HORN OF PLENTY The bad news is that Horn Barbecue‘s West Oakland brick-and-mortar won’t be opening any time soon — according to Eater, a permitting issue involving a concrete slab has gummed up the works indefinitely. The good news, pitmaster extraordinaire Matt Horn has been hosting pop-ups to ensure Bay Area BBQ fans get their due decadence. This Saturday, he’ll be heading to Hangar 1 Distillery in Alameda, where he’ll be setting up his 500-gallon smoker and serving up his cult-status Texas-style barbecue. Chow time starts at 1 p.m. Be sure to come early; food will no doubt sell out quickly. Hangar 1 Distillery, 2505 Monarch St. (at West Midway Avenue), Alameda
FLINT’S POPS UP AGAIN While Matt Horn is the latest local pitmaster to gain popular acclaim, he’s not the only one to put Oakland on the barbecue map. Back in the day, barbecue enthusiasts drove from hours away and waited in lines to get a taste from another local barbecue gem — Flint’s. The family-owned barbecue joint operated multiple locations in The Town from 1968 until the last joint closed in 2010. Last summer, Crystal Martin, the granddaughter of one of the original owners decided to carry on the legacy started by her grandfather Willy Flintroy by offering catering and hosting pop-ups featuring the original recipes of his famous smoked meats. After two successful pop-ups, Martin is back with another Flint’s pop-up this spring. According to the Bay Area News Group, the next appearance will take place at the Old Sacred Heart School Cafeteria, (675 41st St., Oakland), May 16 on National Barbecue Day. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.
ON THE WATERFRONT On Feb. 29, after seven years at the Jack London Square waterfront, Lungomare (1 Broadway, Oakland) has closed. Restaurateur Chris Pastena first opened the large restaurant-lounge specializing in coastal Italian cuisine in 2013, but had sold it to an L.A.-based company in June 2019 to focus on his other restaurants — Chop Bar, Calavera and Tribune Tavern. A tipster who asked to remain anonymous said Lungomare was sold and will be transitioning into something new, but that executive chef Phillip Taddei would be staying on to head the new eatery.
On Tuesday, Nosh spoke on the phone to Pastena. He said he heard about the restaurant’s closure, but did not know details of what was coming next except that Joie de Vivre, the boutique hotel chain owned by Hyatt that operates the Waterfront Hotel above Lungomare, was involved. The Lungomare Facebook page confirms the hotel will be transforming the restaurant into a new “waterfront dining experience” coming this summer. The Waterfront Hotel’s website currently promotes a daytime eatery called Café Lungomare, open from 7 a.m. to 2.m. daily, for breakfast sandwiches, pastries, coffee, and juice. When Nosh called the hotel, the operator said the café referred to the small coffee shop space at the back of the restaurant, as shown in recent plans for a new awning at 1 Broadway. Nosh has reached out to the management at Waterfront Hotel to clarify details, but had not heard a response at time of publication.
COMMON GOOD While we had Pastena on the horn, he shared that things have been going well for Tribune Tavern, the downtown Oakland restaurant he reopened in September. Pastena said he’s excited about 13th Street Commons, a new public space on the block right outside the restaurant’s door. Pastena, along with others in the downtown community, hope the Commons (on 13th Street, between Broadway and Franklin) will activate the area with social gatherings, concerts and other community events for residents and visitors. “We’re super excited about it because it’ll help make that street more visible to people,” Pastena explained. 13th Street Commons is hosting its first block party featuring music performances by the Alphabet Rockers, Oakadelic and others this Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. Tribune Tavern will be there with refreshments, and Pastena said to stay tuned for the restaurant’s participation at future events at the 13th Street Commons. Tribune Tavern, 401 13th St. (at Franklin), Oakland
HIGH FIVE Over on Solano Avenue in Albany, Los Moles’ sister restaurant 5 Tacos & Beers is just about ready to start serving up both of what its name promises. Founder-chef Lito Saldaña told Nosh the staff will get their feet wet with a friends-and-family practice run this Thursday before opening to the public for dinner service (5-10 p.m.) March 11. Following that, the restaurant will be open all day — for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch on weekends.
From 8-11:30 a.m. weekdays (until 3 p.m., weekends), diners will enjoy a breakfast of champions, with hearty, comforting dishes, like pozole and menudo, chilaquiles and a few iteration of breakfast tacos. Then, starting at 11 a.m., 5 Tacos & Beers will switch gears, offering a rotating selection of five tacos and 30 beers on tap.
The opening taco menu features three meat options: al pastor, pollo al pastor and rib-eye, another with grilled salmon and a vegetarian version with nopales (grilled cactus). Tacos can be ordered individually, or in flights of five to 20.
