Tag Archives: Saul’s Delicatessen

Restaurants, delis embrace Passover feasts

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Passover, which begins this year at sundown on March 25, is the most widely celebrated of all the Jewish holidays — and, as with many Jewish holidays, food is at the heart of the festivities. However, preparing a seder, or ritual dinner, when you don’t have generations of Jewish Bubbes to learn from, or if you’re not that culinarily inclined, can seem like a daunting task — even if we have come a long way from keeping live carp in the bathtub. Which may be why restaurants, delis and specialty groceries are stepping in to help out.

Passover commemorates when Jews escaped slavery in ancient Egypt. And, given that the seder is customarily held on the first and second (of eight) nights, most synagogues or Jewish community centers hold their community seders on the second night, leaving many without a seder on the first. … Continue reading »

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North Berkeley merchants want parklets for the people

A parklet in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood. Photo: San Francisco Pavement to Parks
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Businesses in the Gourmet Ghetto are keen to jump on the parklet bandwagon — bringing outdoor seating to the streets for espresso sippers, pizza eaters, and world watchers in lieu of parking spots — but must first wait for the city to come up with a process for making the spaces available.

So-called parklets — slivers of open space sprouting in cities around the globe — are a big trend in urban design, with San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks leading the way locally, and Oakland following suit (a pilot program is under review there.) Berkeley is a little late to the take-back-the-public-space movement but eager to come up with its own ideas to beautify public areas where community members can congregate. Leading the charge is the North Shattuck Association, which is helping businesses in its café- and restaurant-heavy district organize around the concept.

“The parklets pilot project was conceived by the association based on our experience with hosting temporary parklets during past years on Park(ing) Day and the Spice of Life Festival,” said Heather Hensley, executive director of the association.

Park(ing) Day is an international movement conceived to help city residents around the world reimagine the humble parking space. One day each fall, D.I.Y., creative urbanistas are encouraged to transform parking spots into parks, playgrounds, pop-up cafés — anything other than a lowly (though coveted) place for cars. Park(ing) Day parklets have sprouted in Berkeley in past years in front of the Cheese Board Collective and the late Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food. … Continue reading »

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Top food stories from Berkeley in 2011

Andre Green from the Berkeley Food & Housing Project cooks for the neediest in the community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back to see what food stories created a buzz around town and on Berkeleyside in 2011.

Granted, there’s an arbitrary nature to such end-of-year lists. But it’s an opportunity to take stock of the city’s culinary culture.

For the purposes of this post we’ve focused on food news stories, which doesn’t take into account the dozens of interviews with foragers, farmers, artisans, advocates, chefs, cooking teachers, preservers, pasta makers, cheese purveyors, pop-up restaurateurs, and farmers’ market vendors we’ve published during 2011.

This year also saw controversial coverage of corner stores, reporting on detractors of school food, an insider’s take on speed dating with a veg-friendly focus, and a widely criticized first-person piece on disappointing camp chow.

Readers may differ on what food stories caught their attention. Feel free to add your own highlights (or low points) in the comments section.

In alphabetical order: … Continue reading »

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Klezmer and latkes and Christmas

People wait to buy latkes on Christmas Day. Photo: Emanuah Hauser
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One of the more joyous street gatherings on Christmas Day happens in front of Saul’s, the Jewish deli on Shattuck Avenue near Vine.

For the last three years, Klezmer musicians have gathered to play outside the deli, their lively, upbeat music serenading the long line of people waiting to go inside the restaurant or those just wanting to hear a tune.

This year, the annual Christmas Day concert coincided with Hanukkah, and Saul’s owners’, Peter Levitt and Karen Adelman, … Continue reading »

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Gilman Street Gals cook up sweet treats in Westbrae

Another holiday favorite: Clarine's Florentines
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In a teeny tiny, dark commercial kitchen on a small shopping strip on Gilman Street in Berkeley’s Westbrae neighborhood, four full-time, female food artisans, and a few part-timers too, are turning out sweet baked goods that have earned them mad props in the Bay Area.

