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Stanford-area substitutes for my Berkeley faves?

To be more specific on some questions (now that I've read through all the posts -- and thanks everyone, again!) -- I like all kinds of cuisines; I just had my go-to places in Berkeley all worked out (especially when on campus or when guests were in town) and now I find myself at a loss, and Yelp over-hype has led to disappointments (Tootsies, Cascal, I'm looking at you). My go to places in Berkeley/Oakland area (in addition to those mentioned) were things like Great China, dopo, Rivoli, Corso, sometimes Cesar, Venus and La Note, Yali's, and my favorite taquerias (Monte Cristo, at Univ & Sacramento). Really, Fonda and Gioia are what I miss most!

Thanks particularly to bbulkow and Michael for great recommendations! It's really helpful to hear comparisons to specific Berkeley locales. I didn't do a lot of thai and indian in Berkeley, but it sounds like going for a different set of cuisines might be in order...

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Cascal
400 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041

Great China Restaurant
2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Rivoli Restaurant
1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

Yali's Cafe
1920 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Nov 27, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Stanford-area substitutes for my Berkeley faves?

wow -- off a few days for thanksgiving and here I've opened a whole Berkeley - Stanford rivalry! :)

Thanks everyone for your recommendations -- these should be enough to keep me busy for a while, at least. I do live around Mountain View though I'm at Stanford nearly every day and have had trouble finding lunch, in particular. I am totally fine with driving around & exploring the Peninsula as long as there are good eats at the end of the journey!

Nov 27, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Stanford-area substitutes for my Berkeley faves?

Stanford may have won the big game, but it sure doesn't beat Berkeley for food. Help me out chowhounders - I've moved to Mountain View and can't eat as well (or as cheaply) as I'm used to. What are some Peninsula gems that will help me adjust?

I did find Milk Pail and Dittmer's Meats, but where would you go for a slice like Gioia's or tapas like Fonda (and please don't say Cascal!)? Any recommendations for either shopping or dining would be greatly appreciated!

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Cascal
400 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041

Fonda
1501 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94707

Gioia Pizzeria
1586 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA 94707

Dittmer's Gourmet Meats
400 San Antonio Rd Ste 4, Mountain View, CA 94040

Milk Pail Market
2585 California St, Mountain View, CA

Nov 25, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Fun restaurant with nonalcoholic cocktails?

Resurrecting this post: I am in this exact same boat - I turn 30 (and 22 weeks) in August. I am very, very tired of faux mojitos and faux just-leave-out-the-alcohol type drinks -- they usually don't taste that great. I'm coming from out of town and would love a couple additional recs . . . !

Lard at Berkeley Bowl West

I just saw it at Berkeley Bowl West yesterday. It was not refrigerated - it's to the left of the tortillas in the Mexican food aisle, second shelf from the bottom. They're all turned so that the spanish name (starting with M?) is facing out, but you can see "LARD" from the top.

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Berkeley Bowl West
920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

Apr 02, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to buy skate?

concur berkeley bowl west - yesterday. And often the Monterey Fish Market on Hopkins in Berkeley will have it, too.

Apr 02, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Papa Don't Preach: Monday Night Sushi Recs needed

Thanks Denago! I have been thinking of choosing between Tataki and Umi (Tataki is closer to their hotel, too). Anyone else want to weigh in? I really appreciate it.

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Umi
1328 18th St, SF, CA

Mar 22, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Papa Don't Preach: Monday Night Sushi Recs needed

Fellow Chowhounds, I'm in trouble deep. My friends visiting from the ancestral homeland (a landlocked state) have requested sushi tonight. I don't want to awaken the SF v. Vancouver v. L.A. v. NYC sushi fight, I just want a recommendation for a good sushi place IN SF proper (otherwise we would just go to Kirala - my stomping ground!) that is open tonight.

I have tried Yelping around to find places open Mondays - Umi, Tataki, Sushi Zone/Time/Puzzle, & Okose appear to be highly rated. Any thoughts on these? All the chow threads I saw for seem to be 3-4 years out of date, but please do direct me to any relevant recent ones I missed.

Thanks!!!

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Kirala Restaurant
2100 Ward St, Berkeley, CA 94705

Umi
1328 18th St, SF, CA

Mar 22, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Tomate Cafe (5th Street, Berkeley)

What's that? Delicious, hearty, perfectly balanced brunch food with no wait in Berkeley?

I see Tomate Cafe has some old posts, but apparently there was an ownership change since then. I don't really know anything about that, I just know that I love my french toast with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, slivered almonds, and real maple syrup. Which also comes in a half-order. I'm just sayin', when you order the french toast "with fruit," it's something special when you only get fruit you actually *like.*

I've eaten a lot of brunch in Berkeley in the past 7 years. Tomate is the only place I've ever gone 3 weeks in a row, and ordered something different each time. (Jumpstart, French Toast, eggs Beatrice. I think I'm going to stick with the Jumpstart for a while, though I am curious about the huevos rancheros.) And just to be clear: I am not an adventurous breakfaster -- it's just that everything sounds good! This is a great place to go with in-laws, with kids, with groups, with the hungover, with your sweetie, and with people you want to be able to hear.

