Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pigging Out in Berkeley

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Fourth Street shopping area in Berkeley to look for some dishware at the Crate & Barrel Outlet Store. When I arrived, I literally landed in hog heaven.

The Pasta Shop was hosting its Hog Heaven II event inside and out the store. There were grills (working with Café Rouge next door) fired up with sausages for sale and tables setup inside with tastings of local and Italian cured pork products.

There were thinly sliced salumi from Fra’Mani, salame from Creminelli, nduja and more from Boccalone, and a range of prosciutto, coppa and speck from La Quercia. My cholesterol never took as big a hit in one afternoon as it did yesterday.

And these days, you can’t have a pig event without an appearance from Ryan Farr of 4505 Chicharrones. Here’s a blurry shot of him as he passes out samples of his popular chicharrones, or pork rinds. I typically don’t eat fried fat, but I tried just one to see what all the fuss was. It did melt in my mouth, but it wasn’t as crisp as I thought it would be.

So to demonstrate how I’m so easily influenced by the grill, I had just come from eating lunch (a large bowl of ramen plus a rice ball) but still got tempted by these sausages.

I ended up getting one of the freshly made chicken sausages from the Pasta Shop’s Chef Scott Miller. I really loved how the meat was nice and succulent and not densely packed. It tasted fresh and delicious, but it was a bit difficult to eat with all the grilled peppers and tomatoes on top. But when in Hog Heaven, sloppy is the norm of the day.

Other posts of interest:
More Elbow Room at the Pasta Shop
Charcuterie at Cafe Rouge
Jumping for Jamon


Hungry Dog said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome day!

A said...

very cool, was the hotdog FREE or did u have to buy it?

did u walk there or take a bus since u don't have a car?

What's the best way to get there if taking Bart?

foodhoe said...

ooh, that's my idea of heaven! I had other stuff going on and was sorry to miss the fun.

Single Guy Ben said...

Hungry Dog/Foodhoe, it was a fun day, and a nice surprise to run into!

A, to answer your questions:
B) No, the hot dogs weren't free, it cost $7 but worth it because they were so huge and tasty!
C) The 51 Broadway bus from my home takes me to the Fourth Street shopping district
D) The closest BART station is probably the North Berkeley station. I heard it's a 15 minute walk from there, but I've never tried.

Cookie said...

Wanted to let you know that I finally checked out the Metreon Farmer's Market you blogged about a while back. Love it! Did you get to sample all the mustards?

Carolyn Jung said...

Those sausages look crazy good. Ahh, I love the Crate & Barrel outlet, too. Such good deals there.