Thursday, October 19, 2006

Workin' in the East Bay

produce at the Berkeley Bowl

My job takes me to the Berkeley/Oakland area about once a month, and other than rackin' up the free Southwest tickets, it's not a bad gig for someone who likes food.

Three of my favorites from this week's trip:

1) The Berkeley Bowl's Bounty. If I hear another one of my Bay Area coworkers complain that they're "bored" with lunches at the Berkeley Bowl, directly across from our office, I think I'll scream. I'm like a kid in a candy store at this gonzo market, whether trolling the produce aisles for apple varieties I've never heard of, or plotting how many loaves of artisanal bread I can fit in my carry on. Whole Foods looks like a 7-11 in comparison.

2) No Shame at O Chame. Though Jess and I gossiped all the way through our meal, we couldn't help but feel virtuous slurping Japanese noodles in this quiet North Berkeley spot. Not your typical udon and soba dishes, these noodle bowls came with smoked trout for me and grilled scallops for Jess. Delicious.

3) My Sandwich on File, Please. The owner of the tiny Grinders sandwich shop in Montclair may intimidate you at first with his rapid fire questions, but once your sandwich preferences are in his computer, you're good for life. I can waltz in, tell him my name, and get the perfect turkey and avocado sandwich every time. The best part? Sweet pickles.

The Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

O Chame
1830 4th Street
Berkeley, CA

2069 Antioch Ct
Oakland, CA 94611

Other Bay Area favorites.

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