Raquel Navarro came up with the idea for her walking food tour business See. Eat. Love. after she went on her first food tour in 2010: “I was visiting DC and went on an unbelievable food tour. I knew right there and then that I wanted to bring this concept to my town to give people the opportunity to experience all the amazing food, drink and people Oakland has to offer.”
She takes people through different neighborhoods to show off what each has to offer. I was invited to check out the recent Grand Lake tour, so I brought my friend Diane (who took all of the pics in this post). There were five stops and Raquel didn’t focus on the history. Instead she wanted us to experience what a typical Saturday might be like for someone who lives in the neighborhood.
We started off at Barlago for brunch on the “Oakland Riviera.” The manager welcomed us and then suddenly lots of dishes appeared. We were happily eating when the manager returned to tell us about the drink options. We could decide between a Mimosa and Bloody Mary, which he said was the best in town. It’s made with their housemade San Marzano marinara sauce and seasoned with spices from Oaktown Spice Shop. Then, he asked how many people wanted a Bloody Mary and this is what happened.
Almost all of us went with the Bloody Mary. It was tasty – and the food was pretty good too.
Then we stepped into Oaktown Spice Shop and learned about their business. Did you know that they grind most spices in house every two weeks?
We had a chance to look around and spend the $5 gift certificate that was given to us. I chose a Moroccan Spice Blend and I can’t wait to try it out.
Next, we went to Alchemy Bottle Shop for a mezcal tasting. They have a carefully curated collection of spirits from around the world.
After that, we stopped by Michael Mischer Chocolates. He still makes all the chocolate in house, and we got to try three different flavors: champagne, lavender & honey, and salted caramel, which was my favorite.
Finally, we ended up at Ordinaire for a wine tasting (with three generous pours), charcuterie, cheese and bread. We ate and drank so much that afternoon, I’m pretty sure we all left more than satisfied.
It was a good way to see the neighborhood through the small businesses in the community. A walking food tour would be a nice afternoon for friends, family or even a date. Raquel’s got several tours coming up and they’re appropriate for both locals and visitors. Check her out!