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Aug 3, 2005 01:16 AM

Emeryville - Manzanita - Vegan Macrobiotic all-you-can-eat weekend bruch buffet

  • r

... although as a non vegan it sounds like a horror story waiting to happen.

Anyone tried this place? It is buried, BURIED in what seems to be a new emerging restaurant row. It is down the road from Ikea around the corner from the Emeryville Arizmundi ... on 40th street a block up from San Pablo.

Weekend brunch is $12.99.

Actually to stop being silly the menu looks interestig ... as in interesting good. It is organic too. Wonder if you can wear leather inside.


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  1. Ok, it seems that this place was formerly called the Organic Cafe which was in business for over 19 years. Supposedly the same people in the kitchen or owner or something.

    Anyone tried them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      yep, ate there a few times when they were the organic cafe. they had a prix-fixe lunch menu for around $10: a plate of very healthy-tasting, undersalted food. i think manzanita is sort of the same deal.

      i did hear from a previous employee that the kitchen has health code problems.

      the express reviewed it in february, see link below.


      1. re: varmicon

        Thanks for the link, though the reviewer seemed more interested in making comments about vegans rather than the food.

        Don't know if it is the same person, but someone seems to have an axe to grind with the current owner who was the landlord prior to buying the restuarant. There are some really nasty comments out there on the web about Manzanita management.

        The places looked super clean to me, but who knows.

    2. I tried it fairly recently with my vegan friend (I'm not). Though I really like super healthy food to balance my usual diet of EVERYTHING, this food felt a bit too much like penance to me. My first comment was that it needed salt. My friend thought so too, but since then she's been back a few times and found it decent. Haven't tried the weekend brunch, just lunch on a weekday. The people in there are nice if a little spacey.

      3 Replies
      1. re: veebee

        Manzanita Restaurant

        I went today before reading the posts. While it is no Greens, the food was tasty and very fresh. Unless there are warnings otherwise, I might try the weekend brunch.

        The inside is a little modern and industrial looking, but they have an outdoor area in a small, pretty garden.

        They have a little bakery counter in front which I would strongly advise against. If you have the choice of starvation or the cookies, choose starvation. Very tasteless baked goods with an unpleasant chalkiness.

        Choice of beverage is twig tea or water.With only one tenth of the caffeine of leaf tea twig tea (Winter tea or Kukicha) is made from twigs and old leaves harvested when tea plants are dormant. It was a pleasant light tea.

        Everything is organic including the tea. Each table has condiments to spiff up your meal – bottles of soy sauce and rice wine, a shaker of brewers yeast and a shaker of gomashio (toasted ground sesame seeds and sea salt)

        Today’s $10 selection was

        Beet Veggie Miso Soup
        Rice Balls with Shiitake Mushroom Leek Sauce
        Saute Daikon, Carrots & Green Beans
        Black Eyed Peas with Onions
        Mixed Green Salad with LemonTahini Dressing
        Steamed Kale Greens

        Everything was tasty, but the beet soup was elegant and flavorful. The color of a light tomato soup, it had little pieces of beet, scallions, dried green peas, and tomatoes. I liked this very much.

        That was followed by a heaping plate of veggies, beans and rice, garnished with a slice of orange. The rice ball was really a rice croquette, fried with a crispy exterior, it was mixed with herbs. It was topped with the pleasant mushroom/leek sauce.

        There greens were fresh and as was the nice lemon dressing. The green beans in the sauté were especially fresh and good. I am not a fan of black eyed peas but I liked them. The steamed kale was just that and gave me a chance to play with the condiments to pep it up a bit. The best combination was dressing it with rice vinegar and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

        There was a $7 option

        Garbanzo Beans
        Short & Long Grain Brown Rice
        Steamed Veggies: Carrots, Daikon & Celery
        Steamed Kale Greens

        Any of the items can be ordered a la carte. There is a take out option that charges by the pound, but they encourage you to bring your own container. They are very environmentally conscious and there is a bag to recycle your receipt next to the register.

        It’s nice they have the menu which changes for each meal on the website daily. The chefs rotate also. The chef responsible for the meal is listed on the website also. I have read that Saturday nights are the best, but don’t know if that is true.

        The customers were all ages from a family with a baby to local pixar types to seniors. The service was efficient.

        1. re: rworange

          Before I toss, uh recycle, this flyer, Susan Jenson (8/6) and Michael Bauce (8/13) are giving Macrobiotic cooking classes on these Saturday dates from 2 - 5pm.

          At the end of the class, all will feast on the food prepared during the class.

          According to the flyer Susan and Bauce have been giving classes for 20 years world-wide.

          So for anyone so interested ....

          I have to think though that Chowhound doesn't have a huge vegan folowing, however if you KNOW anyone who would be interested ...

          1. re: rworange

            Thanks for the nice post. I'll have to give this place another try. The menu you describe sounds more exciting than the one I experienced. It's great that they change it often. I can always bring my own salt.

        2. It turns out they also put the items available for the weekend brunch on their web site as well. For future reference here's a sample:

          ~Sunday August 7th, 2005~
          All you can eat buffet 11:30 am - 9:00 pm

          Cook: Michael and apprentice

          Full Meal $12.50

          Creamy cabbage & kombu soup
          Short grain brown rice and wehani rice w/ oily miso OR basil pesto
          Mustardy black eye peas and carrots
          Yams marinated in orange juice w/ hijiki
          Corn on the cobb w/ ume paste
          Spectacular kale
          Salad w/ lime-tahini dressing
          Dill pickles
          Dessert (*while it lasts...) Apple crisp!!

          Having completed a taco crawl, I have a certain 'eau de lard' lingering, so sometime in the future. Don't want to tick off the vegans.