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Diablo Dish: Bierhaus Launching in Downtown Walnut Creek

German fare and local beers take over Lark Creek space; chocolate love in Walnut Creek; another championship baker rises in the East Bay; alternatives to cooking on Thanksgiving; and more Dish.


Love + Chocolate / Kristy Lincoln

The Walnut Creek Bierhaus Opens Friday, November 15

The long vacant former home of Lark Creek will finally be back in the Central County restaurant mix when Bierhaus officially opens for lunch and dinner Friday.

The Locust Street debut has been long awaited, as Bierhaus already has a devoted clientele in Oakland’s Temescal District. Expect lots of local beers, German-influenced food, and a sense of community—a special event Thursday, November 14 will raise money for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, which will be a wonderful way to say hello.


Love and Chocolate: the Perfect Holiday Combination

Walnut Creek’s Love + Chocolate (on North Main Street across from the Original Mels) has a winning name, and for those who love fine Belgian chocolates—and who doesn’t? —a winning product line. To make it even easier to indulge, Love + Chocolate will now be open seven days a week.

Even businesses can join the fun with a “Chocolate Experience,” which will bring boxes of chocolates and other European confections to holiday parties. Of course, there are online options, but the Walnut Creek-based owners, Kent and Kristin Lincoln, love to have locals drop by to enjoy hot chocolate (naturally) and coffee while sampling the wide variety of sweet-tooth satisfying candy options.


East Bay Cakemaker Wins $25,000 from the Food Network

Karl Fong, who lives in Hercules and runs Cakes by Karl out of Vallejo, outdid the competition in the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship and took home a tidy $25,000 as a reward.

Fong joins Eric Keppler of Hayward as East Bay Food Network champs, as Keppler won the Best Baker in America battle in June.


Courtesy of Gott's Roadside

“Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive!”—and Rêve Will Celebrate

At one past midnight on the third Thursday of each November—which will be November 21—more than a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau are shipped all over the world, and an annual ritual begins. (For wine novices, it’s a kind of bright, new wine released post-harvest after just a few weeks of fermentation.)

Lafayette’s Rêve Bistro (on Moraga Road) will join the fun with a special menu that Thursday—and of course, there will be plenty of Beaujolais.


November 20 is a Day of Giving at Gott’s Roadside

All six Gott’s Roadside locations will be donating 20 percent of all their Wednesday, November 20 sales to local schools, and proceeds from the Walnut Creek one will go to the Walnut Creek Education Foundation.

Have a burger, and buy a textbook …


Ease Into the Season by Making Thanksgiving as Simple as Possible

It’s hard enough to plan and prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, but you have to clean the house too—and that’s either expensive (have you checked cleaning service prices lately?) or way too much work. So why not go out and let someone else handle all the hard stuff?


Berkeley Boathouse: The new restaurant at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel on the Berkeley Marina will be offering traditional turkey, ham, and prime rib entrées as part of a four-course prix fixe meal. The prices range from $15.95 for children to $44.95 for adults (with some choices landing in between the two extremes), and the meal will be available from noon to 4 p.m.


Cielito Cocina Mexicana: Danville’s newest Mexican restaurant will cook up plenty of turkeys on Thanksgiving, but will also have its regular menu available for those who want to change things up this holiday season.


Claremont Club and Spa: There will be seatings at 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. for the Berkeley hotel’s buffet, and some extras (face-painting, live pianist) are also on tap. The cost is $175 for adults (with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys), $99 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and under.


Comal: Turkey with mole sauce? Why not? And Comal will also prepare tamales, red rice, and black beans along with the 10- to 12-pound achiote-rubbed turkey. So for $229, you get a different take on Thanksgiving dinner for a dozen guests.


Courtesy of Eve's Waterfront

Eve’s Waterfront: Four carving stations, nearly two dozen main course selections and a gorgeous view make Eve’s Waterfront in Oakland (just south of Jack London Square) a popular buffet option. The cost is $65 for adults and $23 for children under 12.


The Terrace Room: The Terrace Room in Oakland’s holiday buffet includes all the usual suspects, and the cost is $69 for adults and $35 for children 5 to 10.


Zino: Berkeley’s Zino (at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza right across from Berkeley Repertory Theatre) will shift from its usual Mediterranean emphasis to a classic Thanksgiving selection, starting at noon and going until 7 p.m. The cost is $59 for adults and $25 for children 6 to 12.


If dining out seems a little too family-unfriendly, there are ways to avoid spending hours preparing food, as local restaurants are happy to do all the heavy lifting—and all you have to do is heat everything up.


The Peasant and the Pear: The main dish is up to you, but for $120, Danville’s the Peasant and the Pear will supply traditional side dishes (cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, etc.) and dessert (pumpkin bread pudding). Orders must be in by Wednesday, November 20, and pickup is Wednesday, November 27 from 2 to 9 p.m.


Walnut Creek Yacht Club: This is the non-turkey option, and the Walnut Creek Yacht Club stays true to its name by letting folks order crab, prawns, oysters, or other seafood, and having their selections ready for pickup between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 27. Orders have to be in by 2 p.m. Monday, November 25, and also on offer are pumpkin cheesecake and Coral Pinot Noir.


Wente Vineyards: It’s a dinner for six, plus two bottles of wine, and the menu is straight out of Norman Rockwell (turkey, cranberry, sauce, etc.) and must be picked up Wednesday, November 27, from 2 to 6 p.m. At $329, it’s pricey, but there’s a cost for a combination of convenience and quality—and there’s a special menu available if some celebrants have dietary restrictions.


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