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Jan 19, 2007 07:54 PM

A reminder of Oliveto's 20th anniversary street festival this weekend.

I may not be able to attend ... sob,sob.

However, looking forward to reports about the zeppole and other stuff for my virtual food fix. Couldn't find the Chowhound post about this, but here's a pdf file from Oliveto.

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  1. Does anyone know, does this mean that the street outside Market Hall (between Market Hall and the BART station) will be shut down to cars all day the way it is when there's the Rockridge street fair?

    2 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      Maybe so, the flyer says "on the sidewalks and into the street."

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Answering my own question: I just drove by, and no, it doesn't look like the street will be shut down, but there will be the booths (kind of carnival like enclosed food booths) on College and along that side street in the parking spaces, but it looks like cars will be able to drive by.

    2. Oliveto confirmed that the outdoor food stands will be there from noon until 10pm. I can't wait!

      1. I went by and had tripe alla fiorentina ($4? for a small bowl), polenta mixed with lamb ragu and cheese ($5), and zeppole ($3 for two). If only there were street food this good every day!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Found my flyer.

          "The public space will begin in the kitchen, spilling down the stairs onto the street."

          In the KITCHEN? Intriguing.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Correction... that's beef ragu with the polenta. I had it and it was rich and delicious! I would definitely recommend it! Also had the Zeppole... yum!

            1. re: chemchef

              Said lamb on the sign. The panino was beef brisket.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I beg to differ... I split one of each with my husband, and since I absolutely cannot stand lamb, I would not have agreed to do so if it had said lamb.

                1. re: chemchef

                  They might have run out of lamb and switched to beef, or vice-versa.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Today they had a pork ragu with the polenta; brisket panini was tasty, if a little too generous with the fatty pieces; zeppole was delicious but perhaps a rip-off--two tiny balls for $3. Of course, I had my Long Island friends with me to complain that its not the same as the street fairs back home, yadda yadda yadda. Anyone take a turn on the bocce court?

          2. What an awesome event. Delicious food (the brisket was my favorite, I loved the fatty bits and the fresh salsa verde). The prices were beyond reasonable; I spent $20 on a full lunch and dessert for two people. For food of this quality, I don't think there's a better deal anywhere in the Bay Area. In addition to the zeppole, they had a wonderful fried lemon custard. They even had seating set up. All in all, Oliveto did a fantastic job. I just wish they would open up a stand at the farmers' market, so we could enjoy this more often. They're talking about doing it again next year, I think it would be a great tradition.

            You still have time to hit this up, the stands are open until 10pm.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              I would have been happy to give you the slices from my brisket panini that were half fat! Not my favorite part of brisket... My friends complained that the zeppole were so much smaller than they were used to getting at fairs back home, but I am sure it was housemade ricotta or something, right? I was suprised there were so few people, but the stands had just opened up when I was there today.

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                I really liked that fried lemon custard thing. It was rich enough that even the small-ish portion was satisfying. The tripe was delicious too. I'd never had tripe, but I loved the way they prepared this stuff, and can't believe this is the same thing people have gagged down on "Fear Factor" and "Survivor" (well, not -exactly- the same thing...)

                What would really be a great tradition would be a rotating booth at the Berkeley farmer's market, occupied by a different restaurant every week. Failing that, an annual Oliveto "Festa" would be great news too.

              2. I loved the Crema Fritta aka the fried lemon custard. It was so good that I got an order to go so I could enjoy at home with some tea. If they offered this at Oliveto (or the Cafe), I'd definitely go there more often. But alas, it's "street food" and not classy enough for their dining room.

                All the savory dishes were good, but my favorite was the polenta. I was looking forward to trying it, and it definitely lived up to expectations.

                The fair will be open a few more hours so if you haven't had a chance to celebrate 20 years of Oliveto's do so now.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mandyf

                  I second the crema fritta -- so good!

                  1. re: The Dive

                    The crema fritta was definitely a hit with my group as well... my Mom, who hates anything related to citrus flavors, did not notice the description before digging in; and even she was impressed!