Jon and Gail attend Berkeley and dine at a deli

April 27, 2011

It’s get the van fixed day (tune-up, oil change and muffler repair followed by four new tires) and at the suggestion of the guys at Buslab (specializing in VW Westfalia repair) we go to La Note for breakfast.

I admit; breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day. I love eating breakfast out and wish we had a good selection of breakfast spots at home, but we don’t (by good breakfast spots I mean, cooked in butter, eggs are soft, baking is fresh from scratch…if I were 20 years younger, I’d start a breakfast restaurant).This spot is ‘Berkeley Provencale’, crazy country French décor, with fantastic food. The orange juice is freshly squeezed. My ‘cote est’ dish of scrambled eggs, crème fraiche pancake and bacon is perfect – eggs are soft and buttery, bacon is thick and crispy and the pancake takes centre stage on the plate – 8” in diameter with a swirl of crème fraiche sitting on top, a side of hand-scooped creamy butter and real maple syrup. Jon’s Omelette de pommes de terre is another winner – sautéed potatoes and caramelized onions, served open faced, with toast (butter on the side) and Provencale tomatoes (wedges seasoned and lightly roasted or sautéed). Big bowls of coffee (café au lait for me and latte for Jon) and we’re very happy. Yes, there’s something about good breakfast places – a big thank you to the guys at Buslab for the referral!

It’s sunny enough to take our bikes for a ride around Berkeley campus. Eclectic architecture, winding paths (all accessible by bike or wheelchair), redwoods and cafes are also in the mix. We continue our ride off campus, west toward the water and stumble upon the Fourth Avenue area just north of University Avenue. This could be the site of another culinary tour to this part CA. Small shops and cafes for several blocks.

Dinner is a stop at Saul’s Deli. Saul’s makes a point of being an ‘evolved’ deli, un-like the deli’s in New York that stopped evolving. Whatever. The latkes are big, chunky and hot, served with applesauce and sour cream. The potato knish is different from my mother’s version; this one is more like a savoury potato strudel. The pastrami sandwich on sourdough rye (could have been a bit thicker) but it was good nevertheless. This is a must stop for deli if you are in Berkeley.

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