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Berkeley Is Getting an All-Paleo Restaurant

Phernetton at work in the kitchen.
Phernetton at work in the kitchen.
Photo: Mission Heirloom/Facebook

The latest food craze is the paleo diet, in which dieters are encouraged to cut out gluten, starches, sugar, processed foods, and sometimes dairy and vegetable oils, opting instead for food centered around grass-fed meat, wild fish, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. It's engendered a certain level of controversy, but its adherents claim they've been able to drop tons of weight. Needless to say, though, it's not the easiest dietary choice when it comes to dining out, which is where new North Berkeley restaurant Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe will come into play when it opens this fall. As the EBX reports, the restaurant will eschew refined oils, sugars, gluten, grain, legumes, chemicals, and umami-producing ingredients in its cooking, and offer only organic and GMO-free fare.

Led by founders Yrmis Barroeta and Bobby Chang, who run a premade paleo meal service of the same name, the cafe will feature food from Bin 38 alum Christian Phernetton, who'll prepare dishes in a commercial kitchen and deliver them to the space (which lacks a full kitchen). Phernetton is using some molecular gastronomy techniques to diversify his menu, including preparing cauliflower in the manner of tabbouleh and calculating amino acid levels in his meatballs. Dish components will be served in individual jars, allowing diners to customize the meals according to various dietary restrictions.

Though Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe will be a casual spot, with counter service and a huge garden for al fresco dining, its price point will definitely reflect the costly nature of eating paleo, with entrees in the $16-20 range. The cafe will serve Intelligentsia coffee as well, including trendy "bulletproof" coffee, a latte made with grass-fed butter in place of milk. Expect it to land in early September.

· Where Modern Gastronomy and Paleo Dining Meet [EBX]
· Mission Heirloom [Official website]

Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe

2085 Vine Street, Berkeley, CA