Think of these enterprising edible producers as the Gilman Street Gals. In the cast: Clarine Hardesty, of Clarine’s Florentines, who holds the lease to the kitchen, which is co-owned by Bob Kelso of Toot Sweets down the block. Joining her behind the stoves: seasoned wedding and specialty cake maker Carolyn Wong, whose signature style is simple, elegant, and artistic. Also in the mix is Anastasia Widiarsih, herself no slouch on the designer cake front, whose main focus these days at Indie Cakes & Pastries is baking scones, cookies, and cakes for wholesale café clients, including Saul’s Delicatessen + Restaurant. Relative newbie in the kitchen crew: Christine Falatico Frey of CiCi’s Italian Butterhorns; her sugary, buttery, cinnamon walnut cookies are featured holiday picks in the December issue of Diablo magazine – along with Clarine’s Florentines and June Taylor‘s christmas cake. … Continue reading »

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Whole-beast butcher shop taps appetite for local meat

Aaron and Monica Rocchino, who opened The Local Butcher Shop in August, say they have been welcomed by the Berkeley community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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It’s only been just over two months since former Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino and his wife Monica opened The Local Butcher Shop in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. But the store, which prides itself on sourcing locally and embracing the whole animal, has already found a loyal clientele and two very local restaurant clients.

Chez Panisse, perhaps not surprisingly, is patronizing the newly established meat purveyor and buying its beef there, as well as “anything else they need when they’re in a pinch”, says Monica Rocchino.

Saul’s Deli is getting ground beef from its new neighbor and, as of last Tuesday, serving Local Butcher Shop bologna. Executive Chef Peter Levitt hopes this might go some way to appeasing his salami loving customers who, he says, are suffering while Saul’s searches for sustainable, artisanal salami it feels happy to serve. … Continue reading »

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Local food names sign up for Berkeley Off The Grid truck

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Lush Gelato, voted by Berkeleyside readers as the best ice cream shop in Berkeley, will be going mobile tonight and serving its scoops from the guest truck at street food-fest Off The Grid — and a number of other local food names have signed up for future Wednesdays.

The Juice Bar Collective is planning on offering tamales for the Gourmet Ghetto’s Dia de Los Muertos celebration on November 2nd, and Berkeley’s new Local Butcher Shopopened by former Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino and his wife Monica in August — will host the guest truck on November 9th. Other possibles for future dates include Guerilla Café and Taste of the Himalayas.

The truck is owned by Off The Grid and offered to guest hosts at whichever location the street food fair is taking place. Saul Deli‘s Executive Chef Peter Levitt rustled up pickle plates and potato latkes from the truck in June.

Tonight, Lush will be serving gelato and chocolate sandwiches, a special-menu item designed specifically for Off the Grid, as well as basil, fresh mint chip and salted chocolate chip gelatos. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

A free-range chicken sandwich from Falala
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SAME AGAIN General Appliance, at 2524 Shattuck Ave., which closed its doors in June after 72 years in business, has been replaced by Airport Home Appliance Annex which has branches in Redwood City and Hayward. (Hat tip: Rachel Anderson)

SWEET STUFF Berkeley’s Indie Cakes & Pastries started supplying Berkeley’s Saul’s Deli with pastries and cookies a couple of weeks ago. Indie’s cupcakes and macaroons can also be found at Good Bellies and Bica cafes in Oakland and at the Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market.

HIPPIE … Continue reading »

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News

Thousands of Cal students, staff flock to Caltopia

Students new and old come out in droves for the community-boosting swag-fest that is Caltopia
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UC Berkeley freshmen, some looking dazed, others excited, as well as more blasé seniors, turned out in their thousands on Sunday for Day One of Caltopia, the self-described “two greatest days on the planet”.

The event, held at the UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility at 2301 Bancroft Way, sees more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares and services to the Cal community, including the university’s staff and faculty.

It’s a combination of freebie-fest — with giveaways galore, be it bites of Clif Bars, T-shirts, pens and mouse pads and the chance to win covetable prizes like Kindles from big brand names like Pepsi  – and social mixer.

