Tag Archives: Hopscotch

The East Bay’s best soul-soothing boozy hot drinks

Gaumenkitzel is ringing in winter with delicious mulled wine and cider. Photo: Gaumenkitzel
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After this past week, self-care is key. One great way to decompress is to come together with loved ones, share comforting food and sip on soothing warm beverages.

You may be wondering where to look for something warm and delicious with that much-needed kick to it. Fear not — we’ve got your back. From mulled cider to Irish coffee, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite boozy hot drinks to keep your stomachs warm and your love ongoing. Have other favorites? Let us know in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Pal’s Takeaway, The Cat House, Super Super

Lao sausage sandwich from Pal's Takeaway. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

PAL’S TAKEAWAY PARTS WAYS WITH FIREBRAND Oakland-based sandwich maestro Jeff Mason shocked his fans this weekend with the surprise announcement that he’d no longer be serving sandwiches out of Firebrand Artisan Breads. Mason had moved Pal’s Takeaway to Firebrand from San Francisco’s Mission district last fall, and the new location seemed to be doing well. However, we learned from Inside Scoop that Firebrand’s owners Matt Kreutz and Colleen Orlando wanted to expand the bakery’s food offerings to include full brunch and dinner services; Mason did not want to take on that task. Instead, he has decided to look for a new permanent space to house his operation, and lucky for us, Mason told the East Bay Express that he would like to stay in the East Bay. In the meantime, Mason is planning to hold a series of pop-ups, the first of which will be a hot-dog themed dinner called “Pal’s Takeaway Goes to the Dogs.” The exact date and location have yet to be announced, but Mason told EBX it will take place in Berkeley sometime in the next three to four weeks. Update: We’ve learned from Pal’s Takeaway that the hot dog pop-up will take place at Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar at a yet-undecided date in July. Mason wrote on Twitter that the pop-up will include “some dogs some sandwiches some drinks some good stuff!!! Menu soon!!!!” We’ll continue to keep you posted. Connect with Pal’s Takeaway on Twitter.Continue reading »

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Bites: Novel Brewing, Stay Gold Deli, dinners, more

Novel Brewing: Opening its doors Saturday at xxx
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Openings, closings…

NOVEL BREWING As reported back in October, Novel Brewing is opening up in North Oakland.  Owners Brian and Teresa Koloszyc say the goal is to throw open the doors to the new tasting room on Love Our Neighborhood DaySaturday, June 411am-4pm.  There will be a limited selection of beers on tap, “just enough to wet your whistle.” After Saturday, the brewery will continue to be open Saturdays, noon to 10pm, and Sundays, noon to 8pm. Additional hours will be added as they ramp up to full speed. Or as the couple put it: “The fermenters are full and the yeast is happy! Beer cometh!” Novel Brewing is at 6510 San Pablo Ave. (at 65th Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: Hopsy, Itani Ramen, Super Juiced, holidays

Hopsy's storefront in Albany. Photo: Hopsy
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Openings, closings

HOPSY UP AND RUNNING IN ALBANY The first-ever beer growler delivery service and growler store launched yesterday in Albany. At its core, Hopsy provides a platform for customers to order draft beer from local breweries directly to their homes. The 10-strong opening brewery list includes Oakland’s Ale Industries, Alameda’s Alameda Island Brewing Co., San Leandro’s Cleophus Quealy, and San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing. As of this week, the delivery service is only being offered to a limited group of customers who have signed on to the company’s waitlist. Hopsy will add more customers to its delivery list in two weeks. Those who don’t want to wait can purchase “growlettes” to-go from a limited selection of breweries at Hopsy’s store (1173 Solano Ave.). The store will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and all growlettes will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is closed on Wednesdays. Hopsy is at 1137 Solano Ave. (between Kains and Stannage avenues), Albany. Connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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Nippon Gochiso Select brings Japan to the East Bay

Nippon Gochiso Select at Berkeley Bowl West. Photo: Amanda Kuehn Carroll.
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A slender woman with a dark sleek bob and large almond eyes hands out white wooden parcels the size of shoeboxes near the door of Nico restaurant in San Francisco. I finish a scrap of black sesame financier from the table before breaking my box’s white and red ribbon. Inside I find a long paper packet of Dashitamago omelet seasoning, a tall slender bottle labeled “Mikawa cooking rice seasoning” and a brown pouch of Kinako (soy bean powder) that looks something like tan-hued cornstarch. I have just finished a five-course Japanese tasting menu and sipped the last few dregs of my toasted rice “coffee.” Although I appreciated the meal’s exotic ingredients and elegant execution, I am clueless when it comes to the materials in front of me.

