Top-selling Italian ricciarelli cookies at Market Hall Bakery.
More than three decades ago, this lot on College Avenue in Oakland sat empty except when it transformed into a pumpkin patch every Halloween.
But siblings Sara, Tony and Peter Wilson had a vision that it could be so much more.
The New Zealand natives set to work to turn it into the first European-style food court in the Bay Area.
This year, Rockridge Market Hall Foods celebrates its 30th anniversary, a remarkable achievement in this day and age when fewer and fewer family-owned markets seem able to survive yet alone thrive.
The bakery case.
A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.
Just part of the cheese selection.
To celebrate, the marketplace is hosting monthly events all this year that feature fun free activities and treats. To see what’s upcoming, check out the calendar here.
Raw cacao, cashews, a touch of sea salt, and cold-pressed coffee make up this Cashew Mocha.
Coffee So Good is coffee so nutty, too.
In the best of ways.
This organic cold brew coffee manages to be creamy while being vegan.
The secret is cashews.
The nuts provide the creaminess that milk or cream normally would. Each 10-ounce bottle has 160-180 calories, as well as 4 grams of protein, about 10 grams of fat, and about 9 grams of sugar from agave nectar, depending upon the flavor.
Cardamom snail and sticky bun from The Midwife & The Baker stand at the Santana Row farmers’ market.
If you haven’t yet checked out the new summer farmers’ market at Santana Row, you’re missing out.
Le Marche takes place every Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., through September. The main Row is closed off to cars, so you can stroll both sides of the street easily to check out the wares of more than 50 vendors.
A bevy of stands to check out.
Beautiful summer tomatoes for sale.
There’s everything from organic produce to fresh seafood and meat to cheese to baked goods.
Escape to esc for this incredible dessert.
Normally when we think of the esc button on our computers, it’s not with fondness or pleasure. It’s usually characterized by banging on the button out of frustration because our screen has frozen.
But there’s another esc in town now, one that’s sure to leave you mellow and chill.
It’s the name of the new lobby lounge wine bar/cafe at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto.
If you’re used to hotel lobbies being places you only hang out in to kill time before check-in or check-out, esc will surprise you with its comfortable mix of plush couches, upholstered easy chairs, and bar stools.
I had a chance to check it out last week, when I was invited in as a guest of the hotel to see the newly completed space.
Illuminated on the wall.
Take a load off in the newly revamped lobby lounge.
On a laid-back weeknight, people were working on laptops, and relaxing with glasses of wine, a few of which conveniently come in your choice of 2-, 4- or 6-ounce pours. You can even try Blend 122, the hotel’s new signature red wine by Byington Vineyards of Santa Cruz, a rich, robust sip that opens up as it sits in the glass.
Fluffy, oat-fortified pancakes to greet the day.
When I was growing up, my oldest brother and I would often wake up early on Sundays to stir up a big bowl of batter for waffles for the entire family.
Nowadays, with my husband’s predilection, it’s pancakes all the way.
Are you Team Waffle? Or Team Pancake?
It’s funny how most households seem to favor one or the other.
“Toasted Oatmeal Pancakes” might just satisfy both camps. That’s because of the toasted steel-cut oats that not only fortify the batter, but get sprinkled on as each pancake cooks, lending bits of crunch here and there like the edges of a waffle might.
The recipe is from “Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day” (Ten Speed Press, 2016) by John Currence, the James Beard Award-winning chef who owns Big Bad Breakfast in Alabama. You might also know him from his appearances on “No Reservations,” “Mind of A Chef,” and “Top Chef Masters.”
Of course in this case, the operative word “bad” really means “good.” This is breakfast done boldly, with plenty of excess. Among Currence’s “Ten Commandments of Breakfast” is “Thou shalt slather with butter,” and “Though shalt hold no meal higher than breakfast.”