Smorgasbord



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Small Places, Big Tastes


    Just when we thought Piedmont Avenue had all the food bases covered, two new venues open, making the selection more varied, international and delicious. Across from the Piedmont Theatre and just down the road from Fentons is TangoGelato, the newest in a burgeoning population of East Bay gelato and sorbetto (fresh fruit, no dairy) parlors.
    Owner Joaquin Pochat first started making his Argentine ice cream on Fruitvale Avenue. Local fans mourned when he closed there to open on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. Pochat is not planning to leave the city but has expanded back to Oakland, where he’s been welcomed with cheers. My standard flavor test for ice cream is coffee, so I tried the cafe chip, which is just as it should be—strong coffee with a dash of crunch. And, I couldn’t resist a taste of the cardamom orange. Delish!
    TangoGelato, 4184 Piedmont Ave. Open noon until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (510) 655-5041.

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The focus of nearby Green Apple is on good tastes and good health. The crêpes (whole wheat or buckwheat) are a specialty. There’s a savory selection, served with a salad, a choice of sweet ones (the strawberry at $4.50 is a favorite) and an assortment of breakfast treats that come with tea or coffee. The teas, by the way, are interesting. There’s a daily special, which on my visit was a tasty ginseng that manager Jay Ma said had been brewed from fresh Wisconsin ginseng grown especially for them. For a visual treat, ask to see the glass bottle filled with tiny rosebuds for the rose tea. The Green Apple menu also includes ice cream imported from Japan, fresh fruit smoothies and a selection of tapioca drinks.
    Green Apple, 3943 Piedmont Ave. Open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (510) 428-0300.
—Wanda Hennig

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