Friday, March 26, 2021
An Inspired Breakfast
We love a good breakfast. And, yet it seems that it is the one meal where we can fall into ho-hum repetition. Breakfast is more flexible than ever and can accommodate a huge range of flavors—from savory to sweet.

We have packed this issue with great ideas for breakfasts. Some are perfect for lazy weekends and others can be done ahead for weekday mornings. We also have some great ideas for quick breakfasts when you are really on the go.

Let's start with a list of some of our favorite breakfast products…
Quick Breakfasts
If you are looking for something to get you going quick, here are some of our staff picks to get your morning started.

Julian's Recipe Cauli Wafels are an enlightened twist on classic European Wafels. They are perfectly crispy, delicious, and better for you. Gluten and grain free, each serving contains 5g or Protein!

Purely Elizabeth's nutrient-rich Granola incorporates the best ingredients and loads of flavor. We carry their Original, Ancient Grain Cranberry Pecan, Apple Cinnamon Chocolate Hazelnut, Blueberry Hemp, Pumpkin Cinnamon, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Coconut Cashew.

Better Oats Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax Seeds are filled with nutrients and flavor. And, you use the pouch as a measuring cup! We carry the Original and Bare Multigrain cereal with Oats, Barley, Wheat, Quinoa & Rye.

And for a breakfast that is truly on the go, we reach for Red's Breakfast Burritos from our freezer case. We've got them in Turkey Sausage, Egg, & Three Cheese; Chicken Apple Sausage; Uncured Canadian Bacon, Egg, & Three Cheese; and Chicken Chorizo, Egg, & Three Cheese.
Breads
Breads have always been an important part of breakfast—you can go sweet or savory, toasted or baked.

If you are looking for an authentic English muffin that toasts up perfectly, we recommend Bay's Original English Muffins. They are the perfect base for butter and jam, avocados, and make a delicious egg sandwich.

Boulangerie Solignac Rise and Bake Croissants are light, rich, buttery and reminiscent of breakfasts in romantic Paris cafés. We have both their butter and chocolate croissants in our freezer case ready for you to bake.

Semifreddi's Morning Buns will start your day in perfection. Everyone deserves this simple pleasure!
Dairy
On days you are starting from scratch, it is best to begin with the best possible ingredients. Here are our favorites.

Straus Family Creamery Organic Half & Half is crafted with pure, simple ingredients, and minimally processed. This is the freshest-tasting half and half we know of.

Siggi's Icelandic Style Yogurt. Skyr, the traditional yogurt of Iceland, is similar in taste to Greek strained yogurt, but even creamier. And don’t let the luxuriously-thick, richness fool you—Sigi’s is both low in fat and high in protein.

Forager Organic Diary-Free Cashewmilk Yogurt is a creamy, delicious non-dairy yogurt alternative rich in probiotic goodness. Each spoonful is filled with plant-based nutrients.

Judy's Family Farm has been raising organic chickens in Marin County since 1996 and they were the first Certified Organic Egg in California by the Oregon Tilth standards. Their eggs are local, fresh, and delicious.

Mary’s Free-Range Ducks are raised naturally in Central California. Why try Duck Eggs? Their yolks are larger, vibrant. yellow and they have creamy whites. Duck eggs are also high in amino acids and valuable minerals with more vitamins than a chicken egg.
Pancakes & Syrup
Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle Mix consistently makes exceptionally fluffy and fresh-tasting pancakes and waffles. We have loved it for years. Their secret ingredient of malted flour makes your pancakes light and creates a rich vanilla aroma.

Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Syrup is a favorite here at Piedmont Grocery. Their Grade A amber maple syrup is light in color with a rich maple flavor. And, have you tried their infused maple syrups? Just wow!
A Staff Favorite

Handmade with love 💖
Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and balanced with just enough coconut to make them delectable—Grand Bakery Macaroons are the perfect treat. The ingredients are simple: coconut, sugar, egg whites, and some have a chocolate coating. Always kosher pareve and gluten-free. We carry their classic and chocolate-dipped.

These just might be the best coconut macaroons you've ever tasted.

Grand Bakery has been an Oakland fixture since 2017. They hand- craft high-quality, kosher baked goods for the Bay Area community.

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Hash It Out
When I was in elementary school, I learned that the month of March was all about shamrocks and leprechauns. As an adult, I know that there are a number of other things to associate with the month—like Daylight Saving Time, the first day of spring, International Women’s Day, and, of course, spring training.

Old habits die hard. So, of course when the calendar flips to March things like potatoes and corned beef pop in my head. I have to admit I have only learned to like corned beef as an adult. Growing up I wouldn’t touch it. Now I love it. but, I am not a fan of corned beef for breakfast.

