Berkeley… 9 years after graduation

I had the sudden desire to visit Berkeley and have lunch at Intermezzo on Telegraph Ave, dreaming of their green salad and honey wheat bread sandwich.

On the way to campus, we got off the freeway at Ashby Avenue so stopped by Urban Ore. It’s a really cool place where they sell lots of reusable goods, including but not limited to: doors, blinds, sinks, tubs, toilets, wood, clothes, computers, chairs, desk, tables, cabinets, dishes, kitchenware, electronics, etc. It’s really useful if you need some stuff for home remodeling and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it but you also have to be patient and dig around for the gems. We got some simple stuff like plates and cups for me to keep at work but next time, I’d like to get a dresser, sand it down, and repaint and decorate it… I think it’ll be a fun project.

Afterwards, we headed to Telegraph Ave to find Intermezzo. We found the location but the restaurant has changed to Cafe Mattina but with the same menu as Intermezzo. Apparently ownership had changed and the name changed in December.

I ordered my favorite combo of half a green salad with poppy seed dressing and half a chicken salad sandwich. Plus a strawberry lemonade with free refills (the cashier was kind enough to let me know refills were free so that I didn’t have to order the large size). Lots of strawberry and lemon pulp in their strawberry lemonade, a good thirst quencher.

The salad seemed a bit smaller and the dressing a bit thinner but overall, still the same. It was missing the extra chunk of bread though that comes with the salad.

The chicken salad sandwich was thick with filling but the bread sliced thinner than usual. It’s still sufficiently too large to fit the entire sandwich into your mouth for a full bite but I remember it being at least 1cm thicker. Ron didn’t like this as much because it was too sweet, not enough dijon mustard is my guess.

After lunch, I went for a little walk on Telegraph and was sad to see how many of the stores that have changed. The Gap is now a Walgreens. Bath & Body Works is now American Apparel. The hair salon was closed. There’s a Subway Sandwich in one of the cafes. There was a Beard Papa’s on the corner. A lot has changed in the 9 years since graduation.

But some things remain the same, like Sather Gate (apparently newly restored). Beautiful weather at Sproul Plaza today.

After some additional shopping on Bancroft Ave, I met up with Ron at Caffe Strada. I ordered the drink that got me started drinking coffee: Strada Bianca Mocha topped with a dollop of whipped cream. I loved it back then but I think it’s too sweet for my taste now… but made me very nostalgic.

Good ol’ Berkeley. We bought Zachary’s Pizza for dinner to top off a great day. Yum yum. Order for pick-up, it’s the best choice if you don’t want to wait for a table.

Can’t wait for the next visit to Berkeley…

Urban Ore
900 Murray St

Cafe Mattina
2442 Telegraph Ave

Caffe Strada
2300 College Ave

Zachary’s Pizza
5801 College Ave

1 thought on “Berkeley… 9 years after graduation

  1. tiff hsu

    wow that is nostalgic!! alex and i went in search of cafe intermezzo too last time we were in berkeley only to find the new ownership…i was very happy to find that they kept the same freshly baked honey wheat bread and poppyseed dressing! i got the same thing! half salad/half sandwich~ yum yum yum!

    cafe strada! mocha bianca was my fav drink there too back in the day!

    omg and you topped it off with zachary’s?? i’m much jealous!


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