Thursday, February 18, 2010

Where to eat in Berkeley, Part I

Whenever my family comes to visit me in California, we tend to eat our way across LA. Now that I'm spending some time traveling up north to the Bay Area, I'm continuing the tradition. I had a fabulous time over Valentine's/President's Day weekend with friends and family up in Sacramento and Berkeley, plus the ritual sharing of delicious (and not so delicious) food.

First up is the restaurant that is top of my list of restaurants to return to in Berkeley. It's Bacheeso's. Bacheeso's is a family-owned restaurant that features locally-produced and sourced ingredients, plus a name that's very funny to say. Ba-cheeeeese-o's. Wandered over there for brunch/lunch on Sunday. They have a regular menu (which I haven't actually looked at), but on the weekends they serve a brunch buffet. If this conjures up images of pancakes, muffins, and "build-your-own" omelette bars, then think again. On my plate was a spoonful of cabbage salad, pepper & zucchini salad, mashed potatoes, lentils w/ assorted veggies, half a delicious pear, and more that I can't remember. Plus a small cup of rice pudding for dessert. There were also egg dishes, pancakes, soup, roasted vegetables, cake, and more fruit.

In addition to this feast, I had the best coffee I've ever had in my coffee-drinking existence (which, truth to tell, has been short). It was smooth, flavorful, and so delicious I drank it straight up and had to stop myself after the second cup because otherwise I would have been in serious caffeine overload. I can imagine going back just for dessert (a small sampling of which I saw, and had to restrain myself) and more coffee.

The pricing is good; the eating space pleasant, bright, and open; and there is a wall on the way to the restroom tacked up with thank-you letters from various social organizations that Bacheeso's has donated food to. It's nice to have a place that is so socially conscious. I'm really looking forward to my next visit there.

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