Over at Oakland’s Jack London Square, there’s a new restaurant that has opened in Crooked City Cider Taproom called TOWN SQUARE EATS. My friend Rob Lam and Helen Chandra (Perle Wine Bar) have partnered with their friends James and Lea Yu (Great China) to build out the kitchen and create a menu of elevated snacks, sandwiches, pizzas, and salads for Dana Bushouse’s taproom. I went over for a tasting last week, and anyone who loves sandwiches is going to be pleased with the lineup.
You can come in for a bite and a beverage (there are over 25 cider taps and 10 beer taps!), like truffle chips topped with crema and two kinds of caviar (it’s my new favorite party snack), or Esther’s warm pretzels with a cider cheese dip.
There’s a fully loaded vegan corned beet sandwich with a spicy kick of horseradish on a pretzel roll, and the turkey sandwich comes with the added bonus of fried chicken skin, plus provolone and lingonberry (it’s a riff on one of Lam’s favorite sandwiches, the turkey sandwich from Arguello Market). There’s also a version of a muffaletta, inspired by Central Grocery’s benchmark sandwich. Impossible Burger with onion au jus, check.
Meanwhile, the pizzas are made with Liguria Bakery’s focaccia, and feature extra-special ingredients, from guanciale to housemade meatballs. The Fun Guy is especially luxe, with Brillat-Savarin, truffles, and mushroom duxelles, with mushrooms from Far West Fungi. The lineup of four salads includes a Chinese chicken salad with a spicy ginger vinaigrette. Everything is well-sourced (thanks to Lam’s love of finding the best, whether it’s an avocado or pretzel) and fresh, so the menu over-delivers for being such a casual spot. They’re gearing up for lunch business and delivery (on Caviar), and many items can be made gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan—they understand many people who drink cider can’t handle gluten.
The casual space has board games, TVs, trivia nights, a dog-friendly front patio, and more. The full menu and extended service hours launch Wednesday April 17th: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 206 Broadway at 3rd St., Oakland.
Also in Jack London Square: FARMHOUSE THAI is holding its first-ever Songkran Festival on Saturday April 27th from 9:30am-10pm, with all kinds of activities and dancing. Read more on their Facebook page.
Bread lovers, don’t miss this special collaboration between Zachary Golper, chef-owner of Brooklyn’s Bien Cuit, and Matt Kreutz of Firebrand: Fermentation Invasion: A Mashup between Bien Cuit and Firebrand Bread on Sunday April 28th.
In an effort to promote the value of regenerative agriculture, they will be presenting a selection of six breads that highlight slow fermentation and grains that support crop rotation. The breads will be paired with accompanying spreads and packaged in limited edition tote bags for $25 each. Bags can be pre-purchased at this link, and a limited quantity will be available for walk-ins as well. The guys will also be available to discuss the positive, nutritional impact of slow fermentation and techniques. 11am-4pm. Firebrand Artisan Breads, 2343 Broadway at 24th St., Oakland.
Town Square Eats’ truffle chips with caviar. Photo: © tablehopper.com.