Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gourmet Ghetto

There is a part of Berkeley called (by some) the Gourmet Ghetto. Because of this nickname, I had certain assumptions about this place - namely, that it would be kind of ghetto looking, but still have awesome food. As it turns out, it is no longer the least bit ghetto looking and just has the nice food. I'll take it.

Chez Panisse is in this so-called Ghetto and is probably its most famous occupant.

No, sadly, I did not eat here. But I did quite a bit of ogling as if it were a historical monument.

Now I'm really starting to embarrass Natalie.

There is a cafe attached to the "real" restaurant that has slightly less high-end fare and hence cheaper prices. I was actually really excited about a lot of things on this menu and definitely plan on eating here sometime.

One of the unique things about Chez Panisse (other than it starting a culinary revolution in America) is that it doesn't give you any options. You eat what they are making that day for dinner. Take it or leave it. Unfortunately, I'm not the most adventurous eater in the world (yet), and this isn't exactly appealing to me.

One day I'll be checking out this menu (perhaps just at the cafe) on the inside!

Now onto where I did eat...Cheeseboard.

Who says you can't get good pizza outside of New York?? Actually, I do. This place was awesome, but I think great pizza is legitimately hard to find out here.

Cheeseboard is pretty unique too. For one thing, they offer only one flavor of pizza per day. Seems to be a theme in dah ghetto. Also, it's a collective and is owned by the people who work there. Everyone owns an equal share and has an equal say. Sounds like an interesting work environment.

The flavors they offer are unique too. We had fresh corn, zucchini, onions, mozzarella, feta, garlic olive oil, and cilantro. I haven't heard of about half of those ingredients on a pizza before. You can also see the limes they provided to squeeze on top if you so desired. I think Mitch was really into the lime on top.

We all loved every bite. This stuff was amazing. There were so many flavors and everything was cut up pretty finely so it all meshed really well together. Usually when you eat pizza the toppings are so huge that you can't help but just taste that one topping, and this way was so much better. The crust, the cheese, the toppings...oh man they were all perfect. I was in heaven.

One downside to Cheeseboard is that there is a ridiculously long line to wait in before you can snag your pie. Also, there is almost nowhere to sit, so everyone sits on the median eating their pizza.

You can see Cheeseboard in the background here and the other people on the median.

The median thing is less annoying than it sounds though because the pizza is just that good. You might not want to bring your parents on the median though. Or my parents at least.

And we didn't just get pizza, we obviously needed more Ghetto food.

So we decided to get some crispy potato puffs at Gregoire, this cute little French-ish takeout place. They came with a delish dipping sauce that I can't for the life of me remember anything about. Ha.

Mitch is an especially big fan of these little guys, and I'm going to go ahead and say he ate most of them. I was more focused on the pizza though, so I can't complain.

That's it for my Berkeley/Oakland recaps. And to think we did all this eating in one day. Oh gross, please don't think of that because then you'll realize what a glutton I am.

3 comments:

  1. omg that pizza looks delicious!!!!

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  2. I'd eat good pizza with you anywhere--medians included!

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