My very first blog post back on February 10th was about my love for Sandwich Spot in Downtown Berkeley. Not too long ago an Ike’s moved in a block away ready for a rumble. I’d been trying to avoid sandwiches lately on the Tiffany Diet, but bitch left for Croatia so it was time to feast.
The general consensus among two Berkeleyside staff members and myself is that Ike’s looks too annoying to enter. There are more sandwich choices than anyone with good sense would know how to deal with. Why does Ike’s have a sandwich named penis? That’s what a “pizzle” is right?
I tried to be scientific and order the same sandwich at both places (turkey, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickles on a french roll). Ike’s doesn’t have mayo, they have dirty sauce (garlic aioli) I was told. Also, at Ike’s you can’t have a cold sandwich. The bread must be heated.
My Sandwich Spot sammy was $2 cheaper than the one from Ike’s. I didn’t like the sauce. I don’t like fancy sandwiches and secret menus annoy me. Ike’s is for bros. Sandwich Spot is for me.
Poke is trendy. Spelling it, “poké” is trendy. Berkeleyside’s Nosh writer Kate Williams said that poke is, “the new burrito-smoothie-bubble tea-13 dollar salad.”WeWorkers, Cal students and everyone everywhere flock to Simply Bowl in downtown Berkeley. Is the poke they serve there “real?”
My boss thinks that the Simply Bowl(s) do not contain “real” Hawaiian poke. His reasons are: it’s not marinated and the bowls contain squid and wet stuff (seaweed?), which are not authentic ingredients. Regarding his marination accusation, Kate’s response is, “most poke isn’t marinated, just tossed in sauce.” She says the fact can be verified in, “ALL OF THE STORIES about poke in Serious Eats.” I thought marinated fish was ceviche.
Poke comes from the Hawaiian verb “to section, slice, or cut,” so it’s open to a chef’s interpretation. I’m not a chef, but I say that avocado cubes do not a poke make. I’m pretty sure you need raw fish to make poke.
People in these parts flock to Simply Bowl. I had a spicy poke salad today and now my gut hurts. Kate also pointed out that Simply Bowl doesn’t allow you to build your own poke bowl. You have to go to San Francisco for that. Or you can build your own cinnamon roll down the street at at Cinnaholic.
What do you do when a man asks you out and says, “Let’s do something fun?”
Tell him that you look forward to finding out what fun plans he comes up with.
Assume he’s talking about sex and head to the family planning section of your nearest drugstore.
Research and poll all your friends. You are #1 fun date planner.
I’m the #1 fun date planner type. The date would have been tonight so my first step was to research various sites (Berkeleyside, Fun Cheap SF, etc.) to find out if there were any fun events happening tonight. A “fun” event might be an art party or when Romper Room in San Francisco turned the bar into a giant ball pit.
In this case I couldn’t really find anything. I very briefly thought about the Dirty Old Women Literary Salon at Octopus in Oakland but decided that would be weird. On St. Patrick’s Day I polled my friends who were with me drinking green beer. Lucky for me, one of my friends is the Nosh writer for Berkeleyside (that’s two mentions in one post K!).
I typically think fun dates involve some type of alcohol and play. Kink Studios tour, Thursday night at Exploritorium, and Playland Japan all in SF are examples. I wasn’t sure if he meant going into the city when he asked for fun. My friend K said that: 1. The East Bay is the best (agreed). 2. Usually people who are visiting have their own idea of what’s fun to do in San Francisco. 3. She’d ask her BF to create a Tenderloin Tour for me (stay tuned for that blog post). It’s challenging getting into the city for a weeknight date IMO.
K and I started talking about how much we love San Pablo Avenue. There are many wonders to behold from Oakland to El Cerrito on San Pablo Avenue. Here’s a short list (all great date locations as well): Albany Aquarium, Tap Plastics, Missouri Lounge, Tokyo Fish Market, and Albany Bowl is one of the most fun places in the whole world. I love taking dates to Albany Bowl with a Hotsy Totsy Club and parking lot El Autlense taco truck chaser.
Albany Bowl is the best. It’s not at all for hipsters. There are a lot of sheet cake type birthday parties going on there on any given night. There’s arcade games and skeeball. There’s a dive bar attached with darts where you can get pitchers of good beer (Lagunitas) to bring back to your lane. There’s also a diner for feasting.
Bowling is so fun even though I get worse when I drink and everyone else seems to get better. Circumstances prevented me from showing the guy that I am the #1 fun date planner. I wonder if he would have had fun? Actually, scratch that. I KNOW he would have had a blast.
The first time I tried Ethiopian food I was 21 and studying abroad in East Africa. Living in Los Angeles after college, I took my fare share of trips to that section of Fairfax right before you get to LACMA and not just for the exotic cake store. I’ve eaten my fair share of doro wat and injera.
When I first moved to the Bay Area, I lived at 60th and Telegraph in Oakland and was excited to be close to the row of Ethiopian restaurants at the Berkeley border (because I think I’m cool like that). I rarely choose Ethiopian food but I’m always glad when someone else does. When I do choose to eat it, I pick the restaurant based on the ambience. Have you been to that one in the basement of the Clarion Hotel in downtown Oakland or the Eithiopian food jazz club on Filmore in San Francisco? The truth is, the only place I’ve eaten in “Little Eithiopia” is Barcote (because it was someone’s birthday) until today.
I had lunch at Cafe Colucci with my friend and colleague Allan who is as previously mentioned in this blog, opinionated about the springiness of his food options. My boss refused to join us because he seemed legitimately terrified of the injera expanding in his stomach. We had some kind of meat dish and a vegetable sampler. Enh. It was fine. The meat was not tender enough. I asked Allan about the springiness level of the injera and he said, “There are two different axis, the chewiness axis and the springiness axes…” Basically, it was springy but not chewy enough. They also have a market and cooking classes. We didn’t partake. Finally, my stomach does not appear distended.
WeWork Berkeley is celebrating its first birthday tonight. WeWork throws a great party (see my post about why I love having an office here). Expect free food, drinks, and a DJ. Come meet a cool group of diverse people working on diverse projects who play well together. We’ll all be amped up tonight as we haven’t had a Tequila Thursday in forevs.
Learn more about drones, videography, nail art, marijuana, financial planning, working with and for a start up, NMMNG, marketing, patents, 3D maps, Berkeleyside, raw diets for dogs, and coffee (a small sampling of what’s happening at WeWork Berkeley). Hit people up for a job. Hit on people. Eat birthday cake.
The party is tonight at 2120 University Avenue in Berkeley on the 5th floor from 6 – 9. You must RSVP. I saw some good party swag when I came into work this morning. Need more convincing? Seriously? I’ll be there.