4th St. Finds - Lamb Ham, Hot Cider, Himalayan Salt Bricks
I don't care how precious or yuppified it is, 4th St. in Berkeley has some of the best chow this side of the bay.
Started the weekend off right with some Lamb Ham from the Cafe Rouge Meat Market. The ham was delicious, thinly sliced with a great lamb flavor. I picked up a cave aged Gruyere from Cheeseboard and made some killer Croques. Rouge makes some of the best deli meats in town, only problem is they only make about one a month and they sell out fast (though there was still about a half pound of lamb ham left as of noon today). The key is to watch the calendar over the cash register, it will tell you when the next batch of cured goodness will be ready.
Apple season means Hot Cider at Sketch. It's a soul satisfying beverage with a lovely spice blend and a nice tart finish. Warms the throat and the heart. Perfect on a chilly afternoon in Berkeley. Sketch also just started making delicious coconut macaroons which have usurped their chocolate chip cookie as my favorite baked good. One of the other patrons at Sketch today told me that he just returned from Europe and the ice cream at Sketch beat all the gelato he tried in Italy.
Napa Style just opened a location on 4th. It's an interesting mish mash of Pasta Shop, Sur La Table and Crate and Barrel yet somehow more yuppie than all three. In other words, it's just right for the nabe. I was most impressed by their beautiful display of salts, they had about eight varieties. Grey, pink, white, black, red, from all over the globe. They even had large bricks of salt. Not sure how much shopping I'll do here, the prices are out of my range, but I'm thrilled to have a good source for salt.
Yes, Pasta Shop does have a good salt selection. At least for my plebe/neophyte taste.
I don't like Napa Style just because of the name. Yuppie Phonus balonus! I know, now I'll go in there and think it's the best store on earth. Never!
Sheesh, I was on Fourth St on Friday and didn't know Sketch sold cider (and hot as well). Rats. I had breakfast at Bette's for the first time in years. Hubby and I used to eat there almost every morning at 6:15 a.m. when I had an early job in the early 80's. I had scrapple, poached eggs and fried tomatoes. Good as ever. My only gripe is that their poached eggs are served in a small side dish and are always sitting in a puddle of water. I used my napkin to sop some up but didn't get it all. Consequently, the eggs are runny/watery. I wish they'd invest in Cafe 817's egg poaching machine. Alway perfect and still my favorite place for breakfast on earth.
I've had Cafe Rouge's mortadella once and it was very good.
Yes, it's that Napa Style. It's probably best described as a "lifestyle" store - kitchen equipment, furniture and tools for entertaining lots of wine gear and a few gourmet ingredients. If you're on 4th st, it's worth popping your head in just to check out the beautiful salt display.
Teance isn't open yet. I'll post when it is.