Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cafe Mattina and Ici - review

It has been such a busy week. I went to lunch with friends (just an informal thing). They picked the place and decided that they wanted me to try Cafe Mattina in Berkeley at 2442 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 849-4592 . The are well known for their huge and healthy salads, great sandwiches and long lines. I don't know if it was the luck of the draw, but we arrived in Berkeley, found parking quite easily and walked over to Cafe Mattina where the line was out the door but moved very quickly. Everyone ordered different items.
I split a salad because I was told their salads are huge. They use organic vegetables and make their own salad dressings. The poppy seed dressing was great! I had a taste of everyone's food (since I only had half a salad). The vegetarian chili was good. The only complaint was it was not as big of a portion as other items we ordered. I also tasted their cornbeef sandwich. The sandwiches, like the salads, were huge. It didn't stop us finishing them though. Their homemade Chai tea was also a hit. The only downfall was there seemed to be little table space. We waited for a table then all 6 of us squeezed into a spot that was meant for 4 people. Cafe Mattina has a somewhat college atmosphere, which I enjoyed. If you are in the area give it a try....I don't think you will be disappointed.

For dessert we decided to try another Berkeley place. ICI, 2948 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705 510.665.6054. ICI was opened in 2006 by Mary Canales who was previously a Pastry Chef for Chez Panisse. She sources from local farms (like MagPies) and uses organic ingredients. She uses seasonal ingredients so her flavors change. ICI has 11 flavors daily of ice cream, sorbets and sherbets. They often change flavors during the day. I heard they run out of stuff quite frequently as they make ice cream in small batches.

This time there was a line out the door for ICI. I have to tell you it was a beautiful day (73 degrees) and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine. I tried the orange, pinenut and rosemary ice cream in a cone. The flavors we married together perfectly! I enjoyed every last bite, including the last bite of cone which is piped with chocolate inside. I also had a bite of the Burnt Caramel which was a stronger flavor but still really good.

ICI is a shop after my own heart. They use all the same principles as I do when producing goods for MagPies. I would most definately make the drive to Berkeley just for this ice cream! ICI will go high on my list!


Anonymous said...

i've had better

magpies said...

Thanks for your comment. I would love to know where you think is better. All suggestions are welcome!

Boss Lady Hamilton said...

Just wondering if you were going to be at the Vacaville farmers' market this week, Sept 26th. Haven't seen you there in a few weeks!?