Berkeley’s Three Twins is now Noble Cow Creamery; an Indonesian-Mexican brunch pop-up in Oakland

Plus, a mana’eesh pop-up from Dyafa chef Mona Leena Michael; Zing! Cafe taco stand; Yellow Door opens in Montclair; and more East Bay food news.

Cups of Noble Cow Creamery ice cream come with a mini waffle cone. Photo: Noble Cow Creamery
Cups of Noble Cow Creamery ice cream come with a mini waffle cone. Photo: Matthew Johnson

Noble Cow Creamery on Fourth Street

In April, when Marin-based Three Twins announced it was ceasing operations due to COVID-19, Matthew Johnson, the owner-licensee of the Berkeley location of Three Twins on Fourth Street had just recently applied for a small business continuity grant with the city. Three Twins was over, but Johnson still had time on his lease, and coincidentally, had already been thinking of converting the business to an independent scoop shop before the pandemic started. He explained his situation to the city, and lo and behold, got a grant, which helped him pay rent and utilities, and rebrand the shop into Noble Cow Creamery.

Open since mid-June, Noble Cow offers small-batch, handmade ice cream that is prepared on-site. Ten of its 16 flavors are available at a time, with the shop rotating in a new variety whenever one runs out. Johnson uses Straus organic base for his dairy flavors; coconut cream for the non-dairy, non-sorbet flavors; and fresh fruit from local farms, like blueberries from Duckworth Family Farm in Sebastapol and strawberries from Stony Point Strawberry Farm in Petaluma.

Three Twins fans will likely find flavors at Noble Cow that’ll please their tastebuds. Johnson, who’s run the shop since 2017 and has become familiar with many of the regulars, said that he wanted to start Noble Cow with flavors he knew would do well, like cookies and cream, mint cookie, strawberry and chocolate, before branching out to try anything too novel. “Three Twins is beloved by many; I didn’t want to go too far out of the box,” he explained. Whichever flavor customers try, Noble Cow has a pretty sweet deal — any size scoop in a cup comes with a free mini-waffle cone on top. The shop is open 12:30-8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Sunday; 12:30-9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Noble Cow Creamery, 1809-A Fourth St. (between Delaware Street and Hearst Avenue), Berkeley

The gado-gado tostada is an IndoMex take on the Indonesian salad with peanut sauce and a Mexican tostada. Photo: Nora Haron
The gado-gado tostada is an IndoMex take on the Indonesian salad with peanut sauce and a Mexican tostada. Photo: Nora Haron

IndoMex brunch pop-up in Oakland

Chef Nora Haron, best known for her Singaporean-Indonesian eats at now-closed Drip Line in West Oakland, has an exciting new brunch pop-up coming soon to Oakland. As first reported by Eater SF, Haron will be collaborating with Mexican fried chicken pop-up Xingones to create a breakfasty menu of Indonesian-Mexican fusion dishes, like beef rendang chilaquiles, pandan flan and a sambal salsa made with Early Girl tomatoes and Fresno chiles. IndoMex will launch Aug. 23 at Fort Green (where Xingones has its indefinite residency) and will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday for takeout and outdoor dining. And for those missing Haron’s Drip Line eats, you’ll be glad to hear she’ll be offering a few of her signature dishes, including Singapore chicken rice, laksa and nasi lemak. Pre-orders can be made online a day in advance of the pop-up. IndoMex brunch, Fort Green, 736 Washington St. (at Eighth Street) Oakland


Chefs pop-up on Adeline Street

Jack London Square Palestinian restaurant Dyafa may be closed, but its executive chef Mona Leena Michael has found a way to share her food with the public during this time. She recently started hosting a Friday pop-up in the Emeryville Triangle neighborhood. From noon-3 p.m., or until she sells out, Michael will offer savory mana’eesh flatbreads topped with za’atar and olive-oil ($9), hummus cups with sumac pita chips ($9) and thick, creamy labneh (yogurt spread) flavored with jalapeño and garlic for dipping ($2). Cash and Venmo only. 5200 Adeline St., (at 47th Street), Emeryville

Just three blocks away, and also on Adeline Street, the owner of Berkeley’s Zing! Cafe has been operating a neighborhood taco stand for the last month. Along with tacos ($3 each), the stand sells burritos, quesadillas ($8.50-$10) and weekly specials (last week, it was enchiladas rojas). Catch the Zing! taco stand from 6-9 p.m., Friday through Sundays on the corner of Adeline and 44th St. in Emeryville. It also makes an appearance, Saturday and Sunday, at the Ashby Flea Market in Berkeley.