Japanese cuisine is widely spread across cultures, but has yet to reach the kitchens of American home cooks like me. Something about those unfamiliar terms and mysterious ingredients leaves even adventurous eaters wary of Japanese home cooking. It was this quandary that inspired recipe developer and food educator Ema Koeda to create Nippon Gochiso Select (NGS), a premium line of artisanal Japanese products specifically curated for Western markets. The word “Nippon” refers to Japan, and the term “gochiso” has several meanings related to feasting, hospitality and gratitude. In essence Nippon Gochiso is a reminder to celebrate and appreciate the act of enjoying a meal — a concept that rings true for Koeda, who views food as a connection point between cultures. … Continue reading »

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Bites: 21st Amendment to San Leandro, more

Shaun O'Sullivan and Nicco Freccia at 21st Amendment Brewery's San Leandro ribbon cutting. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings

NEW 21ST AMENDMENT BREWERY OPENING SOON The East Bay beer boom continues. This week, 21st Amendment co-founders Nicco Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan snipped the ribbon on their new brewing facility in San Leandro. The massive, 95,000 square-foot facility was once a Kellogg’s factory. It is the brewery’s new world headquarters and, in time, will be a rollicking spot to grab a beer. While production has officially started at the new brewery, it won’t be open to the public until June 26. The public space will initially include a tasting room and outdoor beer garden. Eventually the owners plan on adding a restaurant, “floating” bars above the production facility, meeting spaces and an indoor amphitheater for events, beer classes and concerts. 21st Amendment joins long-established brewery Drake’s and new upstart Cleophus Quealy in the industrial west side of the city. But the neighbors to not plan on being competitors. “We’ll be experimenting with our San Leandro neighbors … to produce some really inventive collaboration beers,” said O’Sullivan. “We’re working to make San Leandro a craft beer mecca.” More than that, both O’Sullivan and Freccia hope to make their brewery a true neighborhood gathering spot. “It has been amazing to get to know San Leandro,” said Freccia. “We want to give back and become part of the fabric of the community.” 21st Amendment is at 2010 Williams St. (near West Gate Parkway), San Leandro. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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SF chefs to pop-up at Hopscotch’s Annex

Nasturtium soup at Journeymen pop-up at Hopscotch. Photo: courtesy Journeymen
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Chis Wolff and Jon Tu, who are both chefs at restaurants in San Francisco, will host a pop-up dinner later this month at Uptown’s Hopscotch. Continue reading »

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Bites: OVO, Sequoia Diner, Mad Oak and more

OVO Tavern and Eatery. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

OVO COMES TO NORTH OAKLAND OVO, a.k.a. “Oakland’s Very Own Tavern and Eatery,” has softly opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in North Oakland. The new bar and restaurant is an official viewing spot for the Golden State Warriors playoff games while it continues to tweak its menu and operating hours. For now, OVO is open only from 4-9 p.m.; owner DeWayne DeGuzman aims to hold a grand opening party at the end of the month. The menu features simple bar food like tater tots, chicken wings and burgers. DeGuzman said OVO will eventually be open in the morning, with breakfast pastries from Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts and Mr. Espresso coffee. The bar has a modest selection of beers, with space for six rotating local microbrews, and a potent-sounding OVO punch (think rum and lots of fruit). OVO takes the place of Bottom of the Ninth Bar & Grill, which opened in 2013 after Looney’s BBQ closed. DeGuzman hopes the restaurant will be a lively community gathering space, and he plans on keeping the concept and menu adaptable to the changing neighborhood. “We’re going to keep it fresh, just like Oakland,” he said. Ovo is at 5319 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (between 53rd and 54th streets), Oakland. Continue reading »

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12 East Bay restaurants make Bauer’s Top 100

The Dock at Linden Street. Photo: The Dock at Linden Street
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Michael Bauer’s list of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants causes a stir each spring. The San Francisco Chronicle food critic has been producing the compilation of his favorite spots for the past 20 years. His choices are typically San Francisco-heavy, but they do include a growing number — 12 this year — of East Bay restaurants.

