Friday, November 24, 2017

Food Friday: Maker's Common

Maker's Common 1954 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704



East Bay friends, this one's for you. Maker's Common is the new kid on the Berkeley block. It's an eatery and marketplace by the owners of San Francisco's beloved, Mission Cheese. The eatery is a casual neighborhood gathering place, where folks grab a quick bite, park it outside on the patio, or make themselves comfortable for family-style meals. The marketplace is stocked with goods from local makers and is meant to inspire patrons for their next picnic or gathering. I recently had the pleasure of touring the beautiful open space and delighting in some cheese, meats, and treats for dinner. After the jump, view more of the space, designed by Studio KDA, and see what you can nosh on when you visit.


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Maker's Common offers an amazing selection of cheese, charcuterie and wine, which is basically the key to my heart. By now, I must sound like a broken record about my love for these things, but it's true. For anyone who is just as passionate about cheese, you at Maker's Common you can order cheese flights or choose your own cut-to-order cheese at the cheese & charcuterie counter. During my visit, I had a cheese and charcuterie board, which featured three different cheeses and three different meats. The cheeses included: the Teleeka from Tomales Farmstead, which was a soft sheep, cow, and goat ripened cheese, the Tubby from Springbrook Frame + Crown Finish, which was an alpine-style cow cheese, and finally the Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery, which was a blue cheese wrapped in grape leaves soaked in pear brandy. The Tubby was my favorite - it was hard and had a hint of pineapple, making it absolutely delicious! The three meats I tried were the calabrese, fennel chili coppa and the duck rillettes. Again, all three meats were divine, but my favorite was the fennel chili coppa because it was a little thicker and had more bite to it. The board came with bread, a few seasonal dried fruits, and pickled veggies.

Now, if we're being honest, a board like that, with some wine or beer, is plenty to satisfy. Imagine taking off work early, heading over and enjoying an early happy hour with a board and a brew - sounds good, huh? But, if you're like me and have somewhat of a bottomless tummy, then a board is just the warm up. I visited Maker's Common for dinner, but if you're over for lunch, or looking for a smaller meal, the eatery offers sandwiches and small bites. After our board was licked clean, I had the burrata with seasonal persimmons and pomegranate seeds. Yes, I had more cheese, and yes, it was so good. Seriously, guys - get this dish if you need something to go with your sandwich or chicken. sweet fruits with the savory cheese is such a fantastic combo - can't go wrong!

After the burrata and some house salad, I had the pièce de résistance - the fried chicken! Maker's Common serves family-style whey-brined fried chicken with corn on the cob and sautéed greens. It's as good as it looks and sounds. The corn is cooked to perfection (not too soft, with just the right amount of crunch), and the mustard greens add a nice contrasting flavor. The chicken itself is fried perfectly on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside.

Whatever you get at Maker's Common, you're going to be happy. The owners are so passionate about sharing their space with the community and the atmosphere oozes of their warmth. Stop in and let me know what you guys think!

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