Posts Tagged ‘lakeshore’

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Restaurants coming out my ears (or: the spring restaurant report)

May 11, 2010

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted any restaurant news….which means there’s a whole lot happening to report! Here’s a quick pass at what’s coming up. (I’m quite sure I’m missing a bunch of stuff, since I haven’t been paying much attention to much of anything but work and wedding planning this spring….but I promise to catch up this summer!)

Temescal/Pill Hill

  • Little Mac, a macaroni-and-cheese restaurant (?!? sign me up!) that will also have craft beer and tasty sounding salads and desserts, is slated to open at 40th and Shafter this fall.
  • Commonwealth is due to open later this month at 29th and Telegraph, and will be a British-style pub. If they have good fish and chips, we will be regulars!

Piedmont Avenue

  • Sparky’s is indeed open. And it is indeed an extension of the burger place up in the hills.

Grand Lake
Grand Lake is kickin’ this spring!

  • Mimosa reopened as Mimosa Ethiopian Restaurant at Santa Clara and Grand.
  • YaYu Ethiopian is also now open on Lakeshore where Vine used to be.
  • La Taza de Cafe plans to reopen (yay!) where the Grand Lake Neighborhood Center used to be on Lake Park. There will apparently be a small Cuban takeout place next to a larger cabaret, says the Splash Pad newsletter.
  • Good Chemistry Baking, a gluten-free bakery, will open where Daily Delectables used to be.
  • Yogofina, another of the trendy tart yogurt shops, is coming soon on Lakeshore (and also to Montclair Village).

Uptown/Upper Broadway
…but not as much as Uptown!

  • Pakxe is going in at Broadway and 30th where Union Auto used to be on Auto Row. This is super exciting because it’s the first reuse of an auto space on the main Auto Row drag. (Mua also reused an auto space for their Webster Street place.) No clue what kind of food it will be, but the name suggests Laotian.
  • Plum, Daniel Patterson’s new restaurant,  is coming soon where Louisiana Fried Chicken used to be—and will be expanded in the coming months to include a bar where Franklin Square Wine Bar used to be. This is exactly what I was hoping for in this space. (Well, okay, I didn’t necessarily have a chef in mind, but broadly, it was the perfect timing to combine the two spaces and really make use of Franklin Square’s plaza, as FSWB was doing.) Go Uptown! Also, it is named after a William Carlos Williams poem that was one of my favorites in high school, which bodes well…
  • Xolo, the new taqueria from the Dona Tomas/Flora crew, is still under construction.
  • Uptown Café & Crêpes is now open at 21st and Franklin.
  • Bakesale Betty is open at Broadway and Grand! (Woohoo! Now if only they had weekend hours…)
  • More pizza! Hurray! (Because, in case you haven’t figured this out, D. and I really, REALLY like pizza.) Mua is expanding into the space where the short-lived Cafe Noir used to be on Webster, and will be making pizza for me (okay, and everyone else in town…) (Cafe Noir had a wood oven, so I presume it stayed with the space.) No details yet. (Incidentally, is this Uptown? Or Upper Broadway? Or still Auto Row? Curiouser and curiouser….one of our neighbors predicted we’d live in Uptown in ten years’ time, and I do have to say that it seems to be creeping this direction!)

And falling off the radar…

  • The third Pizzaiolo location in Uptown now has a “for lease” sign back in its window, which I presume means that project is toast. Boo. (But at least we’ll always have Boot and Shoe…)
  • Kotobuki Sushi on Piedmont has moved to Montclair.
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Dine About Oakland: Arizmendi

April 7, 2009

I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood that not only has an increasing number of nice spots to get dinner or a drink, but also has some of the best value spots of any place I’ve lived. I realized recently that I’ve never written any of them up, though, which is terrible because we actually eat many more meals there than at the schmancy places I’ve posted about! So in homage to the recession, I’m going to devote a few posts to some of the wonderful under-ten-dollar spots we have in Oakland.

First up: Arizmendi. This little bakery and pizza joint on Lakeshore near Grand is actually one of three locations that were all modeled after the Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley, which opened in 1967. (The other two are in Emeryville and San Francisco.) The Cheeseboard philosophy is that employees and owners should have equal power and equal wages, so each employee is a shareholder and member of the board of directors. The Arizmendi locations, which are each independently owned but which all use variations of the Cheeseboard recipes, all serve cookies, pastries, breads, soups, and pizza. (On a side note, you can also buy the Cheeseboard cookbook, which includes many of the recipes; it’s one of the few “restaurant cookbooks” I have where the recipes do really turn out just like the real deal! But don’t let that stop you from visiting the store, either, since there’s nothing quite like sitting on Lakeshore with pastry and coffee on a Saturday—or, since their new hours went into effect, Sunday!—morning.)

Inside the co-op, just out of view of the racks and racks of tasty baked goodness! (From Foodhoes Foraging)

Inside the co-op, just out of view of the racks and racks of tasty baked goodness! (From Foodhoe's Foraging)

One of my favorite things to do is to walk along the lake on a Saturday morning to hit up the farmer’s market and then Arizmendi for some coffee and pastries—or better yet, a pizza lunch! Here’s the deal: there’s one kind of pizza each day. Period. It’s always vegetarian, and it’s always on a thin crust. Ingredients are fresh, local, and often organic. You can buy it by the slice (which often includes a sliver), as a half pie, as a whole pie, or half-baked if you want to finish it off in your own oven. Ingredients are often creative, so if you see things like lemons or walnuts or anise on the list, just trust the chefs, because it’s always goooood.

Mmm....pizza! (More from Foodhoes Foraging))

Mmm....pizza! (More from Foodhoe)

Arizmendi also sells excellent breads and a small assortment of cheeses. The breads are on a rotating schedule, so you either need to be willing to go with the flow or remember to check the schedule in advance. For breakfast, there are scones, muffins, sweet breads (including “Chocolate Things!”), and occasionally sticky buns and other special treats. Coffee is fair trade and cheap, or you can head across the street to Peet’s if you’re hankering for a fancy latte. Cookies come in a wide variety (my favorite is the chocolate chip pecan, especially on days when it’s super crispy) and are sold by the pound. (Bread used to be sold this way too, but lately seems to be priced by the loaf; it’s still quite reasonably priced, though.)

For eat-in customers, there’s a small indoor seating area and an even smaller (and dog-friendly) sitting area outside that’s great for Lakeshore people watching, but most of the business is takeout. The best thing about Arizmendi? Pizza for two with drinks and some cookies for dessert is under ten dollars! Breakfast runs even cheaper—often under five dollars for two. The staff are also wonderful, which makes waiting in the long weekend lines bearable. Take a walk around the lake and treat yourself afterwards….you won’t regret it!

Grade: A
Price: $