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Berkeley Refuses to Name a Street After Avocado Toast

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Vegan sandwiches with sliced avocado on rye bread served on ceramic board over white marble background. Flat lay. space. Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The city of Berkeley shot down “Avocado Toast” as the new moniker for a downtown street.

As part of the reconfiguration of Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley residents will end up with a new, two-block street. As this is Berkeley we’re talking about, officials solicited possible names for the street via a chalkboard at 2025 Shattuck Avenue (the former home of Mandarin Garden restaurant, a well-liked Chinese spot that was consumed by fire in 2015). Though three people nominated the phrase “Avocado Toast” as the name for the new stretch, that proposal was denied by Berkeley’s city council, Berkeleyside reports, in favor of several long-dead local figures.

All in all, 916 names were proposed for the street, and many were related to food: Alice Waters Way, Tasty Wok Court, Pizza Territory, and Chocolate Chip Avenue were also pitched. Also appearing on the list not once, but twice: Gourmet Ghetto Annex, an apparent reaction to the controversy over the North Shattuck area once referred to as “Gourmet Ghetto.”

That nickname was changed last fall, after Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters owners Trish Rothgeb and Nick Cho of argued that the term “ghetto” is ”outdated and offensive” and “has been used in American culture to denigrate and marginalize black people in particular.” That name change was upsetting to many, with some arguing that Rothgeb and Cho’s opposition to the word was an attempt to “take over” the district.

For her part, Waters — whose name was also denied street moniker consideration by Berkeley’s powers that be — says that she “never liked” the term “Gourmet Ghetto.” An email from Eater SF to Waters regarding her thoughts on a possible Tasty Wok Court, Pizza Territory, or Chocolate Chip Avenue was not responded to as of publication.

And in other news...

  • After data analytics firm Stacker announced that Potrero Hill brunch destination Plow is the city’s most popular breakfast spot, reporter Katie Canales made a Saturday morning trip to see what the data analytics fuss is about, savaging her meal by saying “the mediocrity was apparent, though not unexpected. Overhyped brunch spots are common in San Francisco and elsewhere.” [Business Insider]
  • Speaking of seemingly random rankings, a website called Mattress Advisor, which advises readers about mattresses, asserts that SF’s average restaurant for two people is $72, the pricest meal city on their list. [East Bay Times]
  • Chez Panisse founder/food world icon/potential street name pundit Alice Waters says that her Edible Schoolyard Project is going to expand beyond changing how kids eat, and will now focus on fighting climate change. [Berkeleyside]
  • Owners of Richmond District cafe Orson’s Belly say that complaints from anonymous neighbors have stymied their efforts to pour vermouth after 9 p.m. [Hoodline]
  • This Friday, the Exploratorium is throwing a bash called “Science of Cocktails,” where (for tickets that start at $175) patrons can enjoy drinks from 20+ open bars and “boozy science demonstrations,” which seems like a pretty major violation of everyone’s freshman year lab safety unit, but who’s to say? [ABC 7]

Orson's Belly

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