Tag Archives: Victory Burger

Bites: Ajanta changing hands, tacos to Telegraph

Lachu Moorjani of Ajanta. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings

AJANTA’S OWNER RETIRING Big news for fans of Indian cuisine. Longtime Solano Avenue restaurant Ajanta is changing hands. Chef Lachu Moorjani opened Ajanta in 1993 and has been serving up regional Indian specialties ever since. Moorjani is known for his friendliness and humor as much as for his confident hand with chiles. Tablehopper had the scoop, reporting that Rajan Thapa of Taste of the Himalayas will be taking over the restaurant with business partner Al Satake. Thapa and Satake do, however, want to keep Ajanta exactly as it is today; Lachu told NOSH that he will work part time with Thapa for a few months, “primarily to supervise cooking as well as help out in the dining hall.” Afterward, he says, he plans to travel. “My wife an I are both fond of travelling and I wanted to retire so that we can travel before I get so old that I am not mobile. We already have a couple of trips planned for this year. A trip to Madagascar in October, and a trip to India in December.” Ajanta is at 1888 Solano Ave. (at The Alameda), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookContinue 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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East Bay restaurants adapt to new minimum wage

Brunch at Camino in February 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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On March 2, the city of Oakland raised its minimum wage by 36%. At $12.25 per hour, the new wage is  the highest in the country — for now. San Francisco matched this wage on May 1, and Emeryville will leapfrog both cities in July.

The wage increase was voted into law last November as a part of Measure FF. Over 80% of Oakland residents supported the measure. And while all Oakland businesses are now required to abide by the new wage, conversations about its benefits and repercussions and have been most active in the restaurant industry.

Restaurants have notoriously small operational budget margins, and are, according to Saru Jayaraman, the co-director of Restaurant Opportunity Centers United (ROC-United) and director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, one of the largest employers of low-wage workers in the United States. Jayaraman reports that seven out of the ten lowest paying jobs in the country are restaurant jobs. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Oakland raises minimum wage, more news

Coffee. Brunch at Camino in February 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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OAKLAND RAISES MINIMUM WAGE Oakland’s minimum wage went up to $12.25 on Monday. Many local restaurants are in support of the wage hike, and have been actively informing customers that prices will rise as a result. Restaurant owners and their staff have joined in on a hashtag campaign, #oaklandlivingwage, to garner city-wide support for small businesses. Piedmont Avenue’s Homestead and Dopo, as well as Camino on Grand Avenue, have made the most drastic changes to their pay structure: all have eliminated tips and increased prices to accommodate the increased wage for employees. Aunt Mary’s Café and Toast have added 15% service charges to their bills to be divided up among the entire staff. Guests may tip in addition to the service charge. Other restaurants will simply raise prices to make up for the wage increase. Actual Café‘s Sal Bednarz has been an active supporter of the wage hike, despite the challenges he and other business owners are facing. In a press conference on Wednesday with Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, he said: “It was a difficult thing for me to do as a business owner, and I’m still unsure what the ongoing customer impact will be of having done that. We’re here today to remind all of Oakland that we’re doing this for good reasons. Spend your dollar where your vote was. Support the minimum wage increase by supporting small businesses in Oakland.”  … Continue reading »

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How to open an East Bay restaurant in boom time

Screen shot 2014-12-11 at 12.38.51 PM
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By  /Bay Area Bites

How many times do we go to restaurants each month—or week—and fail to really comprehend the physical process of pulling together all the elements that a restaurant requires, from permitting to plumbing, to every hoop jumped in between?

I tend to notice aesthetically pleasing design, but don’t go much beyond my hedonistic pleasure in identifying its lineage. My encounter with Travis Wirt, owner of Black Creek Builders, changed all that. Or rather, I should say, my encounter with many compelling Oakland restaurant spaces that Wirt has had his hand in made me aware of the process in a way I hadn’t considered before. … Continue reading »

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Best burgers in the East Bay: Nosh readers call it

Burgers from TrueBurger on Grand Avenue in Oakland, which got the most votes among Noshers
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A while ago (OK, three months ago — what can we say? We got busy reporting other news), we asked readers who makes the best burger in the East Bay? The answers came in thick and fast: juicy grass-fed beef burgers oozing with cheese and bacon, nutritious veggie sliders accompanied by garlicky french fries, gourmet gluten-free or straight-up regular — there was no shortage of favorites.

The votes were scattered over nearly 50 burger purveyors, and there was little wiggle-room between the total tallies for each restaurant, which just goes to show how spoilt we are in the East Bay when it comes to that all-important decision: where to grab a superior burger right now.

So, with the understanding that this was a totally unscientific poll, and that everyone was a winner, we give you the most popular burgers as voted by Noshers — and we’ve also created a nifty interactive map with details about each spot, so you know where to head to try local favorites. … Continue reading »

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Contest: Name that nosh 12.11.13

Victory Burger, Name that nosh, Dec. 11, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Think you know food in the East Bay? Prove it by naming the restaurant and dishes to win our latest contest. Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, II

Victory Burger: opened on Nov. xx. Photo: Victory Burger
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Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Freshly served…

VICTORY BURGER Last week, we gave notice that Victory Burger, a new venture in north Oakland from the folks behind Actual Café, was about to open. Well, the first official day of business was Friday. In addition to the burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes on the menu, there’s also roasted chicken banh mi and both pork and gluten-free veggie arepas (a cornmeal South American street food). There are also several interesting “add-ons” for both the burgers and fries that sound pretty delicious: Avocado Mayo, Chicken Skin Mayo (wait, what?), and Bacon Gravy. Victory Burger, 1099 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland.

INNA JAM INNA Jam, the artisanal preserve company started by former freelance commercial video editor Dafna Kory in Berkeley, moved into a new commercial kitchen in Emeryville at the beginning of the summer, and has been busy processing a big crop of berries and stone fruit since then. Kory also recently opened an INNA Jam store — really just a shelf in the corner of the kitchen. It’s stacked with jars of every jam they make, many of which are not available in retail stores or online. Regular hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdys from 2–5 p.m. (and by appointment). INNA Jam, 1307 61st St., Emeryville, 510-214-6620. … Continue reading »

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Actual Café spin-off Victory Burger to open soon

Victory Burger
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Update, 11.29.12: Victory Burger opened on Friday Nov. 23. (Read Berkeleyfarm’s snapshot review in the Comments.)

Victory Burger, a new venture from the good folks behind Actual Café on San Pablo Avenue, will open imminently, says Sal Bednarz, owner of both operations. How soon? Well, he wouldn’t be specific, but put it this way: burgers are cooking up on the grills already. “We will be open by the time you publish your story,” he told Berkeleyside Tuesday. (Given how quickly we go to press, we would advise readers to follow Victory Burger on Facebook for updates on its actual opening, however.)

The burger place, which is at 1099 Alcatraz Ave., next door to the Actual Café, will serve locally and sustainably farmed meat burgers, with artisan buns and organic produce, along with other sandwiches, crispy fries, and shakes. … Continue reading »

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