Food Tour in Oakland’s Temescal Neighborhood, an Edible Excursion

Monday March 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments


These adorable fairies were spotted in Oakland’s Temescal Alley

Where can you eat fish tacos, sample Indian street food, sip coffee, nosh on a doughnut and see fairies all in one location? That would be in the hipster Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California.

While Oakland sometimes gets a bad rap, join in a Temescal Tastes food tour with Edible Excursions and you will experience a natural high. Perhaps food coma is a better descriptor for this Sunday morning escapade conceived by owner Lisa Rogovin?


Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann, from Starter Bakery, is one of the culinary delights on Temescal Tastes tour.

Edible Excursions

This culinary tour company offers intimate strolls through San Francisco, California’s Ferry Building Marketplace, Mission District and Japantown, as well as epicurean tours of North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, but the Temescal Tastes tour, located in the East Bay, takes the cake – or the Kouign Amann cake.

Urban Village Farmers’ Market

My first encounter of the Kouign Amann pastry was shared with Brian Wood at the Urban Village Farmers’ Market. Wood, the owner of Starter Bakery, is the man responsible for bringing us this butter cake, originally found in the northwest of France and now, Oakland’s Temescal district. His tasty treats sell out fast at the Urban Village Farmers’ Market and once they are gone, they won’t make another appearance until the next Sunday.

Another participant of the Urban Village Farmers’ Market, as well as the Temescal Tastes tour, is Cholita Linda. Be sure to try the fish tacos and agua fresca. This popular booth is a mix of eclectic Latin America street food.

Hannah Hoffman Doughnut Dolly

Cream filled doughnuts at Doughnut Dolly

Temescal Alley

Moving on to Oakland’s Temescal Alley 49, we arrive in time for coffee and doughnuts. Like peanut butter and jelly, coffee and doughnuts are a match made in heaven. Whether you prefer your coffee iced or spiced, and your doughnuts cream or jam filled, you will be delighted with the outcome.

The Cro Cafe owners are dedicated to creating the perfect cup of coffee and Doughnut Dolly owner Hannah Hoffman is the woman behind the Naughty Cream filled doughnuts.  This clever girl named her company after the Doughnut Dollies,  Red Cross helpers, who delivered coffee and doughnuts to injured service men and women from World War I.

Authentic foods

From Indian street food at Juhu Beach Club to vegetarian offerings at Abesha, tomato soup made with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer at Sacred Wheel Cheese, or tofu stew and Ban Chan at Sura Korean; Temescal Tastes participants will not return home hungry from this Oakland, California food frolic.

Cro Cafe

Cro Cafe makes the perfect cup of coffee

Priced at a reasonable $75 per person, the three hour tour is an easy walk. I say this after having a total hip replacement not too long ago. Parking is easy by the Urban Farmers’ Market meeting point and the MacArthur Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station is within walking distance of tour.


If You Go:
Edible Excursions (415) 806-5970

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Edible Excursions.

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Berkeley, California

Things to See and Do in Oakland, California


Things to See and Do in Paia, Maui, Hawaii’s North Shore

Friday March 22, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments

"Holy Rosary Church" Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Are you visiting Maui for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Paia on Maui’s North Shore. Paia is a historic plantation town, best known for great food and boutique shopping in Maui’s upcountry.


It’s a sure bet that visitors to Maui, Hawaii want to see Haleakala, but I also recommend the Road to Hana for a more off the beaten path and authentic experience.


Take a yoga class in Makawao

"Lumeria Maui yoga"

Lumeria Maui, a wellness retreat in Makawao, offers drop in yoga classes.

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit are the North shore beaches or take a yoga class at Lumeria in Makawao, Maui.


If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Haleakala at sunrise or sunset for kissing with a view.


If you happen to be traveling with four-legged friends, the best place to walk the dog is Keawekapu Beach.


Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit The Maui Ocean Center.



"Cafe Des Amis crepe"

Cafe Des Amis crepes in Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Local food in Paia, Maui


If you are looking for local, up country Maui cuisine, I recommend Paia Fish Market or Flatbread Pizza. If you are looking for good quality, yet affordable food, I suggest you visit  Café Des Amis. My ham and Gruyere cheese crepe with a green salad was perfect for a light lunch.  Across the street from Cafe Des Amis is Mana Market; perfect for picnic items, soups, salads and home baked items like Macadamia Nut pie. Yum!


