Tag Archives: Tacubaya

Nosh Talk: Hugh Groman, Phil’s Sliders

Hugh Groman
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Nosh Talk is a regular Q&A with an East Bay chef, restaurateur or food artisan, published on Berkeleyside Nosh, in which we snoop for inside intelligence…

What is always in your refrigerator?
Eggs, aged cheddar, orange juice, cranberry juice, and produce from our weekly Full Belly Farms delivery. But, honestly, there wouldn’t be any food in there at all if it weren’t for my husband. I work all the time and would probably just eat out if left to my own devices.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
I love making a shake of frozen bananas, milk and unsweetened cocoa. It is a completely satisfying and guilt-free dessert.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
I love to eat at Tacubaya on Fourth Street, or Venus in downton for a delicious brunch or dinner, or Cha Am for yummy Thai food, or Café Rouge, or Kitchen 388 in Oakland, or 900 Grayson for lunch. I love Gather. I love Kirin Chinese on Solano or Shen Hua on College. The house-fried wontons at both of those places are incredible. We just tried Potala which has vegan Tibetan food and it was delicious. Fentons is a lifelong family favorite. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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WHERE’S MY PIZZA PIE? After 20 months of serving up thin-crust pizza, salad, and frozen custard, Addie’s Pizza Pie at 3290 Adeline has shut its doors. A sign posted in the window reads “Folks, Thank you for all your past support. We have had to close nonetheless. Who knows what will happen next.” Co-owners Jennifer Millar and Tom Schnetz will still offer up  their culinary talents, however. Millar owns the nearby, always busy, Sweet Adeline Bakshop and Schnetz co-owns Tacubaya on Fourth, as well as three other restaurants in Oakland.

CHEESY CHEW Grilled cheese sandwich chain The Melt will open a new spot at 2400 Telegraph Avenue near the Cal campus soon, according to Grub Street SF. The Melt is the brainchild of Flip cam founder Jonathan Kaplan whose plan is to expand nationally. So far, the company has three locations in downtown S.F. and one at Stanford. … Continue reading »

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Ethnic eats in Berkeley from A to Z: Part 3

High praise for Vanessa's Bistro and its tuna salmon poke. Photo: Anna Mindess
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Over the last two weeks Berkeleyside has listed almost 100 places where you can taste tachos, slurp soba, and make a meal out of momos (catch up with part 1, A to I and part 2, J to P). Down the track, we will bring you the back story to some of the people behind some of these places.

For now, you know the drill: Chime in below if there’s a nosh spot that’s missing from this list or if there’s a signature dish you want to single out at a particular place.

Oh, and as for the definition of ethnic (some readers quibbled about whether French or Italian joints should be in the mix) we’re thinking chefs who want to showcase a style of cooking specific to a region of the world — versus California cuisine or fusion food, though no doubt there’s some crossover.

Enjoy.  … Continue reading »

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Latin flavors lie at the heart of Casa de Chocolates

Chocolatier Arcelia Gallardo and co-owner Amelia Gonzalez bring a taste of Latin America to The Elmwood. Photo: Omar Wandera
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Two Latinas originally from L.A, with a shared passion for chocolate, Mexico, and social justice, are combining forces to open Casa de Chocolates in The Elmwood today.

Amelia Gonzalez, 50, who worked for KPFA Radio for 20 years, most recently as general manager, was approached by chocolatier Arcelia Gallardo, 35, about coming on board as an angel investor for her artisan sweet treats store that pay homage to cacao’s Latin American heritage.

Gonzalez was interested, but also wanted to play an active role in the development of the budding business, which suited Gallardo, who preferred to focus on perfecting her products, handcrafted in small batches.

So Gonzalez, who has lived in Lima, Peru, and Oaxaca, Mexico, has handled everything from managing construction permits with the city to sourcing ancillary merchandise such as ceramics, tin boxes, and molinillo (wooden whisks for making Mexican hot chocolate), while her partner focuses on flavor pairings. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Aaron Betesh, Blue Heron Farms

Cooking up kale.
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For 10 years, Blue Heron Farms vendor Aaron Betesh has been selling organic vegetables to customers at all three Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.

