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Feb 27, 2012 04:52 PM

Berkeley: The Gourmet Garden on University

There is a lovely outdoor patio area sared by the following restaurants and businesses

Place an order inside or pick up a pastry or coffee and take a teat at one of the long picnic tables shaded by big red umbrellas, smaller four top tables or take a seat on one of the big wooden park benches.

You can mix and match … sandwich at one place, dessert another, wine, beer, coffee another … progressive eating in one pretty spot.

If I was a student at Cal, this would be my lunch spot of choice

When Chris Blue first opened his chocolate shop, he had hopes that more restaurants would settle in the area. Friends of his opened Eve (now Brasa. I don’t know how much he had to do with all of this, but it just shows how a single business can help transform an area.

Restaurants and businesses

Brasa: A Peruvian Joint

Chocolatier Blue

New Amsterdam Coffeeshop

OctoberFeast Bakery


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  1. IIRC, the eVe/Brasa wife and the Slow chef both worked with Blue @ Charlie Trotters in Chicago.

    Blue is definitely a partner in Slow. From what I've read, he enticed the Laramie's to check out Berkeley, but I don't think he's got a stake in their restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: drewskiSF

      That is correct. I didn't mean to imply that Blue had any stake in any restaurant there, other than being someone who envisioned other restaurants opening nearby and got the ball rolling when his friends opened eve. Nothing more than talking up the possibilities.

    2. Are they calling it that? I never heard a name for that place.

      The complex was conceived as a cluster of restaurants by the realtor who redeveloped it. Pretty clever preservation and reuse of a nice group of buildings.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Slow calls the back area The Rose Garden. Don't know about the other spots, but I like the sound of Gourmet Garden.

        The stretch of University was dubbed the "Gourmet Gulch" by E Bay Express a couple years back.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          i have thus christened it.

          i thought it fit ... though maybe gourmet may be overstating some and everything is affordable. There isn't a place there that you couldn't have a nice lunch for under ten bucks. New Amsterdam pays more homage to the old Smokey Joe's than any upscale cafe.