EAT REAL FESTIVAL It’s that time again! One of the best annual East Bay food fests, Eat Real, is back this weekend for three straight days of major pigging out. Eat Real is put on by nonprofit Food Craft Institute in Oakland’s Jack London Square, and features a huge assortment of some of the best food and drinks made and sold by local vendors, winemakers and brewers, all using locally grown and sustainable ingredients. Oh, and there are cooking demos, chef appearances, tasting events, a craft market and live music, too. This year there’ll be more than 70 food vendors and over 40 craft beers, wines and cocktails to imbibe, so we recommend peeping the schedule before you go, perusing all the vendors and what they’re offering once you’re there, and then figuring out a game plan (do you spread out your tastes over the day, or come back on day two and three?) to maximize your gut space for all that delicious stuff you’ll want to eat and drink. We’re loosening our belts just thinking about it. Some highlights from the event schedule include a chef spotlight with Preeti Mistry, who will be sharing her recipe for Tikka Masala Macaroni and Cheese that she serves at Navi Kitchen (5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22); a half-hog breakdown with chef Mike Yakura of Dobbs Ferry (2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23); a sausage stuffing demo with “Sausage Queen” Susannah Schnick of Picnic (3:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23) and a cheese and butter making demo with Preserved. All of those events are free, but burger lovers should note that there’s a special ticketed burger tasting event ($20-$25 admission) at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with Anya Fernald of Belcampo Meat Co., who will be leading an in-depth discussion and tasting of the best meat grinds and preparations for your burger. Eat Real runs from Friday, Sept 22. (3 p.m. to 9 p.m.), Saturday, Sept. 23 (10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sunday Sept. 24 (10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) in Jack London Square, Oakland. Free admission.
JUHU BEACH CLUB TO CLOSE Speaking of Preeti Mistry, yesterday Eater broke the news that the chef is closing her five-year-old Indian restaurant, Juhu Beach Club in Temescal, that she co-owns and runs with her wife, Ann Nadeau. The restaurant space (which comes with its liquor license and kitchen equipment) is currently up for sale — according to Inside Scoop, she still has five years left on her lease. Mistry said that although Juhu will close at its current Oakland location, “it’s not going away” and hinted that it’ll reappear in another format, and perhaps another city. For now, Juhu Beach Club will remain open until the restaurant sale closes — probably within the next few months — so get thee to Juhu ASAP before it’s too late. Fortunately, even after Juhu closes, you can still get a dose of Mistry’s food at Navi Kitchen in nearby Emeryville. And The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook coming out next month, so you can replicate some of your favorite dishes ’til the next iteration of JBC rises again. Stay tuned on Nosh; we’ll keep you abreast of new details as they emerge. Juhu Beach Club is at 5179 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st St) in Oakland.
EL DESTILADO TAKEOVER Calavera in Oakland specializes in an upscale, California take on regional Mexican foods, like ceviche, huaraches, and even quesadillas made with chicatanas (ants) and chapulinas (grasshoppers). But if you’re looking for a taste of contemporary Mexican food from a restaurant in Mexico, you’ll want to visit Calavera on Sunday, Sept. 24, when El Destilado, an Oaxaca-based eatery known for its coursed tasting menus, takes over the Calvaera kitchen for the night. This will be the second time El Destilado does this event at Calavera, and this year, it’ll be offering a five-course dinner for $60 ($30 extra for beverage pairings) featuring dishes like hamachi crudo with charred avocado and aguachile, veal sweetbreads with chayote and black beans, a 12-hour pork belly confit with Oaxacan XO, rabbit with peanut sauce, and stone fruit panna cotta with a flor de cacao infusion. Before the dinner, El Destilado will also be offering a tasting of rare mezcal from Cinco Sentidos for $20. Reservations are not necessary for the mezcal tasting, but dinner reservations are required. El Destilado Takeover takes place on Sunday, Sept. 24 (4 to 6 p.m., mezcal tasting; 6 to 8 p.m., dinner) at Calavera is located at 2337 Broadway (between 23rd and 24th streets) in Oakland.
S’MORES ICE CREAM CONES National Ice Cream Day is on July 16, but National Ice Cream Cone Day is on September 22. This sweet day celebrates those crunchy edible scoop holders —whether they be waffle, sugar or cake cones — that make eating ice cream a little more fun. And, if you visit Sweet Belly in Oakland, you can choose to enjoy your soft serve in one more cone option — a s’mores cone. In honor of Ice Cream Cone Day, Sweet Belly is offering this special cone for the week (now through Friday, Sept. 22). This is a dark chocolate tuile cone with a white chocolate rim dusted with graham cracker dust and filled with a marshmallow at the bottom. Sweet Belly is at 435 19th St. (at Broadway) in Oakland.
SHIHLIN TAIWAN STREET SNACKS COMING TO BERKELEY Cal students will soon have a new snack spot to fuel their studying. Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, an international chain with more than 150 locations worldwide specializing in “popular snacks from the alleys of Taiwan’s night markets,” is opening its newest location in Berkeley. As first reported by East Bay Express, Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks will open in Durant Square, and will feature dishes like ji pai (a deep fried chicken cutlet; what Shihlin calls “XXL Crispy Chicken”), two types of braised meat rices (rice bowls with braised minced meat, usually pork, on top), jiayi chicken rice (rice bowl with shredded chicken) and handmade oyster mee sua (oyster vermicelli soup). Shihlin will also serve Taiwanese drinks like lemon ai yu jelly (a beverage that contains a jelly made from the seeds of Taiwanese figs), winter melon tea, smoked plum juice (a sweet and sour beverage called suanmeitang) and Taiwanese root beer. Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks will softly open on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24, when it will offer guests a free drink with purchase of XXL Crispy Chicken. Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks will be at 2521 Durant Ave. (between Bowditch and Telegraph) in Berkeley.