Any diner worth it’s salt will have corned beef hash on the menu either as a regular item or as a weekend special. Personally, I can’t do it. That’s too much meat for me in the morning but I like the idea of it. The idea of corned beef hash is comfort food at its finest. I just can't handle the reality.

When I found this recipe for Spicy Veggie Hash I was thrilled. It has all of the elements of a traditional diner hash without the cardiologist on standby after-effects. And, it has chilies. In my book, you can never go wrong adding chilies to anything…

A Staff Favorite

This winter, our Deli Department decided to begin offering House-Made Quiches to-go. And, they are quite delicious! Quiche is a perfect light dinner with salad, baguette, and perhaps a glass of wine. And we love them for breakfast or brunch. They are yummy re-heated, and can be eaten cold or at room temperature. You can re-heat them in a pre-heated 350º F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Our selection varies daily according to inspiration. Some of our favorites include Caprese (with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil), Ham and Swiss Cheese, French Onion and Feta, Bacon & Swiss, and Spinach Feta.

So, stop by the store and see what is available today.

Quiche is another revival-worthy mid-century favorite. Did you know that the original quiches were filled with an egg-cream custard, finely diced smoked pork, no cheese, and were only a few centimeters thick? Quiche Lorraine became popular in the U.S. during the 1950's. It was in the 70s and 80s that Americans developed the artisanal quiche that we are familiar with. It is the thickness of a pie and filled with a long list of possible ingredients.

A Cookbook Recommendation
By Kate McMillan for Williams Sonoma

When the first decision of your day is what to have for breakfast, the easy recipes and inspired ideas provided in The Breakfast Bible will make your choice an effortless one. With more than 100 recipes covering every part of the morning meal—from eggs and bacon to fruits and grains, breads and pastries, healthful bowls, griddle cakes, morning beverages, and more—there are plenty of options to wake up your day

Featuring a comprehensive collection of classic and contemporary breakfast recipes, easy-to-customize options for morning favorites, simple tips and techniques, and gluten-free alternatives, The Breakfast Bible has everything you need. Whether you want to host a weekend brunch with a DIY Bloody Mary bar, treat someone to breakfast in bed with homemade waffles, or take something to go, there’s a for everyone in this diverse recipe collection.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Pandemic Patty’s Day
I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day over the weekend because I decided to corn my own beef this year. And, since the cooking time is measured in hours, there was no way I would be able to make it on a Wednesday night. Hence the Saturday night celebration.

We had all the fixin’s: Corned beef, Champ (a.k.a. mashed potatoes with fresh chives), Irish butter, cabbage, and of course, the Guinness—which was in the cake as well as a pint glass. I also made Irish soda bread. But, here’s where things got sideways.

Soda bread is probably the easiest bread product you could possibly make. And, warm out of the oven with a generous smear of Irish butter…it's heaven. I feel compelled to say that the soda bread you often see with the currents and/or caraway is not authentic Irish soda bread. Neither is the sweeter scone-like version. Tasty? Yes. Authentic? No. Traditionally soda bread is made with half wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. Last Saturday, this is where everything went wrong.

Like thousands of other people, I stocked up last year with ingredients for my pantry that were rapidly disappearing. Because of the lockdown I used a lot of those items. But, there were some that I didn’t use as much as I thought I would. I still have a significant collection of dried beans. Another example? My White Whole Wheat flour from King Arthur.

I knew the bag I had in the cupboard was old and I even bought a new one and had it on the shelf ready to go. For the life of me I can’t explain why I didn’t throw the old one out. I didn’t and I used the old one by mistake. Needless to say, the soda bread tasted stale right out of the oven—not a good experience to be sure and a big disappointment for me personally. I was looking forward to the bread.

Tonight I will be making another batch, this time with fresh flour. I have also started what I call the Pandemic Purge and have been going through my canned goods and everything else I stocked up on to see what’s expired. Thankfully, the Guinness is just fine.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

If you are looking for a delicious libation, The Irish Minstrel might be perfect for you. The Chartreuse liqueur adds a touch of green!

The Irish Minstrel is a simple riff on the well-known prohibition-era cocktail named the Last Word. Here we substitute Irish Whiskey for the gin. This creates a lighter and fruity variation with overtones of herbs.

A Staff Favorite

Why is it hard to get a good bagel in California?
I beg your pardon, it is not!

The New York Times recently declared, "The Best Bagels are in California (Sorry New York)". And, what's more, Boichik Bagels is a local, Berkeley company and their bagels have been flying off the shelves of our freezer section.

