Tag Archives: Berkeley dining

Bites: Butcher’s Son to University, Gather’s new chef

The Butcher's Son is planning on opening on University Avenue before the end of the year. Photo: The Butcher's Son
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Openings, closings

VEGAN BUTCHER SHOP LIKELY HEADED TO UNIVERSITY The Butcher’s Son, the vegan butcher shop and deli that originally planned on opening on Solano Avenue, is now very close to securing a new location on University Avenue. Owner Peter Fikaris confirmed that he and his sister, and co-owner Christina Stobing, have already negotiated a lease for the shop’s new location, in what is currently the Greek restaurant Athineon at 1914A University Ave. Fikaris and Stobing have applied for a liquor license for the space, and they will likely be able to get the keys to the restaurant once the license transfer is complete. This newest iteration of The Butcher’s Son will be “less bakery” and “more deli,” said Fikaris, and will include dinner service once the deli is up and running. Fikaris describes the future restaurant as an “old Italian spaghetti and meatball place with a selection of different pasta and pizza dishes” — all vegan, of course. On the deli side, The Butcher’s Son will offer vegan meats, cheeses, salads and sides, plus a selection of bagels, sandwiches, pastries and desserts. Everything will be made in-house. Fikaris hopes to open in two to three months. The Butcher’s Son will be at 1914 A University Ave., (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the deli on FacebookContinue reading »

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Six great East Bay spots for soft serve ice cream

Soft serve swirl from Timeless Coffee. Photo: Timeless Coffee
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You gotta love soft serve: it’s all-American, it’s got that smooth and fluffy texture, and it used to be the dessert of choice at fast-food joints and trucks blaring annoying jingles. These days soft serve is back in an all-grown-up kind of way, with creative toppings and quality ingredients. Here are some surprising (and a couple of predictable) East Bay spots to get your soft serve fix before that El Niño weather kicks in. We’re sure we’ve missed some — leave us a note about your favorite soft serve spot in the comments section. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Herb n’ Chicken, Spats, Grand Fare Market

Evan Cross (left) and Cyrus Cross (right) at Herb n' Chicken, which is now open in the Gourmet Ghetto. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

HERB N’ CHICKEN OFFICIALLY OPENS TODAY We’ve got more details on the restaurant moving into the former Source Mini location in Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden. Called Herb n’ Chicken, the new spot has been in soft opening this week. Its grand opening is today. Herb n’ Chicken will offer a substantial salad bar, organic Rosie’s rotisserie chicken with eight dipping sauces, and a few other items like French fries with lemon verbena, macaroni and cheese, and marinated tempeh. Herb n’ Chicken is a project from Farm League Design and Management, the team behind TigerlilyEast Bay Spice Company and the Westbrae Biergarten. Farm League’s Joel DiGiorgio told NOSH that the restaurant will offer both grab-and-go signature salad options, including a “Vegan Kitchen Sink” option, as well as a build-your-own menu. Full rotisserie chickens as well as eat-in chicken plates will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Farm League has brought over Tigerlily sous chef Josh Gjersand to manage the kitchen. Herb n’ Chicken is at 1511 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley. Continue reading »

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Flour & Co. quietly opened this week in Berkeley

2015-09-29 08.35.16
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The wait is finally over. University Avenue has gotten a bakery back.

Flour & Co. has been building out the former Bread Workshop space since February, and opened its doors for a soft opening Sept. 29. A more formal grand opening will be held Oct. 5.

Owner Emily Day told NOSH on Wednesday that business is going smoothly so far. She said the first day was slower than this morning, and expects sales to keep picking up as word gets out about the opening.

The Berkeley bakery is the second location for Flour & Co., and it was designed (beautifully, we might add) by local architects Abueg Morris. Day opened her first retail spot in Nob Hill about two and a half years ago. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Nature’s Express closes, Pal’s crosses the bay

Nature's Express
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Openings, closings…

NATURE’S EXPRESS GONE FOR GOOD The last time we checked in with Nature’s Express, the owners had closed shop at its location at 1823 Solano Ave., but promised to return “close by.” Unfortunately for fans of the vegan fast food restaurant, those plans have fallen through. According to the Nature’s Express Facebook page, the restaurant is officially closed for good. The announcement hinted at continuing financial troubles for the restaurant: “Nature’s Express is done and done. Ownership would like to express hearty thank-yous [sic] to all of those who stuck in, but the fact is Berkeley seems unable to sustain another vegan eatery. Our significant losses in the last year tell us this even though the place was run lean and mean. We tried. Fade to black, roll the credits, and support your favorite restaurants!” Nature’s Express later commented that, had it raised prices to the $12 to $16 range for its sandwiches, it may have been able to continue operations. No word yet on the new tenant for the restaurant.Continue reading »

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Signature dish: Beet-cured trout at Iyasare

Beet-cured ocean trout at Iyasare. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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It’s as if Bay Area diners have finally caught up with Shotaro Kamio’s imagination.

Kamio, chef and owner of 2-year-old Iyasare on Berkeley’s Fourth Street, wows diners nightly with his intricately plated and delicious food at the Japanese restaurant that has garnered three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle and raves from the NOSH team. Each plate is like a composed poem reflecting California, the season, and Kamio’s approach to cooking. … Continue reading »

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First look: Tacos Sinaloa on Telegraph Ave.

