Ultimately, steal it for sake’s sake

I went to the Takara Sake factory (in Berkeley!) yesterday, and looked at their museum (actually a single room) of 19th century sake-making equipment, and did the free tasting of their different brews. Much like in wine tasting, being able to try sips of 8 different sakes one after the other highlights the differences between them so that now I might be able to order intelligently the next time I go for sushi. They also had some plum wines, two mixed with chardonnay, and one with sake, and all pretty tasty, albeit sickeningly sweet. Definitely a dessert kind of drink.

Then I went to play ultimate, where I learned the meaning of pain from lack of endurance.

I saw a post earlier this week on MetaFilter about Bob Dylan having lifted some of his lyrics from a Japanese gangster novel, and then the same story appears in the NY times today, although the latter is more of an apologia for Dylan. Interestingly enough, Harvard rescinded its acceptance offer to Blair Hornstein, the girl who sued her school to be the only valedictorian, over her plagiarism in a journalism contest. Perhaps “plagiarize” should be the word of the week.

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Zachary’s

On Solano, a block or so west of the Alameda Way (MLK). This is the only place I know of in the Bay Area which serves Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Thank god it exists, and Uno’s be dammed. Zachary’s is tasty, perhaps not as cheesy as you might want it, but a welcome change from brick-oven and New York style pizza. A large pie (8 big pieces) will run you around $18-25, depending on how many toppings you want. There are usually three specials a day, all of which are pretty good. There’s generally a line for tables, and the pizza takes 35 minutes to cook, so don’t go here if you are really hungry or need to eat in a timely fashion. If you can take the time, however, it’s well worth the wait.

Oriental Express

Shattuck between Delaware and Francisco. This is a hole-in-the-wall place that serves all kinds of Asian food. It’s pretty fast and cheap, but the staff is really friendly. They’re actually Vietnamese, so I would recommend getting the Vietnamese dishes (conveniently pictures on the wall). Dave got the pho, which he said was pretty good, especially compared to Pho House. I got the banh xeo, which is an eggy crepe filled with mushrooms, chicken, shrip, and bean sprouts. You’re supposed to pour fish sauce over it and then chow down. It was tasty, if a bit greasy. I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to go here, but if you’re right there, it’s worth a visit.