berkeley // the butcher's son


This morning, I join Lydia for a guided visit of the Berkeley Farmer's Market. Despite our late arrival (our fault, not BART's), we manage to find Jen and Frances, our two lovely guides, who have just started the tour. This pair of culinary conoisseuses has recently launched a cooking school by the name of The Field Kitchen - classes there are definitely beyond our young adult budget, but I'm sure they're fantastic!

As we wander from one vendor to the next, Jen and Frances indicate which products are in season and give us tips, as well as recipes, to cook them in the most simple yet delicious ways possible. We discover many noteworthy products, including Flying Disc Ranch's out-of-this-world Barhi dates, Tofu-Yu's variety of marinated tofus and Massa Organics' brown rice, which is locally grown in Hamilton City (about three hours' drive from SF). Sampling is a must here.

On our way to lunch, we spend a good thirty minutes at the Berkeley Public Library, where Lydia would often go as a kid (she spend a good chunk of her childhood in Berkeley). We find ourselves lingering in the children's section, where we rediscover all of our old favorites: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Amelia Bodelia, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie... In the lobby, there's also a very strange Furby exhibit. Just in time for Halloween?

Berkeley Farmer's Market

Saturday Farmer's Market in Berkeley

Saturday Farmer's Market in Berkeley

Saturday Farmer's Market in Berkeley

Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library

A fifteen minute walk brings us to The Butcher's Son. The line moves fast, and we are lucky enough to find the perfect table. We decide to share two sandwiches: the Pulled Pork (classic) and the Buffalo Fried Chicken Bacon Caesar. Each comes with a side of our choice, and we gladly follow the cashier's recommendation: a potato salad and a bacon macaroni salad. I find the fried chicken sandwich too spicy for my taste, but it's definitely a nice counterpart to the sweetness of the pulled pork (which is beyond this world!). And the two sides are refreshing palate cleansers. Watching people around us receiving their own orders, we know we'll have to come back and try everything else on the menu!

The Butcher's Son (Vegan deli in Berkeley)

The Butcher's Son (Vegan deli in Berkeley)

Waffles at The Butcher's Son (Vegan deli in Berkeley)

Vegan Pulled Pork from The Butcher's Son (Vegan deli in Berkeley)

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at The Butcher's Son (Vegan deli in Berkeley)

Our stomachs nice and full of these decadent dishes, we go for a stroll around town. As we walk along the popular Telegraph Avenue, I drag us into J-Town Express, an amazing Japanese import store selling snacks, stationery and miscellaneous goodies. The prices are much more reasonable than in Japantown - here, you can find Totoro notebooks and pencil cases that are actually affordable!

On our way back to the subway, we can't help but stop by Cream, an ice cream franchise renown for its build-your-own ice cream sandwiches. And guess what? They have vegan options! And by vegan options, I'm not talking about sorbet (boring). I'm talking full on mint chocolate chip, here (which is exactly what Lydia gets). You do have to pay extra for the vegan cookies, but...baby steps.

We make a final stop at Games of Berkeley, a board game store in which we could easily spend hours. From classics like Risk and Bananagrams to locally-conceived games like California Water Crisis (not kidding) and Hungry Hungry Hipsters, Games of Berkeley really has it all.





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