Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
the BUNRAB blog spot
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If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.
March 25 thru 31, 2006
... is slathered with a zingy jalapeno
spread and inflated with ham, mortadella, Italian salami, tomato, lettuce
and cheese. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful and made for those
more interested in tastiness than daintiness. It has been my experience
that most places with uber-supersized portions are neglectful when it
comes to taste. Luckily for me, this double D of a sandwich did not waver
Ham, turkey roast beef tomato, lettuce and cheese separate
the Dutch doors of bread. This wasn’t as tasty
as the Darby Dan, but it was still good.
... that is filled with ladies who lunch and blow air kisses. It’s a cafeteria style sandwich shop filled with big, hungry boys.
... had a generous portion of roasted, sliced,
slightly fatty, duck. The cilantro, mint, chili tomatoes, red
onion, carrot, scallion, cukes and iceberg lettuce was a pleasant marriage
of crunchy freshness with a pleasantly sour, savory depth.
Gelato Milano may sound like a highly abbreviated haiku or a Pepperidge Farm enhanced ice cream but it’s really a little scoop shop near the Berkeley Bart station.
See’s candies used
to be rooted here, but grafted onto it’s sugary stump is now a gelateria
which serves up some fridged raters.
... which you can fill with up to two flavors. I chose Asian pear and grapefruit. From the sound of it, you might think that these are light ices, but they are actually, cream enhanced, fruity concoctions. The Asian pear was good but I favored the grapefruit which had a nicely balanced tang and sweet level.
The space is Spartan verging on clinical but warmed up by a hospitable counterperson. I’m glad to see this glimmer of gelato hope in Downtown Berkeley which always feels like a hub rather than a destination. Busses and bart shuffle people to school and work as they cel yell (or just yell without the cel.) Most of the shops are uninviting, the vibe is cold. But now there is somewhere both cold and inviting to visit on the warm days to come.
Is this the beginning of the Gapification of food? Will all the Panda Expresses and Jamba Juices of the world be replaced with Gregoire Kings and In N Out the Doors? Only time will tell.
... of mini chocolates at Alegio. These chili, espresso and scotch dark chocolates are made in New York by a woman who supplies custom creations for to this shop.I particularly liked the heat of the rich chili ganache.
The people who run it are very friendly and knowledgeable. They were also slicing off samples to test drive before you buy. Gotta love that.
I checked out the half dozen liquid offerings at Soop:
... in the new Epicurious Gardens. They were out of the black eyed pea and kale so I scanned the rest of the pots.
This bright tasting, hearty, vegetarian soup was delicious. It’'s ginger infused rootiness was made with organic carrots from Mariquita farms, potatoes, almonds, sour cream and sherry. You can buy add ons like croutons, pestos and seeds, but I went with just the basic package and it was sooper.
Just down the way, Dom Petroff Caviar looks like it should open any time now.
The big question on my mind is if there is a caviar audience in the ghetto (okay, okay, gourmet ghetto.)
The footprint of this caviar-teria
is very small and the idea of caviar is that it's a luxury food. Will
this work in a food court? Will the elite meet to eat on the street? Maybe
this can start a new trend. You know how Cristal Champagne was transformed
into “Chrissy” due to its popularity with rappers? Maybe Dom
Petroff will experience that same rapification. Maybe you will slide up
in your Escalade for some 'petro” while others compare you to their
local grocery to see that you've got more karats than aisle D and more
bread than aisle G…and speaking of bread, doesn't this cash register
seem a little small for this pricey operation?
I passed by the Kirala 2 stand:
... (which looked on par with the sushi in their restaurant) and proceeded to the Socca Oven:
... which is the latest addition to the sprouting Gregoire empire. Socca Oven makes little chickpea flour based flatbreads. These pizza-esque disks are baked in their non-wood burning (yet rustic looking) oven:
Little copper pans are filled with a thin layer of batter, baked and then topped with a choice of vegetarian or meatatarian toppings.
My Bay Scallops Socca ($7.25):
... was topped with braised fennel, a generous
number of bivalves and a squiggle of saffron aioli. You get a
little tub of olive oil with your socca, I tried it and decided it didn't
really add anything to this particular preparation and I gave it a needed
sprinkle of Maldon salt (that I happened to be carrying with me.)
I do have a twinge of guilt when I eat at Gregoire's because of the nice, heavy duty, single use, packaging. Socca has a smaller version of this box and it's a shame that there isn't the option to use a small paper plate for customers who want to consume them on the spot (this is environmentally correct Berkeley after all.)
Gluten haters, dairy intolerant and wheataphobes
should find themselves in a culinary womb. Their food doesn't even use
sugar which I consider a health food (well, at least a mental health food.)
Aftershocks at the Epi-center:
... were sitting dormant. The bottles
of Sean Thackrey’s wine Siriusly mocking me (when I could have used
a belt of Orion.)
... which contained a Moroccan spiced leg and
thigh, medjool date and almond couscous and a slaw made with
preserved lemon, harissa and chermoula.
... or you can take your meal into the small courtyard.
Once they get the wine pump primed,
I imagine that the bar area will fill up pretty quickly.
Entire contents copyright © 2006 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.