Berkeley Eats and Sweets

Saturday I went with Katie and Nick to Berkeley to explore College Ave and eat our way over Shattuck.

After a pit-stop in Belmont at Nick's, we drove across the bridge and up the East Bay and in to Berkeley. We parked at the Rockridge BART station (free on weekends!) and began walking towards Cal, stopping in cute shops along the way.

For lunch, we ate at Manpuku (2977 College Ave, Berkeley). We ordered five different rolls, and the total after tax was under $21! Super cheap... and the sushi was good too! We got an imitation crab CA roll, a roll with eel and mango, a shitake mushroom and spinach roll, a spicy white tuna roll, and the fancier one was... um... I forget. But it had lots of avocado on top!

Grabbing hot tea and water
Check out the tuna!

Mixin in the wasabi - a must!

$20 bucks never looked so tasty.
We walked up the street and found this cute candy shop! (Sweet Dreams)
We enjoyed looking at their scocks and tasting fudge!
Next stop was Ici Ice Cream, a must-try in Berkeley's cold dessert arena.
Ici is a self-proclaimed "one of a kind ice cream shop." They make their ice cream, sorbets, candies and cookies in the shop in small batches. They pride themselves on their local/fresh/quality ingredients. (ie. all dairy is certified organic, fruits/nuts/chocolate exceed organic standards, no artificial preservatives, etc). Mary Canales, former pastry chef at Chez Panisse (ONE DAY KATIE!) left her 9-year tenure and opened Ici a little over 4 years ago.
We had our choice of 11 flavors of ice creams/sorbets/sherbets: Pear Ginger Sorbet, Earl Grey, Kirsch Cherry-Fudge Swirl, Vanilla, Lemon Vanilla, Meyer Lemon Sherbert, Chocolate, Brown Sugar-Porcini, Brandied Allspice, Coconut-Rum, Candied Cacao Nib.
Ice cream elves in the back of the shop doing their small-batch thang
The three of us decided to enjoy our picks in Ici's hand rolled, chocolate-filled-tip, cones. Seriously, don't even consider going with a cup. The cones were soooooo good. It tasted like a cookie.
After Nick reassured me Candied Cacao Nib would be tasty, I chose a scoop of that!
I ordered one of their peanut butter bon bons too. I thought the inside was deliciously peanut buttery, but the hand-dipped, bittersweet chocolate casing was a little too rich for my tastes. Gimme that milk chocolate haha...
We went into a lot of shops.... Including this Hat Shop ;)
After we went up and down College Avenue we decided to go to Shattuck area, specifically to check out a highly-recommended cupcakery. Apparently Nick and Katie had been here before and remembered that it was sort of in an off-the-beaten path upstairs building thing. It makes sense when you see it. (1510 Walnut Street Suite G, Berkeley).
Such a cute shop! I like how open it is
Chocolates and Vanillas... standard.
Here's the good stuff. What would you choose between Sweet Potato, Cookies and Cream, and Peanut Butter Cup??!?
I went with PB Cup... of course. That frosting is SOO AMMMAZZINNNGG.
We continued walking around and ended up at The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective (1512 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley). So it has 1647 reviews. But why you might ask?
From their website I learned that The Cheese Board (not the pizza part - yet) was founded on November 6, 1967 by two people as a privately owned business. In an effort to treat customers in a way that they would want to be treated, the owners decided to let all workers having equal power, as well as equal wages (= pay cut for owners). "The Cheese Board began making pizza on Tuesdays for lunch in 1985. Gradually this expanded to Wednesday lunch and Friday evening. In 1986 the Cheese Board acquired the space vacated by Pig by the Tail Charcuterie... This space was used to create and sell pizza three week day lunches (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and Friday Evening. On Saturdays this space was used as a bread outlet for the main Cheese Board. Some Collective members worked at both sites."
They serve one type of (vegetarian) pizza a day. $2.50/slice or $20/whole pie. QUALITY ingredients.
"In 1990 six members of the Cheese Board Collective formed a committee to seek out new members to form another collective–The Cheese Board Pizza Collective–which would allow the pizza operation to run full time...Pizza eventually brought in new members, expanded its hours and now is open six lunches and five evenings each week. The Cheese Board Pizza Collective is run as its own business, but Pizza and the Cheese Board are under the same financial umbrella and operate under the identical corporate by-laws."
While Katie and Nick went to the bathroom I watched the assembly line. These collective people were fast! One man was handling all the pizza ovens, another was slicing and adding "finishing touches," and a girl was acting as cashier and boxer-upper.
The line might be reeeeally long, but it moves quickly!
Our time in Berkeley was really fun! Usually I avoid Berkeley because I got lost driving there once and the East Bay really confuses me. I hate being lost. However, I'm glad I gave it another shot because after all the walking around we did, I definitely saw spots that I want to come back too... Ici that means you. (And Chez Panisse - for a known-in-advance (?) special occasion OBVIOUSLY).
We headed back to the car and drove south to San Jose. We split for about 45 mins to prepare for a pretty amazing, quickly thrown together, Harry Potter Party (watched the 6th movie in anticipation for the 7th on 11/19!)

1 comment:

  1. Didn't I tell you about cheeseboard!!! I walked like a mile by myself, not knowing exactly where it was, to have some. Also, Salma lives right by love at first bite!