Upcoming Event: Oakland Wine Festival 2015

Wine festivals aren’t just for Napa, and 2015 is Oakland’s inaugural year getting in on the action. This full-day festival on Saturday July 18 is jam packed full of winemaking and tasting events, seminars, and presentations that you can attend a-la-carte, or one after another with full day and half day packages. See below for the press release information about the festival, and their site for a schedule of activities and tickets!

OWF-Logo-white

Oakland Wine Festival (OWF) is a high profile wine and food event featuring over 100 celebrated winemakers from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and beyond with creative pairings from 10 of Oakland’s most celebrated chefs.
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Upcoming Event: Mother’s Day

Yes, it’s that time again. No, not Christmas; rather, the Christmas that happens just for your mom  (or for you if you’re a mom, yeay!). Yes, Sunday May 10, 2015 is Mother’s Day! And I know there is always some moment in April where I realize MD is coming up, immediately call to make a reservation somewhere — because it’s better to have a reservation somewhere (and then sort out if you want to actually go somewhere else) than to have a reservation nowhere — and then frantically text my sister to see what’s actually going on.

momsisme

Mom status: My mom (mom), my sister (also a mom), me (not a mom)

So, if you have not yet remembered to make that reservation (or buy a card, or mark your calendar to remind you to call, or whatever), here are a few suggestions for around the Bay of places that reportedly still have room for you…. 

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Upcoming Event: Book Launch Party for The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

Putting the words “book launch”, “party”, and “vegan” into one sentence may not be exciting to everyone, but my ears certainly perk up! See below for information on Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book launch party coming up on Sunday February 1, 2015 from 2-5pm at Encuentro Cafe and Wine Bar, 550 2nd Street, Oakland. Tickets are $25 per person, and there will be appetizers (vegan, of course), wine, and friendly faces.

30-day vegan challenge poster

Review: CommonWealth (Oakland)

Dude*. Commonwealth.

I keep hearing about this place. It’s at 29th and Telegraph in Oakland, and it’s a pub/cafe-type place that my friends like to go for Sunday brunch.  And it’s awesome. I finally went today and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

From the adorable pair at the bar speaking in their British accents (which I hope were real) to the decidedly British/Aussie (hence the name Commonwealth) fare and beverages (beans and toast, “cuppa” tea), this place was A) uber-cute, and B) good. We three ladies ordered three dishes and shared. And the light was fabulous so my photos look money. See?

french toast

French toast with “Golden” syrup. You know you want it.

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Review: B

Atmosphere: 3/5  ♦  Service: 3/5  ♦  Food Quality: 2/5  ♦  Value: 3/5Times Visited: One  ♦ Will I Return?: Unlikely.

No, my keyboard did not break one letter into writing the title of this post. The proprietors of B Restaurant in Oakland apparently decided their time could be better spent on things other than coming up with an extravagant name for their establishment.

Bar and transom windows at B

B boasts floor to ceiling transom windows which give the space a modern open feeling. You can enjoy the view from the windows while sitting at the contemporary bar that serves a full range of cocktails…. 

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Review: Lake Chalet

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:3/5
Times Visited: A Few  ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes!

Happy Birthday to me… this is where I chose to spend my birthday this year with my family. Where’s a nice place that’s close to Hayward (my fam lives in Hayward), not too terribly expensive (I’m not that kind of birthday girl) and has food that all four of my super picky fams will enjoy (sorry guys, you know it’s kinda true)? The Lake Chalet.

For Mom: Lake Chalet is classy and upscale with nice views of the lake and outdoor seating. For Dad: It’s got a “normal” seafood/steak menu with things that are just short of the “art food” he so dreads. For Sister: The bar is nice and serves cutesy drinks, and the delicious-sounding choices on the menu make it difficult for her to choose though she’ll probably be happy with whatever she gets.

And for me: it’s a nice place with good service and good food. There. Birthday done…. 

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Review: Homeroom

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 2/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:3/5
Times Visited: Once  ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes please
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Wow, sorry, I’ve been gone for a bit. Friends in town and madness at work makes Angie something something…*

So, what’s been happening? Have you found other better blogs to read? Undoubtedly. Anyway, I’m typing today about one my favorite foods: macaroni and cheese. There’s a new mac and cheese restaurant in Oakland called Homeroom and it’s all the rage lately.

I’ve heard people talking about this place nonstop since it opened a few months ago. It was time for a try.

Some friends and I met up at Homeroom after work a couple weeks ago when it was super duper hot outside. The day was beautiful, but Homeroom has no air con. Which would normally be fine, but that day meant that we were a sweating, hungry bunch. And then we ate some hot, dense mac and cheese. It was not the best plan (ex: milk was a bad choice), but we made the best of it and still enjoyed ourselves. And it would have been a great day to enjoy one of their few tables outside (but we didn’t want to wait).

menu

Menu

The space is smaller than I expected, for some reason, but is decorated with cute and artsy items all revolving around a school/learning theme (we were in Homeroom, after all). The menu is a single page of paper with instructions on how to fold it into a paper airplane on one side, in case you feel so inclined. The choices are basic: 8 types of mac and cheese, a few sides of veggies, a handful of desserts, beer (including on tap), wine, and other drinks. I really appreciated the simplicity and easily made my decision to reminisce about Rome with the “The Exchange Student: Cacio e Pepe” and a side of carrots.

mac and cheese

Cacio e Pepe mac and cheese wins!

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Review: Mua

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  Two  ♦   Will I Return?:  Sure
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Is it pronounced like what a cow says (mooo-a) or the way you say “me” in French (excusez-moi)?? I don’t know and, frankly, it doesn’t much matter since you pretty much get the gist either way. However you want to say it, Mua is located on Webster Street just next to 25th and Broadway in Oakland. This is one of these in-between neighborhoods that’s slowly growing to add to Oakland’s awesomeness — there are a some vacant building and unidentifiable/run-down businesses mushed in with sweet converted lofts, tiny art studios and chic restaurants and bars. Mua sort of dabbles a bit in all three of these latter fab categories.

Inside Mua

The main seating area of Mua seen from the stairs up to the mezzanine.

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Review: Coach Sushi

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 2/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Probably Not
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Coach can be found at 532 Grand Avenue in Oakland along an increasingly nice strip of shops and restaurants around the lake. Between the few strikingly crazed homeless folks and odd smell wafting from special parts of the lake, this area is extremely nice. And it’s nice enough currently to draw joggers, dog walkers and a plethora of normal people to make a visit wholly worthwhile and enjoyable. After a loop around the lake, our double-dating group settled on Coach Sushi for dinner, to which none of us had previously been…. 

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Review: Spettro

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes, please
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SpettroSpettro can be found at 3355 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland and is one of a huge many awesome restaurants which I’m only just finding out about in this area. Seriously, Oakland is pretty awesome. Our friends described this place as Mexican/Italian fusion, but after seeing the menu, it pretty much looked like Italian to me.

A variety of delicious-sounding salads; entrees including chicken marsala, chicken or eggplant parmesan, oven braised lamb and chicken risotto along with pastas and pizzas will start any mouth watering. Seriously, it was super hard to choose between the salads and the pizzas…so Friend #1 and I split one of each. This was a fabulous choice…. 

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