Berkeley gumbo (with potato salad) [split from New Orleans]
Having read this thread with much interest and having forgotten the rice for my take-out gumbo at the office, I decided to try my gumbo from a little hot dog joint in Berkeley with potato salad. Not brave enough to plop it in, I ate the potato salad as a bland, creamy sidedish. It was the perfect foil to the spicy seafood gumbo. I think I'll try the leftovers with the potato salad in da gumbo tonight!
re: Hungry Celeste
For the doyenne of the New Orleans board, anything.
The joint is across the street from Berkeley High School. They primarily serve the sausages from the local hot dog chain, although they split their dogs, so not as good. They also have fried fish and on some Thursdays and Fridays gumbo.
I believe the cook is the male owner who I know went to Berkeley schools starting at least in 1963. He showed me the small pots in which the gumbo was cooking. Don't know where his family's from, but his gumbo seemed authentic to me. I've been to NOLA twice and eaten K-Pauls 3-4 times when he visited the SF Bay Area and I recently bought a house 2 blocks from a Popeye's (a secondary consideration).
I ended up eating the rice with leftover Chinese food, so it's more gumbo and potato salad for me.
Oh, I know of 2 other Black-owned restaurants that also serve pretty good gumbo: There was a baked potato place a block from my office that had gumbo and a soul food special on Fridays. The other, ostensibly rom the sign in front, a burrito place, also serves fried foods and used to do gumbo. Both served the thin broth version and both were good enough that I went back for seconds (and thirds).
re: Hungry Celeste
Sorry to rain on your parade, but don't think it's the kids eating the gumbo. I think it's the staff at $10-13 a pop. There is definitely a gumbo culture here, albeit subrosa. Several of my Black friends have spoken about having gumbo for New Year's. Otherwise I don't hear much about it.
The burrito joint is a good example of double cross cultural influences. The sign says Las Palmas with a Fish and Chips add on. I understand that the owner (and cook?) is Asian. The employees are Black and Hispanic. The gumbo isn't even on the menu. I only knew about it from my man Tony at the Post Office. There is another place down the block and across the street, that was opened by a couple from Louisiana. They made a great crawfish etoufee. Unfortunately, after a robbery at gunpoint and a lawsuit by someone they let use their private restroom who slipped and fell, they sold out to an Asian. Haven't been back since. As an Asian, I don't think we have that kind of soul. Sort of like what I understand happened to my favorite Streetcar Sandwiches on S. Carrollton way back.
That would be Doggie High (formerly a branch of Top Dog). Who knew they served gumbo?
2235 Milvia St, Berkeley, CA 94704
BTW, the OP is from 2007. I'd call to make sure that someone is still there making gumbo.
Here's a link to a great post on the New Orleans board that also re-surfaced, discussing the finer points of adding potato salad to gumbo ... how to do it (in the center, around the edges, separate dish) ... what should be in the potato salad ... the temperature of the potato salad ... the origins of doing this ... etc. It is one of those great past threads, the type that moves Chowhound above other food sites. .