Townie CLOSED 1799 University Ave./Grant St., (510) 356-4903. D Tu-Sun, Sat-Sun Br. Free parking in rear.
The immense open dining room here features large windows to the street, a cozy original brick wall behind the bar, a black open-rafter ceiling, a few wood booths and other features made from reclaimed wood, and a concrete floor. A sea of tables and chairs populate the center of the room. The Sunday morning I was here for brunch, diners were sparse and the room was quiet—it felt like the room itself was having a own hangover from the night before. Fortunately, music faves from the ‘50s and ’60s—“Runaround Sue,” “Walk like a Man”--perked things up. The seasonal menu featuring New American cuisine small plates is short but sweet and makes use of spectacular seasonal ingredients.
I loved my eggs Benedict even though it was served on a very small plate with no garnish. The large chunk of flavorful braised pork belly and the perfectly puffed eggs were delicious, and I downed them with an Irish Coffee made with a strong pour of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
My dining partner opted for eggs over easy, which were served with pillows of crispy hash browns, bacon, and very good sourdough toast with raspberry jam. He drank a colorful fresh-orange Mimosa (grapefruit is also an option). We were tempted to try the chia pudding because it is something we make at home, but the day pulled at us to move on. Dinner brings on miyagi oysters from Marin, potato croquettes with serrano ham and manchego, and a Townie burger with hot sauce aioli. Sometimes you might also find a Vietnamese banh mi pork belly sandwich, mussels, or hanger steak. Fresh cocktails are whipped up behind a long bar with stool seating. Live jazz is scheduled on the first Sunday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. Townie is a work in progress. Changes are coming.
More things to do in Berkeley.
Way more thing to do in Berkeley.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers