In case you missed last week's soft-launch of Off the Grid in Berkeley, today is the "official" launch. Add local business Saul's Deli to the lineup of food trucks assembling around Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street until 9 P.M.
The food vendor mania continues Friday at Oakland Technical High School with the inaugural Bites on Broadway from 5:30 to 8:30 P.M. Catch local food purveyors, music and crafts every Friday.
From 7 to 8:30 P.M. Friday, experience a Berkeley vinollaboration as Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant pours its latest Italian finds at Vintage Berkeley. For $5, taste 12 wines including, of course, a Chianti Classico.
Friday also marks the first of two free Concerts at the Cove in Alameda. Johnny Vegas and the High Rollers, a local group playing '60s, '70s and '80s hits, takes the stage at 5:30 P.M. Rock Wall Wines, R&B Cellars, Drakes Brewery, Croll's Pizza, Calafia Tacqueria and other area eateries will be on hand.
On Saturday, smell firsthand that barnyard or dirt characteristics of wine tastings by heading out to Golden Gate Fields. The East Bay Vintner's Alliance is hosting a Belmont Stakes wine fest from noon to 4 P.M. at the Berkeley racetrack. Watch live racing and the final leg of the Triple Crown while imbibing offerings from local urban wineries. Get 5 tastings and a logo glass for $20, or 12 tastings for $30. Track admission is separate, with cheap seats $6.
Rock Wall Wines celebrates its new deck and tasting room this Saturday with a wine rodeo from 4 to 8 P.M. Advance $35 tickets get you wine tastings with a logo glass to keep, BBQ from the two-time champ of the World Invitational Rib Championship, and live music. Prices jump to $45 the day of the event.
Also Saturday, Linden Street Brewery hosts A Random Party for Random Acts, a fundraiser for the Oakland Fire Department. The $10 cash-only entry fee includes two food/beverage tickets for the likes of El Taco Bike, Pietisserie, Drakes beer and Dying Vines.
For those with a sweet tooth, try Rock Paper Scissors Collective's third annual cupcake bakeoff from 2 to 5 P.M. Saturday. The $5 fee lets you sample all 10 homemade goodies to vote for your favorite.
Last week's rainy weekend pushed two culinary fairs to this weekend. The annual Berkeley Chocolate and Chalk Art fest along north Shattuck Avenue in the Gourmet Ghetto runs from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. Saturday. Sample chocolate-themed food from local vendors like Lo CoCo's savory chocolate ricotta pizza, Juice Bar Collective's chocolate goat cheese truffle and Fertile Grounds's Mexican mocha. Tasting tickets are $1 each, with the most expensive item costing 7 tix (Cioccolata di Vino's noval black port and chocolate port truffle. For a list of full tastings, visit the event website.
In Oakland, Temescal hosts its annual street fair between 47th and 51st streets on Sunday from noon to 6 P.M. Enjoy two stages of music and food and drinks from local eateries like Lanesplitter pizza, Barlata, SR24, Whole Foods & more.
On Sunday, Fresh Approach, a nonprofit working to increase access to healthy foods for Bay Area residents, hosts its inaugural fund-raising brunch. A $10 ticket gets you a farmers' market-made brunch in Jack London Square, and the chance to win raffle prizes like cookbooks, cooking classes and a winery tour. Kids under 12 are free with an RSVP.
Afterward, head to Nex restaurant in Oakland for its sixth Oink Con at 1 P.M. In a celebration of all things piggy, 5 chefs will square off for rights to the best sausage. Firestone Brewery will be on-hand hosting tournaments of beer pong.
Off the Grid
Intersection of Shattuck and Rose, Berkeley
Plaza at Oakland Technical High School
45th and Broadway, Oakland
Vintage Berkeley, Vine Street
2113 Vine Street
Concerts at the Cove
Crab Cove, McKay and Central avenues
Belmont Stakes Wine Festival
1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley
Rock Wall Wines
2301 Monarch St., Alameda
Linden Street Brewery
95 Linden St., Oakland
2278 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Chocolate and Chalk fair
North Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley
Telegraph between 47th and 51st avenues
Fresh Approach brunch
Jack London Square
Webster and Embarcadero streets, Oakland
2442 Webster St., Oakland