According to Saldaña, 5 Tacos & Beers will be his most locally focused eatery, with craft beers, organic produce, grass-fed meats, and other ingredients sourced from nearby vendors. All menu items will be made fresh, including handmade corn tortillas and vegetarians can rest easy knowing the beans will not contain lard. Speaking of being veggie-friendly, Saldaña said 5 Tacos & Beers will host Meatless Mondays, when the entire menu will be veggie-focused. 5 Tacos & Beers will be at 1175 Solano (at Stannage), Albany
A NEW FACTION Alameda’s Faction Brewing announced this week that they’ll be opening a second location in Temescal. Faction currently has a tasting room at the old Alameda Naval Air Station, where it also houses its 20-barrel brewhouse. The new Oakland taproom will be located at 4210 Telegraph Ave. (at 43rd Street), the space last operated as Hawk & Pony (and Arbor Café before that), and as some have noted, just a block from Temescal Brewing. But if you’re wondering how Temescal Brewing is feeling about the news, its response on Instagram suggests it’s feeling pretty neighborly: “Yessss! Congrats y’all, welcome to the neighborhood ❤️.“
SOUP’S ON Tipster Sean Rouse alerted Nosh that North Oakland Vietnamese sandwich shop Mai Banh Mi has recently reopened with a new name, new menu and under new ownership. Nosh reported last month that the tiny Telegraph Avenue spot, a dependable stop for Vietnamese sandwiches, spring rolls, vermicelli or rice plates, had temporarily closed for renovation. Turns out the transition was more involved than we had expected. Now called Phosho Dough, the eatery still offers banh mi and spring rolls ($6.95-$7.95), but the menu’s main focus is Vietnamese noodle soup. The menu offers beef, chicken and veggie pho; grilled noodle soups (bowls topped with proteins, like grilled pork, lemongrass beef, grilled shrimp or fish) and a build-a-bowl option ($8.95 and up). Hours are 11 a.m. -7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Phosho Dough, 6601 Telegraph Ave. (at 66th Street), Oakland
DUMPLING DOWN On Jan. 13, Dumpling Express — a popular spot on Southside Berkeley, loved by Cal students for its affordable dumplings, buns, fried rice and other Chinese eats — took to Facebook to inform customers it would be closed for “approximately one week” to update its electrical system. Now approaching two months later, the Bowditch eatery has never reopened. We haven’t heard back from the owners about whether Dumpling Express is closed for good, or if it truly intends to return, but be sure we’ll keep you up to speed once we know more information.
PUERTO RICAN POP-UP Tuesday is a usually day of rest for Augie’s Montreal Deli, but next week, from 2-8 p.m., March 10, the West Berkeley establishment, where Canadian smoke meat and other deli eats rule, will be open for a pop-up from Cali Rican Catering. Cali Rican is headed by Rico Pabon, a chef and musician who started cooking to share his abuela‘s traditonal recipes for dishes like pernil (slow roasted garlic-marinated pork shoulder), pollo al ajillo (chicken in garlic sauce) and bacalao guisao (a tomato-based codfish stew). Pabon once had his own brick-and-mortar restaurant called Sofrito in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. He sold the restaurant to focus on raising his family, but when his kids got older, he started cooking again, and that’s when he brought Cali Rican to life. The catering company offers many of his grandma’s dishes, along with several vegetarian versions of classic Puerto Rican fare, including lentil-filled pastelillos and a vegetarian piñon (sweet plantain and vegetable casserole topped with cheese).
For next Tuesday’s pop-up, Pabon will be cooking up a bountiful menu of Puerto Rican entrees, appetizers and side dishes, including all the dishes mentioned above, as well as many more. He’s also offering two desserts: flan de queso y coco, what Pabon says is a cross between cheesecake and coconut flan, and flancocho (flan baked on top of chocolate cake). While Augie’s won’t be serving food that day, it will be providing refreshments, like soda, juice and draft beers. Augie’s Montreal Deli, 875 Potter St. (near Seventh Street), Berkeley
BREAD & BUTTER This year marks the 20th anniversary for The Bread Project in Berkeley. The nonprofit first sprouted from the Berkeley Adult School in 2000 to help local low-income individuals gain a foothold in the food world. Bread Project trainees learn to bake, but more importantly, they get a full year of support to find and retain a culinary job that pays a living wage. For some of its graduates — including those who have significant barriers to employment, like formerly incarcerated individuals — the Bread Project provides a path to self-sufficiency that would have otherwise been difficult to attain.
To celebrate its two-decade milestone, the Bread Project is throwing a blowout celebration and fundraiser at Salesforce West in San Francisco. The party — featuring a jazz performance by the Equanimous Jones Quartet — takes place 6-9 p.m., March 30. Tickets are $20 and will help ensure that more people can making baking their bread and butter.