Berkeleyside made its debut at Calopia yesterday and we will be there again today. Find us at booth E104.

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UC Berkeley’s Caltopia: The ultimate Town & Gown affair

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This weekend, when around 30,000 students and faculty stroll through Caltopia, browsing the booths of more than 100 exhibitors, Berkeley’s two driving forces, the city and its university, will be pitched in perfect harmony. And Berkeleyside will be there to sing along too.

Caltopia was launched nine years ago as a way for Berkeley businesses to welcome Cal students, both current and new, back to school. The event runs on Sunday and Monday this year, and classes start up … Continue reading »

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Berkeley poet draws on life and locale for inspiration

Lindy Hough, author of Wild Horses, Wild Dreams
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For a period of about three years, Lindy Hough spent an inordinate amount of time at Saul’s Restaurant on Shattuck Avenue.

On many Thursdays, she arrived around 5 pm, shortly after her duties as the co-publisher of North Atlantic Books ended for the day. She sat at a table, eating and observing, until 7:30 pm, when Play Café, a group of professional playwrights, got together.

But the time Hough spent at the deli was not idle. It was a chance for her to examine those around her and wonder about their lives. The musings ended up as “Thursday Night at Saul’s,” one of the new poems in Wild Horses, Wild Dreams, which was released this spring as part of North Atlantic Books’ Io Poetry series.

Wild Horses, Wild Dreams is a retrospective of Hough’s 40 years as a poet and draws on works from her previous four poetry books as well as introducing 28 new poems. The book showcases Hough’s evolution from a young mother in her early 20s to an accomplished figure in the publishing industry, one who has contemplated rural life, the dynamics of a college town, dreams, dance, and religion in its many forms, including Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.

“I view the collection as very memoir-like, moving from place to place, from Vermont to California, coming of age as a writer and a thinker,” Hough said recently from her summer home on a small island in Maine.  “That’s what this book is about.” … Continue reading »

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Saul’s to cook street food at Berkeley’s Off The Grid

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Saul Deli‘s Executive Chef Peter Levitt will be rustling up some street eats at Berkeley’s second Off The Grid street food event in the Gourmet Ghetto.

Levitt will be using Off The Grid’s own truck which was created expressly to allow chefs and members of the general public to test out the experience of operating a food truck.

Saul’s street-food menu sticks to its Jewish, sustainable roots and will consist of Raspberry Lemonade; Saul’s Pickle Plate; Chicken Matzo Ball Soup; Fired Corn on the Cob with Spiced Gribenes; Potato Latke, Apricot Sauce, Crème Fraiche; Savory Potato Kugel with Crème Fraiche; Corned Beef On Challah Roll, Mustard; Sweet Peach and Brandied Prune Kugel with Whipped cream; and a Choco Halvatashen Cookie. Prices range from $2.00 to $4.00.

Off The Grid, which operates several regular street-food events in San Francisco and is planning further expansion, held a soft launch in Berkeley last Wednesday. Such was its popularity, with estimates of up to 2,000 people turning up, that several of the food trucks ran dry. … Continue reading »

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Crowds turn out for Berkeley’s inaugural Off The Grid

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[Update, 8:50 pm: Watch a video of Off The Grid, at foot of story.]

Organizer Matt Cohen needn’t have worried about the weather being a dampener — he estimated that anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people showed up last night to Off The Grid’s inaugural Berkeley street food event in the Gourmet Ghetto.

Such was the enthusiasm among locals to sample pockets of falafel, Filipino treats, dripping pulled pork sandwiches and crunchy fish tacos that several of the food trucks ran dry early in the evening.

Cupkates sold out at 6.30 pm, just one and half hours after the start time. By the time Berkeleyside turned up at about 7.15 pm, 510 Burger had shut up shop and neither Skylite Snowballs nor The Taco Guys were anywhere to be seen. (At 8.27 pm, tweeter ak3700 posted a photo of a disappointed young customer who had no doubt been looking forward a Red Velvet treat.) The prospect of rain had been enough to deter some, it seems.

Hapa SF, Liba Falafel, and Brass Knuckle were going strong however. … Continue reading »

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