Weekly Dish: Off the Grid to Pleasanton
Pleasanton gets weekly food pod; opening updates for The Cooperage, Cholita Linda, and Drake's beer garden; and more!
The food truck craze continues unabated in the suburban East Bay as Off the Grid arrived in the Tri-Valley. Just weeks after the announcement that the six-days-a-week The Bend food truck pod is starting up in Walnut Creek this spring, comes word that San Francisco’s well-known mobile food operation is organizing a weekly gathering of about 10 food trucks (including, at least last week, the beloved Chairman Truck, pictured) every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Springdale Avenue and Stoneridge Mall Road in the Pleasanton Plaza. This isn’t OTG’s first foray this side of the Oakland/Berkeley hills either, as they started up a Saturday pod in Concord’s Willows shopping center last autumn.
It’ll be a rotating roster of trucks. Check the Facebook page for updates on a week-to-week basis, but last Sunday’s line-up included Pacific Puffs (home-baked cream puffs); Cluck it Up (chicken wings); Smothered (poutine fries); Blue Saigon (Vietnamese fusion); Sanguchon (Peruvian); Twister Truck (Mexican); Grilled Cheese Bandits (take a wild guess); Frozen Kuhsterd (take another wild guess); and, of course, the Chairman (suped-up Chinese bao buns). Yum …
Okay, we've got a bunch of bite-sized news items this week…
In the Tri-Valley…
► Buffalo Wild Wings officially opened for business Tuesday in Livermore. Rumor is that a family member of Diablo’s managing editor got up at 5 a.m. to be one of the first 100 customers to win free wings for a year. Which I'm hoping will mean a wing trickle down effect for that managing editor and her colleagues (hint, hint …).
► Speaking of free food, Freebirds World Burrito’s newest location at 7281 Amador Plaza Road in Dublin is opening this Thursday and the first 25 customers get free burritos for a year. CLICK HERE for details.
► Burritos are wild in the Tri-Valley: Chipotle appears to be close to debuting it’s latest shop in Livermore in part of the old Chevy’s space at 4685 First Street.
► Word is that a Specialty’s Café is replacing the shuttered La Palapa/El Balazo space on Hopyard Road in Pleasanton.
► The long-delayed Lotus Persian Cuisine should be opening in the former Pho Minh space at 1691 Santa Rita Road in Pleasanton “in about a month,” says owner Shawn Akbarbour.
In Walnut Creek, Kanishka’s, the neo Indian gastropub, is officially open for business. And we finally get a look at the menu on the website. CLICK HERE to check it out, but some of owner and executive chef Paramita Roy’s eclectic range of small plates that caught my eye are: Shikampuri Lamb Sliders with chickpeas, grilled lamb, chef’s coriander, mint chutney, and shoe string onions; Indo-Cajun Pork Tenderloin with IPA grilled blackened grilled tenderloin in lettuce cups; and Spaghetti Okra Cones with shoe string masala okra crisps, taco cones, and tomato-onion yogurt sauce. Suggested beer and wine pairings are included on the menu, and they’re also serving Sunday brunch.
And over in Lafayette, it sounds like The Cooperage in the completely renovated former Petar’s space is set for a February opening. Check out executive chef Erik Hopfinger’s preliminary menu HERE. And check Facebook for updates.
Plenty of news in Oakland/Berkeley, per usual …
► Looks like the shuttered Disco Volante space in downtown Oakland has been scooped up—and it looks like it could be fun. This is still purely speculative, but according to an ABC alcohol license report filed for that address (347 14th Street), one of the people taking over the space is named Suzanne Long. That also happens to be the name of the tiki cocktail mixologist who helped craft drinks at Alameda’s Forbidden Island, among other East Bay bars. So … a tiki bar in downtown Oakland? Again, just speculation—but that would be pretty cool …
► Popular breakfast, brunch, and lunch specialist Aunt Mary’s in Oakland’s Temescal appears to be giving dinner service another go.
► Uptown Oakland beer garden news: Lost & Found behind the Paramount Theater is planning a February 7 opening, according to “a dude I talked to on the phone there.” Make sure to check the website for updates. And word is Drake’s planned beer garden in the Hive development on Broadway near Pican could be open as soon as the spring. They’ll be serving a comfort food menu centered around wood oven–fired pizzas.
► Speaking of pizza, Jack London Square’s popular wood-fired pizza joint Forge is having its first year anniversary this Thursday with happy hour all day, a DJ spinning until 11 p.m., and free Margherita pizza from 4 to 6 p.m. Yeah!
► The burger maestros at Trueburger have apparently had some delays with their planned second Temescal location, which likely won’t be open until spring at the earliest.
► Los Angeles-based coffee roaster Tierra Mia opened a new outpost in Uptown Oakland, according to Inside Scoop.
► Also in Uptown, 1212 Wine Bar has opened, replacing the former Punchdown. According to the Mercury News, it’s a “French-inspired casual wine bar and bistro,” with wines by the glass, charcuterie, and Parisian style small plates, plus monthly special dinners starting this February 6 with former O Chame chef David Vardy. Owners Sam Patel and Ryan Fitzpatrick do apparently have a connection to Ike’s Sandwiches, a location of which is right next door and who’s owner is listed on the ABC license report. 2212winebar.com.
► The long-awaited Cholita Linda mexican eatery in Temescal is likely set for a February debut, per Berkeleyside Nosh.
► A modern French bistro is replacing YaYu Ethiopian restaurant at 3343 Lakeshore in Oakland. According to East Bay Express, owners Germain Michel and Jean-Michel Fabregon are authentic Frenchmen, and are planning a menu that reflects their Provencal background.
► And finally, Paris Baguette just celebrated its grand opening in downtown Berkeley. They apparently serve a Cronut. (The French would not be amused.)