Yes, I said it! Sure I realize that Chez Panise in Berkeley is the birth place for California Cuisine, (and Berkeley has great restaurants), but in recent years Oakland has moved the real food movement forward. There are many restaurants here that serve locally grown and delicious food. This weekend was all about the food, as we had the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square. This festival is all about sustainable food, with the goal of making real food as accessible as fast food. As an Oaklander, I was happy to see a stellar turn-out with tons of people outside enjoying the food, drink and music at Oakland's waterfront. I will be honest, the lines were long, so I only selected a few spots to indulge.
Friday night was majority a dessert night. My son, daughter and I parked, walked through Jack London, stopped in the Decade With No Name exhibit, a celebration of the sculptors, painters, photographers and street artists who call Oakland, Berkeley and the greater East Bay home. After walking the booths we all decided that we had to try, Sweet, absurdly creamy crème brulée. Rob of Sweet had various flavors, such as Grand Marnier, Coffee and Vanilla. You walk up select a flavor and they burn the cream while you wait. Unbelievably good. Next we stopped by Jack London's newest additions, Miette. Miette is an incredibly irresistible bakery, featuring cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream sandwiches and rarely found candy bars such as Sky Bar and Flake. The creme fraiche ice cream sandwiches are incredible. Miette began at the Berkeley Farmer's Market and now has locations in the San Francisco Ferry Building in San Francisco and Jack London Square in Oakland.
As the sunset, we headed over to Bocanova, for dinner. (For a detailed review, check out my Yelp page, Deidre J.) This place was hopping! With a full bar, handsome interior and gorgeous Oakland setting this place was the hang outfor Oaklanders.
Day Two of the Eat Real Fest brought out a more food carts and quite a crowd. The best of show was Gerard's Paella. Seen on Throw Down with Bobby Flay on the Food Network, Gerard takes freshly caught seafood and makes monster pans of paella. His set-up is unreal! Worth the wait in line, this was the best lunch that I have had in weeks.
Coming soon to The Oakland Berkeley Journal, food trucks around the town. Bon Appetite!