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Diablo Dish: Concord Comfort Week

Winter comfort in Concord; bakeries pop up and pop down; a Kitchen Story begins in Oakland; the Prickly Pear Cantina closes in Blackhawk; and more Dish.


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Creature Comforts in Concord

In a twist on the various Restaurant Weeks around the Bay, Concord has the best cure for post-holiday blues with Comfort Food Restaurant Week.

So think creamy, cheesy, and deep-fried (why not?), and starting Friday, you’ll find just those kinds of menus at more than 35 participating restaurants. Of course, as with all these events, there’s a little calendar confusion, and the “week” runs from Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 26.

There will be special events throughout the “week,” and it all kicks off with an opening night reception Friday at E.J. Phair Brewing Company and The Hop Grenade at Todos Santos Plaza.

Comfort Food Restaurant Week / Los Rancheros Taqueria

 

Kitchen Story Begins its Tale in Rockridge

Kitchen Story, the latest in Hoyul Steven Choi’s (think Millionaire’s Bacon) long line of restaurants, officially opened Monday, January 13 on College Avenue (where Duchess once reigned), and diners can expect a menu of brunch fare with a Korean flair.

Breakfast and lunch are served from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

 

Some Bakery News: Some Sweet, Some Bitter

We’re not sure whether wild rabbits go in for brioche, muffins, scones, and baked goods in general—in fact, we’ve always thought rabbits were pretty seriously vegan—but the Wild Rabbit Bakery just opened in Oakland’s Grand Lake District and is focused on food not fauna. Note that there are more than just sweets at Wild Rabbit, which is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

OK, maybe there won’t be a band, but Sugarsweet Cookie + Cake Studio is bringing its cookies, cupcakes, and custom cakes to a storefront on MacArthur Blvd. on the backside of the Mills College campus in Oakland. Sugarsweet is only open Thursday through Sunday (starting at 11 a.m. each day and going to 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday), and along with the sweets, they’ll serve Red Bay coffee.

Sugarsweet Cookie + Cake Studio / Tex Allen

Finally, longtime East Bay staple Katrina Rozelle Pastries and Desserts uses the word “bittersweet” on its website to describe the upcoming closure of its Alamo location, when over 33 years, Katrina Rozelle was the East Bay standard for sweets—there was no “bitter” involved. The cakes, cookies, and other desserts were special, and any gift from Katrina Rozelle meant something extra. But after shutting down the Oakland branch on December 31, the Alamo store will sell its last cake on January 31, and another local landmark will slide into the “do-you-remember?” category. It’s a sad day for dessert-lovers, no doubt, and we can only hope that some talented baker fills the niche that Katrina Rozelle has now left empty.

 

The Prickly Pear Cantina Calls it Quits in Blackhawk

One more closure to report: The Prickly Pear Cantina, which was one of the Rodney Worth family of restaurants, has shut its doors after ten years in Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza.

There are still four other Worth restaurants in operation—Worth Ranch, The Peasant’s Courtyard, The Peasant and the Pear, and The Little Pear—though he also closed Ferrari’s Cucina Italiana in Blackhawk three years ago.

 

Joe and The Juice Expands its Empire—San Ramon is the Latest Conquest

Since its 2002 founding in Denmark, Joe and The Juice has steadily been creeping around the world, and after planting the flag in Lafayette last year, the San Ramon City Center Bishop Ranch location is now open as well.

Joe and The Juice emphasizes organic ingredients in its coffee, tea, sandwiches, fresh juices (naturally), and smoothies, and though its biggest market is Europe, the United States, Korea, and Indonesia are also home to stores.

 

Courtesy of Telefèric Barcelona

Telefèric Barcelona Vouches for its Paella and Sangria

Well, actually, it’s up to paella and sangria lovers to download a voucher, which will give them one of four of Telefèric Barcelona’s paellas and one of four of the Spanish restaurant’s sangrias for just $25. Note, however, the voucher is only good Monday through Thursday, but still, $25 counts as a bargain for, say, lobster paella and a Sangria Telefèric (red wine, gin, and brandy).

Note that the voucher is only good in Walnut Creek, so if you print one out and fly to Barcelona to visit the Telefèric there, it won’t be honored. (We thought you’d want to know …)

 

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza Comes to Grand Lake Neighborhood

The fifth Zachary’s Chicago Pizza—which is employee-owned—has opened in Oakland’s Grand Lake District. The Chicago-style stuffed pizza is also available in Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Berkeley, and Oakland’s Rockridge, but what makes this Zachary’s special is the full bar.

 

Chop Bar Reaches Urban Legend Status

As your English teacher always tried to tell you, punctuation is important, and punctuation includes capital letters. So no, Chop Bar is not an urban legend, but rather the winery Urban Legend Cellars (from Alameda) is partnering with the Oakland restaurant for an $80 prix fixe, three-course, wine-paired meal Tuesday, January 21.

 

 


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