Hot pizzas are back at the Cheese Board

In case you didn’t notice, Cheese Board Collective expanded its hours and offerings earlier this month. The cheese store and bakery is now open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and the pizzeria is back with hot pies (woohoo!) and salad, 5-8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For now, the pizzeria is serving half and whole pies only, no slices; partially baked pizzas are still available all day at the bakery. The Cheese Board, 1504 and 1512 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine), Berkeley

Poulet in North Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

Poulet reopens for takeout, delivery

We admit we were a bit worried that Poulet, the 41-year-old North Berkeley deli institution, was not going to reopen after it closed in April due to the shelter-in-place order — you really never can be too sure these days. But last week, Poulet announced its return, with new safety measures. Customers can pre-order its signature chickens, entrees, deli salads and sides online or over the phone (510-845-5932), to pick up at the door (don’t forget your mask!) or have delivered to their door. Welcome back, Poulet — you scared the cluck out of us. Poulet, 1685 Shattuck Ave. (at Virginia Street), Berkeley 

Yellow Door opened in Montclair Village in late July. Photo: Yellow Door
Yellow Door opened in Montclair Village in late July. Photo: Yellow Door

Yellow Door opens in Montclair

Last June, Nosh spoke with Virginia Davis, co-owner of Mulberry’s Market in Piedmont, who, at the time, was in the first stages of opening a not-yet-named cafe with friend Beth Barrett in Montclair Village. Late last month, it opened with the name Yellow Door, and according to area residents, it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Yellow Door is still in soft launch mode, and is currently serving masked walk-up customers coffee drinks, iced tea and kombucha on tap, along with breakfast items, sandwiches, frittata, soups and salads. Prices range from $5-$11 for eats, with additions, like house-baked salmon and Mary’s roast chicken, available for some dishes at an extra cost. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Yellow Door, 6466 Moraga Ave. (at La Salle Avenue), Oakland


Sunny Side Up becomes Solano Junction

Sunny Side Up, the breakfast and lunch joint in Albany, has changed hands again and has a new name. Now called Solano Junction, the restaurant is operated by RK Dev (who also owns Four Corners Pizza Pasta & Sports Bar in El Sobrante) and chef Lila Neupane. The new owners took over in July, and according to the website, in deference to the eatery’s history, have made “as little change as possible to the menu or the quality of food.” Dev and Neupane do plan to eventually add dinner service and serve wine at Solano Junction. As for its history: Some may remember that Sunny Side Up was previously Sunny Side Cafe, the first of two locations of the popular breakfast spot headed by chef Aaron French (The Berkeley location is still called Sunny Side Cafe, although it appears to have changed ownership, too). Sunny Side Cafe became Sunny Side Up in 2014, when it was sold to Victor Twal, but many of the original menu items were still available despite the name change. Today, Solano Junction diners will also notice many Sunny Side classics, like the Wildcat Benedict, Pigs in a Blanket and The Alameda (French toast sandwich), on the new menu. Dev and Neupane say they’ll continue Sunny Side’s tradition of sourcing from local Bay Area vendors. Solano Junction, 1499 Solano Ave. (at Curtis Street), Albany  

Since opening As Kneaded Bakery, founder Iliana Berkowitz has been dedicated to supporting other small business owners. Photo: Hanna Maass Photography

As Kneaded Bakery’s Local Lady Larder

San Leandro’s As Kneaded Bakery used to throw a quarterly pop-up, inviting local women makers to sell their wares at the bakery. With in-person events on hold, As Kneaded owner Iliana Berkowitz has come up with a way to continue the concept in a pandemic-safe way. On Aug. 26, she’ll launch a new section on the As Kneaded online shop called Local Lady Larder, offering a selection of edible goods from small women-owned businesses from across the Bay Area. Local Lady Larder will stock the following products: nougat from Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie, jam from Maison de Monaco, granola from Nana Joes, teas from Naturacentic, honey from Sweet Serendipity, olive oil from PRMRY, farm-direct nuts from Nuts Plus Nuts, chocolate brittle from NeoCocoa, pickles and jerky from Real Mojo Foods, crisps from Diane Love,  ice cream from Koolfi Creamery and milk teas from Bay Cha.

Sarah Han is Nosh editor at Berkeleyside. Email: sarah@berkeleyside.com.