Shrimp taco from Tacos Sinaloa Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
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The stretch of Telegraph Avenue between Bancroft and Dwight is something of a wasteland for good food. There are undergraduate-geared restaurants and bars aplenty, but, unless you’ve got a craving for greasy pizza or a Chipotle burrito bowl, you’re out of luck. That is, until last week.

East Oakland’s Tacos Sinaloa has come to town. The popular group of taco trucks, which we visited in 2013, opened its first ever brick-and-mortar restaurant last Friday, Sept. 18. NOSH stopped in for lunch this week for a first taste of the joint. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Flour & Co, Tacos Sinaloa, Endgame Café

Cookies and pastries from San Francisco's Flour & Co which is opening in Berkeley . Photo: Flour & Co
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Openings, closings…

FLOUR & CO AIMS FOR OCTOBER OPENING While owner Emily Day had originally hoped to open a Berkeley outpost of her San Francisco-based Flour & Co. bakery in June, construction didn’t get going until later this summer. Now it appears that Flour & Co. is making progress; the bakery has a sign out front and much of the cosmetic work inside is completed. Flour & Co. will be a similar spot to the original Nob Hill bakery, with classic American pastries and cookies on offer, all made with the highest quality ingredients. The bakery, which will be located in the former Bread Workshop space, will also have breakfast and lunch menus, and it will be serving coffee from Stumptown, a popular roasting company out of Portland, OR. Day wrote on her blog that she will be training staff this week and hopes to open next month. Flour & Co. will be at 1398 University Ave. (at Acton). Connect with the bakery on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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Bites: Nico’s Hideaway, Half Orange beer garden

The new Fruitvale Beer Garden at The Half Orange. Photo courtesy: Jay Porter
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Openings, closings…

THE HALF ORANGE NOW HAS A BEER GARDEN Fruitvale’s sausage-hamburger-beer joint has now become a little more beer-centric. The Half Orange just finished expanding its patio to include a “proper” beer garden, owner Jay Porter told NOSH in an email. He’s calling the expansion the “Fruitvale Beer Garden at The Half Orange,” in homage to the many beer gardens that used to populate the neighborhood. It should be a good spot — Porter has added 40 seats and a big screen TV, expanded the draft system to 13 taps, and is rolling out new dinner specials like pulled pork chili and a “catch of the day” fish filet. Once temperatures cool back down, Porter will also be installing heaters. The Half Orange is celebrating the expansion with a grand opening party next Saturday, Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. All beers that day will be $4.95. The full menu will also be available. The Half Orange is at 3340 E. 12th St. (at E. 33rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter.Continue reading »

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Cali cuisine meets Mediterranean at The Advocate

Blistered squid with padron peppers, yogurt, fried okra, muhammara, and cilantro ($13) at The Advocate. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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By Benjamin Seto/Focus:Snap:Eat

The story: The people behind the successful high-end Mexican restaurant Comal in downtown Berkeley branched out to the tiny Elmwood neighborhood with a splashy new restaurant called The Advocate. (How this name is supposed to make you think of food is beyond me.) Housed in the former Wright’s Garage building, the spacious dining room with wood-fire oven opened earlier this month. … Continue reading »

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Three Stone Hearth embraces traditional diets

Jessica Prentice, a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth. Photo: Foster Wiley
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by Lila Volkas, Bay Area Bites

As I entered the long narrow refrigerator at Three Stone Hearth, I scanned walls of shelves, lined with innumerable jars containing various broths, stews and spreads. As a devoted fan of glass jars (I even have one tattooed on my arm), I was looking forward to learning more about Three Stone Hearth’s commitment to local, organic, nutrient-dense, sustainably-sourced and packaged foodstuffs. The Berkeley-based business has developed a unique model for community-scale food preparation and processing that provides a weekly menu of ready-made food items for pickup or delivery. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Corso expands salumi, pasta programs

Briganti pasta from Corso. Photo: Alix Wall
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With the opening seven years ago of Corso, co-owner and executive chef Wendy Brucker and co-owner Roscoe Skipper set out to recreate a trattoria with the simplicity of a Tuscan restaurant. The restaurant quickly found its regulars, partially due to the reputation of its sister restaurant Rivoli. However, chef de cuisine Scott Eastman says the restaurant is just now finding its groove.

“It’s taken us some time and practice to really get there, but now is the time where the restaurant is really starting to reach the mind’s eye of what the owners wanted it to be,” he said.

Eastman would know. He’s been there since the restaurant opened in 2008. “I had the opportunity to see a restaurant from its beginning and I just continued to grow with this place,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Ajanta changing hands, tacos to Telegraph

Lachu Moorjani of Ajanta. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings

AJANTA’S OWNER RETIRING Big news for fans of Indian cuisine. Longtime Solano Avenue restaurant Ajanta is changing hands. Chef Lachu Moorjani opened Ajanta in 1993 and has been serving up regional Indian specialties ever since. Moorjani is known for his friendliness and humor as much as for his confident hand with chiles. Tablehopper had the scoop, reporting that Rajan Thapa of Taste of the Himalayas will be taking over the restaurant with business partner Al Satake. Thapa and Satake do, however, want to keep Ajanta exactly as it is today; Lachu told NOSH that he will work part time with Thapa for a few months, “primarily to supervise cooking as well as help out in the dining hall.” Afterward, he says, he plans to travel. “My wife an I are both fond of travelling and I wanted to retire so that we can travel before I get so old that I am not mobile. We already have a couple of trips planned for this year. A trip to Madagascar in October, and a trip to India in December.” Ajanta is at 1888 Solano Ave. (at The Alameda), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookContinue reading »

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