrah say kids everywhere: Tilden Little Farm, merry-go-round are open again! 6. New designs for downtown Berkeley BART Plaza scrutinized by Council 7. Local author Edan … Continue reading »

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Bites: Marrow closes, Shakewell, Half Orange open

Marrow
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Openings, closings…

MARROW CLOSES Marrow, the lunch restaurant opened last year by Jon Kosorek (who gained a loyal following with his Jon’s Street Eats truck) has closed up shop. The last day for the meat-loving spot at 325 19th St. (at Harrison) in Oakland was July 2. Kosorek said the past year has been demanding for himself and his wife, Amy Porter Kosorek. A new baby and health concerns on both sides of the family prompted the decision, as well as the continuing hunt for a new, bigger location. Marrow sourced local, sustainably raised whole animals and then used different techniques to use the entire animal. Menu items might have included beef heart tartare along with more conventional offerings like a classic Reuben sandwich. But Kosorek had to deviate from his original concept, adding dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetarian options like tomato and avocado salads, because the market wasn’t there. “We dumbed down the menu to where it’s basically a burger joint,” he told the East Bay Express. Writing on Marrow’s Facebook page, Kosorek said he is going to work with a friend in Napa who runs “a really great open-fire catering business, and work on finding the ideal location for Marrow or the next incarnation of Marrow.”Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Shrek The Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. x. photo Ken Levin
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SHREK THE MUSICAL Shrek the Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. 3, including several performances on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13. This “silly, modern-day fairytale,” described as “a visual adventure” and “highly entertaining” by local reviewers, tells the story of everyone’s favorite ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that friendship and love aren’t only found in fairy tales. The large adult and youth cast is directed and choreographed by Matthew McCoy with music direction by Rachel Robinson. Visit Berkeley Playhouse for dates and times, including several “pay what you can” performances. … Continue reading »

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Tilden Little Farm, merry-go-round re-open to public

Cow Barn at Tilden's Little Farm which has reopened to the public after 10 months. Photo: EBRPD
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Nearly 10 months after it closed in order for necessary sewer work to be done, Tilden’s much-loved Little Farm has reopened to the public. The park’s vintage merry-go-round is also spinning again, after being taken over by new management.

The timeline for the sewer construction project was originally five months, but the scope of the work became increasingly large, said David Zuckermann, Supervising Naturalist at East Bay Regional Parks District.

“We originally thought we would be reopening in February,” he said. “But then we had to keep extending that month by month.”

Zuckermann said that it was only when crews began trenching the area that the scale of the job became apparent. “The sewer system is as old as the park, and Tilden, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, is one of the three original East Bay parks,” he said. (The other two are Sibley and Lake Temescal.)

During the work, several areas other than the farm were also closed, including Indian Camp parking lot, picnic area, play structure and restroom, and the Big Leaf picnic area and restroom. … Continue reading »

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New food truck market coming to Uptown Oakland

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 10.26.30 AM
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A new weekly food truck market is coming to Uptown Oakland starting next week, on Monday, July 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. It will be the city’s second following the launch in early 2013 of a Lake Merritt market that takes place outside the Oakland Museum of California every Friday evening.

Off the Grid: Uptown Oakland will be located outside The Uptown apartment complex on Williams Street and Telegraph Avenue, near the Fox Theater. Food trucks slated to participate on a rotating basis include Roderick’s BBQ, burger and brunch vendor Doc’s of the Bay, Argentine empanadas specialist El Porteno, sweet treat purveyor Garden Creamery, meat maestros Out of the Cave, sliders and fries guys Whip Out, Japanese crêperie J Shack, Frozen Kuhsterd, Ebbett’s Good to Go, and Mediterranean mavens SAJJ. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside launches new talk series, The B-Side

Downtown Berkeley, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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This week, Berkeleyside, in collaboration with Impact Hub Berkeley, launched a new talk series designed to facilitate conversations about issues going on right here, right now in Berkeley.

The B-Side kicks off on the evening of July 15 at Impact Hub Berkeley with a talk titled “Downtown Development Initiative: Boon or Bane?” Jesse Arreguín, councilmember for District 4, will go head to head with  planner and smart growth advocate Eric Panzer in a discussion moderated by Berkeleyside co-founder Lance Knobel. Given all the plans for downtown Berkeley, and the vocal arguments for and against them, this promises to be a lively debate, and one participants will be encouraged to join. … Continue reading »

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Janet Napolitano launches UC food initiative in Berkeley

Alice Waters and Janet Napolitano. Photo- University of California
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UC President Janet Napolitano visited Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard on Tuesday to launch a new initiative which aims to pull together the resources of ten UC campuses to address, and hopefully find solutions to, issues of food security, health and sustainability internationally.

The UC Global Food Initiative was conceived following a meeting held earlier this year between Napolitano and UC campus chancellors at which they agreed to work collectively to support healthy eating on the international stage. But their efforts will start at home. The project will identify best practices and share them widely within the UC system.

