Tag Archives: Epicurious Garden

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

dosa
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SOURCE MINI Vegans rejoice! San Francisco restaurant Source is opening up a second location in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. Source Mini is taking over the spot formerly occupied by Flavor Mediterranean Food, which closed as it wants to open a sit-down restaurant elsewhere. Source owner Mitchell Fox, who brought the concept of vegan fast food from the Bronx, says he knew San Francisco and Berkeley would be perfect for his original restaurant (which is on Division Street at De Haro) — it just happened he got a better deal on a building in the city. The Berkeley spot will be a smaller, take-out version of the restaurant. “It’s like a Subway or McDonald’s-esque vegan fast food menu,” he said. That means: vegan burgers and sandwiches, gluten-free tacos and quesadillas, dosadillas (as pictured above), and more. Fox said Source’s was the only vegetarian burger to be included in Grub Street’s latest Top 50 San Francisco’s list. Fox hopes to open Source Mini within two weeks. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Nature's Express
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NATURE’S EXPRESS CLOSING Nature’s Express at 1823 Solano is closing Dec 31 after four years on the Berkeley street. The healthy/vegan fast-food business failed, according to owner Carl Myers, who wrote a long note on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “When ventures fail, it comes down to leadership, so I am painfully aware that the failure has been mine,” he wrote. “I apologize to the employees who have put heart and soul into this venture and the customers who have supported us for our failure to serve them in the future.” Ironically, Myers also salutes McDonald’s who, he writes, “do a lot of things right,” including customer service, locations and advertising. Judging from the response from many loyal customers on Facebook, it will be missed. [Hat tip: Kenneth Goldberg] … 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

The Pristine Solutions team. Photo: Skydeck.
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FLAVOR A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into the former Picoso Taqueria space in Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. Picoso closed in early May, and now Flavor Mediterranean Food, run by executive chef Ezra Malmuth, is claiming the Gourmet Ghetto takeout spot. According to a sign posted at the currently empty storefront, Malmuth has worked in “upscale eateries throughout the world” and interned at Chez Panisse. The sign says the new Flavor menu will highlight “California freshness enhanced with Middle Eastern spice,” and will change frequently with vegetarian and vegan options, alongside slow-braised meat and fish. (Hat-tip: Doug Ng) … Continue reading »

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Marc Kelly dishes on the story behind Berkeley’s Soop

Red lentil soupL In demand with new moms
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As mid-life crises go, Marc Kelly’s was a pretty productive one — with a little spice thrown in for good measure.

Seeking change after a 20-year career in the fruit and vegetable export business, Kelly was keen to open a food joint of his own. Something modest and manageable, a takeaway place that satisfied his culinary aspirations and cravings.

That’s how Soop, one of the original anchor businesses in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden, came about.

Kelly, a self-taught chef, determined that soup was an unexplored market niche in the edible landscape. He sensed an opportunity. Six years into serving up soup every day, Kelly’s enthusiasm for the comfort food he sells is still apparent.

He has a loyal band of regulars — Kelly sees them coming and knows which ladle to reach for. And his years of global travel inform what he sells: every culture has a soup tradition and on the road he learned the universal language of soup. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Lisa Rogovin, Epicurean Concierge

The CheeseBoard: a Berkeley tour stop.
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A former ad sales rep for Gourmet magazine (R.I.P.), Lisa Rogovin had what she calls her Eat, Pray, Love moment in 2005, meaning she left an unhappy marriage, sold the house, and embarked on a food-fueled journey around the world, visiting 14 countries (yes, India was in the mix) in seven months.

Before she left on her edible adventure, though, the food enthusiast sowed the seeds for her future happiness, both personally and professionally. She met the man who … Continue reading »

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Nosh

Summer’s here: Tasting Berkeley’s best ice cream

Naia
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Elle Holland, who is interning at Berkeleyside this summer, chose an appropriately seasonal mission for her second article for us (her first assignment took her to Willard Pool where she spoke to regular swimmers before the pool closed for good last month). Elle, a sophomore at Berkeley High where she writes for the Jacket student newspaper, ventured out to some of Berkeley’s most popular ice cream parlors to partake in some comparison taste testing.

Gelateria Naia, 2106 Shattuck … Continue reading »

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Nosh

Lush Gelato in, Ciao Bella out in Epicurious Garden

Lush
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OK, we’re not sure how we missed this, given that we’re pretty serious about our food here on Berkeleyside, and that the ice cream whipped up by Lush Gelato counts as one of our favorites, but it turns out that the Piedmont Avenue-based Lush opened up in Berkeley on April 1 — and, scandalously, we weren’t told about it.

Lush Gelato, whose origins are, we believe, Latin American rather than Italian, has taken over the space formerly occupied … Continue reading »

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L.A. Times takes Gourmet Ghetto edible walking tour

JBC
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In the travel section of yesterday’s L.A. Times, writer Nancy Hoyt Belcher describes the three-hour walking tour she took of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto courtesy of one of Lisa Rogovin’s culinary excursions.

Belcher bit into Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk from the Cheese Board, full- and half-sour pickles from Saul’s, bought Sumatra Blue Batak from Peet’s and supped a glass of Merlot from Vintage Berkeley. She also took in the Juice Bar Collective on Vine (pictured above), … Continue reading »

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