Bites: Gordo Taqueria on Telegraph closes, La Bedaine update, Berkeley city vegan rule

Gordo Taqueria Berkeley. Photo: caltex98/Flickr

GORDO ON TELEGRAPH SHUTTERS Southside Berkeley fans of Gordo Taqueria will have to head to the Elmwood or Albany to get a taste of the Bay Area taqueria chain. The location at 2404 Telegraph Ave. closed on Saturday, Sept. 15. Two days before its closure, the restaurant posted a note on its social media pages (and on its door): “Saturday night, we’ll be hanging up our aprons for good at our Telegraph Ave location. It’s been an amazing 8 years due to our incredible staff and wonderful customers. We can’t thank you enough for supporting us and we hope to see you at our other locations! We will miss everyone there! ¡Adios amigos!” Nosh has made several attempts to find out the reason for closure, but have not yet heard a response. Rumor has it that Jalisco Mexican Food, which has branches in Campbell and Oakland, will take over the space.

[Updated with correction, Sept. 20] LA BEDAINE UPDATE Several Nosh readers have gotten in touch to find out why La Bedaine, the French take-out and pastry shop at 1585 Solano Ave., has been closed. La Bedaine was opened in 2009 by Alain Delangle, and has been a reliable spot for Francophiles to get tarts, eclairs, quiche, paté and other French offerings to enjoy at home. According to its website and voicemail, the shop was closed for the Labor Day holiday and was set to reopen on Sept. 1, however it never did. We had heard from various sources that Delangle had a medical crisis and that the shop was not only closed, but sold, however we received an update from a friend of Delangle that this is incorrect. While Delangle did suffer a stroke, he is currently recovering and plans to reopen the shop as soon as he is better. We’re very happy to hear this and wish Delangle a swift recovery.

Sophie Hahn and Cheryl Davila are two of the three Berkeley City Council members that introduced the new Green Monday resolution. Photo: Emilie Raguso

HELLO, GREEN MONDAY Last week, Berkeley City Council passed a resolution requiring that on one day a week, only vegan foods can be served at city meetings, facilities and events. The Green Monday resolution was introduced by council members Sophie Hahn, Kate Harrison and Cheryl Davila as part of the city’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a commitment that the city made in its Climate Emergency Declaration this June. The resolution states, “By systematically reducing meat and dairy consumption, the citizens of Berkeley can accomplish two objectives; substantially reducing our collective greenhouse gas emissions and serving as a model for other municipalities across the country and around the world.” Berkeley is the first city in the U.S. to participate in Green Monday, although at this time, the day of the week that the city will go vegan, and when the program will go into effect is still TBD. Along with requiring plant-based foods at city events and meetings, the resolution also calls for programs educating the public on how food choices impact the environment.

HOMEMADE FOOD BILL UPDATE This month, the home cooks community had a huge victory. The California State Assembly and the Senate both passed legislation AB 626, or the Homemade Food Operations Act, with zero opposition. And yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law. The bill legalizes the small-scale sale of meals made in home kitchens, was authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and has been the main project of C.O.O.K. Alliance, a volunteer-run group that includes founders of the now-defunct food startup, Josephine.


Spasso in Rockridge has reopened as a non-profit café and community arts and events space. Photo: Spasso/Instagram

SPASSO REOPENS When Rockridge coffee shop Spasso closed its doors for renovation in July, it hinted on Facebook that it would be back as something entirely new. Over the weekend, Spasso reopened, not only with a new look, but under new ownership and as a non-profit café and community events space. Nosh is currently working on a longer feature about the new Spasso, so stay tuned. Spasso, 6023 College Ave. (between Claremont and Chabot), Oakland

A dish by Abstract Table chefs Andrew Greene and Duncan Kwitkor is made from beet, shittake mushroom, furikake granola and fish caramel. Photo: Dana Plucinski

EDIBLE ART Earlier this year, Nosh highlighted a pop-up dinner series at the Gastropig called Fine Dining on Paper. The project from chefs and best friends Andrew Greene and Duncan Kwitkor was a way for the duo — who first met in art school and worked in the kitchen together at now-closed Rockridge restaurant, Duchess — to flex their creative muscles, challenge their culinary skills and try to make people think about food in a different way.  The original concept, to serve a coursed tasting dinner without using formal dinnerware, was a way to make fine dining more fun and approachable. After three sold-out Fine Dining on Paper events, Greene and Kwitkor have announced that they’ve morphed the project into a permanent dinner series at the Gastropig. Now called Abstract Table, the events will feature multi-course tasting menus ($50 for five courses; $70 for seven) influenced by Japanese and “unexpected global flavors,” and will change concepts, or “exhibitions” as the chefs call them, every three months. Abstract Table will offer two seatings (6  and 8:30 p.m.) on Fridays and Saturdays starting on Oct. 5, with hopes of expanding to five nights a week next year. Reservations can be made via resy.comAbstract Table at The Gastropig, 2123 Franklin St. (between 21st and 22nd), Oakland

A NEW POP Berkeley Bowl shoppers may have noticed new cans of soda on the shelves next to the kombucha. OLIPOP, an Oakland-based company, is now available at the Bowl, along with Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and will be heading to more Bay Area stores  (and maybe some restaurants) soon. OLIPOP is a sparkling tonic made with prebiotics, compounds which are found in high-fiber foods that feed the healthy bacteria in our digestive systems.

OLIPOP comes in three flavors (Cinnamon Cola, Strawberry Vanilla and Ginger Lemon), each containing 30-35 calories per can, 3g of sugar from fruit juices (juices are mainly for flavor; the tonics mostly get their sweetness from Stevia) and most importantly, 9 grams of dietary fiber, in which the prebiotic properties are found. The drinks get their prebiotics from plant-based ingredients like extracts of chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, kudzu root, cassava fiber and other botanicals that are purported to nourish good gut bacteria.

These tonics may appeal to kombucha drinkers who have heard that probiotics may be more hype than healthy. And with cute can designs and flavors that emulate familiar soda flavors, the founders are also hoping to find converts amongst regular pop drinkers looking to change to a healthier option. The rub: the tonics do have an herbal flavor (some more than others; I thought Strawberry Vanilla was the best tasting), and the Stevia does give them a noticeable bitterness that may not bother diet soda drinkers. Whether or not OLIPOP will find its audience is yet to be seen, but with a growing interest in the microbiome, there’s a good chance that we’ll be seeing more prebiotic foods in the future.