This coming Tuesday join us for a special SF Beer Week addition of Tuesday Night Trivia as we feature San Francisco’s Laughing Monk Brewing Company and their excellent Belgian Tripel, Third Circle. We’ll pour this 8.7% ABV gem all night for $5, hold a coaster art contest, give away some Laughing Monk beer glasses, and, of course, play some trivia! Join us!
We are psyched to announce that we will be a part of HenHouse Brewing’s annual Big Chicken Double IPA release on Feb 14th! For those who don’t know, HenHouse will transfer Big Chicken from their tanks to kegs early in the morning on 2/14 and then run the kegs out to participating bars throughout the Bay Area, where they will be immediately tapped and give drinkers the experience of drinking a beer that is as fresh as it can be. And what a beer it will be – a 10+% Imperial IPA with crazy amounts of late addition hops!
Because it’s Valentine’s day and we all will be filled with loving feelings, we will be pairing Big Chicken Double IPA with our Paulista Big Fried Chicken Sandwich and Paulista Big Chicken Skewers.
So, the CHICKEN will be BIG all the way around. What a night!
Come celebrate Oakland beer in all it’s glory as we fill all of our 24 taps with beer brewed right here in Oakland! Oakland Breweries Participating:
Crooked City Cider
Ghost Town Brewing
Independent Brewing Company
Novel Brewing Company
Oakland United Beerworks
Old Kan Beer and Co.
Woods Beer Co.
It would have been difficult to fill all 24 of our taps with Oakland beer even just a year ago, but with more and more awesome Oakland beer being brewed, it is time to go all-Oakland at Paulista! We will tap the kegs at 12pm on Thursday afternoon, 2/15, and do our very best to finish them off when we close at 11pm on 2/16. Come and join us!
Paulista’s snack game is strong, including acai bowls (left) and coxinhas, fritters filled with chicken. – PHOTO BY MELATI CITRAWIREJA
At Oakland’s Paulista Brazilian Kitchen & Taproom, Everyday Brazilian Food Is Served All Day
In 1995, the United States nabbed its first Brazilian steakhouse chain, and, understandably, Americans went crazy for the concept of all-you-can-eat meat. Two decades later, Brazilian food still feels more or less synonymous with steak carved tableside here in the Bay Area.
Brazil’s culinary narrative is actually far more complicated, informed by waves of migration — the Portuguese, Japanese, Italians, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, and other groups all put their stamp on Brazilian cuisine and culture. This is especially true in the cosmopolitan melting pot of São Paulo, which is where Oakland’s Alex Yamamoto was born.
Yamamoto lived in Brazil for 19 years before moving to Japan, opening his first Brazilian restaurant, meeting his wife, and then following her to the United States. In Oakland, he met avid craft beer nerd and fellow Glenview Elementary parent Jesse Madway. After years of talking about the sort of restaurant they wished their neighborhood of Glenview had — relaxed, family-friendly, with a top-notch beer list — they decided to open it themselves. The result is Paulista Brazilian Kitchen & Taproom.
What makes Paulista a destination spot is its approach to Brazilian food. Instead of bringing more steak to Oakland, Yamamoto highlights everyday Brazilian dishes — the sort of fare locals would eat at home or on the street.
In the mornings, Paulista feels like an airy cafe and low-key co-working space. Red Bay Coffee, freshly blended juices, and empanadas are all on offer, though the acai bowls are justifiably popular. Since the acai berry has been co-opted by the health food movement, it’s easy to forget these smoothie bowls have genuine roots in Brazil. At Paulista, they’re densely creamy, topped with granola and fresh fruit.
More options are added as the day progresses, culminating in a sizable dinner menu that Yamamoto continues to grow. For the most part, you’re looking at a few salads, entrées, and street food-style small plates.
I loved the coxinhas — teardrop-shaped fritters filled with shredded chicken, parsley, and cheese. They’re smaller than most other coxinhasyou’ll find in the Bay Area, but they achieve golden brown, crispy excellence and come with a deliciously sharp cilantro dipping sauce. That sauce comes with a number of the street snacks, such as the esfihas, small flatbreads brought to Brazil by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants. They taste like mini-pizzas, particularly the version topped with mozzarella and parmesan. The pão de queijo, freshly baked, cheese puffs made with tapioca flour, deliver wonderful flavor and a chewy, mochi-like texture. The empanadas, however, were hit-and-miss. A version filled with ground beef, tomatoes, and olives was surprisingly bland and unevenly cooked: about half the empanada was nice and flaky, the other half dry and doughy. The palmito, a vegetarian option with hearts of palm, olives, and cheese, and the sweet Romeo and Juliet, filled with guava preserves and fresh cheese, were more successful. When in doubt, go for cheese.
