Blue Bottle at W.C. Morse (Oakland, CA)

As much as possible, whenever we are in Oakland, we try to swing by Blue Bottle in Webster St. near Jack London Square. Blue Bottle is our prime choice with the artisan coffee makers out there. I’ve never been able to visit the spacious Broadway location though until this past weekend. They took over an old mattress store and they kept the classic exterior and the building name W.C. Morse. The interior though is modern and sleek. I am a huge fan of high ceilings (e.g. Maison L, LOL). The décor was minimal and very much into the Blue Bottle aesthetic. They have asignificant amount of space to accommodate their numerous patrons. They now have an area where they offer diagnostics and repairs of espresso machines. They also offer brewing classes that I would like to participate in when I get the time (i.e. not in the near future).

Here’s the address:

W.C. Morse

4270 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94611

As for the coffee, I always get their latte which is smooth as butter. I usually go with whichever beans they are grinding at that time but do love Bella Donovan and Giant Steps. C recently tried New Orleans (their version of the iced coffee) and honestly, one of the best iced coffees out there. They have actually packaged that goodness andsells them in select groceries. The munchkin goes for their freshly baked waffle that you can have either drizzled with TCHO chocolate or strawberries and cream. Basically, everyone in our family wins.

From being a local favorite, Blue Bottle now have several locations throughout California, New York and in Japan. I read an article a few months ago that there was a three hour waiting when they opened in Japan as people really came out to have them.

Here’s a bit of history from their website:

In the late 1600s, the Turkish army swept across much of Eastern and Central Europe, arriving at Vienna in 1683. Besieged and desperate, the Viennese needed an emissary who could pass through Turkish lines to get a message to the nearby Polish troops. Franz George Kolshitsky, who spoke Turkish and Arabic, took on the assignment disguised in a Turkish uniform. After many perilous close calls, Kolshitsky completed his valiant deed, returning to give the Viennese the news of the Poles’ imminent rescue of their city. On September 13, the Turks were repelled from Vienna, leaving everything they brought: camels, tents, honey, and strange bags of beans, which were thought to be camel feed. Kolshitsky, having lived in the Arab world for several years, knew these were bags of coffee. Using the money bestowed on him by the mayor of Vienna for his heroic deed, Kolshitsky bought the Turks’ coffee, opened Central Europe’s first coffee house (The Blue Bottle), and brought coffee to a grateful Vienna.


319 years later, in Oakland, Calif., a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the grande eggnog latte and the double skim pumpkin-pie macchiato, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of freshly roasted coffee. Using a miniscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my customers, so they may enjoy coffee at its peak of flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious and responsibly sourced beans.” In honor of Kolshitsky’s heroics, he named his business Blue Bottle Coffee, and began another chapter in the history of superlative coffee.

 Now, more than 10 years later and thanks to the enthusiastic support of many loyal customers, Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a small network of cafes, wholesale partners, an espresso cart, and some vintage German coffee roasters. We are still united by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it. Improbably and delightfully, there are hundreds of us now. We roast coffee on vintage gear, put it in compostable bags, and still get it to our customers within 48 hours. We roast great coffee on two coasts, make great drinks, clean up after ourselves, bake cookies, type up invoices, get change at the bank, and say please and thank you. We offer the elderly and pregnant our seats on the bus and brush and floss daily. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Here is a link for the complete list of their locations:

Million Dollar Listing San Francisco

You all know I am addicted to watching Million Dollar Listing New York by Bravo. Now comes Million Dollar Listing San Francisco! I have to admit that it's also educational to be informed of the myriad pockets and districts within San Francisco. Apparently, the Mission District is the most happening right now with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, taking residence. The three brokers that Bravo chose: Justin Fichelson, Andrew Greenwell, and Roh Habibi are quite entertaining too with their different personalities. So far, I like the boyish quirkiness of Justin Fichelson. Oh and the money shots of San Francisco are gorgeous! Bravo, you got another winner in the MDL franchise. 

Shakewell (Oakland, CA)

Off the heels of our trip from Barcelona, I knew C would love to have Spanish cuisine for Father’s Day. A little bit of research pointed me in to the direction of Shakewell. Drake Hotel as well as Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts Alums respectively, Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent are the brains behind Shakewell in Oakland’s Lakeshore neighborhood. 

We went right after church on Father's Day. Because it was the weekend, Shakewell only had the brunch menu. Don’t let that discourage you though.  The brunch menu may look  simple on the surface but they are actually well thought out and masterfully executed.

Our order: 
I had Poached eggs, falafel cake, spanish chorizo, pomesco sauce, herbs- the eggs were perfectly poached, the spanish chorizo with the falafel cake was an interesting combination. 

C: “Chicken and Churros” fried spice-rubbed chicken thigh, buttermilk syrup- the spanish take on chicken and waffles, what more can I say? 

Munchkin: French toast, rustic baguette, mixed berries, balsamic butter, buttermilk syrup-the french toast was thick and the surprisingly creamy to the bite. Best French toast, ever! C and I ended up “assisting” the munchkin more than we should have on finishing his adult size plate.

The crispy potatoes with house chimichuri was so good that we ordered an extra side of it. 

It’s one of the best brunches we’ve had for a while. The staff were helpful and friendly. Jen and  Tim were so accommodating too when we asked for a pic with them. Thanks for being in the Bay Area. Highly Recommended!

We'd love to come back to try the Paellas for dinner. 

Here's their website for location, hours and menu: