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Jul 16, 2009 07:04 PM

Berkeley Bowl West officially open

The other thread was getting way too long for me and had some outdated info.

As someone else mentioned, the Grand Opening celebration is this week July 13 - July 19.

The Cafe is finally open

Berkeley Bowl's Cafe W Rotiserie and Grill - BBQ brisket, wood-fired pizza, gelato, frites and wine

There are some really good deals on produce this week for the grand opening which I'll list in the first reply as that's a temporary thing.

One useful thing to carry over from the inital long thread is that there is an underground parking lot with a sign that indicates how many spaces are left. That's not the most accurate. The times it has said full, there were at least a dozen spaces.

Berkeley Bowl West
920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

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  1. Opening week specials

    There's a green flyer with specials, but there is a lot more

    33 cents - Yellow or white corn (3 for $1)
    39 cents lb - Large cantelope
    39 cents lb - bagged small Yukon gold potatoes
    49 cents lb - beautiful fresh broccoli (59 cents for crowns)
    49 cents lb - Orange honeydews
    49 cents each - large cukes (29 cents for small)
    59 cents lb - a dozen varieties of nice summer squash
    59 cents lb - Fuji apples
    99 cents lb - Bing cherries
    99 cents - 6 oz organic blueberries
    $1.19 - pint of conventional blueberries
    $1.59 lb - Organic yellow peaches
    $1.69 - Organic Bing cherries

    Some other interesting stuff

    Sour cherries are availavble ($3.39 lb)

    There were some really swell looking logans still on the branch which they noted were non-irradiated.

    Whole Thailand durian were looking very nice and I think I detected a faint eu de durian coming from them (5.50 lb)

    There were fiddlehead ferns from Canada

    They had some lovely small Persian cucumbers, not the usual type

    I tried those really, really expensive bright pink Australian Oca potatoes. They are really, really good ... especially raw. They have a nice crunchy, citrusy non-potato taste. Give one a try. They are really small and a taste test won't cost much. I'm kind of hooked on them now.

    They have re-arranged the cheese counter a bit. The samples are in a better spot up front instead of at the back causing a jam on the aisle. The special is the Holland parrano $11.99 lb. That was the sample and it is good. Bellewether's Crescenza was looking especially good.

    Didn't have time to do more than check out the produce and cheese, so there might be other specials this week.

    1. There is a conversation going on in the original Berkeley Bowl thread going on about people being unhappy with the separate organic produce section. My computer just has problems with threads over 100 posts, so I'll drop my comment here.

      Stop by the customer service desk and make a suggestion to combine them. If enough people do that they might just combine them. Unlike the Oregon Street location, this location seems to have customer service people who are, uh, nice.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Having conventional and organic produce separated greatly reduces the chance that pesticides will get onto the organic items thus giving people a better shot at actually getting what they are paying extra for. The old Bowl separates items out (for the most part) and I've never heard complaints about it . Seems like common sense to me which I like to encourage on the rare occasions I see it these days.

        The Trader Joe's on Lakeshore on the other hand tumbles all the produce together regardless of type and I wouldn't buy fresh food there if you paid me.

        1. re: bbq babe

          At the Oregon store, all organic produce is not separated into its own separate section of the store as it is at BBW. In the fruit aisles, there are sections of organic and conventional; same for tomatoes, potatoes, etc. It's possible to compare all the fruit offerings across organic and conventional without having to walk clear across the produce department. That is the objection that has been voiced in the other thread.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Also, BB frequently has "pesticide-free" offerings in addition to organic, especially for oranges and apples (when in season). Sometimes these are better quality than organic, and always cheaper. So side-by-side comparison is useful.

            1. re: Joel

              I agree. I prefer to compare myself, and don't worry about organic or not so much.

        2. re: rworange

          Yes, I agree, the customer service is very good. In fact, I phoned the first Sunday they were open and my question was taken, researched and answered in a call back by Diane Yasuda herself!

          1. re: sydthekyd

            The customer service in the cafe is bad though. At least it was today. My daughter & I plus another guy standing by the gelato counter..waiting...and waiting. The guy was too busy yapping with the cashier. He saw us standing there but still no attempt to help us. I finally gave a loud throat clearing & a nasty eye contact & he was on his way.
            I have to say it was nice to find parking within 1 minute upon entering the lot. To not have to navigate around people who leave their cart in the middle of the aisle so they can look at something at the opposite end of the aisle was nice. I was confused about the separate organic produce because that's the first thing I saw was produce so I assumed it was all one section..until I saw the prices. No big I know.
            I was ready to check out & didn't have to wait 15 minutes in fact I just walked right up to the cashier & was checked out in less than 5 minutes. Granted it was around 3 pm on a Tuesay but what better time to go.