Homeroom takes mac and cheese to a new level. This isn't made from a box with powdered cheese. It's homemade with local artisanal cheeses to create dishes like Mac the Goat featuring chevre, and Mac and Blue featuring Point Reyes Original Blue™ cheese. All macaroni dishes (except the Vegan) can be ordered gluten-free, and can be customized with toppings like panko breadcrumbs, mushrooms or a fried egg.
Homeroom also has a variety of vegetable side dishes, and a customizable salad. During lunch hours, there are some sandwich options, too: the old school peanut butter + jelly, grilled cheese, or a BLT. When I was there, the restaurant also offered soup, though I don't see it on the regular menu.
On weekends, come for brunch, where you can enjoy homemade buttermilk biscuits with INNA Jam from Berkeley, a runny-egg sandwich, or a breakfast mac. The drinks menu adds mimosas made with fresh orange juice.
Homeroom serves homemade root beer, organic limeade, ice tea, and Blue Bottle coffee. It also has a good beer list, featuring local beers from Oakland Brewing Company, Drake's Brewing, and more. The wine list is diverse, with a variety of California reds and whites, and even a rosé.
I've been to Homeroom twice for lunch, and it's been busy both times, even for a late lunch. Despite the busyness, the host greets visitors promptly, and the table service has been excellent. On my first visit, one of the restaurant co-owners stepped out of the kitchen to see how my meal was.
As its name suggests, Homeroom is kid-friendly, comfortable, and has a few booths as well as tables. With tables made from old gymnasium bleachers and a wall featuring a large chalkboard with art, you’ll feel like you're back in school. The "frequent diners" cards for regular customers are even old library cards stored in an old wooden card file. I half expected the classroom clock on the wall to ring when it was time to go.
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