CHOW Tour Handmade
AUSTIN
2/14 - 2/27
OAKLAND
2/28 - 3/13
PORTLAND
3/14 - 3/25
See Where We've Eaten!

A Friendly Pub for British Food and Drink

When we were chatting with Aaron Porter, co-owner of the Trappist, he said we should check out a relative newcomer to Oakland’s beer scene called Commonwealth Cafe & Public House. We immediately wished this neo-British pub was in our respective ’hoods. It’s clean, it’s bright, and the staff is really friendly. READ MORE

Betty’s Famous Fried Chicken Sandwich

Oakland’s Bakesale Betty is known for its iconic blue-haired owner, Alison Barakat; funky sidewalk tables made out of ironing boards; and the long lines for its mighty large fried chicken sandwich. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: The Beer Revival

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland The Beer Revival Many people don't realize that Oakland was a big brewing town all the way up until the late ’50s. Now, it's turning right back into one. At the heart of this revival is Adam Lamoreaux's Linden Street Brewery. While it may be tiny, it's the first production brewery to open in Oakland in about 50 years. We check out Linden Street, taste Adam's old-timey lagers, and also go to a couple of Oakland's coolest beer bars (where Adam delivers kegs by bicycle!): Beer Revolution and the Trappist. WATCH THE VIDEO

CHOW Tour Oakland: West Oakland

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland West Oakland Industrial West Oakland seems an unlikely spot to find a homey restaurant thriving, but on the Mandela Parkway Tanya Holland's Brown Sugar Kitchen is doing just that—and it's serving the most amazing waffles. Next we met up with Nikki Henderson. She runs the food-justice nonprofit People's Grocery, which is helping residents of the neighborhood build a better food system with equal access to fresh, healthy food. WATCH THE VIDEO

Oakland’s Pizza Philosopher

Pizzaiolo’s Charlie Hallowell is a markedly philosophical pizza-maker. His casual, wood-fired pizza restaurant in the Temescal neighborhood serves pies topped with seasonal ingredients like wild nettles or Monterey Bay squid, crisp well-made salads, and great drinks. He chatted with us about how an ideal restaurant vibe transcends commerce and just feels like a party, how pizza-making is a metaphor for life, and how young’uns who want to open a restaurant better sit down and have a clear vision for every aspect of it if they want to be successful. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: Down-to-Earth Upscale

In the last few years, Oakland has seen a boom in casual upscale places to eat, but even at these fancier restaurants the down-to-earth vibe of the city comes through. We talk to Russell Moore of Camino and Daniel Patterson of Plum for their take on why their restaurants fit so well into the Oakland scene. WATCH THE VIDEO

A Nice Little Tart in Rockridge

We went looking for pastries in Oakland, and after a stop by the old-school-to-the-core Taste of Denmark, we went over to Katrina Rozelle in Rockridge for a look at the fancier side of Oakland bakeries. Walking in, it seemed like more of a place to pick up a birthday cake or special-order a fancy dessert for a party, but they did have a few grab-and-eat items. Notably: a lemon tart with creamy homemade lemon curd and a precisely formed crust that was rolled out just thin enough to hold the curd without falling apart.

Katrina Rozelle
5931 College Avenue, Oakland
510-655-3209

Fancy Cocktails at Down-to-Earth Sidebar

There are a lot of things to like about grabbing a cocktail at Sidebar, a restaurant on Grand Avenue, near Lake Merritt:

• There are only eight drinks on the menu, no ridiculously long lists with paragraph descriptions of the cocktails. READ MORE

What Jan Newberry Loves About Oakland

Before we went wandering around Oakland, California, we called longtime Oakland resident and San Francisco magazine food and wine editor Jan Newberry. She gave us an overview of the vibe and talked about some of her favorite spots. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: Unpretentious Street Food

chow tour handmade oakland california unpretentious street food Way before people sold crème brûlée on the sidewalk, there was great street food thriving in Oakland that didn't involve tweeting or "liking" on Facebook. Here's a look at two of the highlights of our tour of the Fruitvale neighborhood. WATCH THE VIDEO

Why Austin Is So Rad

We went to Austin right before the mania of SXSW, and despite working superlong days and freezing half the time, we were reluctant to hop a plane back to the Bay Area. The biggest reason: the people. Everywhere we went, Austinites were friendly, helpful, and fun to work with. Marisela from El Mesón actually offered to loan us warm jackets when she overheard us commiserating about not having packed for the cold snap. We even had a random run-in with Chowhound stellawine at a picnic table in front of the Odd Duck trailer, and had a friendly chat while we were filming that perfect soft-boiled duck egg.

