A confession — my favorite type of food isn’t Chinese. On a personal basis, I gravitate toward Japanese or anything with eye-popping produce and organic, GMO-free offerings. As of fall of ’13 — perusing farmers markets has become my new favorite past time. I’d take a farm-fresh meal over a stuffy, white tablecloth establishment anytime, any day. Chalk it up to being overly attentive to where food comes from.
It’s odd. A little over year ago, I was obsessed with the trends in the food world. Maybe it was the New York City mentality and working for a blog where my job was to write about new talent, mind-blowing culinary feats, and anything remotely glitzy in the food world. Or maybe it was the fact that I was surrounded by youths like myself with a high amount of disposable income. But since moving back to good ol’ California, I’ve noticed a change of interest in what excites me. I like produce. I like farms. I like simple, fresh, and sustainable. How fitting. How Californian.
Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley really fits the bill. I’m a tourist to that part of the state and I almost feel silly blogging about such a established, neighborhood gem.
I’m sure the regulars would roll their eyes at me…but as a visitor to the area — I was absolutely fascinated by its cutesy charm. They’re all about organic ingredients and they source locally where they can.
I’m normally not a fan of sandwiches, but this chicken sandwich blew my mind.
On the menu:
Spiced Chicken Sandwich
Mary’s Free Range Chicken Breast, Mixed Peppers,
Organic Greens & House-made Cilantro Aioli on Toasted Acme Baguette 9.5
ADD: Avocado (2) or Niman Ranch Bacon (3)
I wish I could list all the flavor profiles but let’s be honest — I was on vacation and the last thing I wanted to do was take notes. It honestly was the best sandwich I had in 2013. (Only one other sandwich comes to mind and that is grilled tofu hero from Sacred Chow in NYC)
While the meal was sufficiently hearty, it left a clean taste in my mouth. I left feeling good, healthy, light. Ten days up in the Bay Area and I want to say that this simple brunch was my favorite meal out of the entire trip.
Plus, half of all the profits go to charity. I have no idea how that’s a sustainable model, but I love it.
The cafe embodies everything I love– affordability, sustainability, health, and freshness. I wish we had one in Los Angeles. Or rather, I wish I lived up there.
I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side.
Address: 2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705