RBMS 2015 Blog

Food Glorious Food

“I Can Haz Cheezburger?”, one of the original LOLcat meme images, circa 2003. “Happy Cat”, updated January 8, 2015, Know Your Meme, http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/happy-cat


Few parts of the country have as great a reputation for incredible eats as the Bay Area. Most states are known for at least one excellent dish–Massachusetts claims clam chowder, Wisconsin is known for its cheese curds, and North Carolina’s barbecue (whether you prefer vinegar or tomato) is famous.* California, however, is not known for one specific regional dish. This could be because it covers multiple ecological zones, or because it is one of the most diverse states in the country, but whatever the reason, the bottom line is simply this: at the 2015 RBMS (Pre)Conference, there will be no incorrect gastronomic decisions.

Our Local Arrangements Committee has assembled an incomprehensibly vast list of restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, eateries, bakeries, and food trucks in Oakland and Berkeley alone (though if you still have room, San Francisco is just a short BART ride away). You can find that list, with mouthwatering descriptions and infinite variety, here. Personally, I have my eye on Pizzaiolo, which promises strawberry rhubarb jam for my breakfast toast (toast is apparently trendy in Oakland right now, which is just fine with me), or homemade pasta with ricotta salata and summer squash for dinner. Fauna, a bar serving, among other cocktails, something called a “Bang-bang Berlioni,” as well as chicharrones with chile and lime and burrata cheese toast (more toast!) sounds equally incredible.  As a vegetarian, I’m incredibly excited to sample restaurants like Herbivore and Souley Vegan–though I do wonder how anyone, dedicated carnivore or not, could resist garlic fries or jalapeno poppers with ranch dipping sauce. I may avoid Hawker Fare, which is described by our Local Arrangements Committee fairly simply as “not good for vegans or vegetarians!”, but I’m sure that even their sides are delicious.

To conclude, there are as many tacos, catfish sandwiches, pieces of avocado toast, curries, double chocolate cookies, spice donuts, charcuterie plates, cheeses, cocktails, hand-crafted Neapolitan-style pizzas, sesame balls, hibiscus coolers, garlic fries, dumplings, salmon steaks, and pastries as you could possibly want. And, for those of you who will miss your furry companions from home, you can even have a cat with your coffee. What could be better?

Welcome to Oakland! Who’s hungry?

– Elizabeth DeBold, Folger Shakespeare Library

* Anyone who values life and has no applicable regional allegiance would do best to avoid the Great Pizza War between Chicago, New York, and New Haven.