Local Shoutout: La Penca Azul (Formerly La Pinata #3)

Throughout the Bay Area, Mexican restaurants old and new are a dime a dozen. But finding a good one with quality ingredients, culinary expertise, and old family recipes with new inspiration that come through on every plate is a much rarer find. Enter here: La Penca Azul.

Formerly part of the La Pinata chain, the owners decided to split off and make their main Alameda location into it’s own thing. La Penca Azul, which means The Blue Petal referring to the tequila making process, has a fantastic, rather lengthy menu and a full service tequila bar with a great selection of tequilas local and from all over the latin world.

One of my favorites, pictured above, is the “Joyce special:” fresh sautéed shrimp, a filet of tilapia, and lots of fresh veggies. Perfect away to enjoy the mexican flavors without all the carbs. If you’re around the area and need a quality margarita and street style tacos, I highly recommend a visit.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

Local Shoutout: Bar Dogwood

Hear ye, hear ye: looking for quality cured meats, delicious cocktails and spirits, and gourmet cheeses? Surprisingly, I found all three hidden in a little gem in Oakland: Bar Dogwood.

Right off of the busy streets Broadway and Telegraph, this little spot is worth the visit. Luckily, my friend and I made it over for a visit earlier in the evening so we managed to chat a bit with the bartender, but Yelp has it for a record that it gets pretty slammed as evenings go on and even worse to standing-room-only-sardine-squished-status on weekends. The Oaklanders like their cured meats!

We tried their combined meat and cheese plate, and although I’d wish the portions were bigger, it was enough to split nicely between two people. Next time you’re looking for a nice change of scene with a downtown, gourmet vibe, try this place out. You and your meat-enjoying tastebuds won’t regret it.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

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Local Shoutout: Fenton’s Creamery

Short little shoutout to the oldest ice cream shoppe in the East Bay: Fenton’s Creamery. Founded in Oakland in 1894, this restaurant and ice cream haven is still one of the best places to eat or score a cone of your favorite flavor in the Bay Area.

crackle

The whole reason that we decided to make a visit to Fenton’s was three little words: swiss milk chocolate. I tried this seasonal beauty a few years back and the love felt was instantaneous. The best way I can describe it is if you took a bunch of frozen Crackle (a prized 90’s ice cream topping, boys and girls) and crushed it up and put it in subtle milk chocolate ice cream. So delicious. Definitely not replicable at home.

If you’re ever in the Bay Area and are in need of some rich, expertly made ice cream, look no further.

Thanks and happy eats,
Lisa