In a nod to the increasing relevance and excitement of the East Bay food scene, none of the spots cut from the list this year came from our the right side of the Bay.

The two new additions to the East Bay list are both restaurants from James Syhabout. Bauer praised The Dock at Linden Street for its “uncanny skill for matching food to beer” and “unexpected” food combinations. He especially likes Syhabout’s crisp fried cranberry beans, curried lamb riblets with lime pickled chutney, and Caesar popcorn (“the best thing since caramel corn”).  … Continue reading »

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Bites: KronnerBurger, The Tap Haus, Kingfish Pub

KronnerBurger's signature burger. Photo: KronnerBurger
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Openings, closings…

KRONNERBURGER DEBUTS ON PIEDMONT Long-awaited KronnerBurger, the brick-and-mortar restaurant for Chris Kronner’s popular San Francisco burger pop-ups, is now open on Piedmont Avenue. The restaurant has been in the works for a couple of years now, and Eater has been chronicling Kronner’s search for a restaurant space. He found a home in the former J’s Mexican American, a unique triangle-shaped building at the corner of Piedmont and 41st Street. The building has been given a full revamp, with bright white walls and a modern interior. The space was designed by Wylie Price, who was also behind Rockridge’s Ramen Shop, and includes metalwork by Oakland artist Luigi Oldani. On the menu is, of course, Kronner’s signature KronnerBurger, which is made entirely from scratch (from buns to ketchup) and served with a side of bone marrow, plus a vegan burger, pork burger, and appetizers like a wedge salad and fries with beef cheek gravy. For now, the restaurant is only serving lunch, but will add brunch over the weekend and dinner service next week. KronnerBurger is at 4063 Piedmont Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: PieTisserie, Kitchener Snack Bar, more

Jaynelle St. John (center) held a grand opening for her pie shop, PieTisserie, on Valentine's Day. Photo: PieTisserie
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Openings, closings…

PIETISSERIE SHOP HOLDS GRAND OPENING Oakland pie maven Jaynelle St. John held a grand opening celebration for her standalone shop in the Grand Lake district this past Saturday. PieTisserie specializes in unique pies, such as mojito custard and chocolate cream pretzel. St. John has been selling her pies for the last five years, but has moved her operation around Oakland; most recently she sold pies out of Nido, near Jack London Square, and she has also made appearances at Swan’s Marketplace in Old Oakland, and Kitchenette in San Francisco. Since parting with Nido in August 2013, St. John has been working on opening her retail space while selling her pies through her website and Munchery. PieTisserie, complete with its pie window, is at 1605 2nd Ave. (at Foothill Boulevard), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: Johnny B’s, Habit Burger Grill open, more

Johnny B's Café. Photo: John Bajek
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Openings, closings

JOHNNY B’S COMES TO WEST BERKELEY There’s a new spot to grab sandwiches and coffee in West Berkeley. Johnny B’s Café has just opened up shop next to Strawberry Creek Park on Addison Street, in the former Café Zeste location. Owner John Bajek tells us that his corned beef and roasted chicken sandwiches are his bestsellers so far. In addition, he is serving soups, freshly made salads and pastries, with plenty of gluten-free options. Johnny B’s is at 1250 Addison St., Suite 110 (near Bonar Street), Berkeley.Continue reading »

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Ms Barstool: 5 cocktails to warm your heart

Haitian Toddy at Box and Bells
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As the rain lashes the window-panes, gusts of wind bring down tree limbs, and the power goes out… again… what better way to mark the turn of the season and the holidays than to head to a cozy bar and order up a warming winter cocktail? Ms Barstool has tried five and recommends them all. Cheers!

Haitian Toddy at Box and Bells

Served in a teacup and garnished with orange peel and a stick of cinnamon, this drink is made with aged Haitian dark rum, Benedictine, house-made honey syrup, and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (pictured above). Served at Box and Bells in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood: 5912 College Ave., Oakland. … Continue reading »

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