FLOUR & CO AIMS FOR OCTOBER OPENING While owner Emily Day had originally hoped to open a Berkeley outpost of her San Francisco-based Flour & Co. bakery in June, construction didn’t get going until later this summer. Now it appears that Flour & Co. is making progress; the bakery has a sign out front and much of the cosmetic work inside is completed. Flour & Co. will be a similar spot to the original Nob Hill bakery, with classic American pastries and cookies on offer, all made with the highest quality ingredients. The bakery, which will be located in the former Bread Workshop space, will also have breakfast and lunch menus, and it will be serving coffee from Stumptown, a popular roasting company out of Portland, OR. Day wrote on her blog that she will be training staff this week and hopes to open next month. Flour & Co. will be at 1398 University Ave. (at Acton). Connect with the bakery on Facebook and Twitter.
TACOS SINALOA OPENS TODAY The Berkeley brick-and-mortar location of Tacos Sinaloa is holding its grand opening today (and continuing through the weekend) at 2384 Telegraph Ave. The first 10 diners to arrive this Friday, Saturday and Sunday can snag a free order of three tacos and an agua fresca to wash them down. Additionally, Tacos Sinaloa is handing out a free taco for every two tacos purchased all day today. Tacos Sinaloa is one of the most popular trucks on East Oakland’s International Boulevard and until this point, had resisted building a brick-and-mortar spot. We visited Tacos Sinaloa during our 2013 tour of Fruitvale-area taco trucks, and we particularly enjoyed the chorizo, al pastor and shrimp tacos. Tacos Sinaloa is at 2384 Telegraph Ave. (near Channing Way), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
ENDGAME CAFÉ COMING SOON Old Oakland’s board-game store Endgame has been working on building an attached café since last spring. The café will function as a community-focused outpost of the store; guests will be able to play games, listen to live music and drink coffee (from Berkeley-based Supersonic Coffee) until the wee hours. The store successfully funded the café on Kickstarter, but construction has been slow going. Co-owner Chris Hanrahan wrote on the café’s Kickstarter page that they are “finally in the home stretch” after a year of construction. He added, “none of us, including our experts we hired, had any idea of how long this would really take.” Despite the delays, Hanrahan hopes to be open sometime in October. The Endgame Café will be 921 Washington St. (at 10th Street), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook and Twitter.
EMERYVILLE PUBLIC MARKET TO INCLUDE BREW PUB Construction is continuing to progress at the re-vamped Emeryville Public Market. We last brought you news of two new vendors, Mayo & Mustard and We Sushi, to join Shiba Ramen and KoJa Kitchen. Now, the E’ville Eye reports that a brewpub will be added to the former Broken Rack space. No word yet on the brewery moving in. We will keep you posted as we learn more. Public Market Emeryville is at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville. Connect with the market on Facebook and Twitter.
85ºC TO OPEN NEXT WEEK In November, we alerted you to the fact that a new bakery was coming to downtown Berkeley. The large 85°C Bakery Café is scheduled to open Sept. 26. The Taiwan-founded chain is putting the finishing touches to the space and has been hiring staff. Expect “five-star quality coffee, cakes and breads at not so five-star prices.” The first 85°C Bakery Café opened in Taipei in 2004 and the company now has more than 700 stores in Taiwan, China, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.S., including in San Jose. 85ºC is holding a grand opening celebration Sept. 26-27, offering a free coffee mug with all purchases of at least $20 and a sea salt drink coupon with the purchase of any drink. 85ºC Bakery Café will be at 21 Shattuck Square (at University) Berkeley.
MAI BANH MI UPDATE Two weeks ago, we mentioned the pending opening of Mai Banh Mi in the former Nina’s Nutritious Cookies spot at 61st and Telegraph. The sandwich shop appears to be opening imminently; it has a menu-board up and the owners are putting finishing touches on exterior paint. On the menu will be eight different banh mi sandwiches, including headcheese, pork cake and a vegetarian option, plus four types of spring rolls, a couple of salads and several rice/vermicelli bowl combinations. Mai Banh Mi will be at 6601 Telegraph Ave. (at 66th Street), Oakland.
