Bites: Icicles brings rolled ice cream to Berkeley, Alameda County OKs pop-ups for now, Eat Real Festival

Rolled ice cream from Icicles. Photo: Icicles

ON A ROLL Berkeley will get its first rolled ice cream shop when Milpitas-based chain Icicles opens a branch on University Avenue this weekend. Rolled ice cream is a Thai street food that’s become popular around the world since 2009; Oakland got its first rolled ice cream spot when Freezing Point opened in 2016. This made-to-order frozen novelty is made by pouring a thin layer of liquid ice cream base onto a frozen pan, then mixing in toppings and additions before the mixture is scraped into tight coils. Icicles makes its version with a custard base that can be customized with unlimited toppings, including fresh fruit, nuts, mochi, cookies, condensed milk, chocolate syrup and more. It also offers non-dairy sorbet rolls — or what it calls Fruit Roll Ups. Icicles will soft open Saturday, Sept. 15 from noon to 10 p.m. This will be Icicles’ tenth location in Northern California. Icicles, 1812 University Ave. (near Grant), Berkeley

POP-UP REPRIEVE Last month, when Oakland pop-up Nokni was shut down by an Alameda County health department for operating illegally, many in the East Bay food community were a bit in shock. Nokni proprietors Steve Joo and Julya Shin thought they were doing everything above board, as did The Kebabery, the restaurant hosting the event. After the news came to light, many in the local restaurant scene were worried; to be legit, they’d have to pay permit fees and go through many hoops, almost as if they were opening a brick and mortar. Were the days of running pop-ups to experiment, have fun and test new restaurant ideas over? Well, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Alameda County is reconsidering its strict interpretation of the California Retail Food Code, and for now, will allow pop-ups to operate. Colleen Chawla, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, told the Chronicle that the department will consider state code requirements and the safety of the public as it creates a new strategy to allow for pop-ups. Chawla also said that the department does not plan to shut down any more pop-ups operating out of legal restaurant spaces in the meantime.

More than 50 food vendors, including alaMar, will be offering affordable bites at the 10th annual Eat Real Festival. Photo: Lincoln Chu

GET REAL Oakland’s biggest sustainable food event, Eat Real returns to Jack London Square this weekend for its tenth year. Organized by the nonprofit Food Craft Institute, this free three-day feast-ival is all about supporting regional artisan food makers, and will feature more than 50 food vendors and 40 craft beer, wine and cocktail makers. As with past years, all the menus you’ll taste at Eat Real are from small to medium-scale food companies that use fresh, locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients.

Eat Real can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you go during peak eating hours when the lines are longest, so if you’re looking for something more intimate, you may want to check out the fest’s ticketed workshop events ($5-$25 each) on Saturday and Sunday. Workshops include a hog breakdown with Llano Seco and Berkeley’s The Local Butcher Shop (1:45 p.m., Saturday), a lesson and tasting on malts from Alameda’s Admiral Maltings (4 p.m., Saturday), a class on how to make chevre and ricotta in under 10 minutes (3:30 p.m., Sunday) and a workshop on making Tea Leaf Salad with Grocery Café owner William Lue (5:15 p.m., Sunday). Eat Real runs from Friday (3 p.m. to 10 p.m.), Saturday, (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) in Jack London Square, Oakland


International chain YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea opened in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

[Updated, Sept. 12] FRUITEA REFRESHMENTS Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea softly opened on the Southside neighborhood of Berkeley on Monday to a long line of excited boba fans. Located just across from the Cal campus, the Taiwan-based international chain joins an endless lineup of boba shops in the area, but it is banking on its reputation for its premium natural, additive and preservative-free teas to differentiate itself from other shops. Its namesake specialty is made with passion fruit, pineapple, apple orange and ching tea, but there are several variations of fruity teas, as well as black, green and oolong, winter melon and grass teas, as well as sugar cane drinks and milk teas with brown sugar pearls or grass jelly. Most drinks can be made hot or cold, and at your preferred sweetness level. Yifang’s soft opening continues through Tuesday; large size Yifang Fruit Tea is on discount for $3 (regularly $4.75) during this time if you follow its Facebook or Instagram pages. A grand opening will take place on Friday and Saturday, when large fruit teas will be buy one, get one free. The shop is open noon to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday.  Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea, 2516 Bancroft Way (near Telegraph), Berkeley

NEW CUPCAKIN’ DIGS As Nosh noted in our recent feature about the expansion of Berkeley’s Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, along with taking over the former Virginia Bakery space and opening a new bake shop at Swan’s Market in Old Oakland this fall, owner Lila Owens is moving her original location at 2435 Durant Ave. to a new spot on Telegraph Avenue. The new Southside location opens this Friday (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and will be giving out free mini cupcakes (while supplies last). Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, 2391 Telegraph Ave. (between Channing and Durant), Berkeley

SHOP + WINE Looking for an excuse to do a little shopping and drink a little wine next weekend? The Elmwood Wine Walk returns next Sunday, Sept 23 from 1-5 p.m., when more than 25 area shops will pour more than 50 wines for ticketed guests. Expect wines from East Bay makers like Donkey & Goat, Broc Cellars, Purity and Gearhead, as well as other local wineries, some small bites and live music, too. Upon checking in, participants will get a free wine glass and a map with participating locations and information about what wines are being poured. Tickets are $25 until Sept. 15, $35 after. Proceeds benefit UC Berkeley’s BUILD Literacy nonprofit, which promotes literacy for disadvantaged youth in Berkeley and Oakland. For more details visit www.shoptheelmwood.com.

Gilroy Garlic mac n’ cheese, mixed green salad and a buttermilk biscuit at Homeroom in Oakland. Photo: Sarah Han

AN APP(ROPRIATE) WAIT There are two things that are close to guaranteed when eating at Homeroom. You’ll be getting your daily cheese and carb requirements for the day. And during brunch and dinner hours, you’ll wait for a table at this Oakland mac n’ cheese hotspot since tables here are first come, first serve. Even after Homeroom opened its to-go spot in 2014, large crowds linger out front every night and on weekend days for their turn to feast. Homeroom owner Erin Wade knows that, and so she announced in a recent newsletter that the restaurant has sought out a better system.

“We’ve finally ditched the paper waitlist to join NoWait from Yelp,” Wade wrote in the Homeroom newsletter. “You can look up Homeroom on the Yelp app to see our current wait time and put your name on our waitlist from wherever you are coming from — just like if you were standing at our host stand. Of course, you can still just roll in in person if you prefer and get on the list when you arrive.” You might still have to wait to get your cheesy mac fix, but at least you can do it from the comforts of home (or a nearby bar). Homeroom, 400 40th St. (at Shafter), Oakland

4505 UPDATE Nope, the Oakland outpost of Ryan Farr’s 4505 Burgers & BBQ has not opened yet. Earlier this spring, we heard from the restaurant’s representative that construction delays have pushed back the restaurant’s East Bay debut, and it seems like we’ll have to wait a little longer before we’ll get to visit the Laurel District location at 3506 MacArthur Blvd. However, starting this month, 4505 Burgers & BBQ will have a temporary home in Oakland.

Every other Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m., 4505 Burgers & BBQ will offer smoked beef ribs, brisket, chicken plates and sides at Old Kan Beer & Co. in West Oakland. The first appearance was on Sept. 8, so you’ll have to wait til Sept. 22 to catch 4505 next. Old Kan Beer & Co., 95 Linden St. (at Third), Oakland