The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Grandma’s Coffee House for Hawaiian coffee, breakfast & pastries.  For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Mama’s Fish House. While Charley’s is the spot for late night dining and live music in Paia, Maui.


"Mana Market Macadamia Nut Pie"

Insider Tip: Visit Mana Market in Paia, Maui for picnic supplies and Macadamia Nut pie.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the Waihe’e Ridge Trail or Olinda Forest Waihe’e Ridge has great views!


Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Casanova’s or Charley’s for live music.


The Maui Time will keep you posted on what’s happening in Maui.


If you are visiting Maui n the springtime you should attend Whale Day.  In the summer you’ll want to check out the Maui Film Festival.  Come to Wailea or Lahaina for whale watching in the winter.

"Aloha Cowboy"

Visit the cowboy town of Makawao in upcountry Maui.

Makawao, Maui’s cowboy town

Just outside of Paia you can visit the cowboy town of Makawao. Have lunch at the Market Fresh Bistro or go horseback riding at Thompson Ranch.  Makawao is the place to be during Fourth of July for horses and Paniolo (cowboy) rodeo events.


What are your favorite things to do in Paia or Makawao on the Hawaiian island of Maui?

Mahalo to Lumeria Maui for assistance with this post.  Photos and article by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Hana, Hawaii

Things to See and Do in Maui, Hawaii

Rutherford B. Hayes’ mansion museum and Easter Egg Roll

Wednesday March 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM | 0 Comments

The back view of the Rutherford B. Hayes’ mansion at Speigel Grove

Seven U.S. presidents were born in Ohio, and thanks to the efforts of volunteers, private foundations and the Ohio Historical Society, many of their homes are still intact and operate as museums.

Rutherford B. Hayes chose Fremont, Ohio as the spot for Spiegel Grove, his rural retreat.  Spiegel Grove’s 31-room mansion has been on my “Places to see in Ohio” bucket list for years. Mostly, I was interested in the traditional Easter Egg roll.

President Rutherford B. Hayes moved the Easter Egg roll to the South Lawn of the White House in 1878 when he was in office.  When Andrew Johnson was president, he started the egg roll tradition on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building.

The Egg Roll at Speigel Grove is an annual event in honor of Rutherford B. Hayes and this beloved American tradition. It’s a terrific way to celebrate spring besides.

Balancing an egg on a wooden spoon for the egg race

Last year, I was able to cross Spiegel Grove off my bucket list when my family and I headed there so my son could participate in the Egg Roll. At age 10, it was his last chance.

Along with the Egg Roll that included other contests and a parade around the grounds, we took a tour of Spiegel Grove and visited the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, a museum that traces the life and accomplishments of the 19th president of the United States. His wife Lucy Webb Hayes and his children are also prominently featured in the exhibits.

Because Hayes’s presidency was during a pivotal time  in both the United States and elsewhere, a visit to the museum is a wonderful history lesson that takes in Reconstruction after the Civil War, the Panama Canal, Nez Perce, Ponca and Sioux Indians, and the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

The tour of Hayes’s and Lucy’s mansion is also a wonderful trip back in time where workmanship and innovation made this house a masterpiece that was added onto as the Hayes’ family’s needs changed. Hayes and his family returned to Spiegel Grove after his presidency.

Whether you visit Spiegel Grove for the Easter Egg roll or at another time, the trip to this  is worth it. Check Spiegel Grove’s website for special events and activities that happen throughout the year.

This year’s egg roll is happening on Saturday, March 30. The event is free.

If you go:

Rutherford B. Hayes’s grave at Speigel Grove

Tours of both the mansion and the Presidential Center are available year-round. Visitors can tour one or both.

Hours:   Tuesday – Saturday
9 a.m.-5 p.m. (HOME tours are on the half hour; the last at 4 p.m)
Sundays & holidays  noon-5 p.m. (HOME tours are on the half hour; Library closed )

Closed on Monday, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission – Adult admission to both museums, $13. For just one: $7.50; children, 6-12 are $5 for both and $3 for just one. There is discount admission for AAA members, senior citizens, and active military and their families.

Admission to the Hayes Research Library is free.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove, Fremont, OH 43420-2796
phone 419.332.2081

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of the Midwest Travel Writers’ Association