Betesh is part of the Blue Heron crew which, for much of the year, hawks salad greens, Asian greens, herbs and flower — along with carrots, kale, and broccoli.

The produce comes from a small family farm in Corralitos, near Watsonville, run by Lori Perry and Dennis Tamura.

Farmers’ Market customers don’t always realize that not … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Jessica Prentice

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Jessica Prentice’s claim to fame comes from coining the term locavore, chosen as the 2007 Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

The New York City-trained natural chef lives and breathes the locavore lifestyle. She is a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen cooperative on University Avenue, which sells nutrient-dense, prepared foods (think soups and stews in bone broth made from scratch), and co-creator of the Local Foods Wheel, a whimsically illustrated guide to local, seasonal and ecologically-sound eating.

Prentice, 41, is the author of Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection, and one of the women profiled in Temra Costa’s recent book Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat.

She lives in Richmond Annex with her partner, fellow food advocate Jacob Wright who works at the Center for Ecoliteracy, and their 16-month-old son.

We sat down to talk at Three Stone’s communal table. Prentice nursed a large mason jar of reverse-osmosis filtered water spiked with trace mineral drops.

What do you like about running a food business in Berkeley?

We attract open-minded, forward-thinking people who want to eat well.  I love the diversity of our kitchen volunteers and apprentices.

One of our volunteers is a follower of The Hate Man, who espouses oppositional thinking. At first I just thought he was kind of intense and eccentric; he only ever wears a skirt.  He’s worked with us for three years — he sears the meats for us on Tuesday nights. Now I know that I have to just make commands: “go to the walk-in and get whatever”, without saying please or thank you. If I ask him how his day is he’ll say “bad”, and when I introduce him to new volunteers I let them know that they need to say “I hate you” to him as a greeting.

We also have a lot of transgender volunteers. People you call “he” but they’re on their period. We have plenty of only-in-Berkeley moments.

What’s challenging about owning a food co-op in town?

This is an expensive area and our community cooking business wouldn’t work if we had to pay all our kitchen workers. Labor is expensive. But we give people commercial culinary experience cooking high quality food in exchange for labor.

What kind of customers do you attract?

We have a cutting-edge group of customers that fall into several sub-sets. We have a lot of followers of the Weston A. Price diet, a nutrient-dense way of eating. We have people with kids who want their children to eat healthy. And we have people who have been through a major life-changing illness like cancer, come out the other side, and want to take care of their bodies. We get a lot of people who are interested in healing practices, and we get our share of wealthy customers who can afford to eat this way and just think it’s a good idea.

People who come to us know that good food is an investment — our meats are pasture raised, our produce is organic, we even use biodynamic raisins. It’s quality, nutrient-rich food so you need less of it but you pay a bit more for it.

Are there any misperceptions about the food scene here?

Eating locally is elitist — a notion that needs to be questioned.

It comes down to priorities and choices. Think about the amount of money that people — of all races — spend on their hair. You could buy a lot of good food with the money some people spend on hair treatments and products.

Almost every adult now has a cell phone. I ride the bus a lot, presumably a lot of people on the bus are of lesser means, but they’re all talking on their cell phones. What people pay for a cell phone plan could also pay for a lot of good food. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Mollie Katzen

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Each Friday in this space food writer Sarah Henry will ask a well-known, up-and-coming, or under-the-radar food aficionado about their favorite tastes in town, preferred food purveyors and other local culinary gems worth sharing with visitors and residents.

Bestselling cookbook author Mollie Katzen kick-starts this new column.

Mollie Katzen is perhaps best known for her whimsically illustrated, hand-lettered vegetarian classics Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

The author of a trio of popular children’s cookbooks, … Continue reading »

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