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BERKELEY’s BEST Restaurants

  On second floor of BAMPFA, 2155 Center St./Oxford St.  This casual cafe  provides dramatic views of the U.C. Berkeley campus and of downtown Berkeley as well as some bird’s eye views into the museum galleries below.  This is from my review at its former location:  “It offers a very limited and weekly-changing breakfast and lunch menu based on locally sourced seasonal ingredients, and scrumptious house-made pastries are always available.  At brunch, my dining partner enjoyed the quiche of the day, while I ordered the entire a la carte menu:  two eggs over easy, perfectly roasted potatoes, tasty apple-smoked bacon, and housemade bread toasted and served with yummy plum jam.  Quirky policies include no salt and pepper shakers on the table, but if you request them you get the cafe’s single communal pepper grinder and a tiny open bowl of salt (this is Berkeley).  Also, no catsup is available, nor is a paper receipt—you must print out your receipt at home (I find this ridiculous in the name of saving trees, because if one was printed out at the counter it would be on a tiny piece of paper but at home it is on a full-size 8” by 11” sheet).  Adding to the pleasant atmosphere, mellow background music sometimes radiates from vintage vinyl records played on an old-time turntable, and at other times it comes from a plugged-in iPod.  Though pricey for a counter-service cafe, the food is extra good.”  Now, beginning at 3 p.m. the cafe becomes Swig’s Lounge and will serve wine and beer along with a special evening menu.

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Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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