1761 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley
Phone: (415) 347-5640
The latest pop-up turned successful brick-and-mortar belongs to the trio of Grant Gooding, Jess McCarter, and Jeron Thomson, otherwise known as Easy Creole. After a couple of years serving their signature Louisiana-inspired fare at The Residence in the Castro and La Victoria in the Mission, they finally have a space to call their own in a quirky corner of Berkeley, right on the border with Oakland and Emeryville.
The menu changes daily, but includes offerings like turkey pozole, Bourbon Street red beans and rice, jerk shrimp in a Red Stripe marinade, and white chili with chicken. Vegetarians also get a ton of options, from gumbo to spinach and mushroom etouffee. The casual cafe space seats 22, and offers counter service; it's designed for a mixture of carry-out and eat-in diners. The decor is quirky and fun, featuring wainscoting made from pickle barrels and more than 270 pictures sourced from family, friends, and thrift stores, ranging from Cezanne and Chagall prints to pictures of David Bowie and Robocop. There's even R. Crumb magnetic poetry to play with if there's a line.
Hours are 11 am-9 pm daily. McCarter says that after taking a few weeks off to open, Easy Creole also plans to return to The Residence for their standing Wednesday pop-up, probably in the next week or two. They're typically there from 5:30 pm until they run out of food.