CHEF MOVES FROM ALTA TO GATHER Anthony Lee, who was last heading up the kitchen at Daniel Patterson’s Alta, is now executive chef at Berkeley’s Gather. Lee, an Oakland native, was once the head chef at the Hotel Durant (now called the Graduate) in Berkeley. Gather has had the same menu for the last eight years (and the same chef de cuisine, Charis Wahl, since 2012). According to the restaurant’s director of operations Jodi Munson, Gather brought on Lee because it “felt it was time for a major refresh.” Rather than creating a completely new menu right off the bat, Lee will first figure out what’s working on the menu and what needs improvement. From there, he’ll bring on new offerings and put his stamp on Gather favorites. Expect a new menu from Lee in early fall. Gather is at 2200 Oxford St. (at Allston) in Berkeley.
T-REX IS NOW DISTRICT 1 Nosh reader Mary Beth Ray sent us a tip that Berkeley BBQ restaurant T-Rex has changed its name. It’s now called District 1 Fire & Hops. We contacted the restaurant, which confirmed the new moniker, saying that they had been working on the transition for the last several weeks, fully launching as District 1 on Monday. Although they are keeping some of T-Rex’s menu items, including its brisket, ribs, popcorn catfish and some of its salads, the restaurant’s new focus will be less on BBQ and more on a seasonally-focused and locally-sourced menu for lunch and dinner. As its name suggests, it’ll also focus on beer, and will offer brews like an eight-month old barrel-aged sour beer. District 1 will also soon offer shuffleboard. District 1 Fire & Hops is at 1300 10th St. (at Gilman) in Berkeley.
HIGH HOLY DAYS FARE If you’re looking for places to get challah or chopped liver to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (September 20 to 22) and Yom Kippur (September 28 to October 1), look no further than Market Hall Foods in Oakland and Berkeley, and Saul’s in Berkeley. At Market Hall, both of its stores are offering a High Holy Days menu, with offerings like tzimmes (an Ashkenazi stew), noodle kugel, braised chicken with pomegranate and tamarind, and salmon skewers with za’atar yogurt olive oil sauce. At Saul’s, there are Rosh Hashanah offerings, like challah from Oakland’s Grand Tavern Bakery, chopped chicken liver (or a vegetarian alternative, roast walnut and bean “liver”), brisket with walnut and prunes tzimmes, wild mushroom and kasha stuffed cabbage, and chocolate or poppy seed babka (FYI: Saul’s will be closed for Yom Kippur). Market Hall is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter) in Oakland and 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware) in Berkeley. Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen is at 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine) in Berkeley.
OKTOBERFEST IN THE EAST BAY Here are two East Bay Oktoberfest celebrations worth noting. First up, since Oktoberfest is a beer-lover’s favorite event, we’ll start by mentioning the second annual OkDROberfest. From noon to 5 p.m. on October 7 in San Leandro, okDROberfest (“Dro,” as in San Leandro) will be held at three breweries: 21st Amendment Brewery, Drake’s Brewing and Cleophus Quealy Beer Co. Each taproom will offer Oktoberfest-themed entertainment, food and beer. And ticket holders won’t have to worry about getting safely from place to place, as there will be a brew-hop shuttle that’ll transport folks between each spot, as well as the San Leandro Bart Station. (Safety first!) A $20 ticket ($25 at the door) gets you a commemorative stein, one 10-oz pour at each brewery and a ride on the brew-hop shuttle. Get tickets and more info about OkDROberfest here. If you’re looking for something a little more campy, there’s Lake Chalet‘s third annual Oktoberfest on the Lake, when the waterside restaurant goes full Bavarian. For $25, attendees will get a special stoneware beer stein filled with a choice of Oktoberfest Lager, Regatta Red Ale, or Lady of the Lake Blonde Ale and a day of Oktoberfest entertainment, including German traditional music from oom-pah band Deutscher Musikverein, sing-a-longs, a yodeling contest, a costume contest and a stein-holding contest. Lake Chalet will also offer a special food menu featuring housemade German soft pretzels, beer-braised beef brisket sliders, crispy pork shank confit and pork schnitzel meatballs. And yes, your server may be wearing lederhosen. Oktoberfest on the Lake takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. Lake Chalet is at 1520 Lakeside Dr. in Oakland.
ELMWOOD WINE WALK We see a fun, tipsy afternoon in your future, should you partake in this weekend’s Elmwood Wine Walk. Ticketholders will get a wine glass and a map to 24 participating retailers and restaurants who are pouring vino. There will be more than 70 wines to taste, so take your time and enjoy the stroll. The event is a fundraiser by the Elmwood Business Association. Tickets are $25 on Eventbrite ($30 on day of event). The Elmwood Wine Walk takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24. Check-in at Anton Salon (2887 College Ave.), McGuire Real Estate (2991 College Ave.), or the table on the lawn next to Wells Fargo (2959 College Ave.) in Elmwood, Berkeley.