Saturday May 28, 2011 / 10:00amBerkeley Gourmet Ghetto Food Tour
How was your experience?
The tour guide gave us a quick introduction to herself and established credibility by explaining she was a chef in the Gourmet Ghetto herself which I really liked. Our first stop was Sauls Deli, where we enjoyed a Pastrami sandwich on Acme Rye and made in house Celery Root Soda. It was delicious and well portioned. We learned about their sustainable practices and why a shorter menu is better (it means more things are made fresh daily). Our next stop was Peet's Coffee. They had a very nice set up for us but I was a little disappointed they did not provide a representative to talk to us. Jay, our tour guide was very knowledgable and did a great job though. We tasted a coffee and a tea and got a free 2 ounce sample to brew at home. Our next stop was "Love at First Bite", an organic bakery that offered wonderful cupcakes with no artificial ingredients. We met the owner who was lovely. My guest and I split chocolate & red velvet mini cupcakes and loved it. You could taste the real cocoa in the chocolate icing. Our next stop was the Imperial Tea Court. We were treated to Jasmine Downy Pearls ($112/pound tea) and fresh california grown almonds. We learned about their practices and enjoyed the tea. Our next stop was Cafe Gratitude. We learned about their non-GM corn and enjoyed their Jalapeno Tamale and Raw Cacao milkshake. Our next stop was Cheeseboard Pizza Collective. We learned about their dough which contained some sourdough. They offer one flavor of pizza every day and the daily special was similar to a Margherita with Lemon juice and Lemon zest. It was amazing! Best pizza of my life thus far! Our next stop was a Soup restaurant called Soop. We learned about their focus on quality ingredients and made from scratch soup. The group sampled the "Red Lentil with Coconut Milk" but due to my allergy, Jay offered me the chicken tortilla. My guest loved the coconut milk soup and even licked his carton! I enjoyed the Tortilla soup and found it to be the right spice and texture! Our next stop was Chocolate Alegio where we tried different grades of chocolate. We purchased a handful of truffles from there as well. Our final stop was http://www.yelp.com/biz/vintage-berkeley-berkeley where we learned about reasonable pricing (all bottles under $25 but most 10-13) for delicious local wine. They also have free tastings daily so our tour rolled into an additional free tasting which was nice. Overall, I would absolutely do this again! I purchased this as a gift for my significant other and we enjoyed the experience together! I will certainly be visiting: Sauls, Love At First Bite, Soop, Cafe Gratitude & Cheeseboard Pizza. Also, our host did a great job and shared a lot of information on the area!