Around the Bay

Equator Coffee's first cafe in Mill Valley

MARIN TALES: Coffee, Beer, Italian Feasting

Join me at three Marin stops in coffee, beer and food, including one newcomer as of this week, another that opened in 2010 – now coming into its own, and one classic that remains great for a decade. EQUATOR COFFEE at PROOF LAB SURF SHOP, 244 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, 415-209-3733 Equator has long been a favorite Bay Area coffee, with 18… Read more →

Saltfish and ackee, Jamaica's national dish, at Miss Ollie's in Old Oakland

Around the Bay: Island Breezes… Searching for Caribbean Food

ISLAND BREEZES: Searching for Caribbean Photos and article by Virginia Miller Though not an island girl, I crave sorrel, that cinnamon-spiced, rosy-purple juice made from the petals of a sorrel plant, or multi-colored Scotch bonnet peppers, both common in the Caribbean and ideal together, sorrel cooling off the pepper’s scorching heat. One of my closest friends is Jamaican and we’ve… Read more →

Jittery John's bracing cold brew coffee sold and served at Doughnut Dolly

Doughnuts & Bagels in OAKLAND

Bagels and doughnuts in their many iterations (beignets, malasadas, bomboloni, etc…) are two of the more comforting breakfast – or any time – foods. It’s tougher than it should be to find proper bagels, but alongside notable SF sources, the East Bay welcomes a few new arrivals.  I stop first for fuel at Berkeley’s just-opened coffee and wine bar Bartavelle for… Read more →

Beautiful cocktails for dessert at The Thomas in downtown Napa

Around the Bay: COCKTAILS with DINNER in Napa

Judging a cocktail contest in Calistoga and sampling Wine Country cocktails early in 2011, I witnessed a rise in quality congruent with the cocktail renaissance exploding across the nation, beyond longtime torchbearers like SF and NY. This is especially notable in Wine Country where the god of wine dominates. Despite growth, making a dent in the all-consuming wine culture is… Read more →


Around The Bay: Pre-harvest Party at Richard’s Grove & Saralee’s Vineyard, Windsor

Photos & article by Andi Berlin The 17th annual Grape to Glass at stately Richard’s Grove celebrates the wines of the Russian River Valley, a cool atmosphere known for producing rich chardonnays and bright pinot noirs. More than 75 wineries set up booths in the toasty afternoon heat, accompanied by a host of farmers market vendors and local restaurants offering… Read more →

Magic under the stars out behind Rio Nido Roadhouse

Around the Bay: UNDER the STARS in GUERNEVILLE

BIG BOTTOM MARKET, 16228 Main Street, Guerneville; 707-604-7295 Amidst towering redwoods, summer heat, and parties along the Russian River is the small town of Guerneville, one of Sonoma’s most unique towns, with vibrant gay community, laid back river/woods culture, and haunting redwood state park, idyllic for a quiet forest walk. On a recent summer weekend, barbecues and live twang bands added… Read more →