Oakland Eats: Brenda’s debuts Temescal location, Vegan Mob BBQ arrives in Grand Lake, more

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on October 11, 2019.

Here's the latest news from Oakland's food scene. In this edition: a San Francisco-based chef has brought her New Orleans-inspired fare to Temescal, a popular vegan barbecue pop-up has found a space in Grand Lake, and a bistro offering Thai cuisine is set to move into the former KronnerBurger spot on Piedmont Avenue.



Brenda's (4045 Broadway)

Photo: Solo T./Yelp

After more than a year of construction, San Francisco brunch favorite Brenda’s French Soul Food has officially expanded to the East Bay, with a new location simply called Brenda's.

Unlike the original Tenderloin location and its Divisadero sibling, Brenda's Meat and Three, the new Brenda's is a counter-service spot. Eater SF reports that it has room for 33 diners inside, and 45 more on the outdoor patio.

The menu is inspired by chef-owner Brenda Buenviajé's Louisiana heritage, with favorite dishes like beignet "flights" (with four flavors), shrimp po'boys, gumbo and fried chicken. And unlike the original Brenda's, this location has a full liquor license, so brunchers can enjoy a bloody mary or rum punch. 

For now, Brenda's will only be open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Monday, but dinner service and delivery are expected to be added shortly. 

Grand Lake

Vegan Mob (500 Lake Park Ave.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Over in Grand Lake, plant-based barbecue pop-up Vegan Mob has found a permanent home in the former Kwik Way Drive-In. And it's already drawing big crowds: the Chronicle reports that owner Toriano Gordon completely sold out of food on opening day, serving up over 900 orders of food in just six hours.

However, Gordon has since restocked and reopened, and diners can once again enjoy his smoked plant-based brisket, ribs, links or fried barbecue shrimp as a plate, sandwich, wrap or burger. Side options include fruit salad, cole slaw, baked beans or potato salad.

Gordon, a Fillmore native and rapper with deep roots in the local hip-hop scene, was inspired to stop eating meat after a bout with illness. He told the Chronicle he's excited to promote plant-based food to the local community.

Piedmont Avenue

Charm Thai Bistro (4063 Piedmont Ave.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. also alerts us that the former KronnerBurger spot has found a new tenant: Charm Thai Bistro. The space suffered a fire last year, shuttering KronnerBurger permanently; chef Chris Kronner now serves his burgers at Henry's in Berkeley. 

As for Charm, Nosh reports that wife-and-husband team Anchalee and Chuck Natasiri, who've run Anchalee Thai Cuisine in Berkeley for more than a decade, are behind the project. A beer and wine license is currently pending, but no opening date for the new spot has been announced yet.

Thanks to our longtime tipster Al M.! Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland's food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to (415) 200-3233, and we'll look into it.

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