ernie in berkeley's Profile

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China Village (Albany) is open!

The spicy beer duck noodles is one of the richest dishes I've ever encountered, with the duck fat combining with the red oil to create a deep and comforting mouth feel. Excellent stuff.

Private Dining for marriage proposal

It's too bad that the Bay Bridge lights are shutting down, because down by the waterfront would be nice and there are lots of restaurants nearby.

Tasty Italian Meatballs for a birthday celebration?

Luca Cucina Italiana, in Berkeley on San Pablo a block south of University, has excellent meatballs. I'm not sure they take reservations, but I've never seen it crowded.


Miss Veg will probably appreciate the eggplant parm.

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

In other Berkeley pastrami news, Smoke BBQ on San Pablo now offers it. It's excellent, but they don't always have it, they don't always have rye bread, and--bless their Texas hearts--they'll offer to put BBQ sauce on it. Skip that, ask for the dijonaise or straight mustard.

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Also at Saul's, their house-cured pastrami. They use Acme rye bread on both.

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

Good point.

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

I was surprised yesterday when I got a sausage slice, and the price was $4.25. All of the slices with toppings are now at that price, which I think this is the highest I've seen in the area. This puts a two-slice lunch, without drink, at $8.50. Still very tasty, though.

ET correct the price of two slices.

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

I was just in one of the House of Curries (small East Bay chain, this was the one in Albany) and they offer goat "curry", vindaloo, karahi and tiki-masala. I haven't tried any of them, though, but everything else I've had there has been great.


Fish taco friday [San Francisco]

Fish tacos were the dish of the month a year ago, and there might be some leads in the topic.


Downtown Berkeley Food Ideas

Warning: loud autoplay music at the tigerlily website.

Hasnia - Algerian restaurant (Berkeley)

>student days in Paris

Next time you go, mention that to the manager, in French. He'll be thrilled, and his French is better than his English, so it'll make communication easier.

$2.99 Rosenblum zin--how and why?

Non-vintage, but the winery gives a number to each batch. This one is 37, which might be the latest. The winery itself is selling 36 for $8.25. Which adds to the suspense.

Mar 02, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

$2.99 Rosenblum zin--how and why?

Trader Joe's Bay Area stores are currently selling the entry-level "Vinters Cuvee" zinfandel from Rosenblum at $2.99 a bottle. This wine normally retails for around $12.00.

Could those ITB explain how and why both Rosenblum and TJs sell it so cheaply? TJ's would probably have had to pay $1.00-$1.50 per bottle. Why was Rosenblum so eager to unload this mostly harmless wine, and why didn't TJ's set the price at a more normal $5.99, about the average for their bottom of the line zinfandels.

Mar 02, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

Best current option for Shanghainese anywhere in the Bay Area?

Hyperbowler maintains a comprehensive list of regional Chinese cuisine places here, and there are lots of Shanghai listings.


Hasnia - Algerian restaurant (Berkeley)

It's in the nabe, so I stopped in for lunch today. Chicken couscous ($12.95) was nicely flavored and was even better with a little harissa stirred in. The portion was large, enough for me to bring home half of it for later. The starter chopped vegetable appetizer (tomato, roasted chilis, olives) was really good with that bread (I asked about it, and they said it wasn't house-made, but it was fresh and warm).

Kebab sandwiches on the same baguettes, at other tables looked fantastic, and I've heard good reports about their lamb and wheatberry soup. Individual skewers of meat are $3.60, and one of these with the soup would make a great lunch.

Your Favorite $5 or under bites in San Francisco

Coming in just over the wire at $5.00 is the SuperDuper mini burger (single patty).

Kouzina Greek Street Food, Montclair (Oakland)

I can't tell whether Souvla offers gyros at all (I've never been there). I thought it was all souvlakia (cubes of meat skewered and grilled).

Kouzina Greek Street Food, Montclair (Oakland)

I was just coming over to mention that about the gyros. It probably isn't the usual Kronos mystery-meat cone (I share Ridge's dismay about the Kronos product).

Simply Greek does use the cone meat, but their souvlakia are properly seasoned and cooked and not greasy at all.

But I'm also little disappointed that it's another gyro and souvlaki joint. We really need more mid-priced full-menu Greek places around here.

best pizza by the slice

Mostly harmless, decent enough. The crust is a little bland. I wish they would offer fresh slices (not reheated) occasionally, as Arinell does.

best pizza by the slice

I posted the link in another topic, but this is probably better. I mostly agree, especially after the excellent slices I had yesterday at The Pizza Shop on 24th in the Mission. And I happen to like Arinell.

I wouldn't dismiss this as just "one guy's opinion", though. Kenji is an editor at Serious Eats and posts the regular in-depth "Lab" articles, and has dozens of articles about pizza on that site.

Best Cheese pizzas?

Lauriston already opened a new topic, no need to split the thread.

Best Cheese pizzas?

This is probably a good topic to talk about Kenji Lopez-Alt's Serious Eats article, The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco [actually, the Bay Area].


I mostly agree with him, especially on The Pizza Shop on 24th in the Mission. And I do like Arinell.

SFBA Dish of the Month (Feb 2015) - Nominations/Voting


chowdown at Ancient Szechuan in El Cerrito 1/25/15

I liked both noodle dishes, and loved the steamed love fish (very spicy!). I agree about the potatoes, not much flavor, and to a Western palate undercooked. The West Style fish soup was exactly what I needed--I had a cold coming on, and while I can't attribute it to the soup, the cold never fully materialized. The Black Fungus was a harmony of umami and lemon.

The menu is greatly expanded from the past, and prices were remarkably low, several dollars less than China Village. Lots of the dishes were less than $10.

Cozy, quiet, comfortable place with good pizza in Berkeley-Oakland area?

Another one: Benchmark Pizza at the Kensington circle.

Cozy, quiet, comfortable place with good pizza in Berkeley-Oakland area?

I go for Sunday lunch mostly, and the brunch dishes are fine, and there's no wait, and there's soft jazz playing. You do have to ask for the pizza to be well cooked, though. The only failure recently was the onion soup, much too sweet and not much depth. However, friends of mine have noticed service lapses at dinner.

Cozy, quiet, comfortable place with good pizza in Berkeley-Oakland area?

Nizza la Bella? (ask for the crust to be well done)

Saturday breakfast spot in East Bay: Good food, Not too crowded

Casa Latina's business is mostly takeout, and I've never seen it crowded since they expanded their space. There's lots of room to spread out. Breakfast dishes are limited, though, so you might want to check the menu in advance.

If the weather is good, their sister-restaurant, La Mission on University, would work if you could sit on the patio. Seating indoors is very limited.

That early, Meal Ticket on San Pablo would probably work out as well.

Cafe Leila on San Pablo always has people hanging out for hours, talking or using the WiFi.

Why does Trader Joe's pasta taste sweet? [moved from General Chowhounding board]

This topic was started in 2010, so the problem has been around much longer than six months.

Jan 04, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Chains