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Food, Local, Restaurants & Drink

The Town’s Donut Shops…Old or New School?

The donut.  Or is it doughnut?  Don’t fret, you can use either.  If you want to be proper about it, doughnut was the word first used to describe these delectable fried dough creations.  However, since its American variation “donut” has become mainstream since the mid-20th Century, this alternate spelling has made its way into the pages of Merriam-Webster.  However you want to spell it, there is no denying its appeal.  Most of us have childhood memories of the classics; lined up in a pink box, glazed and sprinkled to perfection.  While nationwide chains have garnered the spotlight in years past, my vote will always be for the local shops that turn out small batches, crowded on trays behind glass for me to choose from.  The question really becomes, do I chose an old-school classic in all its cake or raised glory or a new-school version in Cron’t or Naughty Cream-Filled form?  You can’t really go wrong either way.  The only thing that’s wrong is to let guilt get in your way.  It has no place here.

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Artisans, Community, Local, Momma, Restaurants & Drink, Uncategorized

Stay Tuned…

It seems I am taking a bit of an unplanned hiatus this week.  Its hard for me; my schedule didn’t allow for me to get posts lined up in time and my kids chose to be homebodies earlier in the week, despite my attempts at coaxing them out on Oakland adventures that I could share here with you.  So I am going to take a bit of time to read a book, enjoy the gorgeous weather, and welcome the impromptu break.

I do have a couple of articles that have gone online this week that I invite you to read, and share if you are so inclined.  I have lots planned for the coming few weeks with trips to Oaktown Spice Shop, Schilling Gardens, Flax Art & Design, and much more.  Stay Tuned!

In the meantime….

My piece about the mosaic trash cans in Oakland was published this morning on, you can find it here.

I also had a list of kid-friendly beer & wine spots throughout the East Bay go up on, click here to read more.

I will see you next week!


Photo Credit: Adrienne Schell

Landmarks, Local, Momma, Restaurants & Drink, Retail, Walks & Hikes

Treat Yourself…Oakland Style

Sunday is Mother’s Day.  Since I am the mother of two little ones, it is a day where I have a free pass to do as I please; to indulge, rest, rejuvenate, reflect.  Since my kids are still young, they don’t quite understand that being on their best behavior and honoring all that their momma does for them are required for the day.  So while I do plan to spend time enjoying their company, my true intention is to use this day to take care of me.  Guess what?  You certainly don’t have to be a mother to chose this for yourself.  Furthermore, you certainly don’t need a special day of the year to do it.  I try to find moments in time throughout busy days to take pause, to enjoy something as simple as a sound, smell, or sight.  If I have more moments free that can be laced together to create “me” time, some of the below are at the top of my list for spending time to take care of me, my senses, my mind, myself.  Oakland is full of ways to treat yourself…be inspired to do so, you deserve it.

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Food, Local, Restaurants & Drink

Oakland’s Taco Scene

My son’s favorite book these days is Dragons Love Tacos.  It has resulted in this often persnickety eater enjoying a soft taco on occasion.  Much like the dragons in the book, our household is not one for spicy salsa.  We don’t end up breathing fire, our taste buds just prefer the milder side.  Ground turkey with pineapple salsa, grilled shrimp with marinated onions and tomato, and black beans with corn, feta, and cilantro are just a few of our favorite combinations.  As we head towards Cinco De Mayo and celebrate Mexican culture through the country’s surprising victory over the French, tacos are likely at the forefront of many of our minds.  Oakland is full of spots to enjoy tacos in authentic form.  From carnitas to lengua, fish to carne asada; a warm blanket of corn tortilla and a shower of lime juice is the combination that makes them all devour-worthy.  You can’t go wrong at any of the below spots.  The hardest decision you face is whether to pair your selection with an ice cold Mexican Coke or a frosty Pacifico.

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Food, History, Landmarks, Local, Restaurants & Drink, Walks & Hikes

Oakland Gems…Genova and Roses

A historic Oakland establishment is closing on April 30th.  Genova Delicatessen has been in business in the Temescal District of Oakland since 1926.  A loved spot by many, patrons have lined up amongst the aisles for decades, watching the numbers tick by until they could put in an order for their favorite Italian deli sandwich.  Genova has been a testament to how a business can thrive for close to 100 years; good service, good food, and a dedication to old world Italian roots.  I decided to make a final trip on Monday, to brave the wait with two small children, to order a #9, and to say thank you.  It was perfectly apropos that as I tried to explain to my four year old that the deli was closing and that we needed to wait our turn, he said, “but when they close the doors, who is going to open them again?”

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Food, Local, Restaurants & Drink, Retail

Fire in The Hive…Oakland’s Firebrand Artisan Breads

I love bread.  I love cookies.  I love to bake.  I admire anyone who has taken these same loves and kneaded them into a career that combines their own passion for flour and sugar with a business that brings fulfillment to not only themselves, but to the community around them.  Matt Kreutz and Colleen Orlando have created this version of the American dream with Firebrand Artisan Breads.  A wholesale brick oven bread bakery that has grown at an alarming rate in seven years, now encompassing a retail location in The Hive Complex on Broadway’s Auto Row in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland.

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Food, Local, Restaurants & Drink

Layered Flavors at Juhu Beach Club

Juhu Beach Club has been on my radar for quite some time.  The name kept popping up on the Oakland restaurant lists that I love to peruse, and I became curious.  When I heard the phrase “Indian street food” I shied away, unsure of what that meant and pretty sure my aversion to things hot and spicy would result in a dining out disappointment.  Yet it kept calling out to me; rav reviews and a visit from Anthony Bourdain had me wondering if my wimpy taste buds might actually be in for a treat.  I moved it to the top of my list.  When I heard that this neighborhood spot has carved out a special niche for kids, I was sold.

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History, Local, Restaurants & Drink

Raising a Pint to Oakland Brew…Today and Long Ago

I’m a beer girl.  I always have been.  Not to say I don’t appreciate a nice glass of wine, or a well mixed cocktail; but when it comes down to it, a pilsner in a cold glass is always going to be my go-to drink.  At the start of the year I attended an Oakland Urban Path walk through the area of town once known as Brooklyn.  I learned that Oakland has a history full of lagers and porters.  From Oakland Brewery to the longstanding Golden West, our town was overflowing with producers of “steam beer.”  Sadly, this part of our history fizzled out completely in the 1960’s as doors were closed and buildings were demolished.  50+ years later it is coming back.  Linden Street Brewery carved the way, with respect for the working man roots of our past.  Paying homage to old favorites, and reviving Oakland’s brew laden past, with a modern twist.

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