What else is going on…
NOSH/AMELIE LAST CALL AT BERKELEY REP Cap off your night at Berkeley Rep after tonight’s performance of Amélie, A New Musical, and taste wine, spirits, and other culinary delights from local vendors. Samplings at the event, which is sponsored by NOSH, are free with your ticket and begin immediately following the performance. The recently opened Amélie musical, which is based on the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name, has wowed critics since it opened last week — including our own Emily Mendel who described it as “entrancing.” Amélie runs through Oct. 11. Visit tickets.berkeleyrep.org for more information.
EAT REAL FEST Oakland’s annual celebration of local, sustainable food and drink returns to Jack London Square for the seventh year this weekend. The Eat Real Festival is an event put on by Oakland’s Food Craft Institute, and includes vendors from across the Bay Area, plus live music and some pretty epic food demonstrations. Think a “whole-hog-athon” butchery race, a “celebration” of offal cuts, and master classes on cocktail mixology. Slightly more serious-minded guests should also check out the presentations on drought-conscious cooking and water-wise gardening put on by Mario Hernandez and Sunset Magazine, respectively. Another exciting addition to the festival this year is the “Cider Saloon,” which will showcase west coast ciders, including Oakland’s Crooked City. “It’s year seven of Eat Real Fest and we’re feeling lucky! Lucky to be able to call Oakland home. Lucky that we’ve been able to see Oakland grow and thrive over the past seven years. And especially lucky that we’ve been able to grow alongside this amazing community of crafters, makers and eaters!” said festival director Ally DeArman in a prepared statement. Eat Real is free to attend; all food items for sale are $8 or less. Eat Real Festival will be in Jack London Square, near Broadway and Embarcadero. Connect with the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
TOWN EATS FESTIVAL ALSO THIS WEEKEND For a lower-key, more Oakland-focused food party, head next door to the Town Eats festival, which will take place today through Sunday outside of Lungomare. The event, which is being organized by Chris Pastena and Oaklandish’s Angela Tsay, is “a three-day local pride event that will feature some of the best local drinks, beats and bites around,” according to the event’s website. On Saturday, Lungomare, Chop Bar, Haven, alaMar and Chowhaus will throw down in a pig roast contest, with guests able to purchase tasting plates ($4) or an all-you-can-eat plate ($20). On Sunday, five more local restaurants (Abura-ya, Lucky Three Seven, Black Water Station, Revival and Chop Bar) will sell $4 bites. Drinks from event sponsors Drake’s and Hangar One will be on offer. The East Bay Express had more details on the event, and Tsay told EBX that she does not intend to compete with Eat Real. “The intent is for everyone to enjoy both,” she said. Town Eats will be at 1 Broadway (at Embarcadero), Oakland. Connect with the festival on Facebook.
LAFAYETTE ART AND WINE FEST Those wishing to party on the other side of the hills would do well to venture to Lafayette for food, drink, music and art this Saturday and Sunday. Twenty-five beer and wine vendors will be in attendance, plus plenty of kid-friendly festival food like whole turkey legs, corn-dogs and gyros. The food trucks Street Dogs, Yummy BBQ, IzzyA’s Frozen Desserts, Sliders Truck and United Bites will also be on site. It is the 20th anniversary of the festival and is one of the largest annual festival in Contra Costa County. The Lafayette Art and Wine Festival will be at 3535 Mount Diabolo Rd., Lafayette. Connect with the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
HOPE COLLABORATIVE HEALTHY CHEF CHALLENGE HOPE Collaborative, a group of public agencies, community-based organizations and Oakland residents, is holding a recipe contest for local chefs. The Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge is asking chefs to create recipes for healthy and low-cost food items to be sold at corner store delis in East and West Oakland. Chefs and/or restaurants can enter or their own or team-up to submit entries in the following categories: sandwich, wrap or panini; salad; smoothie or juice; soup or stew; and bowl (like a rice or noodle bowl). All dishes must meet specific health-related criteria including the following: no fried foods or hydrogenated fats; menu items should feature minimally-processed ingredients; meat should be antibiotic-free and ideally pastured or grass-fed; and vegetarian options are required. There is a preference for dishes made with local and sustainable ingredients and HOPE Collaborative will prioritize recipes that can be sold for $5 or less. All entries will be showcased at an event Oct. 5. Both judges and audience members will vote on their favorite dishes. Even entries that don’t make it into corner stores may be featured in a collaborative cookbook. The recipe deadline is Sept. 30. Learn more about the Healthy Chef Corner Store Challenge here.