Rip van Wafels Launches Coffee & Tea Subscription

Categories: Coffee

Rip van Wafels
By now, his wafels are a staple in third wave coffee shops, but Abhishek "Rip" Pruisken is just getting started. He's the man behind Rip Van Wafels, those thin, caramel-laced wafels modeled off Dutch stroopwafels that have lately become a mainstay in cafés all over town. Coffee may be a quickfire business -- the faster we get our morning cup the better -- but Pruisken is advocating for a slower approach. His entire branding scheme, in fact, is based on the plea to take more breaks. Stroopwafels are as much a ritual as they are a food item, designed to be rested on the lip of a cup of coffee or tea, to be enveloped in the steam and the flavors rising from the cup, assimilating some of the stronger flavor notes.

See also: Three Coffee Drinks You Don't Know But Should
Meet Kilovolt, High-Voltage Coffee Coming to Oakland
Meet the Newest Coffee Game in Town: Red Bay Coffee Roasters

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Dive Bar Bite: Carnitas Tacos at El Cerrito's El Autlense

Ferron Salniker
Carnitas tacos at El Autlense

The vibe at Tacos El Autlense is not unlike other taco truck scenes. It's sunset on a rare Bay Area evening when it's warm enough for a woman wearing flip-flops and a tank top to sit comfortably on her car hood, with tacos on white paper plates scattered around her. A toddler and her grandmother are singing the Frozen song for the third time, and a guy trying to recover from happy hour suddenly realizes as he orders that he needs to borrow a dollar. There's the metallic clinking sound of the spatula hitting the griddle and the smell of freshly chopped onion floating out from the truck windows. The only unusual thing is that El Autlense sits in the driveway of Albany's oldest bar, the Hotsy Totsy Club.

See also: Drink of the Week: Bitter Rivers at Hotsy Totsy

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They Juice by Night: Thistle Juices, on Valencia

Pete Kane

When I was informed that Thistle Juices churns out its product at night, my first thought was, "That is so goth. Is this some kind of anti-macrobiotic thing?" But it turns out that these radiant, colorful juice blends -- which are the very opposite of Siouxsie and the Banshees or a dead flower corsage -- are made during the wee hours because that's the only time they can run the machines and still average a mere 24 hours from farm to bottle.

See Also: BeBeBar, Juice for Hippies by Dolores Park

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Malaysian Breakfast at Lime Tree in the Richmond

Pete Kane
Sambal with okra and green beans.

Lime Tree Southeast Asian Kitchen, a perennial favorite in the Sunset, has opened a second location on Clement Street and it is a must for anyone who's ever in the mood for a slightly different take on more familiar Asian cuisines (Malaysian, in this case). Better still, they're open from 9 a.m. for breakfast, if savory rice and noodle dishes are something you'd be into first thing in the morning.

See Also: Kin Khao Serves Thai Food Like You've Never Experienced
Lers Ros Thai Comes to the Mission

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Drink of the Week: Bone Machine at Third Rail

Lou Bustamante
The icy stare of a Bone Machine Cocktail
Some bartenders hate doing it, others relish it. Like it or not, naming a cocktail has an impact. Some names are certainly more utilitarian and descriptive of their ingredients than others, but those that aren't help create expectations, define a mood, and craft a story of a drink's character and past.

When I saw the Bone Machine ($10, bourbon, oloroso sherry, amaro, bitters) on the menu at Third Rail under the Spiritous section, I imagined it was named after a ruthless mixed-martial artist. An extremely slow and packed ride on the T line -- one in which a drunk young professional was threatening to topple over and crush us for the entire 30 minutes -- necessitated something with intensity in the place of mercy. This drink was the perfect remedy, more grappler than brute; the bourbon's strength, the sherry's blatant audacity, and the amaro's citrus wallop landed a deliciously dark strike directly on my mouth.

See Also:- Drink of the Week: Catching the Paris to Milan at Range
- Jerky & Cocktails: Third Rail Opens in Dogpatch Tomorrow
- Drink of the Week: Sacramento Cocktails

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The Perfect Five-Minute Drip Coffee at Home (And Other Fun Facts), From Mr. Espresso

Categories: Coffee, Oakland

Andrew Freeman & Co.

Third Wave coffee has done a good job at closing the door behind it, leaving companies like Peet's and that one with the mermaid to seem like lumbering giants better at pushing dark-roast concoctions on malls in Orinda rather cultivating a purer appreciation of coffee. It's patently untrue, of course: Peet's was founded in Berkeley, and Blue Bottle clearly has galactic-conquest aspirations. But the battle lines are drawn. Small-scale roastery Mr. Espresso doesn't easily map onto them, having been roasting beans over oak in Oakland since 1978 for high-end cafes such as Coffee Bar and restaurants such as Perbacco or flour + water. I got the chance to look at the facility and glean some wisdom from a family-run business devoted to yielding the perfect Neapolitan cup as flawlessly as any temple to coffee on Valencia Street.

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East Bay Bite of the Week: Ethiopian at Café Colucci

Categories: Berkeley

Yelp - Epicurean S.
The vegetarian platter at Café Colucci is better and more filling than it looks. 

Along Oakland's northernmost stretch of Telegraph Avenue, there are a few particular blocks that, for whatever reason, are absolutely saturated with Ethiopian food. But none, of the thousand or so that have wedged their way somewhere between the Marxist Library and Pet Food Express, is quite so exquisite as Café Colucci.

See also: East Bay Bite of the Week: Fried Chicken Rice Bowl at Hawker Fare
East Bay Bite of the Week: Barkada's Burger
East Bay Bite of the Week: La Taqueria Familia's Labor of Love, Fish Tacos

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Bubble Watch: $3333 Sundaes and $125 Martinis Are All the Proof You Need

Categories: Controversy


If you want proof beyond your own intuition (and possible schadenfreude-smeared hopes), that the tech bubble can hold no more air, you could look to a Valleywag article which notes that as prominent tech stocks decline, the reaction in Silicon Valley is growing panicky as investors try to claim that down is actually up. Wall Street doesn't seem to approve of those 44 percent of all Twitter accounts never having tweeted, but the company's defenders say that's just the price of their "long-term vision." Ruh-roh?

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What Are the Bay Area's Chocolatiers Doing for Easter?

Categories: Edibles, Holidays

Kollar Chocolate

If you grew up in America and are, well, you know, either Christian or otherwise highly acculturated, it's practically impossible not to have fond memories of some kind of Easter candy, no matter how gross: chocolate bunnies, jelly beans in fake green grass, and the inimitable Cadbury Crème Egg. (Me, I pocket a Cadbury Crème Egg every year, because my irrepressible nostalgia extends to teenage shoplifting as well as chocolate).

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BeBeBar: Juice for Hippies by Dolores Park

Categories: Castro, Opening

Pete Kane
Look how psychedelic!

The more that the tech monoculture remakes San Francisco, the more I've come to appreciate the Haight. Museum-of-itself though it is, the psychedelic grunginess of its cafes is still an indelible part of S.F. food history. And even though BeBeBar has opened just off of Dolores Park's northwest corner, it feels like a warp zone straight to Masonic. There are freaking "Burning Man service animal" tickets embedded under the table glass!

See Also: D'Urso Deli Now Juicing It Up by the Ballpark
Mission Picnic Is Open for All Your Dolores Park Sandwich Needs

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