Tag Archives: Brazil Cafe

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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SLIDERBAR Today is the opening day for SliderBar, Berkeley’s newest location for tiny, juicy hamburgers (tipped by us earlier this month). The restaurant, at 2124 Center St., between Oxford and Shattuck, is in the former location of the Green Earth Café, and just steps away from Cal. Co-owner Ashwani Dhawan is a Silicon Valley hi-tech entrepreneur who has already created two other SliderBar locations and has plans to open two more in the coming months. To celebrate the opening, Dhawan will give away 1,000 free sliders on Sat. Aug. 24. The menu includes The Old Timer (Niman Ranch beef, gem lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, house made pickles, and secret sauce), the Three Alarm (Niman Ranch beef patty, cheddar cheese, habanero pepper jam, sliced serrano chilis, pickled jalapeños), and the Magic Mushroom (balsamic-marinated portobellos, onion rings, pickled onions, Swiss cheese, and arugula). SliderBar will also serve the Red and Gold, which is a concoction of corned beef brisket, sweet red pepper sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a secret sauce. It’s not named after Cal’s nemesis, Stanford, but the San Francisco 49ers. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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THE FICKLE BAG The handbag and accessory store The Fickle Bag has shut its doors at 1885 Solano AveA note on the store’s website announcing the closure of the 3-year-old business does not provide details regarding why it closed. However, owner Jua Park also operates a Fickle Bag location in the San Francisco International Airport, which will remain open. (Hat tip: Jane Tierney)

IT’S THE CHILDREN Also recently closed is the boutique children’s clothing store, It’s The Children, near the Vine Street Peet’s at 1506 Walnut St. According to the North Shattuck Association, the owner was originally hoping to relocate the business, but ultimately closed instead. The reason for closure is unknown, as the owner didn’t notify the neighborhood business organization, but low-level foot traffic on Walnut combined with the success of nearby Kid Dynamo may have come into play. (Hat tip: Doug Ng) … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXIII

Rico's diner
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Openings, closings…

RICO’S HI LIFE Rico’s Diner, which closed just two weeks ago at 400 15th St. in Oakland, will reopen in the same spot as Rico’s Hi Life this Friday, Aug. 2. According to the East Bay Express, it is evolving from burgers and milkshakes to pizza, sandwiches and beer. And, in the hopes of bringing the Oakland nighttime food scene back to life, the owner of Rico’s plans to keep the eatery open until 2 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and possibly all week once things get going. After 2 a.m., those who are still up can grab the remaining pizza slices at the Rico’s takeout window.

GARDEN TO TABLE The two-year-old Albany-based initiative that connects backyard gardeners with local restaurants is coming to a close. According to a Facebook post by Bay Food Shed, the umbrella organization promoting “a functional gift economy” under which Garden to Table operates, “there has not been the assistance or buy-in” needed to continue the program. Since 2011, founder Doug Reil has been collecting produce donations from community members and delivering them to restaurants, primarily in Albany, that are interested in locally sourced food. Participants included Bua Luang Thai restaurant, Cafeína Organic Café, Benchmark Pizzeria, and Elevation 66 Brewing Company, in addition to the individual community contributors who supplied the surplus of their home harvests. Although Garden to Table will no longer deliver to restaurants, Bay Food Shed says that going forward, “Garden to Table will focus on fewer, high volume deliveries to the needy, so stay tuned.” … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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OUT: BRASA / IN: BRAZIL CAFÉ Brasa, the Peruvian restaurant at 1960 University Ave., next to Slow, is closing in late July. Brasa, which specializes in rotisserie chicken, opened in early 2012 after owners Christopher and Veronique Laramie closed their original restaurant in the same location, eVe, and re-opened as Brasa. A staffer at the restaurant said the owners have no immediate plans to open another restaurant, but that the concept is not dead, just “on hiatus.” The space has been snapped up by Brazil Café which will open a new brick-and-mortar spot there on Aug. 1. Brazil Café runs the popular food shack near the top of University. The vibe is relaxed and island-themed, decorated with hanging lanterns and a menu painted onto an old standing surfboard. It also plans to serve up the same much-loved sandwiches and salads — and of course its famous mango smoothies — as at its parent shack. … Continue reading »

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Ethnic eats in Berkeley from A to Z: Part 1

Corso's signature chicken dish. Photo: Courtesy Corso Restaurant
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Berkeley is an ethnically diverse town. Anyone whose child attends public school here doesn’t need census tract data to know this for a fact. That cultural diversity is also reflected in the range of restaurant choices here. Global grub — from gourmet to grab ‘n’ go — can readily be found in many of our neighborhoods.

But who doesn’t reflexively head to their local curry shop or Thai takeout without giving a moment’s thought to the international offerings all over town?

What follows is the first in an A to Z guide to the many ethnic restaurants in Berkeley, with favorite dish recommendations and tidbits gleaned from local food critics, Berkeleyside interviews, and the restaurant guide by new Berkeleyside partners Lucille and Art Poskanzer.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to add your own global picks in the comments section that follows. Or weigh in with what world cuisine is missing in the mix. Bon Appetit. … Continue reading »

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Café Yesterday: Cocoa Puffs and Verve coffee for all

Cafe Yesterday mixes granola and gummi bears.
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When Midwest transplant Ryan Brinson recently set up shop in Berkeley, he thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Well, that might not be how Brinson, an ordained minister, would characterize it. But the rock and roller with religious roots definitely felt like he had come home.

Brinson, a keyboard-playing long-time preacher in San Diego, decided to switch gears and locations to open Café Yesterday, a nonprofit java joint with a charitable and compassionate community approach — as one might expect from a man of the church. … Continue reading »

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Nosh

From mom-and-pops to mini-chains

Thai Noodle
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By Jessica Kwong

When Berkeley folk think food — even in the order of grab-and-go — their palates usually paint a picture of small, family-owned places unique to the city’s borders.

Favoring independent, locally owned businesses has been characteristic of the city since its inception and through its evolution, according to the city’s economic development project coordinator Dave Fogarty.

“Some of the chains that have attempted to come into Berkeley have really not been successful and they decided they didn’t want to be here because people weren’t [spending] there,” he said.

While chain restaurants have generally been resisted, at least half a dozen mom-and-pops have entered into a gray zone by expanding into “mini-chains” within the city.

Perhaps the eatery that started the chain reaction among some family-owned businesses is Top Dog.

Rewind to fall 1966: the original Top Dog on Durant Avenue began in true mom-and-pop fashion. Dick Riemann, 76, still the owner today, opened Top Dog with a business partner on Saturday morning when “the paint on the floor was still a might tacky.”

Within 10 minutes, there was standing room only. However, it wasn’t the appeal of the business but the fact that a hot dog seemed like the most logical food to eat en route to the UC Berkeley football game. … Continue reading »

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