Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen

A Boxing Day breakfastary roadtrip:
Berkeley, CA

Place: saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen
Location: 1475 Shattuck Avenue (at Vine Street), 
Berkeley, CA
Hours: open every day at 8:00am (except Thanksgiving[1] and Yom Kippur)
Meal: Mrs. Anderman's Matzo[2] Brei[3] ~ fried matzo and eggs with a touch of sweet onions, served with your choice of house made (restaurant-made, whatever) applesauce and sour cream or cinnamon and brown sugar; a side order of their great Latke (which also came with its own house made [restaurant-made, whatever] applesauce and sour cream); and a cuppa (with two refillas) Ruby's Roast[4]

(Today's EweToobular juxataselections should be pretty evident in that not only do both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have their birthdays today, but both Robert Zimmerman and Rubin Carter also share their birthdays with them today, too. And they are all of the Jewish faith!

What are the odds?)

Yes, it has taken me two years to get back to saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen (see previous 'blog-entry from December 15th, 2013), but just how many Meshugga[5] Beach Parties can one attend across the Bay? (A Jewish deli on Boxing Day? Makes perfect sense to me.) The traffic happened to be extremely light this morning on the Bay Bridge, both on the way over and the way back, but it is not usually the case on a normal Saturday morning, which is why it has taken me two years for a return visit.

They still have a few other tempting ideas on their breakfast menu which will garner another visit or two (once again, probably in another two years): Challah French Toast (which I would have had to order with a side of the excellent Latke, too); Backyard Omelette (v) (Chef's choice of seasonal vegetables and cheese; served with a mixed green salad; once again, I would have had to substitute the leafy rabbit-food for their excellent Latke instead); or (and for this one, I would need to get there during the week, as it is only available Monday through Friday) Malawach Yemeni Pancake (v option available) (fresh tomato, labne yogurt cheese, zhoug[6], harissa, and a poached egg; I have no idea exactly how any of that is made/served, but it sounds just meshugge enough that I know I would love it). 

meshugge, useless parklets mini-rant

New since my last visit, there is an obnoxious (and rather large) parklet right in front of the building, which (unfortunately) is sponsored by saul'Restaurant & Delicatessen. I won't complain much about this one as: 1) it's on a side roadway and not really blocking much traffic, 2) at the pace I am getting over there, I would only have to deal with it once or twice a decade, and 3) I don't live in Berkeley and can't really whinge about their stupid local city politics. 

I liked this dish a lot. (Maybe not quite as much as I liked their Shakshouka that I had the last time I ate there, but it is still roadtrip-worthy on its ownsome, Ms. Benes.) I guess the best way to describe this dish would be to call it a Jewish version of Chilaquiles. I happened to mention this to the extremely cute and Coffee-knowledgeable (We had a nice discussion on the merits of both Ruby's Roast and Philz Coffee. As chilly as it was this morning, she happened to be drinking a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee from the Philz on Shattuck ~ which is located just a block away. Sorry, Ruby.) waitress/server-person lady (Whose name I did actually get, Mrs. Huneycutt, but have since forgotten.) and she laughed and agreed with me at my astuteness (or maybe she was just laughing at my astupidness). The matzo cracker chips in the scrambled eggs/omelette mess would be the substitute for the corn taco chips. Plus, in Jewish cooking, they use onions as frequently as jalapeños would be used in Mexican cooking.

The latke was as good as I remembered it from before. It was deliciously crispy and crunchy and potatoey. 

For condimentary supplementation, I remembered from my last visit (well, I didn't really remember, but I did look back at my previous 'blog-entry this morning before heading over there) that saul'Restaurant & Delicatessen has their own homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) hot sauce. I didn't need to ask for any of it today as I had come prepared with two new bottles from my own collection that I had just received as a Christmas gift (I actually received four new hot sauces in all; Thanks, Cindy & Greg!). I wasn't sure if I was going to get to try either one depending on if I had ordered a "sweet" or "savoury" dish. As both the latke and Matzo Brei can be considered "sweet" (hence the added applesauce, etc.) or "savoury", I got a chance to use both this morning. I used some Old St. Augustine Snake Bite Datil Pepper[7] Sauce on half of the eggy-matzo dish (the other half I tried with the applesauce and sour cream provided); while datil chillies can be as hot as habaneros, this one was not over the top in heat, but still pretty picante. I also used some Sunbelt Plantations Vidalia® Onion Picante Hot Sauce on half of the latke (again going with the provided applesauce and sour cream on the other half); this one wasn't very hot at all (but very tasty due to the sweet Vidalia® onions) and I could use it liberally (I can see this one being used like ketchup and won't last very long).

(I couldn't find a decent corresponding hyperlink to Sunbelt Plantations, though.)

As long as I was already there, on my way out I stopped at their take-away deli area and bought three different types of hamantashen[8] (traditional poppy seed, apricot, and mixed berries) to enjoy later today at home.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mrs. Anderman's Matzo Brei ~ 6.7; Latke ~ 7.4; Ruby's Roast ~ 7.1


1. I'll bet not many of you were aware that Thanksgiving was one of the High Holy Days in Judaism. It ranks above even Hashanah's Head and Black Shabbat.

2. Meshuggeneh, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day (Oy vey!), number one:

Whenever I am taxed with coming up with a good definition of a Yiddish word, I always resort to my 
"The Joys of Yiddish", by Leo Rosten for the authoritative explanation. 

Pronounced MOTT-seh (not MOTT-so) to rhyme with "lotsa." Hebrew: The plural in Hebrew is matzoth, pronounced MOTT-sez, in Yiddish.

Unleavened bread (it comes in thin, flat, ridgy oblongs, and is semiperforated to facilitate neat breaking).

3. Additionally, there is this from the friendly folks at WikipediA:

4. This Coffee is a definite winner. If I hadn't already received three bags of Bettys Coffee for Christmas (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!), I probably would have picked up a bag for myself to make at home, too.

5. Meshuggeneh, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day (Oy vey!), number two:

While the Jewish Beach Party boyos like to spell it "Meshugga", I am going with Mr. Rosten's spelling of "meshugge".

Pronounced m'-SHU-geh, to rhyme with "Paducah". Hebrew: "crazy".

6. I have absolutely no idea what that is, but maybe our friends at WikipediA can explain it a little better:


8. As meshugge as it may seem, this word is not listed in Mr. Rosten's book. However, it is a lexicon, not a cookbook, after all.

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