READ MORE

CHOW Tour Austin: The Next Generation of Austin Cuisine

CHOW Tour Handmade Austin The Next Generation of Austin Cuisine Austin's creative spirit is really evident when you meet chefs like Tyson Cole (of Uchi and Uchiko) who are pushing the perception of the city's cuisine way beyond the barbecue and Tex-Mex stereotypes. We also visit two relative newcomers to the neo-Austin scene: East Side Show Room and Foreign & Domestic. WATCH THE VIDEO

Olivia’s Ode to the Twice Baked Potato

We stopped into Olivia for lunch, having read all sorts of accolades about it, from Eater Austin calling it restaurant of the year to Bon Appétit putting it on the 2009 list of the 10 best new restaurants. Chef James Holmes’s menu has all the hallmarks of neo-American cuisine: an assortment of animal parts prepared in tasty ways—familiar enough to not seem intimidating to unaccustomed diners—locally sourced ingredients from produce to cheeses, and the blending of classic preparations (fries, terrines, sabayon) with a touch of modern technique (powders, gelées). READ MORE

Black Star, a Co-Op for Beer-Lovers

While we were filming at Salt & Time, bearded butcher Bryan Butler mentioned that Austin had the only cooperatively owned brewpub in the world, making small batches of craft brew and Austinized pub grub. While other folks who shall remain nameless warned us that it “looked like an IKEA in there,” we still wanted to see what Black Star was doing. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Austin: Tex-Mex or Mex-Tex?

Austin has a ton of great Mexican food, from old-school Tex-Mex to authentic interior Mexican cuisine. We wanted to see the range, so we consulted Austin Chowhounds for a little guidance. On scrumptiouschef's urging, we learned some of the secrets behind a family recipe for enchiladas, complete with classic brown gravy, served at a bowling alley. There were also breakfast tacos at the tiny El Taco Rico trailer, another Chowhound favorite where every corn tortilla is made fresh, and a taste of authentic home-style Mexican cooking at El Mesón. WATCH THE VIDEO

Alamo Drafthouse: Movies Plus Food Plus Beer

A visit to Austin would not be complete without checking out the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. This legendary theater chain (there are nine locations across Texas and one in Virginia) is known for serving beer and food alongside its fantastic curated film screenings—like the Lord of the Rings marathon and hobbit feast or a boy cartoon versus girl cartoon smackdown with all-you-can-eat sugar cereal buffet.

READ MORE

CHOW Tour Austin: Beards, Butchery, and Salumi

CHOW Tour Austin: Meat Curing, Butchery, Salumi Given that Texas is a big meat state, it's not surprising that the local, sustainable trend is catching on. At the center of the local butchery scene is Jesse Griffiths, chef/co-owner of Dai Due. We also check out Salt & Time's cured pig parts just outside Austin, and then cruise up north to the Noble Pig sandwich shop, where the owners flip a duck inside out, cure it, and make a damn good pastrami sandwich. WATCH THE VIDEO

CHOW Tour Austin: Purple Gold, Texas Wine

CHOW Tour Handmade: Austin, Texas Wine When we heard there was a wine country outside of Austin (the Texas Hill Country AVA), we were immediately intrigued, mostly because, well, we had never really thought about the fact that winemaking was happening in Texas. WATCH THE VIDEO

A Less Sketchy Take on the 24-Hour Diner

A town like Austin with lots of nightlife must have all-night diners. But were greasy spoons serving slop from a can the only options? We were tipped off by one of the owners of La Boîte about a diner that actually bothers with stuff like the provenance of the eggs.

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At Austin’s Barley Swine, Fancy Food Without the Fuss

After scoping out Barley Swine while interviewing Chef Bryce Gilmore about his trailer Odd Duck, we wanted to go back and actually eat dinner at the month-old restaurant.

Barley Swine is in South Austin, in a low-key brown brick building—we missed it the first time we drove by. The interior is also simple, with high wooden tables and a little bit of a pub feel. Definitely seemed like a natural extension of Gilmore’s trailer ethos of cooking locally sourced stuff with a few fancier presentations, but serving it in a nonfussy environment and keeping it affordable.

READ MORE

CHOW Tour Austin: Food Trailers Are King

Food trailers are everywhere in Austin, cooking and serving everything from doughnuts covered in Canadian bacon, hot pepper jelly, and cream cheese to vegan Frito pies. We visited two trailers that we heard were serving really excellent food: La Boîte, a retrofitted shipping container turned coffee shop, and Odd Duck, where Chef Bryce Gilmore serves food like quail, venison, and duck eggs—things that don't sound like you'd buy them out of an old orange trailer. WATCH THE VIDEO
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