|BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN |
2534 MANDELA PARKWAY WEST OAKLAND,CA.
T-S 7:00AM-3:OOPM SUN 8:00AM(MAMA NEEDS HER BEAUTY REST)-3:OOPM
TANYA HOLLAND THE GIRL BEHIND THE GRIDDLE
The East Bay always perks my antenna for a meal well done and today was no exception. I did my usual random search with two words...SOUL FOOD. I never look at YELP or even glance at another review , I find a name that catches my eye and a menu that speaks inspiration. Now this method has misguided me a plenty but when my secret squirrel sense hones in on a gem I'm one happy squirrel. Today is that day......
Sit back this is a good one.
|Soooo West Oakland I go and find a little corner slice of a building in an industrial neighborhood with people streaming out the door with grins and shiny chins.....Hmmm I must be in the right place. Apon entering I see a small warm spot with an open kitchen with diner seating and small two and four top tables.As I sat at the counter to get a birds eys view I noticed a theme at most tables...chicken n waffles. Humph. Now I do love me some sweet salty action like the next girl but CNW has gotten alittle over used to signify a regional flare. Hell IHOP has it on special now. Kinda like a finding Mid Century design at KMart. But ALAS I was not deterred it smelled too good and the flip waffle makers whispered sweet nothings to my hungry eyes,ears and belly. Water served and a tidy to the point menu arrived and the adventure began. |
Ohhh Tanya ; girl, you know your wine. A very well thought out short and sweet list of wine and beer was looking back at me with Kermit Lynch grinning proudly. OK time for a lesson. Kermit Lynch who you might ask and why should you care?
Kermit is a wine importer, renegade wine maker and author based in Berkeley ca. He wrote the book ADVENTURES ON THE WINE ROUTE Which won the Veuve Clicquot Book Of The Year award. He also is a James Beard (my secret food boyfriend in a bow tie)foundation recipient of the WINE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR. The French Govt. also gave love in the form of the(Hardly ever an American ) CHEVALIER de L'ORDRE de ME'RITE AGRICOLE. So Tanya was thinking she needed a good Girl Friday for her food and Kermit is her man.
I happily asked for a glass of Loire Valley Chard to join my Chicks N Waffles and Boy Racer ordered a Micro Hefeweisen and the oyster Po boy with a side of Mac N Cheese.
Tanya was on the line with a staff that knew what to do when to do it and did it well. Communication of order fires were well timed to this seasoned ear and this made my tummy growl. The food arrived and it was on....A plate of good things to come sat in front of me, I just sat and breathed in the potential. A corn meal waffle with a brown sugar butter chapeau sat shot gun to a leg and breast of buttermilk fried chicken. My apple cider syrup in a classic diner server ready for task. Napkin on lap a nose full of the Loire Valley and silver ware set aside. Chicken on waffle then butter and last the syrup on top. All was ok on this rainy day, balance was with me. The delicate grassy nose of the wine with the nice acidic finish cut through the intense layers of flavors and textures of the dish. It just worked. Boy Racer was quiet next to me tucking into his Po Boy. with fresh crunchy slaw creeping out the sides of this classic Low Country staple. Not A Nola bullet roll (we dont have that Gulf region fresh water to make it like they do down South) but a crusty toasty roll just the same. Mac n Cheese....Bowl was empty when he finished. His beer said Cheers and pairing was true.
The Breakfast menu looks as focused as lunch from grits to eggs and Nimen Ranch for your meaty needs.With house baked love in any form from Sweet tater pie to Butter milk biscuits. Organic milk, juice, coffee and tea(no chickory?)The rest of the short lunch menu seems to hit the bases with quick punches of flavour from things from the smoker to Gumbo.
I'm coming back and I'm not coming alone. Well crap they even have Kosher salt in the shakers, not detail too small. I thank you Tanya its a rare moment (other than my kitchen) that I get the sense I was fed with not only great food but love.
ADIEU MON PETIT
The only B.S. in this kitchen is Brown Sugar......
EASY AS ABC 1-2-3