Tag Archives: Star Grocery

Animal rights activists smash Star Grocery windows

The window that was vandalized at Star Grocery on Claremont Avenue. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Two FBI agents visited Star Grocery on Claremont Avenue on Monday to investigate a broken window the government believes was smashed by animal rights activists.

The large plate glass window of the market, which has been run by the Pappas family since 1922, was smashed around 2 a.m. on Sunday, July 27, according to Nick Pappas, the store’s owner. He wasn’t aware of the animal rights connection until the FBI contacted him a few days later, he said. … 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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June Taylor’s way with fruit: esoteric, steeped in history

Meyer lemons destined for a June Taylor marmalade./Photo: Sarah Henry
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June Taylor crafts the kind of conserves and fruit confections that make food writers swoon.

Case in point: Amanda Hesser’s description of Taylor’s preserves. “They are unlike any commercial preserves, not simply because she uses esoteric — virtually all organic — fruits like bergamots, kadota figs, and Santa Rosa plums, but also because she cooks them in such a way that underlines their essence,” wrote Hesser in a New York Times Magazine piece. “Sugar is used not as a crutch but a tool. Her silver-lime-and-ginger marmalade has a sting to it; her grapefruit-and-Meyer-lemon marmalade is bright, concentrated and vigorously bitter.”

Don’t just take a food scribe’s word for it. My son is partial to Taylor’s candied peels — Rangpur Lime, Oro Blanco grapefruit, and Citron — popped into porridge (oatmeal), granola, or directly in the mouth for a bittersweet treat. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Minh Tsai, Hodo Soy Beanery

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Minh Tsai is on a mission to make tofu the next hip artisanal food. He knows he has a ways to go to get many Americans to even taste tofu, but if anyone can make it cool to eat bean curd, this enthusiastic self-described tofu master is the man for the job.

Tsai grew up eating fresh tofu from street vendors in his native Vietnam. He arrived in the U.S. via Malaysia, part of the so-called boat people exodus. Both … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Suzanne Schafer & Shari Washburn, Ebbett’s Good to Go

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The Twitter handle pretty much sums things up.  Two food-obsessed moms try to have their cake and eat it too: Start a food truck and still be home with the kids.

Meet the newest truck on the block to hit the streets of Emeryville. You can’t miss the baby-blue colored vehicle emblazoned with the Ebbett’s Good To Go insignia. And there’s no mistaking this mobile food biz for some roach coach come to dish up cheap, tasteless … Continue reading »

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Michael Pollan speaks on egg recall

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Local food expert Michael Pollan was on CNN Monday night explaining why no one should be surprised that 550 million eggs have been recalled because they may have been tainted by salmonella.

Salmonella in eggs can be linked back to the 1970s and 1980s when industrial farmers started crowding chickens together to streamline their growth, said Pollan, a professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Nowadays, there can be 10 chickens to a cage, … Continue reading »

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Essence of Berkeley: Food shopping as worship

Berkeley's Farmers' Markets: outdoor tent revivalists?
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In case you missed it, a post on this site last week elicited an entertaining rumination by Berkeleysider EBGuy on Berkeley’s food stores and their role as our new cathedrals — or temples, or synagogues. More Berkeleysiders weighed in with their analogies. Here’s the full list (so far):

Farmers’ Markets: outdoor tent revivalists. This is where the Food Fundamentalists go. Berkeley Bowl: non-denominational mega church. Draws from the surrounding region. You go there, right? Berkeley Natural Grocery: storefront religion at … Continue reading »

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Does Berkeley have crummy sandwiches?

Bakesale Betty's fried chicken sandwich
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San Francisco Magazine, that oversized, glossy love letter to food and fashion*, recently named what it considers the best sandwiches in the Bay Area.

And, if you can believe it, not a single sandwich in Berkeley was selected.

There were sandwiches from Oakland (Bakesale Betty’s chicken and coleslaw on a French roll got a nod), sandwiches from Pt. Reyes Station (Osteria Stellina’s grilled cheese was singled out), sandwiches from San Carlos (The Refuge’s pastrami is apparently good enough to … Continue reading »

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