Category Archives: Great Finds

Brooklyn Crafted Delivers On A Potent Ginger Taste

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

When it comes to food, I am not a fan of blow-your-brains-out spiciness.

But when it comes to ginger beer, well, that’s another story.

Bring it.

When I was invited to try a sample of Brooklyn Crafted Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, that’s exactly what my response was.

The spicier the better, when it comes to my beloved ginger.

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Blissing Out On Bread At La Fournee

Impeccable pastries at La Fournee.

Impeccable pastries at La Fournee.

 

I have Deborah Kwan to thank for the added inches on my waist.

You see, the former pastry cook turned restaurant publicist, recently went on a bakery crawl around the East Bay, posting photos on Facebook along the way. When she got to La Fournee in Berkeley, I was so overcome with longing for the glorious pastries she showed, that I knew I had to make a beeline there the next time I was up that way. Thankfully, that came last Thursday.

La Fournee has been around since 2013. It was started by Pastry Chef Frank Sally, who used to teach at the San Francisco Baking Institute. It’s a little slip of a bakery, not far from the Claremont Club & Spa.

Like a little slice of France in Berkeley.

Like a little slice of France in Berkeley.

Walk inside and it’ll be as toasty as a fresh-baked loaf, owing to the fact that the ovens are only a few yards away from the entrance.

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Rockridge Market Hall Foods Celebrates 30 Years

Top-selling Italian ricciarelli cookies at Market Hall Bakery.

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.

The bakery case.

A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.

A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.

Just part of the cheese selection.

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.

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Route 11 Potato Chips — Addicting!

Lightly Salted Route 11 Potato Chips.

Lightly Salted Route 11 Potato Chips.

 

When one of my former magazine editors told me I had to try Route 11 Potato Chips, my ears and appetite perked up.

And when he told me that none other than celebrated Chef Jose Andres was a big fan (he even calls for them specifically in his recipe for a Spanish tortilla), well, how could I not order some?

Now, I don’t normally buy or even keep potato chips in my house. Yes, they are too much temptation to have on hand. So the thought of actually mail-ordering potato chips from Mount Jackson, VA was rather mind-boggling.

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Le Marché At Santana Row

Cardamom snail and sticky bun from The Midwife & The Baker stand at the Santana Row farmers' market.

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.

A bevy of stands to check out.

Beautiful summer tomatoes for sale.

Beautiful summer tomatoes for sale.

There’s everything from organic produce to fresh seafood and meat to cheese to baked goods.

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