Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Best of Berkeley: Food

background via The Daily California

I have decided to launch a new series dedicated to the city in which I attend school in: Berkeley!  Berkeley is such a fun and ever changing city, with a unique element and vibe because it's largely composed of college students.  I feel so lucky to be able to experience all of the culture and food that is available within Berkeley; however, I am sad that I don't have enough time to try all of the restaurants that I want to (especially Cheeseboard that always has super long lines).  This is the first installment of the series, and I have decided to kick it off with one of my favorite things: food!

Note: I have also raved about some of these places in my Spring Semester Recap.

1. Sliver
A Whole Vegan Pie...Doesn't it look SO good?
I don't know if I've already made it clear, but I am obsessed with Sliver.  And I know I'm not the only one, lots of my teammates are also obsessed, because it's that good.  Sliver makes one kind of vegetarian pizza per day, and they post their schedule for the week on their website.  Lately they have been having a lot of new creations, but they usually rotate through a series of pizzas.  Their corn pizza is very popular, it has corn, chile pasilla, onions, mozzarella, French feta cheese and is topped with cilantro, garlic olive oil, and limes.  I usually order an entire vegan pizza (call ahead of time if you want a vegan pizza), which is their pizza of the day with no cheese and extra vegetables.  My favorite rotating pizza is the potato one which I believe is pictured above.  I feel healthier eating it because it is covered in greens.

Try: Their pizza of the day (or vegan version), don't forget to get some of their "pesto sauce" (actually  called serrano cilantro hot sauce)

2. Cinnaholic
Cream Cheese Frosting & Strawberries
Cinnaholic was a place that I knew about before coming to Berkeley and was on my to do list.  I first passed by Cinnaholic when I was walking to Trader Joe's on University from Saturn Cafe.  I finally got the chance to try Cinnaholic during fall semester dead week and fell in love.  They have cinnamon rolls that are vegan and pillowy and delectable.  They warm them up for you so they are soft on the inside, with a slight toasted outside.  They are totally customizable with frosting options ranging from cream cheese to cotton candy, and they have toppings galore.  I have tried their cream cheese and amaretto frostings, and they are both delicious.

Try: A cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting and strawberries and/or oreos, one of their featured combinations in the front display case, or make up your own creation

3. Gather
Beautifully Plated Roasted Beets | Image Source: Yelp
As you can probably already tell by the picture of one of their dishes, Gather is not a place that I frequent.  It is a perfect place to go when you have guests in town though.  I do recommend making reservations in advance, as they do book up very quickly.  I went when my Uncle came to visit me, and it just all happened to work out for us, because he got off of BART a bit early and talked to the hostess who was able to save two seats at the "bar" for us.  I believe that we got a little gem salad, the crispy brussel sprouts, stuffed eggplant, fontinella pizza, and panna cotta.  It was all very good.  Their menu changes seasonally and is different for lunch and dinner, I believe that they also serve brunch on the weekends.

Try: the crispy brussel sprouts, one of their pizzas, their toast of the day

4. Imm Thai Street Food
(top to bottom) duck noodle soup, crispy tofu, and fresh rolls | Instagram Source: jessica_e.t.e
I first had Imm on one of my roommates birthdays, when one of our kind floormates graciously traveled all the way to university to get the food for us.  We all got pad thai because we just all love to twin(not actually, my roommate would disagree).  This pad thai is definitely a step above Thai Basil (which all Berkeley students know is great Thai food for a cheap price).  I have also gotten the fresh rolls with peanut sauce of course, because the peanut sauce is what makes it so great.  I enjoyed the addition of avocado within the roll, which I have never seen before.  When I went with my committee, several of my committee members ordered the sweet chicken; however, this chicken was not so sweet, because when the dish arrived it was mostly breading.  I miraculously finished my meal early, and looked over to the table next to me to see that someone else had ordered the sweet chicken, and it actually resembled chicken!  So, maybe don't order the sweet chicken, because it seems like you either get chicken or you don't.  I also ordered the mango with sticky rice, which is always good.

Try: the duck over rice, duck noodle soup(pictured above), yen ta foh noodle soup, fresh rolls(also pictured above), and mango w/ sticky rice

5. Toss Noodle Bar
Instagram Source: daisysfashiongarden
Toss Noodle Bar has a very trendy interior, perfect for the world of Instagram and Snapchat.  They also have totally customizable noodle and rice dishes.  You get to pick a sauce from three categories that determine how your noodles or rice is going to be prepared: stir-fry, soup, or curry.  And then you get to pick from either a list of noodles or a shorter list of rices.  Finally you choose your protein.  They also have Thai iced tea with a coconut milk option, which was very much appreciated.  I believe that I have gotten the hokkien noodles with laksa soup and tofu.  It was super yummy, and I had leftovers which I took home.

Try: a stir-fry with hokkien noodles and chicken(that seems to be the most popular) and a Thai tea

I hope that I get to try new fun places this upcoming year, although maybe I won't because I'm going to have an actual kitchen this year.  Hopefully my new location will encourage me to expand the restaurants that I go to, because as you can probably tell, I usually just stick to Sliver(it's just that good).



Picture Pic of the Day
I'm a sucker for flowers and a white background... | Tumblr Source: l-e-a-b-o

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