ALE INDUSTRIES IS EXPANDING Fruitvale’s Ale Industries is growing rapidly, and, according to marketing director Joseph Gudino, has been working over capacity for “a while now.” While Ale Industries will continue to operate out of its current brewery space, it will increase its production capacity 150% by adding 2,200 bbl per year. It is also adding new routes and a more efficient delivery system so more customers can find Ale Industries beer more consistently. “This is an exciting move for us. We are definitely ready to start this next chapter of our journey,” said production manager Richard Angeles. Ale Industries has made a name for itself by making quirky, flavorful beers in a range of styles. As it writes on its website: “We unapologetically refuse to let our beers be categorized into styles, types, or profiles because we believe it relegates our vision of craft beer from a verb to a noun, from a spirit to a product.” The brewery has partnered frequently with The Half Orange and, before it closed, Salsipuedes. The newest Ale Industries beer to hit the taps will be a kiwi sour, which Gudino describes as “awesome.” Ale Industries is at 3096 E. 10th St. (between Fruitvale and Derby avenues), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
STEEL RAIL NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT Last fall, we brought you news of a new café in Jack London Square, Steel Rail Public House and Café. We now hear from East Bay Dish that the café has been passed on to exciting new owners, namely Shawn Walker-Smith (Tart! Bakery) and Brendan Ellison (Periscope Cellars), who are emphasizing the “public house” part of the name. The pair took over the space a few months ago, but had not gone public with the change until this week. Walker-Smith has been paring down the menu while adding local produce and house-made dressings, spreads and pickles. There’s still a solid lineup of both sandwiches and salads, plus weekly vegan and gluten-free soups. Other items include bacon popcorn (made with leftover bacon fat) and additional baked goods. Given its newly emphasized public house moniker, Steel Rail is also placing a greater emphasis on drinks, with local beer, from the likes of Drake’s, Federation and Fieldwork, on tap, plus wines from Periscope. Ellison has also introduced some of the wine- and white brandy-based cocktails he serves at Deep Roots in Swan’s Marketplace. Steel Rail Public House is at 439 Water St. (at Broadway), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ORGANIC GREENS REPLACES TIA’S A new salad and panini restaurant has moved into the former Tia’s coffee shop at Oxford and Kittridge streets in downtown Berkeley. Called Organic Greens, the restaurant has so far received stellar reviews for its food and affordable prices. Favorite dishes so far include the zucchini noodle salad, the “Berkeley Boys” salad, and the chicken pesto sandwich. The interior has gotten a bit of a makeover; the space is now adorned with bright green walls and new countertops. Organic Greens is at 2117 Kittridge St. (at Oxford Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
LE PHO REPLACES CLAYPOT In other restaurant switcheroos, West Berkeley’s Claypot is now Le Pho, a similar concept. There’s been a slight ownership shake-up (one of the previous owners has left), and the new menu boasts far more dishes, all listed in Vietnamese. Notably, the Le Pho is now serving com tam (or “broken rice”) dishes, a specialty of Saigon. The change, so far, seems to be positive; one Yelper who had dined at Claypot reported bigger servings of pho with “tastier broth and better cuts of meat.” Le Pho is at 2501 San Pablo Ave. (at Dwight Way). Berkeley.
TIDBITS: BOOT & SHOE RENO, BHUGAY’S KATSU CURRY, MONKEY KING Grand Lake’s Boot and Shoe Service is currently undergoing a kitchen renovation. Per Eater SF, the restaurant has suspended lunch service until the changes are complete. Morning and evening hours remain the same. Also in Oakland, we’ve heard that a new Japanese curry restaurant, Bhugay’s Katsu Curry, has opened on 14th Street. It’s a sister restaurant to Bhugay’s Sushi To Go, a no-frills grab-and-go spot on Clay. Six katsu curries (made with fried proteins) are on the menu, along with four regular curries and a short list of bento boxes and noodle soups. In Alameda, an offshoot of the Asian fusion pub Monkey King has opened adjacent to the Alameda Island Brewing Company. It specializes in chicken wings and fried noodle dishes. Wing sauces include salt and pepper, General Tso’s, lemon pepper, and curry flavors. The signature Cajun noodles come tossed with seafood XO sauce, Cajun spices, butter, shrimp, Louisiana hot sauce, sausage, bell peppers and onions. Sounds like prime drinking food. Boot and Shoe Service is at 3308 Grand Ave., Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bhugay’s Katsu Curry is at 578 14th St. (between Jefferson and Clay streets), Oakland. Monkey King at the Brewery is at 1708 Park St., Ste. 120 (at Buena Vista Avenue), Alameda.
