All posts filed under: Neighborhood Eats

fish pickles.

My last wish list skill for my summer learning was fish pickling and curing. I know what you are thinking — “That’s totally awesome!!” (See macrame and indigo dyeing, too!) I had been wanting to take a class at Preserved for a while now and as I perused the class list, pickling and curing fish, stood out to me as a unique craft. Even though I know people have been doing this for centuries this is a completely new to me endeavor. And this time I brought my friend Lennie along for the fishy ride! Preserved houses all the supplies for all  your preserving needs. I got to class early and spent the entire waiting time just staring at the shelves, imagining all the things I could make. Our instructor Danny is a fish curing expert, and class was like a live cooking show, complete with food stand ins. Danny reviewed a number of curing and pickling techniques, and we got to feel, smell, and taste the various methods. My favorite technique might have to be the water-vinegar …

curfee.

Saturday morning plan: Roll out of bed and head straight to a coffee class! ☕️ I recently took Handbrew 101 at Allegro Coffee Roasters in Berkeley. Our instructor Nat was the coolest. Self-proclaimed coffee nerd, she walked us through four handbrewing methods, sharing her techniques and coffee insight along the way.  Coffee coffee coffee! It all starts with a good roast. Nat selected the Ethiopia Watona roast. She also prepared worksheets for us to take notes and start our “coffee diary” (bt-dubs: important if you want to keep tabs on how you like to make your perfect cup). I took all the notes. So much to learn!  Nat walked us through four coffee brewing contraptions plus all the accompanying equipment – scale, gooseneck kettle, coffee grinder, cupping cups…. We sampled the same beans via French press, Chemex, Hario V60, and Aeropress. I can’t say I have a favorite but they all produced different flavor profiles. What I thought was most interesting was how the flavor changed as the coffee cooled. Science!  At the end of …

a lesson in pie. 

As part of wedweek festivities my sister and God sister planned a pie night at Pietisserie in Oakland complete with the cutest apron party favors! Welcome to Pietisserie! The ambiance – clean kitchen, warm & cozy, filled with inspirational baking tools. My God sister loves to get pies for all of her occasions from Pietisserie. Also, she knows everyone this side of the lake. Not only did she special request this class for me, but she special requested for some food to be delivered from Portal next door. All the ingredients were set up for us and Owner/Instructor/Pie Lady Extraordinaire Jaynelle walked us through each step in the pie making process. The evening’s pie menu: Triple Berry – blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry Blueberry & Pear, and Pecan We learned how to make all the fillings, and Jaynelle divulged all crust making secrets and demoed how to create fancy lattice work. Fresh out of the oven! They turned out so pretty! All that was left to do was to devour them. Yay for pie and pretty aprons! A huge thank …

ice cream dates. 

Ice cream date on a chilly afternoon in the Bay Area? Yea, why not! Some lovelies and I ventured to Little Giant in Oakland for an afternoon of sweets. You can try a few flavors before committing, but I always end up with either coffee or dark chocolate (or both!). I had, you guessed it, the coffee ice cream…with chocolate sauce! It sure was photogenic. This lovely had her cranberry sorbet in a cone. Oh, and robots. Fill in the blank. My favorite ice cream shop in the whole wide world is ______.

the bagel.

When I was younger, I decided that when I grew up I wanted to own a bagel slicer. It’s a bit of an odd life goal, but I really liked bagels and thought it would be a fun gadget to have. I would have perfectly sliced bagels all the time and all of the crumbs would be gathered at the bottom of the slicer. Well, growing up happened and I still don’t own one. Whoops. They taste so much better out of a fancy professional toaster oven anyhow. Plus, if topped with house-made schmear it could make for a very delightful snack. And that brings me to this bagel: The jalapeño cheddar bagel with salmon schmear from the juice bar at Whole Foods on the Alameda in San Jose. I’d like to give a shout out to this bagel. Dare I say the best bagel I’ve ever put in my mouth! A crisp, but soft bagel, not chewy. A slight heat from the jalapeño. A creamy, but light schmear. And the shmear to bagel ratio was on point. I would travel the …

beautiful bowls.

I love soup. Even if it’s warm out, I’m game for a hot bowl of comforting pho, chicken noodle, curry, hot & sour, egg drop, sinigang, soon do boo…Mmm. Feast your eyes on these beautiful bowls of comforting broths, tender meats, and fresh greens. Beef Noodle Soup While waiting out an oil change, the fiancé and I found ourselves having lunch at Taiwan Bento in Uptown Oakland. I had the beef noodle soup which was especially delightful on this day because I hadn’t had it in at least seven months. The pickled greens, melt-in-your-mouth beef, and the sweet carrots provided a nice balance to a rich, savory broth. Recommendation: pair with the house-made soy bean milk. Korean Noodle Soup Ah, Spoon, one of my favorite East Bay eats for two big reasons. (1) They have delicious spicy tofu soup. I can’t get enough! And (2) they open at 10a so I can get a Korean soup fix for weekend brunch! On this visit, I had symptoms of an oncoming migraine and I was feeling dehydrated. …

erin’s errands.

I got off work a little early today so I was able to run a few errands. These errands were far from being chores though. They were more like crafty adventures. My first stop was Urban Ore Ecopark which sells eco-friendly salvaged goods. From doors to dishes and books to baskets, you can come in for one thing and leave with much more. Make sure to look in nooks and crannies for something unexpected. I came in today for some craft supplies. I’m planning a dreamcatcher workshop and got a tip from a crafty friend that she saw a box of metal hoops here. She gave me specifics on how to find them in the store. And, just as she described, I found them in a box tucked away at the bottom of a shelf that you had to carefully navigate to so furniture wouldn’t stab you. The things we do for crafts. There must have been over 200 hoops in there. I selected 42 and paid just $3 plus tax! A steal if you ask …