Name: Lyrics Born
Favorite Restaurant: Guerilla Café
Reviewed Guerilla Café: Saturday, March 2, 2013
I love Guerilla Café. Every time I either leave for tour or come home from tour, I make sure I stop by for brunch at their Berkeley, Gourmet Ghetto location. All the ingredients are delicious, fresh, seasonal, mostly organic, and locally sourced. All the recipes are very honest, and are house-made right down to the maple syrup, the aioli spread, and the barrel-aged hot sauce. The atmosphere is very lively and unique, with hip-hop, jazz, vintage soul and Latin and Afro-beat all on shuffle. Many of the materials used to create the cafe were re-purposed, from the tile to the 30+ year old stackable Eames shell chairs that surround the tables. The food is very reasonable given the quality, and that’s why it seems to be a local favorite. I personally love the house-made soups, waffles, and Panini. The wait for a table can be a touch long, due to its small size and large popularity, as can the wait for the food, for the same reason, but I’ve never been disappointed. They showcase emerging art and artists on the walls regularly, so there is always something new to look at. After ordering at the counter you are given a number card which has the photo and biography of an unsung revolutionary from somewhere around the world. This is consistent in keeping with the name and ethos of “Guerilla” Café and so reminds me of what Berkeley and the East Bay is all about, and what makes it unique.
Occupation: Corporate Tax Consultant
Favorite Restaurant: Radius Restaurant and Café
Reviewed Guerilla Café: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Guerilla Café is a local neighborhood café in North Berkeley that clearly caters to the locals. Given the amount of retail in the surrounding neighborhood, parking is not the easiest, even with metered parking on Shattuck and neighborhood parking on the side streets. GC has very limited seating though it does boast a few outdoor tables, albeit shoved tightly together. The décor is certainly nothing to write home about. The bar seating area overlooks the open kitchen giving it the feel of an old diner. With menu items limited to breakfast & lunch, the selections are very limited mostly consisting of various egg and salad options. One thing GC can brag about: it serves Blue Bottle Coffee. The food was somewhat average, but not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. And the food did appear fresh. That being said, I wouldn’t cross a bridge or drive through a tunnel to come here. It definitely has a neighborhood feel in an area that is otherwise becoming overrun with chain retail stores. So it’s got that going for it. The staff was polite and pleasant. Food was served in a timely manner. Personally, GC is a little hippy dippy for my taste but it’s perfect for local Berkeley residents who want to chill over a morning cup of Blue Bottle.
Occupation: Senior Food and Wine Account Executive
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Hunan Home’s Restaurant
Reviewed Guerilla Café: Friday, February 22, 2013
Guerilla Café is a fun, hip, breakfast/lunch spot located in Berkeley. We arrived on a Sunday around 11am and were pleasantly surprised there wasn’t a line—I’m so used to waiting in lines at overcrowded breakfast/brunch spots in the city. The café is very small with a funky urban feel that’s enlivened with great music. The staff was friendly and seemed as though they really enjoyed their work. Orders are taken at the counter and you can pick your seat at the counter or table. I was very surprised how quickly our coffees were brought out, which definitely set a nice tone for the meal. We ordered a variety of dishes, including their Waffle of the Day: Lemon Poppy seed. The waffle had a gorgeous color, crisp exterior and fluffy middle. The maple syrup was hot—a much appreciated touch. A generous dollop of crème fraiche was positioned in the center of the waffle, which I did not particularly enjoy, but appreciated. Next was a Cinnamon Challah Toast, which was absolutely lovely. Light with a fantastic crusty outside and chewy center, this challah boasted a big cinnamon flavor. Served with a delicious, tart berry jam and fresh fruit—this was by far my favorite dish. We also enjoyed the Organic Savory Polenta with grilled mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan & chives. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked with a delicious sear, and the polenta had a delicious, rich flavor. I wish that the egg on top was soft poached or fried so there was some delicious runny yolk to swirl into the polenta, but the egg seemed hard-boiled. We also ordered the Prosciutto Plate with eggs and toast. I loved the concept of this dish as I prefer savory to sweet breakfasts. The bread was perfectly toasted, and the prosciutto was delicious. It was served with a small medley of cucumber, tomatoes and olives on the side, which was very lovely. Again, I was disappointed the eggs were hard poached as I much prefer a soft poach—so I would definitely specify which you desire if you order this dish and the polenta dish. The portions were adequate and I would recommend ordering several different items to share. Guerilla Café is a great little neighborhood spot and if I lived in the area I would definitely frequent this fun, spirited café frequently.