Dinners and events
DUELING FOOD FESTS: EAT REAL AND TOWN EATS For the second year in a row, food festivals will take over Jack London Square starting this afternoon. The Food Craft Institute’s Eat Real Festival starts at 1 p.m. today with live music and food and drink vendors galore. Eat Real is free to attend, and all the food (sold by regional food trucks and vendors) features local and sustainable ingredients. Even better: everything costs $8 or less. Highlights of the three-day festival include “The Sausage Rebellion,” an all-female take on the festival’s annual on-stage whole hog breakdown; cookbook cook-offs, where Oakland-based culinary experts and chefs she tips and techniques for cooking at home and on the road; an abundance of local beer, wine and cider at Drink Real; the Urban County Fair, with hands-on activities like churning butter and roasting coffee; and a live viewing of the Oakland-based cooking competition show, Bringing it to the Table. Eat Real food vendors include Belcampo Meat Co., Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, Nutiva, Rice Paper Scissors, Fat Face, Cholita Linda, Bacon Bacon, POP Mama POP!, Curry Up Now, Frozen Kuhsterd and Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos. Drink vendors include Lagunitas, 21st Amendment, Firestone Walker, Temescal Brewing and Crooked City Cider.
On Friday evening, Town Eats will ramp up on the north end of Jack London Square, and it will run through Sunday. Lungomare, Oaklandish and Edible East Bay are hosting the event, which will highlight Oakland food, drink and music. On Saturday, stop by for the event’s annual pig roast contest featuring chefs from Lungomare, Chop Bar and Calavera. The following day, Edible East Bay is sponsoring a tomato festival called “Tomatopia,” which celebrates both the fruit and the farmers with tomato tastings, special $5 tomato dishes, bloody marys and micheladas. Attendees will be able to meet the farmers and taste a few varieties of tomatoes, as well as try tomatoes in a number of small plates and drinks. $5 cocktail specials will run all weekend, and Drake’s will be supplying beer and wine. Live music includes DJ Toure Hiero, Ammbush/ammbaataa, Soul Delicious and DJ Chris Dope. Connect with the Eat Real Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Connect with Town Eats on Facebook.
What else is going on…
REVIVAL ADDS WEEKEND BRUNCH Downtown Berkeley’s Revival Bar + Kitchen is now serving weekend brunch. Restaurant operations manager Daniel Mayer told Nosh that the new menu, served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays “makes the most of what we do best at RBK: local, consciously raised meats, best-of-season produce, and fresh house-baked artisan breads.” Fried chicken Benedict and oysters served with a house-made bloody mary mignonette are highlights of the menu. On the drinks side, look out for the “Hot ‘n Bloody,” the whiskey-based “Dixie Buck” and Wrecking Ball coffee. Revival is also in the process of building a coffee window on its Addison Street side for to-go beverages in the morning. Revival Bar and Kitchen is at 2120 Shattuck Ave (at Addison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
CLOVER MILK GOING ALL NON-GMO Petaluma-based Clover Stornetta Farms announced this week that it will be converting its conventional milk products to be Non-GMO Project Verified over the next two years. The first non-GMO conventional milks will make their appearance on grocery store shelves in early 2017. Clover’s organic milks are already, of course, non-GMO, as such a status is required to be certified organic. Non-GMO conventional milks will, however, be cheaper and more widely available for customers. As one of the only conventional dairy farm groups in the North Bay, Clover believes that this shift will make a real impact on non-GMO dairy. “Our hope is to lead the way by creating an industry-wide movement towards more Non-GMO feed options for our dairy cows,” said Clover president Marcus Benedetti in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working closely with our dairy partners to make this goal a reality.” Connect with Clover Stornetta Farms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.