June 14, 2022

Oakland: Cafe Colucci; restaurant review

880 South

Cafe Colucci  6427 Telegraph Ave., (510) 473-5944.  L-D daily; $.  

exterior of Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California
exterior of Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California

Colorful, aromatic Ethiopian cuisine, with many vegetarian and vegan options, composes the menu at Cafe Colucci.  Items are arranged traditionally on a large round tray and placed in the table’s center, to be shared by all diners.  Following tradition, eating utensils are not provided.  Diners instead use their hands to envelope food with rolls of spongy injera bread.  Whole fried fish (asa tibs), a house specialty, is served with fried potatoes and salad.  Chicken in tumeric sauce with boiled egg (doro alicha) is another tasty option.  To familiarize yourself with the cuisine, order a combination platter.  My favorite is the Vegan Combination Platter, a feast featuring traditional Ethiopian cuisine staples--azifa (lentil salad), buticha (chickpea salad), messer wot (lentil stew), kik alicha (split-pea stew), gomen (collard greens) and atakilt (a mix of sautéed cabbage, carrots, and potatoes), salata (salad), and a large injera.  Note that gluten-free teff injera is available by request. Seating is available inside and also outside at picnic tables on a spacious patio with large tropical plants and heat lamps.  Ethiopian spices and books are available for sale, along with logo t-shirts.  

open kitchen at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California
open kitchen at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California



Ethiopian spices for sale at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California
Ethiopian spices for sale at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California



vegan platter (take-out) at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California
vegan platter (take-out) at Cafe Colucci in Oakland, California


More things to do in Oakland.

Way more things to do in Oakland.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2022 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

June 7, 2022

Berkeley: The Butcher's Son; restaurant review

80 North

The Butcher’s Son  

1954 University Ave./Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  

vegan eating a Killer B.L.A.T. sandwich from The Butcher's Son in Berkeley, California
vegan eating a Killer B.L.A.T. sandwich from The Butcher's Son
in Berkeley, California


Despite the name, the father of the owner of this vegan butcher shop was not a butcher.  And everything on the menu at The Butcher's Son is vegan.  

interior of The Butcher's Son in Berkeley, California
interior of The Butcher's Son in Berkeley, California


Outstanding sandwiches include the spectacular Killer B.L.A.T. on sourdough with “fried chicken,” mayo, lettuce, tomato, “bacon,” pickled jalapeño, and smashed avocado; and the Smoked Pastrami Reuben on rye with house-smoked and -sliced, “pastrami,” house-made sauerkraut, grilled onions, melted Swiss, and Russian dressing.  Each sandwich includes half of a housemade pickle.  Do order a side of the delicious potato salad.  Fried chicken tenders (made from a mix of wheat gluten and high protein flour) have good taste and texture but are way too big.  They would satisfy children better in smaller bites--like their real chicken counterparts.  More available “meats” include pulled pork made from tofu skins, and tasty bacon made from soy and an Asian gelatin substitute (it is not made in-house).  

Killer B.L.T. from The Butcher's Son in Berkeley, California
Killer B.L.T. from The Butcher's Son in Berkeley, California


Desserts include cannoli, cheesecake, and a decadent Rocky Road Bar.  It is fun and easy to put together a memorable take-out picnic.  “Cheese” choices include mozzarella, cotija, Swiss, feta, pepper jack, and a drunken goat--all made in-house from mixtures of almond and cashew milks.  Meats and cheeses can be purchased by the pound to take home.  


Take your lunch to nearby Live Oak Park for a picnic.  Hopefully you will score one of the few picnic tables in a shady glen, and not have to settle for sitting on the concrete steps of the activities building.  

picnicking on a porch at Live Oak Park in Berkeley, California
picnicking on a porch at Live Oak Park in Berkeley, California



Way more things to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2022 Carole Terwilliger Meyers; interior image 
©2022 Gene Meyers


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