Wednesday, September 12, 2018

80 North: Berkeley, Way Station Brew


Way Station Brew  2120 Dwight Way/Shattuck Ave., (510) 982-1905.  M-F 6:45am-7pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm. 

exterior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
exterior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Though this low-key spot is relatively new, it did take over from a previously established coffeehouse.  The space is deep, the light is low, the ceiling is high with an exposed-pipes industrial feel, and the atmosphere is chill.  Several interesting art pieces hang on the natural brick walls, and the gorgeous cast iron drum coffee-roasting machine can be viewed in the back.  Seating is in a large double-sided communal booth, at stools facing out the front widow, and on a banquette fronted with small round cafe tables.  Additionally, a beer garden patio in the back is of interest on warmer days and is equipped with umbrellas and heat lamps and is dog friendly, too. 

interior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
interior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


communal booth at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
communal booth at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


ornate coffee-roasting machine at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
ornate coffee-roasting machine at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


patio beer garden at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
patio beer garden at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Breakfast hours are mellow.  Diners step up to the counter to order their coffees--I enjoyed a cafe au lait served in a mug, as opposed to the more common tall glass or French bowl.  For iced coffee, try the Kyoto-style cold drip made in a fancy slow-drip brewer with a ceramic filter.  I hear they also make a good matcha latte.

coffee menu at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
coffee menu at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Among the standout menu items--it includes sandwiches, salads, and bowls--is a long-cultured creamy housemade yogurt that is delicious, light, and fluffy, and served either alone with local honey, or additionally topped with seasonal fruit and Metropolis granola.  Exceptional housemade scones come in a variety of flavors.  My favorite is pecan-pear, but blueberry, cinnamon-sugar, and cranberry are also usually available.  They are made using a slight variation of the former Lindgren’s Cafe’s original recipe.  Pastries from Firebrand Artisan Breads bakery are also usually available, but the day I visited they came in late.  Also exceptional are Whipped Ricotta on Sourdough toast (with blackberry jam, organic honey, and toasted almonds); a Veggie Bowl (warm roasted cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, Romanesco, zucchini, and squash with a mint-tarragon tahini dressing); a slow-cooked beef brisket sandwich served on sourdough bread and topped with roasted tomatoes, Jack cheese, cabbage, and housemade Thousand Island-caper dressing; juicy organic chicken--in a sandwich, as a side, or on a salad.  Additionally, a variety of egg items, toast with toppings, soups, and grilled cheese sandwiches are available.  Most items on the menu are organic, and gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available.  Six beers are on tap, several wines are offered by the glass, and mimosas are available on weekends.

housemade yogurt and scone at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
housemade yogurt and scone at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California



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