I'd be interested to hear what others' experiences have been! (I wonder if this place will start getting more crowded once the new 4th street apartments are in?)

Mar 01, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: La Bedaine - Reasonably-priced French pastries, house-made smoked sausages, pates and French dinners to go

Over the past 3 weeks, I have tried the Veal Blanquette, Coq au Vin, Canard a l'orange, Lapin a la moutarde, Boeuf bourgignon, and the rabbit terrine. Everything has been, overall, FANTASTIC, though I found the interior of the veal a bit overdone. I have cassoulet and filet mignon in my fridge waiting for me.

All the packages are now labeled with ingredients and an eat-by date, and the instructions are printed on cute yellow cards. Non-stew/saucy meals are now also available (filet mignon and a salmon dish) -- those must be eaten w/in 1 week.

I cannot express the joy I feel when I can get home, tired and late, open a bottle of wine, make a salad, boil a couple of potatoes and one of these meals, and split a glorious, hot, delicious French meal with my husband.

Mar 01, 2010
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

where to find a standing beef rib roast

Magnanis in Berkeley has prime rib roast priced at $11.99/lb -- I know b/c that's what I'm making!

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Magnani Poultry
1576 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA

Dec 22, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

what is eVe in Berkeley?

A few times now I have passed what looks like a restaurant on University Ave. in Berkeley, just west of Chocolatier Blue, called Eve. or eVe. When I walked by a week or so ago, there was no menu or suggestion of what it served in the window, and I can't find any website or reference to it here or on yelp. Has anyone been to this place? What's the scoop?

Dec 06, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Specialty food stores?

I feel like this follows up on this thread - would everyone mind sharing where they buy their salt? I am putting together a salt sampler as a Christmas gift (seems to be the 'thing' this year). I usually do my tea/salt/jam/cheese shopping at Country Cheese on Hopkins in Berkeley. They have about 6 types of salt behind the counter: Fleur de Sel, gray sea salt, smoked salt, Balinese sea salt, and Himalayan pink salt. They also have lavender salt, but I'm not so sure I'd include that. I saw they also have packaged Flor de Sal right now.

Where do you buy your salt?

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Country Cheese
1578 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA

Nov 28, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Bistro Liaison - Berkeley

thanks for posting! that sounds wonderful -- I haven't been to Bistro Liason in several years and I think it might be time for another trip...

Nov 23, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Good dim sum near downtown SF? (other than Yank Sing)

Thanks for the review of your visit! I have guests coming this week and "dim sum in Chinatown" is on the list....

Nov 09, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

The revenge of the Chayote leaves

RW - maybe you live near me??! (I *have* seen you on the SF bay area board...) several years ago my neighbor had a *huge* chayote that went over the fence and completely encircled our little yard (berkeley). we ended up with bagfulls, but unfortunately (I was pre-Chowhound) I had no way of finding out about them. Now the plant has returned, but is obviously more in check, as we only have one vine and, so far, 3 chayotes... planning to grill them tomorrow... yum!

Sep 05, 2009
meels in Home Cooking

what to do with 15+ lbs. unripe plums?

Thanks!! these are great -- keep them coming!

Jun 13, 2009
meels in Home Cooking

what to do with 15+ lbs. unripe plums?

A branch broke off my satsuma plum tree and I have a bag full of hard green plums. Anything I can do with them besides compost?

Jun 13, 2009
meels in Home Cooking

Happy Hour Roundup Request for SF

Hi All,

Summer is officially here... and so are legions of penniless interns looking for after work spots that won't break the bank. I am familiar with Berkeley but not SF, and I would appreciate it very much if everyone could weigh in on their favorite happy hour spots. Bonus points for places that are accessible to downtown by BART or Muni and have a younger vibe. Super bonus points if someone knows a place like an Italian aperitivi bar where the food is free if you order drinks...!

My current favorite happy hour spot in Berkeley is Cioccolata di Vino -- I like wine, tapas, and desserts -- but this list is not just for me, so please reply with all your favorite places!

Thanks! Meels

Jun 13, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Monterey Market Changes

And anyway, Bill is still a 20% owner and presumably still involved in various aspects of the business, so any boycott efforts will hurt him, too. (Not directed at you, Wally, just in general.)

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/daily...

Jun 13, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Monterey Market Changes

Point taken -- but then the quality of produce will go down, not because the family necessarily *wanted* lower quality, but because people are refusing to sell in order to protest Bill's departure.

Jun 13, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Monterey Market Changes

I have just returned from MM and I wanted to share my theory about "changes."

I found all the produce exactly the same: tomatoes (in types and prices), potatoes, salad mix, corn, several types of cherries, berries, chard, onions, green garlic, etc. English peas were cheaper. ;)

However, MM is now carrying the full line of Clover Organic dairy goods. And cheddar cheese.

So my theory is this: MM is not going to change its produce -- after all, that's its biggest asset. Rather, MM is carrying more types of packaged goods. This change has been a long time coming -- those Turkish juices in the back, the Odwalla stand, those expensive little crackers, salsas, etc. etc. If -- and this is just a theory -- if carrying packaged goods wasn't in the original vision, such changes might have started the family rift that ended with Bill's departure. The family wants the store to be more profitable -- do they do that by messing with the produce, which is why everyone comes? No. Instead, they offer additional things that shoppers like me usually get at Trader Joes or Safeway, *in addition* to produce. Like cheddar cheese and hamburger buns.

PS they now also have 00 Flour in the bins.

Jun 13, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

cake flour & baking supplies in the bay area?

but spun sugar WILL have an awful lot of frosting, sugaring, and decorating supplies... http://www.spunsugar.com/

Apr 30, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

the Berkeley Bowl tamale lady

I've seen her (if it is the same woman) outside Monterey Market too. Husband and I were going to get morning buns from the bakery... but he wanted a tamale (chicken) instead. we had to go back for another! Really nice, really cheap. I mean, I'm sure there are better out there, but she's *right there*...

Apr 30, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO cookies, scones in Berkeley for tea party

I imagine this is a little late, but here's an idea for future reference... Spun Sugar is a cake decorating shop on University Ave. in Berkeley (at California) and it sells little, pre-made frosting flowers. Make cupcakes - even from a mix and canned frosting - and plop some frosting pansies and roses on them in 1s and 3s, and you have instant cute for a tea party...

Apr 05, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Cioccolata Di Vino (Berkeley)

I just went there tonight! First, I have to say that I am in love with the concept. I've always secretly wanted to own a dessert and wine bar, and many times I think when it would be too expensive to go out, it would be nice to go somewhere just for a dessert and a nice glass of wine.

That said, they also have a really nice selection of savory small plates, which are WAAAY better priced than those at, say, Cesar. Though tonight I had a selection of both, so it didn't really end up cheaper than dinner at a mid-range restaurant...

I had (shared) a prosciutto wrapped cheese drizzled with a basil oil (cheese = can't remember the name of, online menu not updated...!), then the bruscetta di caprino, and finally the involtini di melanzane. Everything was really fantastic. PARTICULARLY the involtini. For dessert, I had chocolate-polenta cake, which was really nice, moist, etc, and my husband had the affogato (espresso on vanilla gelato) -- the gelato was really amazing. I had a glass of the "Aspirino" bubbly and hubby had the red wine flight. Everything was really tasty and our server was very good.

It's a really different vibe than other "small plates" places in the east bay -- much less "bar"-like, more cafe like. Better for a date... quieter... actually when I was there all the other customers were groups of women. It would a great place for wine and dessert after work with the gals.

Plus, it's open late -- 11pm on weekends!

Mar 31, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley cafes - are any of them chow-worthy?

I've always liked Yali's - I really love their sandwiches, particularly the mozzarella and the grilled veggie. I've seen plenty of people with to-die-for salads. And I really enjoy their bagels in the morning (add tomato and cucumber!).

I know I'm not the only Berkeley grad student to go in with work in the morning, order coffee and a bagel and sit along the wall, then get up a few hours later and order lunch, and then another coffee...

http://www.yaliscafe.com/index.html

Mar 02, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

Meridian Int'l Sports Cafe in Berkeley, anyone?

We went here the other night - it was almost totally empty, but the waitstaff was really pleasant and we sat by the fire (and the giant cookbook collection!). The server had really great beer recommendations - I told him what I usually liked and he suggested a new one they'd just gotten the day before. It wasn't even on the menu, and it was really excellent. (was it Firestone??)

The fish and chips were really good, as was the burger. Two entrees and two beers for I think $44 - left full. A great deal.

Mar 02, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

New in Berkeley - seek advice from local hounds

Second Jayakarta!

And try Monterey Market - closer to North Berkeley than Berkeley Bowl. And check out that whole block - Magnani's Butcher, Country Cheese (and Coffee), the Monterey Fish Market, the Bakery, and of course Gioia's Pizza!

Feb 12, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area

a coffee shop near civic center?

Thanks everyone! I ended up walking around a lot and went all the way to Cafe de la Presse. But if I get the job, then I'll definitely try all these places for lunch!!

Good to know that you don't have to pay admission to go to Cafe Asia...

Feb 12, 2009
meels in San Francisco Bay Area