Wednesday, May 03, 2006

chance meetings in the gourmet ghetto

This morning I went to Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley for breakfast. I had a decaf coffee and their "Mediterranean Poached Eggs" (Poached Eggs with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Olives and Parsley atop Toasted Sourdough Bread). The music was tight, the art was moving, the vibe was right, and the Grub was off the chain.

keba konte and andrea ali, co-owners of guerilla cafe


While I was at the counter ordering my food I started rapping with a cat, Omar, who was buying a copy of Grub from Guerilla (thanks for carrying it yall). He told me that after working at Chez Panisse for several years he was now the manager of a new restaurant in Oakland--Pizzaiolo. Omar went on to explain that the executive chef-owner, Charlie Hallowell, had worked at Chez Panisse too and left to start Pizzaiolo.

In the spirit of Alice Waters, Pizzaiolo is committed to serving Grub (healthy, local, sustainable food). They change the menu every night, and the vibe is nice. Bethanie and I went there a few weeks ago, and there was a line out of the door. We went next door to Dona Tomas, and they had an hour waiting list. So we went to old faithful--Cactus Taqueria and had fish tacos.

On the way home from Guerilla, I realized that Omar used to be a waiter at Chez Panisse. He served Bethanie and me once, and we left the restaurant talking about how professional, efficient, smart, and laidback he was. I can honestly say that he was the best waiter I ever had. Thanks brother.


omar white, manager of pizzaiolo