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Apr 21, 2007 05:18 PM

Oyster Bliss XVI: Café Fanny, Acme Bread, Kermit Lynch

So, who else was there today for number 16 in the sweetest little strip mall and what were your faves?

For me, I started the day with a lovely slice of strawberry rhubarb galette, $5.25, for breakfast to steel myself for an afternoon of wine and oysters. Barely sweetened and not thickened, the delicacy of this classic strawberry and rhubarb pairing was front and center and not obscured by too much sugar. I loved the fresh tartness in the balance. I also had a taste of the salty chocolate cookie, sprinkled with a bit of fleur de sel for the saltaholics out there. And, to wash it down, a cup of Dagoba hot chocolate.

Chef Anastasia was outside at the pastry stand and I had a chance to ask here when the almond macarons would return to the rotation. The ones served here two years ago left a big impression on me. She said she’d be making macarons in various flavors this next week at Café Fanny.

Image of strawberry rhubarb galette –

I had a taste of my friend’s serving of Christopher Lee’s Niman pork sausage. Back on form again this year. But for me, I put my money on a dozen oysters. Very sweet, if a tad soft this time. The 2005 Muscadet was my favorite match of the three wines we tried.

Image of a dozen oysters on the half shell -

The savory herb slab from Acme helped dilute the wine in our tummies to continue drinking. Also, the pair of grilled sandwiches, the ever popular eggplant and a seasonal offering, avocado and bacon with green goddess dressing on firm Acme pain de mie. Both glorious.

Image of Café Fanny sandwiches -

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  1. From these accounts, it sounds like the eating in that parking lot has improved a little since the days when it was a motorcycle dealership!

    1. I am *so* happy the Chowhound phone-tree is still in use!

      My chow pup and I arrived at the crack of 11:00am for our first annual Oyster Bliss and walked directly to main table. Arriving early was key! We decided to eat right away and get our dessert when Melanie arrived.

      We spilt a grilled sausage, which arrived with a section of Acme baguette, a small salad of mixed greens in a light vinaigrette, a smear of grainy brown mustard and gorgeous sausage. The sausage was incredibly juicy and hot off the grill and really hit the spot with a dab of mustard. (My dark secret? I don't actually eat oysters).

      We both had the salt-a-holic chocolate cookie, which was delicious. Powerfully, densely chocolate, yet surprisingly light.

      I'm really sad I missed this: avocado and bacon with green goddess dressing on firm Acme pain de mie. I'm definately stopping by Fanny tomorrow to ask about future availability!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Alexandra Eisler

        Hope you'll let us know if Cafe Fanny has those macarons.

        1. re: Alexandra Eisler

          When I got up to the cashier to place my order at Cafe Fanny, I vacillated about three times between the egg salad sandwich and the bacon one. Finally the staffer tried to help me asking if I'd tried either before. When I said that I'd had the egg salad before, loved it but hadn't eaten one for a couple years, she suggested the bacon and green goddess as it's seasonal . . . didn't sound like it was a one-day only thing.

          Here's a link to a discussion and recipes for green goddess dressing on the Home Cooking board.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            No macarons as of today at Cafe Fanny. The woman at the counter never heard of them.

            I appreciate what Cafe Fanny does. Can't fault it. Yet it rarely grabs me taste-wise. Skip the current batch of strawberry ice cream. While the texture was fine, I didn't like the berries used ... reminded me of seascapes. It needed more sugar.

            The bacon sandwich with green goddess was fine, however with the avacado on it it was difficult to tell what was green goddess and what was fresh avacado. The bacon used was only ok.

            On the other hand, I was one more time wowed by Acme. The prices are so good for that quality of bread. I got the challah which was huge and quite nice $3.80. I did a back to back with Cheeseboards challah. Hard to choose. Acme is prettier and more eggy, but I like Cheeseboards challah a lot too.

            1. re: rworange

              I was at Cafe Fanny this afternoon as well, and tried the strawberry rhubarb galette. As Melanie pointed out, the fruit filling was not a thick gluey mess but fairly juicy. I liked the galette in that it wasn't too sweet, and there was a nice tangy twist to it from the strawberries. To my disappointment, as the previous Chowhound pointed out, there weren't any macarons, only some oatmeal raisin cookies, truffles, and biscotti.

              I also stopped by at Acme next door and got the almond citrus brioche, since I remember reading about a Chowhound's recommendation of it. The lady I talked to said it could keep for up to weeks at room temperature. Hopefully I'll get to try it in a few days and enjoy it just as much as the others did.

              1. re: dreamsicle

                No macarons, how disappointing! If you don't get to the brioche for a while, it makes great french toast.

                1. re: dreamsicle

                  Is that a typo? The almond-citrus brioche will keep for weeks at room temp! Next visit to ACME I'm gonna look for it and give that goodness timeline a test. It it one of those only on Fri/weekend items?

                  1. re: Bookmark

                    Well that was what the lady told me ... "as long as you don't keep it at extreme temperatures." I even asked if it should be kept in the fridge and she said no. I'm not sure if it's a Friday/weekend-only item though, since it's my first time to the store.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Oyster Bliss XVII will be Sat April 19, 2008 from 11a-4p @ Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, 1605 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley.

              Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
              1605 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

              3 Replies
              1. re: hhc

                N.B. that this is not an inexpensive event even though you're eating off of paper plates seated in a folding chair (if you're lucky enough to get a seat) on asphalt. I probably spend about $30 on food and an equal or greater amount on wine for lunch.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  This is always a really fun event, as are all the Kermit Lynch parking lot lunches. We can't go this time because of a prior commitment, but recommend it heartily. We tend to get there pretty early to make sure we get seats.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Agreed, but totally worth it. We spent $70 on a sausage each and 2-1/2 dozen oysters between two of us. each of us had two glasses of wine. we sat around and went back for one more sausage to split and another 1/2 dozen oysters. and, after eyeing it on someone else's plate, the breadcrumbed goat cheese, levain toast and salad from Cafe Fanny. and FINALLY, we tried the caramel/coconut and the almond macaroons, which were to die for - light and airy and rich, and a chocolate salty cookie. The oysters were fat and uctuous, the sausage perfectly spiced. the salad of mixed greens that came with the sausage, while usually an afterthought, here stood up perfectly to the sausage. good dressing. I had a rose and then the aligote, sister had aligote and then sparkling. total for the afternoon for the two of us was probably over $100. but so worth it.