The story: The Broadway corridor between Rockridge and Temescal in Oakland is undergoing a food transformation, with the arrival of a Blue Bottle Cafe, freshly opened Trueburger and adjacent Cafe Underwood. But one of the more prominent arrivals is Clove and Hoof, a butchery and casual restaurant at the corner of Broadway and 40th in a former liquor store. Owners Analiesa Gosnell and John Blevins have roots in butchery (she’s from Cafe Rouge and he’s worked with 4505 Meats) and they’ve created a new neighborhood hangout for meat lovers.
Why I went: I live up the street on Broadway, and while I can walk to Rockridge, Temescal or Piedmont Avenue to try an assortment of new eateries, the Oakland corridor is the quickest walk for me — simply a 10-minute stroll to Clove and Hoof. Since it’s only been open a couple of months, it’s currently opened just during the days so I visited a few times for lunch on the weekends. There are plans for dinner service down the road.
The vibe: Early you get an older crowd or families with young kids, but during the peak lunch hour the hipster Oakland crowd hungering for fancy eats nearby come stumbling in. Although the restaurant is more casual than the nearby Hog’s Apothecary, the vibe is a bit more high-end (as far as I could tell by the way they dress), maybe because they’re the ones who can afford the premium prices for the sandwiches.
The menu: Since they’re just starting with a lunch menu, the options are primarily sandwiches. And as a butchery, the sandwiches mostly highlight meat, from the pork and lamb meatball sandwich to the two 2-ounce beef patty C & H burger to the red-wine braised short ribs. There are comfort-food favorites like fried chicken and chili dog (made with a beef, bacon and cheddar sausage), and a unique “Hangover Special” made of breakfast sausage, kim chi relish with a fried egg sunny side up. There are a couple of salads and five or six sides that changes but currently include items like a daily cassoulet (made with the special sausage of the day), French fries, potato salad and cole slaw. The main sandwiches range in cost from $11 to $15, and that might seem on the high end but that’s because the meat are all locally sourced from ranchers who’ve raised their animals humanely. I’m sometimes concerned about value dining, but despite the high price, I feel the quality and generous portion size make it worth the cost.
My favorite dish: Hands down the Hangover Special ($11) with the breakfast sausage and fried egg is a must-order. The meat is cooked perfectly to your taste and the slight kim chi relish gives it a subtle kick, blending with the beef. The potato pepper bun griddled with maple gave a slight sweet edge to balance everything out, not to mention the oozing egg yolk to cure any hangover.
Insider tip: Early on, Chef Blevins seems to like to stuff cheese into his meats, such as in the hamburger stuffed with pimento cheese. So if you’re lactose-intolerant, you might ask if there’s any hidden cheese in your meat.
The last bite: Clove and Hoof is a unique neighborhood butchery, offering up quality cuts butchered from whole animals while also serving as a gathering spot for neighbors to dine on premium sandwiches that are creative and tasty.
The rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps
The deets: Clove and Hoof, 4001 Broadway (at 40th Street), Oakland. PH: 510.547.1446. Currently Wednesday through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations. Major credit cards accepted. www.cloveandhoofoakland.com
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