The bobó is thick, creamy, and full of shrimp. – PHOTO BY MELATI CITRAWIREJA
All of the aforementioned dishes make for fun appetizers or beer snacks, but trying to build a meal out of them would get pricey fast — each $3.50 empanada, for example, is about three bites.
Among the entrées, the feijoada is likely to be the most familiar to diners. It’s often called Brazil’s national dish, a comforting stew of black beans, linguiça sausage, beef, and pork ribs served in a clay pot. It’s thick, hearty, and just a tad smoky, with the meats nicely braised, and comes with typical sides of rice, collard greens, and farofa, toasted cassava flour.
I also enjoyed the bobó and moqueca, two very similar, yellow-tinted seafood dishes full of coconut milk, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I slightly preferred the bobó, a savory shrimp chowder, for its thick and creamy consistency — puréed cassava gives it extra heft. The thinner moquecacomes with shrimp or fish as well as a spoonful of bobó on the side.
As solid as both dishes were, I couldn’t help but feel like Paulista was holding back, like the flavors could deliver more punch. Sure enough, Yamamoto told me that he uses about a quarter of the amount of unctuous dendê oil (a type of palm oil) as most cooks in Brazil and only a tiny amount of malagueta pepper, which traditionally gives these dishes a bigger kick. He said he doesn’t want to overwhelm any palates, but if you desire oomph, you can request more pepper when you order.
Even though Paulista is fast-casual with counter service, the staff could use more polishing. Plates were dropped off with no comment or explanation, and it would have been nice to know how to best incorporate farofa in the various entrées, for example. (Yamamoto told me by phone that there’s no single correct way, but he recommends sprinkling a little over each bite.) And there was a missing dish that one Paulista food runner insisted we never ordered, but when I checked my receipt back at home, it turned out that I had paid for it after all.
Still, I appreciate that Yamamoto and Madway are constant presences at Paulista. They’re not above running food or slicing bananas. And they seem committed to making Paulista feel like a true community space. There’s a solid kids’ menu, and Yamamoto recently added vegan versions of the bobó, moqueca, and feijoada — proof of just how different Paulista is from the average Brazilian restaurant in the Bay Area.
Brothers Ari Cohen, left, and Andrew Cohen, who founded the popular dairy-free ice cream brand Mr. Dewie’s, recently partnered with the Brazilian restaurant recently partnered with Brazilian restaurant Paulista in Glenview to have their ice cream served at the restaurant. (Courtesy of Esther and David Photography)
Mr. Dewie’s expanding dairy-free ice cream brand in Bay Area
OAKLAND — Mr. Dewie’s, the popular non-dairy ice cream, is looking to go a little more local.
The Bay Area brand, founded and run by brother duo Ari and Andrew Cohen, first made waves as a vegan ice cream made from cashew milk. The vegan ice cream was distributed and sold in grocery stores like Whole Foods from 2012 to 2016.
But, in 2016, after realizing they could control only so many factors in wholesale ice cream, they decided to become more local. They’ve pulled their ice cream from many retail shelves, and instead opened a number of local creameries and are also offering their ice cream at a few Oakland restaurants.
“We recognized that the opportunity to do this locally,” Ari Cohen said. “For me, it was an opportunity to now really connect with the community. We changed the business model and got out of the large distribution network and brought it back to the bay, which is where we’re from.”
Ari Cohen said he was first inspired to create a vegan ice cream about 10 years ago. He had always been a big cereal and milk fan, he said, so he was heartbroken when he discovered he was lactose intolerant.
“Here I was dairy intolerant, I was a cereal guy, I loved cold cereal and milk so I couldn’t do that anymore,” he said. “So I started making a pecan and date nut milk that was great over hot cereal like oatmeal. That nut milk was the precursor to my first ice cream, a salted pecan.”
The two brothers opened their first scoop shop on Solano Avenue in Albany last year, called Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery, and now have a second that recently opened at the Emeryville Public Market. Cohen said the creameries have also allowed them to expand their flavor offerings as well.
