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Cheap Eats -- Slow

Few frills, more delicious cheap thrills at Berkeley eatery Slow


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At first glance, Slow looks more like a fast-food restaurant than the latest incarnation of the slow food movement. Occupying a teeny space on University Avenue in Berkeley, Slow has no proper tables inside—just two narrow wood counters along each wall, with matching wood stools—in addition to a few tables out front and picnic tables in the back patio. Customers order their food, served on paper plates, at the cashier’s counter.

But entrées like braised short ribs and confit chicken are far from a Big Mac. Chef-owner Kyle Anderson, who worked at the nationally lauded Charlie Trotter’s at his last cooking gig, wanted his first restaurant venture to be all about the food. So, instead of investing in fine china and an army of servers and dishwashers, he spends his money on seasonal, local, organic foods—and he keeps prices low. So you can get a plate of short ribs with mascarpone polenta, escabeche carrots, and roasted onions for $12. Or the herb-infused confit chicken thigh, slow-cooked for four hours, with haricot vert, roasted beets, and flageolet beans, for $11. A seasonal cobbler runs $3, or grab a cookie to go for $2.

No Branding: Aside from the beer and wine, even the beverages are made in-house. Lemonade and iced tea are served with a scoop of freshly diced fruit, such as strawberries or peaches. Or both.

Green to go or to stay: Every plate, fork, knife, and cup at Slow is made of compostable material. So all dirty dishes and scraps go into one bin, reducing landfill.

Slow, 1966 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 647-3663, slowberkeley.com. Lunch and dinner Mon.–Sat.

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