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Is Oakland’s New Burger Passport Your Summer Personality?

From Low Bar to Lovely’s to Jo’s Modern Thai, the Town is spreading the burger love

A guy. Sam Musco
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Daniel Paez, co-owner of Oakland’s Low Bar, had so much fun as a kid participating in the McDonald’s Monopoly game that he wanted to bring that dynamism to the East Bay’s burger scene. Enter Oakland Burger Tour 2023, where diners fill a passport with burgers and cocktails from five restaurants in Oakland from July 5 to September 4. If you fill the passport, you get an invite to a tour wrap party and bonus prizes. “This tour is not competitive in nature,” Paez wrote to Eater SF. “This entire project is a DIY effort to show folks my favorite burgers in Oakland.”

For two months contestants will have to — otherwise known as get to — eat burgers at Low Bar, the Kon-Tiki, Jo’s Modern Thai, Lovely’s, and Telegraph Beer Garden (all of which have a suggested drink pairing, as well). Each restaurant has a signature burger: The Kon-Tiki, for example, sports the Crispy Spam Burger, paired with a Santa Teresa rum cocktail. It’s sort of a no-lose scenario, since it’s free to play and if you don’t get all five stamps on the passport then you’ve just eaten somewhere between one and four slam-dunk burgers. “The aim of all this is to promote community engagement,” Paez writes, “and encourage residents and visitors alike to participate in the city’s amazing food scene.” Pick up your passport and begin the journey by buying one of the burgers at any of the participating restaurants.

A poster. Low Bar

Another frozen fruit recall at Trader Joe’s due to listeria

There must be something in the water at Trader Joe’s as SFGATE reports the grocer is recalling the frozen Organic Tropical Fruit Blend once again. It was just a few months ago that a Hepatitis A breakout was traced to the same product — now, the company posted to its website about potential listeria. The products have been removed and destroyed at the stores, but any instances of the product bought between May 12, 2024, and September 8, 2024 should be destroyed.

Ayesha Curry’s wine brand joins fifth-largest U.S. wine company

Domaine Curry, the Napa luxury wine brand from Ayesha Curry and sister-in-law Sydel Curry-Lee, is now a part of the Prisoner Wine Company’s wine portfolio. “The acquisition of Domaine Curry, a female- and Black-founded wine brand with a successful track record for entrepreneurship, storytelling, and community, provides an opportunity for us to partner with Ayesha and Sydel to build a uniquely positioned luxury wine and culturally relevant lifestyle brand,” Bukky Ekundayo, vice president and general manager, said in a press statement.

Bay Area cocktail scene gets love in national competition

A few of the mixologists and big brains of the local cocktail world were just announced as finalists in the Tales of the Cocktails’ annual Spirited Awards. Pacific Cocktail Haven is amongst the four finalists for Best U.S. Bar Team, and Camper English — in all his icy glory — is one of four finalists for Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits for his book Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails.