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

Categories: Coffee, Oakland

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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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Who Makes the Better Burger: S.F.'s Super Duper Burger or Oakland's True Burger?

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Kate Williams
Super Duper Burger's cheese burger comes complete with sustainable beef.
Chances are, most of us have enjoyed our fair share of fast food burgers, whether they be the objects of a late-night McDonald's craving (don't deny it) or the lauded prize at the end of a pilgrimage to In-N-Out. The growth of smaller-scale burger franchises and food trucks has made it easier than ever to land a tasty burger. These restaurants often source higher-quality products, making them even more desirable than, say, In-N-Out, but their slim, juicy patties, generous dollops of mayonnaise-based special sauces, and fluffy white buns make them just as satisfying as their less-noble predecessors.

Outposts of small burger chains dot the Bay Area. Two of the best are San Francisco's Super Duper Burger, located in the Castro, Downtown, the Marina, and the Financial District; and Uptown Oakland's True Burger. But who slings the better burger? We stopped in to both to find out.

See also: Who Makes a Better Burrito: S.F.'s Taqueria Cancun or the East Bay's La Mission?
Super Duper Burger: The Burger Stand Evolves
Super Duper Burger's Got Big Plans


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Five Things We Learned From Savor Oakland's Chinatown Tour

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Ferron Salniker
Guilin noodles at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles
It's a beautiful thing when strangers come together on the street to devour warm pork buns in a downpour. Last Saturday, I braved the rain with Savor Oakland Food Tours and a few kindred spirits for a three-hour walking tour of Oakland Chinatown. The husband-and-wife team launched about two years ago, and have been charming locals and tourists alike with a winning formula that combines historical narrative and cultural context to explore Oakland and its food.

See also: Oakland's Champa Garden Brings Laotion Food to Ingleside


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Drink of the Week: Hitting a Triple Header at Trappist

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Lou Bustamante
I've only been to Belgium once. I went to Brussels and Bruges for a few days many years ago after working my way through Scandinavia. While the memories of being there have mostly faded to a blur of landscapes, the clearest remnant is of an afternoon spent sitting in an airy, sunny plaza with a tulip glass (or two) of Duvel.

Sitting at the bar at the Trappist, a Belgian-beer-focused pub in downtown Oakland, those fond recollections resurface and etch themselves deeper with each sip of the St. Feuillien Triple ($8.75). Silky, dry, and light without feeling watery, the citrus and fennel flavors from the beer conceal the high octane (8.5% abv), but also make it remarkably food-friendly.

See Also:- Get Funky at The Trappist's Spontanfest on Saturday
- Drink of the Week: Ahumado at CHAYA Brasserie
- Drink of the Week: Mixing from Scratch at Plum Bar

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East Bay Bite of the Week: Patty Melt at Marrow

Categories: Oakland

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Molly Gore
Marrow's menu is short and meaty.
Inside of Oakland's Marrow, next to a stack of tomes about meat and bones, sits a typed and framed complaint letter. It's addressed to Marrow's chef-owner, Jon Kosorek, but dates from his tenure at Fork in San Anselmo, six years ago. The letter is regretful and moralizing, from a patron who refused to return to Fork because it served foie gras.

See also: East Bay Bite of the Week: Baja Fish Tacos at Cholita Linda
East Bay Bite of the Week: BBQ at Smokey J's
East Bay Bite of the Week: Barkada's Burger

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Three Things to Look Forward to At Smitten Ice Cream's New Oakland Digs

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Ferron Salniker
Smitten's new seasonal flavor, rhubarb crisp.
The made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream shop has crossed the bridge to Rockridge, and we scoped it out on the eve of their opening day.

The Smitten story begins with founder Robyn Sue Fisher putting a new kind of high-tech ice cream churner on a radio flyer wagon, equipped with some bungee chords and a homemade battery pack. After earning a following one scoop at a time on the streets of San Francisco, Fisher set up shop in a shipping container in the Hayes Valley Proxy. Last year they opened a second location in Los Altos, and the company's next chapter -- a scaled up, flagship location -- begins in Oakland. Here's what we're most excited about:

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East Bay Bite of the Week: Baja Fish Tacos at Cholita Linda

Categories: Oakland

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Molly Gore
Cholita Linda's Baja fish taco (left) and carnitas (right) are both excellent.
Recently, Cholita Linda finally opened its doors to Temescal after a very long wait building out a bright and festive space on what used to be a drab stretch on Telegraph. Until the brick and mortar came into being, Cholita Linda existed only as a popular mainstay at Off The Grid and the Temescal Farmers' Market on Sundays, a spot that quickly grew notorious for its Baja-style fish tacos.

See also: East Bay Bite of the Week: BBQ at Smokey J's
East Bay Bite of the Week: Cake with a Side of Scandal at Crixa Cakes
East Bay Bite of the Week: The Daily Waffle at Guerilla Café

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Drink of the Week: Mixing from Scratch at Plum Bar

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Lou Bustamante
Corn & Oil cocktail
When scanning a restaurant's cocktail menu, one of the things I try and gauge is how much dialogue is evident between the kitchen and the bar in the drinks. Are there overlaps in flavors or techniques? Is there something there that provides a signature beyond the choices in spirits that grounds it to a common ideal with the cuisine? It may not guarantee a great cocktail, but it usually indicates that at the very least, something interesting will come out.

At Plum Bar, rather than create that bridge with specific ingredients or liquor, Ron Boyd, the Director of Operations for the whole Daniel Patterson Group, is doing something radical: keeping the cocktail menu mostly classics or variations on classics and building the complexity with an extensive cordial and bitters backbar made entirely in house.

See also: Drink of the Week: Double Feature at Foreign Cinema
Drink of the Week: Drinking an "Apple" a Day at Mosto
Drink of the Week: In Love with a Gold Digger at Loló

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East Bay Bite of the Week: Fried Chicken Rice Bowl at Hawker Fare

Categories: Oakland

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Molly Gore
Months ago, I sat down with James Syhabout and asked him what he likes to eat when he's off the clock. I'd been compiling a story based on this question, digging up the dirty, greasy joints that so many chefs flock to after days spent toiling in the land of fancier food. Instead he pointed me, maybe not surprisingly, to his own restaurant: Hawker Fare.

See also: East Bay Bite of the Week: Pizza With History at the Cheese Board Collective
East Bay Bite of the Week: Sriracha-Honey Brussels Sprouts at Osmanthus
East Bay Bite of the Week: Barkada's Burger

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East Bay Bite of the Week: Sriracha-Honey Brussels Sprouts at Osmanthus

Categories: Oakland

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Molly Gore
Osmanthus, a newcomer to a burgeoning stretch of Rockridge, is bringing high-minded fusion to a somewhat crinkly, potpourri-scented part of town. It's no rogue move. Rockridge plays home to a few hip kids -- Ramen Shop, À Côté, and Box & Bells included -- and given the growth of the area, it's a good time to be here.

See also: East Bay Bite of the Week: Lunch at Farley's
East bay Bite of the Week: Barkada's Burger
East Bay Bite of the Week: Taqueria La Familia's Labor of Love: Fish Tacos

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