Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oakland Food News

All the news that's fit to nom or imbibe. There's lots going on in Oakland with restaurant openings and a few closings, beer openings coming up, and more. The annual Oakland Restaurant Week is coming up, January 18-27, with dozens of Oakland restaurants with special $20, $30 and $40 prix fixe menus.

The new, smaller Trappist off-shoot, Trappist Provisions, is now open on College Avenue. Thanks to Monteskewed for the tip.

Down the street, the gelato and frozen yogurt shop Miam Miam is closed with a 'for lease' sign in the window. Besides frozen treats, it served as a showroom and concept store for Miam Miam design. I'm not sure of the long-term status of that, but did receive an email saying things can still be ordered online.

Nearby, the new Ramen Shop opened on New Year's. Bay Area Bites has a post about the food, and some beautiful pictures of the food.

Further down College near the Rockridge library, I Squared has closed. I didn't even know they were there, but their website says they featured food "inspired by authentic Persian and rustic Italian cuisine (NO FUSION)."

There were lots of food truck happenings in 2012, but it wasn't all good. The East Bay Express has the report. While Bites off Broadway had a good year, the Clay Street food pod has closed for good. Simlarly, North Berkeley Off-the-Grid has closed up, but according to the East Bay Express report, chances are good that it will re-open elsewhere in Berkeley.

Even before I'd completed this post (which given the number of food- and drink-related things happening Oakland, isn't that hard a target to hit), I saw this report from Luke Tsai at the East Bay Express: Finally, Off the Grid to Make Its Oakland Debut - at the Oakland Museum.

There's lots of intriguing beer news for Oakland. First up, Simon Waddington reports on Google+ on the new place planned by the owners of Beer Revolution. It will be next door in the old train station on 3rd Street, and fittingly, be called The Old Depot Public House. It will feature vegan German- or European-themed food, and should open in February.

Christina at East Bay Dish has the scoop on the planned opening of Rosamunde in Old Oakland. Like the popup in Uptown, they'll be featuring sausage and other grillables, and have 16 beers on tap. They're having a grand opening this Wednesday, January 9.

Speaking of beer (and pizza), Simon Waddington also reports that "Forge is forging ahead, looks like they are planning for a January opening". The sign I saw still said "Winter 2012", so we'll see.

Including some of the above, East Bay Beer has info on nine beer places opening in Oakland plus others in the East Bay. Go Oakland! I'm particularly intrigued by Diving Dog Brewhouse, which is described as "Beer bar, bottle shop, and brew-on-premises (basically brewing your own beer, with help, and without having to purchase homebrew equipment). Opening sometime in March." Not only do you not need to purchase brewing equipment, but the staff do the cleanup work. From a beer-drinker's standpoint, it's a great way to be introduced to the brewing process and make some good beer. In as past life, I worked on a brew-on-premises and bar. Lousy pay, but great benefits.

On the subject of coffee, @CoolhandLuke tweeted to keep an eye out for the Get Goes Coffee van. Various locations, including every Saturday on Lakeshore near Brooklyn.

Christina of East Bay Dish says Timeless Coffee has opened. It features non-dairy coffee drinks and vegan baked goods. Based on the address, I think that's where Rooz Cafe was. As far as I know, the Rooz Cafe on Park Blvd. is still open.

In other coffee news, Bay Area Bites has a story on CRO Cafe in Temescal Alley, just off 49th.

Also from East Bay Dish, Christina had the scoop on the cocktail menu at newly-opened Nido near Jack London Square that I reviewed last month.

Some changes are in store in the Oakland food scene. The former Cafe 504 at 504 Wesley Avenue is now Haddon Hill Cafe. They had a grand opening this past weekend, but I wasn't able to attend. For those of you wondering about the Haddon Hill name, you can learn more on the Oakland Urban Paths walk this Saturday. H/T to @MrOakland for the info.

Another change in store is Zatis on Piedmont will be replaced with a restaurant called Homestead. Inside Scoop SF has the story. The restaurant will feature farm-to-table food and homey decor, and the ETA is some time this spring. It's being opened by a couple Fred and Elizabeth Sasson. He was most recently cooking at Camino, and she was a sous chef at Waterbar in SF.

District in Old Oakland is expanding. Again from Inside Scoop SF comes the news that they'll be doing takeout on the 9th Street side via a new space called District Carriage House.

Another change is Nick's Pizza in Bushrod (North Oakland). It's where Pizza Plaza used to be, and instead of vegan pizzas (which were very good), it has "Oakland style pizza". Get the story from the East Bay Express.

News that's been coming for a while includes Miss Pearl's in Jack London Square is shutting down. It's going to be replaced with Lungomare, which will feature northern Italian cuisine. More details from Inside Scoop SF, which says this past Sunday was the last day.

OK, this post is way longer than I'd like, but there's just too much food-related news going on in Oakland. A great problem to have, I know.

Christina Mitchell of East Bay Dish has a report on the newly opened Victory Burger, next to Actual Cafe. I sampled the food back at the Oakland Indie awards, and more recently went in to try the veggie arepa (a new food concept for me). I'll have a review coming up soon.

A couple of different articles on Miss Ollie's in Old Oakland. I first heard about them around the time of the HellaWeen Fun Run through Oakland. There's a post from Inside Scoop SF, and one from Oakland Local. Perhaps their ascendance will help make up for the loss of Miss Pearl's which also featured Caribbean food.

The NY Times has an article on the surge of bagel makers in Oakland, with a focus on Baron Baking.

Luke Tsai of the East Bay Express has an extensive review of Destino on Grand.

Ellen Cushing of the East Bay Express has a review of Portal in Eastlake.

Michael Bauer has an extensive review of Hopscotch on SFGate.

SF Eater has info on a "high-end Mexican" restaurant coming to Uptown near Broadway and Grand.

Not far away, Duende had a sneak peek back in December, according to a post on Uptown Place Homes.

Still in Uptown, Oakland Local has an overview of nearby sandwich options.

Last and certainly not least, the Crossroads Collective Cafe has opened at 942 Stanford, and is having a special brunch on Sunday (1/13) to raise funds. It features food from Phat Beets Produce, the Oakland-based CSA. K and I have subscribed to Phat Beets since 2011, and we love it.

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