The duo has also recently partnered with Brazilian restaurant Paulista, 4239 Park Blvd. in Glenview, to have their ice cream served there.
“We can do many more flavors, it’s just a unique opportunity and it’s a much better way to go,” Cohen said of their decision to get back to their roots.
Cohen, who lives in Glenview, said flavor testing still happens at his home and the ice cream is manufactured in San Leandro.
“It’s very difficult being in the grocery store distribution,” he said. “It’s really more about producing ice cream in pints and getting it on pints and sending it out and having no connection and having no control over it.”
He added that cashew milk can be finicky and is best consumed when at a particular temperature. Having their own brick and mortar stores and choosing their distributors has allowed them to have some control over the temperature their ice cream is kept at, which he said means happier customers.
“One of the things about being in our own shops is we have control over the temperature of the dipping cabinet, so it’s firm and creamy and easily scoopable,” he said.
Cohen met the restaurant owners of Paulista, Jesse Madway and Alex Yamamoto, through Glenview Elementary where their children go to school together. It was from that friendship that the decision to partner with Paulista was born. Paulista now has an ice cream cabinet where customers can order ice cream.
“They said ‘You really should bring Mr. Dewie’s in there,’” Cohen said. “The owners came down and tested our ice creams and just loved them. Really it was about taking a look at what Glenview really needed as a community. It (Paulista) really is a community oriented restaurant cafe and they brought in our ice cream.”
Cohen said he’s excited to look into future partnerships with restaurants and to also expand the number of creameries and the potential to make it a franchise.
And for those looking in grocery stores, Mr. Dewie’s can still be found in about 12 locations around the Bay Area, including at the original location, Farmer Joe’s Marketplace at 3426 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland.
by Sarah Tan
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As we write this, we begin our 16th day of operations at Paulista! It’s been a whirlwind of activity since we opened our doors for our soft opening on Friday, October 13th. We spent a week in soft opening mode with a limited menu and limited hours before our grand opening on Saturday October 21st. Since then, we’ve been full speed ahead and are happy to report that our first 2-weeks have exceeded our wildest expectations
We’ve received incredible support from the community, with people packing the place most nights, as well as helping us build a steady crowd in the mornings at our cafe, and in the afternoons for lunch. We’ve already made and sold, tons of acai bowls, cups of coffee, pints of craft beer, plates of feijoada, and literally, thousands of empanadas (3,743 as of this morning!) Really, we couldn’t have asked for a better start for Paulista.
Thanks to all of you who have already come by to try us out, and we look forward to meeting those of you who haven’t had a chance to make it yet. If you are out trick or treating with your kids on Tuesday night, please drop for a Paulista Halloween treat – a mini acai bowl! We hope that this healthy treat can balance out the pounds of candy your kids will be gathering that evening.
Thanks again to all of you for your support!
– Jesse, Alex, and the Paulista Team
Mock-up of front facade
You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on the Paulista progress towards opening front. That’s because, like many new restaurants experience, getting through city and county permitting took quite a bit longer than we anticipated.
But the good news is that on Monday of this week, we received our demolition and building permits from the City of Oakland! Coupled with the approval of our Health Department submittal by Alameda County a few weeks ago, we are now all set for our build-out to begin!
3D version of Cafe and Taproom
So, beginning in the next couple of weeks, when you walk by you should see quite a bit of activity happening at 4239 Park Blvd. The first major change you will notice is the color of building itself – as promised, we will be lightening things up significantly, and that will start with moving from the current yellowish-brown hue to lighter and more classic colors that you traditionally see on Spanish style buildings. We are really excited about this initial change and think you are going to love it, too!
After that, the construction team will be opening up our dining area by tearing down many of the walls that are currently in place. They will also be building new bars, installing countertops, refinishing floors, and many other things that will turn Paulista into the place we want it to be. Relatively speaking, this is a modest and fairly simple build-out that should only take 30-45 days (fingers crossed, everyone!).
If you’re doing your math, you realize that, yes, we are now behind schedule for a July opening, which is what we hoped for initially. We are now looking at an August or September opening; this is obviously disappointing to us, but as quite a few friends in the industry have told us, “No restaurant in the history of the world has ever opened on time.” We wanted to be the first, but it was not to be.
Thanks to all of you who have continued to express your excitement for Paulista! We’re getting there!!!