Tag Archives: Off the Grid

New food truck market coming to Uptown Oakland

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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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Telegraph Ave. scrubbed, cleaned in beautification effort

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The deployment of neon-clad “ambassadors” to paint over graffiti, power-wash streets, and sweep sidewalks along Telegraph Avenue is the latest in a series of attempts to revitalize a business district which has seen better days.

The “Big Splash” effort by Kentucky-based firm Block by Block began March 14, kicking off a year-long, $240,000 ambassador pilot program on Telegraph. Ambassadors have been engaged in a similar revitalization effort in downtown Berkeley since early 2012.

Telegraph Avenue — cherished by some for its political history and quirky institutions, and avoided by others for its large transient population and public drug use — has faced steep declines in sales tax revenue over the past several years. Rat-infested empty lots and graffiti-covered vacant storefronts have not helped the situation. … Continue reading »

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Bites: 44 Restaurant, Sodoi Coffee, Township, Clove & Hoof

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Openings…

44 RESTAURANT & BAR  Mark Jones and Ramone Smith have just opened 44 Restaurant & Bar at 3290 Adeline St. in the space that used to be Addie’s Pizza Pie, and was, for a short while, Next Door Restaurant. Jones and Smith moved from a smaller location in Hercules to the 4,000-square-foot Berkeley space. Kenneth Wynn is the executive chef, and the menu is described as “new American.” Next Door, which was opened by Henry Alvarez, the former head of San Francisco’s Housing Authority, and his wife Dionne Roberts, closed a couple of weeks ago and posted a sign saying it was “redecorating/creating a new concept.” Of 44, Berkeleysider Marcus tells us: “The food has always been good at the old location: give them a shot.” 44 is open from 4 p.m. for dinner Wednesdays through Sunday. … Continue reading »

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Off the Grid pulls plug on Southside Berkeley market

Off The Grid Southside Berkeley. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Tonight is the last night for Off The Grid’s Southside Berkeley food truck market which has been taking place once a week — with a few breaks, a day change, and one slight shift in venue — since it launched in July 2012.

The market, which is on the east side of Haste Street at Telegraph, has seen a steady decline in the number of customers, many of whom have been UC Berkeley students, according to Roland Peterson, director of the Telegraph Avenue Business Improvement District.

“The first few weeks were really popular,” Peterson said, “but it has slowed down a lot since then.” … Continue reading »

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Off The Grid food trucks launch new Berkeley market

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Food truck organization Off The Grid has confirmed it will start a new Berkeley market on Sunday Feb. 9. As expected, the new location is the North Berkeley BART parking lot, and the market, which will feature 10 or more trucks every week, will be open for dinner on Sundays, from 5:00-8:00p.m.

It will be the second weekly food truck gathering for Berkeley. Off the Grid is also on the south side of the Cal campus, at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street, on Mondays from 5-8 p.m.

Trucks at the Feb. 9 launch will include Koja Kitchen (which recently opened a brick-and-mortar spot on Telegraph Avenue); Kasa India; sliders and fry vendor WhipOut!Liba Falafel (which is slated to open a restaurant in Uptown Oakland this summer); burrito makers Burr-Eatery; and Lexie’s Frozen Custard.Continue reading »

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All systems go for West Berkeley beer/food garden

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The folks behind the Westbrae Biergarten, a beer garden and food truck spot being planned for the corner lot of Gilman and Curtis streets in West Berkeley, have secured their permits — finally — and construction is about to begin on the much-anticipated project.

Two well-known local food trucks — Brazil Café and Roli Roti — have signed up to be regulars at the beer garden which now hopes to open in spring 2014. Brazil Café will have a permanent presence at the site, which hopes to be something like the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco, and two other mobile food vendors are also slated to join the line-up. … Continue reading »

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Off the Grid aims for new North Berkeley digs

Off the Grid took place in the Gourmet Ghetto from June 2011 through December 2012. Photo: Art Poskanzer
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The popular food truck event Off the Grid may be headed back to North Berkeley if a deal pending between the organization and BART is successful, officials announced Monday.

According to a statement released by Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office Monday, “An agreement with BART is developing to have food trucks at the North Berkeley BART called ‘Off the Grid.’” … Continue reading »

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

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Openings, closings…

BOTELLA REPUBLIC You heard it here first: A new wine bar and shop is coming to downtown Berkeley. Botella Republic (pictured, top) will open on the street level of the Berkeley Central building at 2055 Center St. Owners Christopher Clarke and Lauren Brody-Clarke, a husband-and-wife team, plan to serve small production wines, craft beers and locally sourced artisanal meats and cheeses, as well as seasonal fruits and breads, in a Napa-style dining room. There will be hand-selected old world and new world wines for under $15 per bottle, as well as a reserve selection of small production premium wines. Wines customers will also be able to buy bottles of wine they love to take home. “We will be championing Californian wines within a global context,” said Clarke, who was formerly a design director at the Food Network. Brody-Clarke is an actress who most recently managed a wine shop. The couple, who hail from Brooklyn, have an affinity with Berkeley, Clarke said. He studied at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco and lived in the East Bay, and his family lives here. He cites many reasons for choosing their new location: likeminded folk who love good food, the proximity to wine country, and the accessibility of downtown. “Berkeley is the West Coast equivalent of Brooklyn — we feel we’re making a lateral transition,” he adds. The plan is to open in early 2014. … Continue reading »

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

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HOMESTEAD Homestead, a new restaurant under the helm of co-owners and husband-and-wife team Fred and Elizabeth Sassen, is scheduled to open Aug. 1 in the 1920s Julia Morgan building at 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st streets) in Oakland. It takes over the old Zatis space. Sassen, formerly of Camino, will run the kitchen and he is planning an “upscale farm-to-table menu” prepared with seasonal, often locally sourced, organic ingredients. Think baked ricotta with peaches, coppa and grilled bread; shaved summer squash salad with fried padrones and goat cheese; and grilled shrimp, with spicy romano beans and garlicky cucumbers. Main dishes ($18 to $24) could include ratatouille with a poached farm egg, chiles and minted yogurt; salt baked turbot with roasted potato, torpedo onions and hollandaise; and chili rubbed slow cooked pork with creamed corn and cherry tomatoes. Dinner hours will be Tuesday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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OFF THE GRID The Southside Berkeley Off the Grid site will be relatively quiet for the rest of the summer, as the food trucks will be taking a month-long break from the area after Thursday, July 25. They will reopen at their spot at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street at 5 p.m. on Monday, August 26, when they will kick off the new season with live music. Once they return, loyal truck-goers can expect to find a rotating set of vendors there every Monday until 9 p.m. (Hat-tip: Alina.)

photo186 CAFE  A sign in the window of the former Green Earth Café, which closed in April, indicates that a new business called 186 Café has applied for a change of ownership for the space at 2124 Center St. According to the sign, 186 Café has applied for licenses to sell both food and alcoholic beverages. The space was extensively remodeled to include a full kitchen — complete with two pizza ovens — by the owners of Green Earth Café, who opened their eatery in 2012, but they were forced to close for personal reasons. … Continue reading »

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Off The Grid brings food trucks to El Cerrito

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Food trucks are coming to El Cerrito with the announcement that Off the Grid, the San Francisco-based street food outfit, is opening a new market there this week.

Starting Wednesday, Off the Grid will set up a rotation of 10 trucks on Fairmount Avenue between San Pablo Avenue and Carlson Boulevard, from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

El Cerrito is OTG’s first market in Contra Costa County, and follows close on the heels of a new lunchtime market that started last week in Emeryville (on Haven St. between Park Ave. and 40th St. near Emeryville City Hall). … Continue reading »

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

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Openings…

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 3.32.10 PMOFF THE GRID EMERYVILLE Food truck market Off The Grid made its debut in Emeryville this week with a soft-launch on Wednesday at Haven St. between Park Ave. and 40th St. Each week will see a rotating list of four trucks at that spot between 11am and 2pm. This week saw a line-up of three: Go Streatery, Little Green Cyclo, and Sanguchon.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 2.31.28 PMLOLABEE’S HARVEST  The online delivery service for local produce, LolaBee’s, which previously only served the San Francisco area, has extended to Oakland and Berkeley as of Wednesday, June 25. Now East Bay customers can join in choosing from a weekly changing stock of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, preserves and snacks — all produced on local farms and delivered to homes and businesses. LolaBee’s also offers a weekly harvest box, filled with seasonal veggies and fruits, to which customers can add a few items from the master list if they want to cover all the food groups. The LolaBee’s website offers cooking tips and profiles on its contributing farmers. … Continue reading »

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Food trucks expand to bricks and mortar

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Anyone who has had even a bite of a Fiveten Burger knows that Roland Robles, the proprietor and chef, knows more than a thing or two about slinging beef. His cheeseburgers are cooked to order and made with a signature blend of meat ground daily. There are at least three cheese options for melting over the hot patty (usually more), as well as a well-balanced array of toppings stacked together on a North Beach Baking Company bun. An overflowing basket of truffle tater tots sets the meal over-the-top — in a hot, crispy, and salty good way. But this is no fancy restaurant burger. Instead, Robles’ burgers are handed to customers through the window of a food truck.

Robles is banking on his many fans sticking with his burgers when he opens his first brick-and-mortar burger joint this year. The restaurant will be called Handlebar and is slated to open some time in the spring. While the location is still up in the air, the overarching plan is not. “The vibe we intend is a comfortable spot where you can just drop in and have some grub you’ll dig and a cold beverage of your preference. … Pretty much everybody likes a cold beer and a made to order burger,” he said. … Continue reading »

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