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Great food at Slow Restaurant, in Berkeley

d
D Hound Aug 7, 2010 08:08 PM

Just went to Slow for the first time, and I must say I was well impressed with the food. We had a pulled pork sandwhich, the braised short rib with polenta and vegetables, and a fruit cobbler. All of the dishes were truly excellent. All of the elements in the pulled pork sandwhich worked really well with each other (thin slices of apple, trufle aioli, grain mustard, coleslaw, and pork). Maybe the one minor issue was the bread itself (very tasty, but perhaps not great for that kind of sandwhich, i.e. too much leakage). The braised short rib dish was superb. Meat was melt in your mouth tender (forget about knives), and had a remarkable depth of flavor. The polenta was some of the tastiest polenta I've ever had (I am not usually a fan). Lastly, the fruit cobbler was really good (pretty gooey and cakey, which I love).

You can taste the quality of the ingredients here, as well as the careful preparation and seasoning. Kudos to Slow.

  1. ...tm... Oct 24, 2010 10:48 PM

    I've only stopped by for lunch (and didn't notice the back area) but I found the quality of food here to be perhaps the best value in Berkeley. At first I was skeptical of my braised short rib sandwich, since in came in two separate sandwiches between slices of ciabatta, which weren't in the easiest structure to eat, but the balance of flavors was perfect. I was a little leery because I'm not the biggest fan of pear, which is an ingredient on the sandwich, but the overall effect was perfect. I liked how they have side salads for the reasonable price of 2.50. The beluga lentil salad was good but not great, but a welcome healthy addition. Service was very friendly, too.

    1. Morton the Mousse Oct 21, 2010 05:01 PM

      I like this place. Food is comforting. Definitely the sort of stuff my wife would make at home, but when both of us are too tired to cook it's a great option. Very reasonable pricing - most entrees are around $13, fairly filling, and they use organic and local ingredients. On our visit, we tried the braised short ribs and the chicken confit. Everything was well prepared (tender short ribs, juicy chicken) and came with a nice selection of properly cooked fresh vegetables and starches. This certainly isn't a destination, but for a quick, convenient, tasty, fresh, organic meal at this price point it can't be beat. Back patio is lovely when it's warm with plenty of seating. When the weather gets cold, it will be best as a take out option. I also saw people doing some informal BYO.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Morton the Mousse
        n
        neu Oct 24, 2010 07:58 PM

        Update regarding back area: (1) Correcting the abovementioned Correction - Look again, not "little wooden stools to sit on" in the back, but long wooden benches with backs and slats, (2) They have replaced the smaller tables for 2 in the back with long tables - not as intimate, but more people can sit there (3) They are installing heaters and lights for nighttime users & (4) this doesn't pertain to the back area, but FYI they said this weekend they have no plans to raise prices.

      2. escargot3 Oct 20, 2010 11:44 PM

        stopped by this aft and was disappointed with the physical space -- it's more of a take out place.
        either that or -- a bit of an irony - for a quick bite to eat. indoors, there are only benches to sit on lining both walls. there are tables outside in the back, but by 4pm it was already chilly. it's not a spot to sit and chat with a friend.
        but i'll definitely be back for the food.

        9 Replies
        1. re: escargot3
          a
          abstractpoet Oct 21, 2010 12:01 AM

          There's a "back"?

          1. re: abstractpoet
            n
            neu Oct 21, 2010 04:13 AM

            There's a lovely space in back, with tables & benches situated amongst many roses growing all around.

            1. re: abstractpoet
              Robert Lauriston Oct 21, 2010 10:33 AM

              Oh yeah, I noticed that the other day and meant to post about it. The landlord has made a nice patio area in the back. Looks like it's shared by all the tenants.

            2. re: escargot3
              escargot3 Oct 21, 2010 08:29 AM

              correction: not "benches" but little wooden stools to sit on.

              we didn't know about the back "patio" seating until we were half way out the door and someone mentioned the option of sitting out in the back. there's no signage.

              kudos to the gardener tending the roses, btw. it's an amazing array of old roses.

              1. re: escargot3
                l
                lmnopm Oct 21, 2010 08:47 AM

                Did you notice if they now have beer/wine?

                1. re: lmnopm
                  escargot3 Oct 21, 2010 10:38 AM

                  the only beverages they sold yesterday were:

                  lemonade
                  raspberry ice tea
                  watermelon ice tea

                  kinda limited...

                2. re: escargot3
                  a
                  abstractpoet Oct 21, 2010 10:17 AM

                  Ah, good to know. The indoor seating situation was, for me, enough to postpone a return visit. But if there are actual tables on a back patio, then that sounds a lot more appealing, weather permitting. Wonder if that's a more recent addition?

                3. re: escargot3
                  Melanie Wong Oct 21, 2010 10:47 AM

                  What did you order?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    escargot3 Oct 21, 2010 12:00 PM

                    sorry, just raspberry tea. (reminded me of my Eastern European grandparents who used to put a scoop of raspberry jam in their tea...)

                    but i will return for some quick slow food.

                4. m
                  milklady Aug 8, 2010 09:45 PM

                  I had an excellent caprese sandwich - heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and arugula on a croissant. It also had a truffle aioli, which was very good, but I wish I had known it was going to be on the sandwich. Service was quick, and the space was really nice. I look forward to trying their sides in teh future.

                  1. wolfe Aug 8, 2010 09:45 AM

                    When Trotters don't refer to pigs feet.
                    Charlie Trotter alums on the south side of University between Milvia and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
                    Chris Blue, a former pastry chef at Charlie Trotter, Chocolatier Blue.
                    Veronica Laramie, who also cooked at Charlie Trotter, and her husband Christopher, eVe.
                    Kyle Anderson, another Charlie Trotter alum, Slow.

                    -----
                    Chocolatier Blue
                    1964 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94701

                    1. a
                      abstractpoet Aug 8, 2010 09:35 AM

                      Food politics aside, "Slow" seems to me to be a really unfortunate name for a restaurant. That said, the food/concept sounds good, so I'll look forward to checking it out.

                      1. s
                        sydthekyd Aug 8, 2010 09:08 AM

                        Where is this place, please?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: sydthekyd
                          wolfe Aug 8, 2010 09:12 AM

                          1966 University Avenue, near Milvia, within walking distance of Chocolatier Blue, eVe and Octoberfeast Bakery, a mini gourmet ghetto.

                          1. re: wolfe
                            d
                            D Hound Aug 8, 2010 02:24 PM

                            It is literally next door to Chocolatier.

                            Bear in mind this is a totally no-frills place. Food is served in plastic/paper dishes. At the same time, though, they do not skimp on the quality of the ingredients. And food is prepared to order - the chef will finish every single dish leaving his kitchen, which is always a good sign.

                            PS: More information at http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/paolo...

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