Thursday, June 26, 2008

eccolo: no longer banned

"you should post on your blog that our waiter is quite sweet",
declares mp with her infamous mona lisa smile as we settled into our table at eccolo.


i am very glad that i had the chance to have lunch with mp before taking off on my next...well...seemingly longish 2+ week tour of the states via san antonio, atlanta, boston, and then back to the bay area. as i picked where we lunched last time, this time mp decided upon eccolo.

i was a bit surprised at her choice because i remembered her mentioning that she didn't have the most pleasant of experiences there when it first opened. it didn't have any vegetarian options at the time. before anyone goes all "anthony bourdain" on me about vegetarian options...let's review a few facts:
  • eccolo is located in berkeley (where there are probably more vegetarians and vegans per capita than any other city)
  • eccolo is located on 4th street in berkeley --- perhaps the most chic-chic commercial district in berkeley
  • restaurants in eccolo's building historically didn't have a very long life
  • one of the staff's response to her inquiry about the lack of vegetarian options was "italians don't eat vegetables"...a statement that doesn't warrant further comment on
while the chef made her something off menu that was very good....i didn't think mp would hearken eccolo's front door ever again. yet, she mentioned while we were walking toward eccolo that she had pretty much already eaten her way through the pasta shop and tacubaya and was in the mood for something new. plus she had already checked out the menu and they seem to have expanded their vegetarian options. this was fine with me. i was absolutely open to trying some place i'd never been.

after reviewing the lunch menu, mp decided upon the "
four cheese panino with mozzarella, gruyère, mimolette and cheddar" then and i decided upon the burger....i ordered the burger because it came with a whole head of roasted garlic. i mean, how often can you order a head of roasted garlic? we also decided to split some fries and a side of spinach.

while we waited for our lunch dishes to arrive, we munched on some acme bread and caught up with what has been going on in our lives....

and then our order seemed to arrive very quickly.....

i think they are well prepared for the busy lunch crowd. as we were leaving, it looked like the place was full. as mp and i said our good-byes and i headed home...i was thinking about what i liked the most about the meal. i'd have to say it was the pickles. there were these really good thin slices of pickle next to my burger. the side of pickles was a bit of a surprise since they weren't listed on the menu...but it was what i liked the most about the dish. odd isn't it? overall, i think mp and i were happy with our visit. i think eccolo is officially off the "banned" list.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

I like the pic with the water and bread.