The bread has a comforting squish—thick but yielding, chewy but not densely so, with a shiny, sweet-and-salty crust and a rich, malty breath that fills up the bag before you even get home.
This is where the writer (me), a former resident of New York City (Brooklyn), smugly tells you that these bagels are good for California bagels, excellent by West Coast standards. But no, to be clear: Emily Winston’s bagels are some of the finest New York-style bagels I’ve ever tasted. They just happen to be made in Berkeley.
—Tejal Rao, The New York Times, March 8, 2021

We currently carry bags of their Plain Bagels and Everything Bagels. And we also carry their Pick Six Mix which is a baker's choice of assorted flavors that may contain plain, poppy, sesame, onion, everything, salt & pepper, pumpernickel variations, whole wheat and cinnamon raisin.

We recommend that you try a bag and see for yourself!

News & Events

Easter falls on Sunday, April 4th this year.
And, our butcher department is fully stocked, and ready to receive your call. For Easter, we have whole or half hams, leg of lamb, and racks of lamb, prime rib, or whatever you may desire.

To make certain we have what you need, call our butcher department at least one day in advance at (510) 653-8181.

And, remember we are closed on Easter Sunday, April 4th.
We are giving our employees the day off so they can celebrate with family and friends. So, be certain to get everything you need in advance!
News & Events

Passover begins this Saturday, March 27th and our Wine & Spirits department has picked out some delicious kosher Mensch wines from Covenant Winery for your Seder table.

Mensch wines are made with the new flash-détente technique that allows Covenant to flash-heat grapes straight out of the vineyard. They never heat the wine. Both white and red wines are barrel fermented with native yeast.

Zinfandel 2019
Mensch® Zinfandel is full-bodied and made in Lodi. It is fruit-forward, soft textured, and graced with an array of blackberry, raspberry, chocolate and spice flavors. Tannins are firm and give the wine additional structure.

Pair it with chicken, barbecue, and vegetarian dishes.

Roussanne 2019
Mensch Roussanne serves up a wonderful mineral core with bright acidity for good structure. Hints of stone fruit, citrus and jasmine give it the kind of quality you’d expect in a wine that costs twice as much. It is regularly among their highest rated white wines.

Pair it with lightly-grilled chicken thighs in a mix of salad greens.

From the Kitchen Table

Berries A-Go-Go
I am a big fan of portable breakfast. I mean I also love pancakes and waffles and French toast. But, there is something about grabbing something personal-sized with a cup of coffee that is just too stress-free to pass up. And really, who doesn’t like a fresh croissant or a well-made scone? Or two…

I try to make muffins, or banana bread, or whatever every Sunday so that there is something to grab that is quick and easy Monday morning when no one in my house is really ready to face the new week. Now that spring has arrived my mind is turning towards the berries that should be available soon, most notably the olallieberries.

I became an olallieberry fanatic while going to school in Oregon. The berries there are ridiculous and you will find them everywhere in everything. I once enjoyed an olallieberry scone that was life-changing while walking to class one morning. I have been trying to reproduce it ever since. And, I’ve come close but haven’t gotten it right yet—but the fun part is in the trying.

As the days get warmer the local berry patches will start opening for U-pick. I plan to be first in line. While they may not be quite the same experience as their Oregon relatives, our local berries are so so good, especially warm from the vine. My mouth is watering just thinking about it—and about my next attempt at those magnificent scones.

This is one time where substituting frozen berries for fresh won’t work. The frozen berries would add too much liquid to the scones. So, it looks like you might just have to spend a beautiful day outdoors in a berry patch (or, yes, you could buy them too). It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it!

From The Butcher's Block

Corned beef and cabbage is the quintessential food of St. Patrick’s Day. However, much like our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the tradition of corned beef for your holiday dinner is an American invention and was not brought over from Ireland.

But what exactly is corned beef?
The process of “corning” meat is actually just salt curing or pickling. The word corning is used in reference to the size of the salt grains. They were typically as big as kernels of corn. Therefore, Corned Beef is just pickled beef, usually a brisket.
Historically, the Irish people considered beef to be a luxury that was not often eaten. And, instead they would turn to ham or bacon for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It wasn’t until Irish immigrants arrived in America where beef was actually cheaper and more readily available that corned beef became the staple.

The same is true for cabbage. It was the most economical vegetable available and therefore became the obvious choice as an accompaniment.

The preparation of corned beef is not without controversy. Typically, corned beef is made using sodium nitrate to help prevent the growth of bacteria. It is also what gives corned beef its distinctive pink color. Some in the medical profession believe that sodium nitrate can cause damage to the blood vessels which can lead to heart disease. Others conclude it is harmless and that a person can consume more nitrates through other foods like spinach and celery. The debate continues on. But, ultimately the choice is up to you. Frankly leaving out the sodium nitrate, or salt peter as it is also known, can make it easier to corn your own beef as salt peter can be difficult to find. The flavor results are the same.

Corning your own beef is a great way to control what ingredients are used. But, beware that you will need to plan ahead. The brisket, or whatever meat you choose, will need to sit in the brine for multiple days.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

Raspberries add a burst of color and flavor to this classic brunch cocktail. Our recipe is made with raspberry sorbet-which makes it so easy to mix. And, the flavor is outstanding. This recipe makes 4 cocktails, so feel free to half it—or double when we begin to gather again for brunches!


The de Yong, SFMOMA, and Asian Art Museums have re-opened this month, and they all have new exhibits that were installed during the closure.

The Asian Art Museum

The de Young
  • Calder-Picasso, a touring exhibition making its first U.S. stop in San Francisco. With over 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, Calder-Picasso centers on the both artists’ occupation with “the void,” representations of space, time and inner emotions.
  • Nampeyo and the Sikyátki Revival, an installation of pots by the famed Tewa-Hopi potter Nampeyo, alongside additional examples of Hopi pottery and work by four generations of the artist’s descendants.

SFMOMA
  • Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis, featuring newly commissioned work by seven Bay Area artists, and fresh additions to the series.
  • Bay Area Walls by Liz Hernández, Erina Alejo and Adrian L. Burrell.
  • Charles Gaines, an installation including drawings, videos and a musical composition based on Supreme Court trial documents from the Dred Scott Decision of 1857.

Finally, we can get out and view some art!

Visit the Asian Art Museum, de Young and SFMOMA websites for details about times and admission.

News & Events

Local asparagus has arrived at our store—it is the herald of spring vegetables and fruits. It reminds us of the variety and deliciousness to come. We love roasting the spears—it brings out the sweetness, and never leaves them water-logged. And, there are many other great methods to prepare it including grilling, sautéing or simply steaming.
Here are some of our favorite Asparagus recipes to spark your imagination.

Sautéed Asparagus with Pancetta and Leeks is a dish that is so delicious, it might be considered addictive. Our recipe says it serves four, but you just might want to double it. And what is great about this recipe is that there is no carefully wrapping the stalks in the sliced meat. It is a very straightforward, one-pot dish that can be prepared quickly on a weeknight.

Asparagus Bread Pudding Layered with Fontina is a staff favorite from the Tante Marie cooking school in San Francisco. This makes an excellent brunch dish on its own or topped with poached eggs. We also love it for dinner.

For this Classic Cheese Fondu, blanched asparagus is the perfect dipping vegetable. And, we also love a mixture of veggies and fruit including broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, cornichons, pearl onions, granny smith apples, and pears.

Asparagus and Leek Risotto is a great way to kick off the season. In the mood for a little indulgence? Add sautéed shrimp at the end. So, if you’ve never made risotto before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not difficult; just make sure you add the broth in stages, letting it get completely absorbed before adding more.

Ragout of Fava Beans, Peas, and Asparagus with Pecorino and Crispy Prosciutto has a list of ingredients that embody spring. We make it as soon as the fresh, local ingredients are in the stores. It’s that good. Fair warning: you will have to work for it. The fava beans require peeling.

Breakfast Recipes from Our Archives
From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Clearly the most important meal of the day!
In perusing our archives for breakfast recipes, we realized how seriously we take breakfast! There were too many to choose from so we decided on a long list of great recipes. We hope you have the opportunity to make a few!
News & Events

Keeping performing arts flourishing.
Four Seasons Arts is addressing our mutual need for connection through music and ensuring artists have opportunities to keep performing. And, they have an every-growing list of archived performances on their website.

For generations, Four Seasons Arts has been presenting classical music concerts in the Bay Area. Their commitment to reflect the total community has always created programs with a culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse roster of world-class performing artists. They are deeply committed to the local community bringing arts into the schools, healing, and making performances accessible to audiences who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Four Seasons Arts currently has four archived concerts and one schedule to be released.

Vendor of the Month

Sourced straight from nature.
Numi Teas are made with the purest organic tea leaves, herbs, flowers and spices. Nothing else. We love Numi not only because they craft delicious teas and are Oakland-local. But, also because of the good they put back into our community and how they steward the planet.

Numi Teas are:
  • Sourced from the purest organic tea leaves, herbs. and flowers straight from nature with no compromise
  • A certified B Corporation and social enterpriseMade with a plant-based tea wrapper and non-GMO manila hemp cellulose tea bags

We offer a range of their premium quality, organic, Fair Trade green, black, white and pu·erh teas and herbal teasans.

Temporary Store Hours During Shelter-in-Place

Daily from
10 AM to 8 PM

Special shopping hour for seniors
9 AM to 10 AM

We will update you with any new hours as the shelter-in-place situation unfolds.

Free Parking 

4038 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 653-8181
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Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and droppable-1611878406464resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.