Yesterday morning, Napolitano was shown around the Edible Schoolyard garden at King Middle School by its founder, Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters, who is one of the members of the university’s Food Initiative Working Group. Other members of the group who attended the launch included UC Santa Cruz Professor Daniel Press, executive director of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at that campus, and Ann Thrupp, executive director of the Berkeley Food Institute at UC Berkeley.Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s soft scoop spot Sketch to close for good

Sketch soft serve cacao nib ice cream with olive oil and sea salt. Photo: lelseyk
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It’s the end of the road for Sketch. The popular soft-serve ice cream shop on Berkeley’s Fourth Street will close its doors for good on Sunday, July 6.

Eric Shelton, co-owner of the store with his wife Ruthie Planar-Shelton, said the reason is purely personal. “It’s a decision we have made as a family,” he said. “We don’t want to sacrifice more time spent with our daughter and any other kids we may have down the road.”

The couple, who both have a fine dining culinary background, opened the current store, their second, at 2080 Fourth St. in the Fourth & U complex two years ago. They opened the original Sketch two blocks north of their current location, also on Fourth Street, in 2004 when Planar-Shelton was pregnant with their daughter Audrey. That store, with its vintage cart outside, was open for five years before the pair closed it in 2009, citing similar reasons to the ones they expressed this week: a desire to put family first. At the time, the store was one of the first small-batch, organic ice cream purveyors in the area. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Good Hop, Mr. Delivery, Bacano Bakery, more

The wall of beer at The Good Hop Bottle Shop which opened June 15 at xxxx Telegraph Ave. Photo: The Good Hop
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Openings, closings…

THE GOOD HOP BOTTLE SHOP  The beer renaissance continues apace with the opening of The Good Hop Bottle Shop at 2421 Telegraph Ave., at 24th Street. (As we reported in January, the all-things-beer shop had hoped to open in February in time for SF Beer Week, but eventually slung open its doors June 15.) The shop offers roughly 600 bottled and canned craft beers from around the world, and 16 taps, featuring primarily local and California brewers’ special beers, and seasonal beers. There’s an impressive “wall of beer” to peruse (pictured above), and you can take away your preferred brew or consume it on site. Owner Melissa Myers, who started working as a professional brewer 16 years ago, is planning monthly events featuring beer and cheese pairings, as well as Meet the Brewer nights. Connect with The Good Hop on Facebook for updates. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Shooting in Berkeley sends 38-year-old man to hospital

The shooting occurred on the 3000 block of San Pablo Avenue near the intersection with Ashby. Image: Google Images
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Update, June 27, 1 a.m. The Berkeley Police Department has identified the victim from Thursday night’s shooting as a 38-year-old man, and classified his injuries as “serious.”

Police said, in a statement released shortly before 1 a.m., they believe the suspect from the shooting may have fled to the 1300 block of Ashby Avenue, about a block east of the attack, which took place at San Pablo Avenue and Ashby.

Officers “conducted an extensive search” but did not find the shooter, authorities said. … Continue reading »

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After 4 house raids, police arrest 1 Berkeley man; second is ‘armed and dangerous,’ still sought

Anthony Durant: wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in a double shooting that happened in Berkeley on June 11, 2014. Photo: courtesy BPD
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Police arrested one man, suspected of being involved in a June 11 double shooting in Berkeley, after serving four search warrants on Thursday morning. Another man is still being sought as a suspect in the same case and should be considered armed and dangerous, they said.

Thursday morning, members of the Berkeley Police Department Special Response Team and Investigations Bureau served three search warrants in Berkeley and one in Oakland related to the June 11 shooting that occurred in the 1600 block of Russell Street.

Investigations into the shootings by Berkeley Police, working alongside Oakland Police and the Alameda County sheriff’s department, implicated Donzale Mejia, a 22-year-old Oakland resident, and Anthony Durant, a 23-year-old Berkeley resident, as suspects, authorities said. Mejia was arrested Thursday morning in Oakland during the execution of a search warrant. The Berkeley Police Department is seeking the community’s help in apprehending Durant. … Continue reading »

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New independent bookstore Bookish opens in Berkeley

Gina Davidson, Bookish. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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There’s a new bookstore in town, or at least a newly owned bookstore. After ditching a career in what she terms “corporate America,” Gina Davidson has taken over the former Analog Books at 1816 Euclid Ave., a stone’s throw from the Cal campus.

With a fresh stock of books and a stylish makeover, Bookish has been up and running under Davidson’s direction for about six months. Davidson – a novice at bookselling — says she is hoping Berkeley’s famously book-friendly community will support the business and help her fulfill her dream of running a bookstore.

It’s something Davidson has been thinking about for some time: while she was holding down senior jobs at companies like Motorola and PayPal, she would also surreptitiously be perusing Craigslist for available bookstores, and her eyes would light up when she found one. She remembers seeing two listings, one in Sebastopol and the other in Castro Valley, before spotting the ad for the Berkeley lease.

It took the death of a friend for her to take a leap of faith, however. “That was an impetus,” Davidson said recently in the pocket-sized Northside store. “I didn’t want to look back and say, ‘What if?’” The fact that Davidson’s husband joked he would leave her if she didn’t grab the opportunity after years ruminating about it may also have played a part. … Continue reading »

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