Friday, February 3rd, 2017
Virtually all Americans have an immigrant story in our ancestors’ past. I would not be here if not for my great grandfather, Jack Slotnikow. An 18-year-old Jewish orphan living in a small village of the Ukraine, at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution he and his brother were conscripted into the Czar’s army to fight the Bolsheviks. While being transported to a military training camp against their will, they leapt from the back of a moving truck and under a hail of gunfire, escaped into the woods. Penniless and on the lam, Jack and his brother walked three thousand miles across Europe to Amsterdam, where they found passage on a steamship to New York. They were the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. America represented for them, as our founding fathers had intended, an opportunity to create a better life, Reagan’s “shining city on the hill.”
Lest we believe that xenophobia and racism are new in our country, when they arrived in America, Jack and his brother were turned away as a result of immigration quotas that Congress had placed on specific countries to prevent America from being over run by hordes of “undesirables” such as Italians, Irish, and Jews. They ultimately found safe haven in Canada before years later securing legal immigrant status to the United States.
While extremely concerned by the divisive rhetoric of our President while on the campaign trail as well as his comfort in legitimizing fringe racist movements by bringing them under his wing, the actions that he has undertaken during his first week in office make it no longer an option to sit idly by and watch the “reality show” in silent horror. It is time to make a clear statement that our immigrant co-workers seek nothing more than what our ancestors sought, and nothing less than the opportunity that our nation, America, has always promised. They are our sisters and brothers, our family, and we stand arms locked alongside them.
Many of you will remember that in one of his more insensitive tweets, on Cinco de Mayo, the Orange One sent out a picture of himself (https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/728297587418247168?lang=en) smiling over and praising the quality of his namesake restaurant’s taco bowl (a restaurant that Vanity Fair recently reviewed with the headline, “Trump Grill may be the worst restaurant in America”). Each Monday and Tuesday during the month of February, Comal will be offering “taco bowls”, a fried flour tortilla bowl filled with rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, crema, guacamole and a choice of either beef piquadillo, rotisserie chicken, or vegetarian.
At $15 per bowl, the net proceeds from every one sold will be donated to East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a non-profit organization that offers legal aid and support to immigrants, refugees, and specifically to those “Dreamers” who came out from the shadows under DACA. Please join us in solidarity with our Comal family, or donate directly at eastbaysanctuary.org or to any of the following organizations that in times such as these do invaluable work: http://www.iibayarea.org/get-help/daca/providers/
Chef Matt Gandin
Thursday, January 19th, 2017
Berkeley Restaurant Week begins today and runs until January 29th. Comal will be featuring the following special meal for $25 (plus service charge and tax):
Choice of: Chile relleno or Chicken tamal w/mole negro
Check out this video produced by Visit Berkeley that features Comal: https://youtu.be/1GfYL_fR-OY
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
On Monday February 20th, Comal will welcome back head brewer and co-owner Alex Tweet from Fieldwork Brewing Company to feature a selection of small batch beers paired with dishes by Comal’s executive chef Matt Gandin. Fieldwork Brewing Company is a craft brewery founded in Berkeley, CA with a focus on exceptional, honest beer-making. The brewery was named to BeerAdvocate’s 2015 list of the “33 Best New Breweries in the United States.” Fieldwork’s brews are served in its Berkeley and Sacramento taprooms, as well as in craft beer-focused establishments throughout Northern California.
In a special twist, chef Gandin has created a menu based on common flavor profiles found in Fieldwork’s brews, and has requested that Fieldwork provide beers that best match his menu – a reverse pairing of sorts. The beers will be announced closer to the date so that Fieldwork can provide the best, freshest options to pair with each dish.
Like previous dinners, the Fieldwork beer dinner will be held in Abajo, Comal’s private dining room. Dining with Alex, guests will have the opportunity to speak with Fieldwork’s head brewer and hear the story behind each featured beer. This is the latest installment of the Abajo Dinner Series at Comal, a series of producer dinners that are collaborations between Comal’s kitchen and the featured vintner, brewer or distiller. Previous dinners have showcased Arnot-Roberts Wines, Wind Gap Wines, Bedrock Wine Co., Mezcal Vago, HenHouse Brewing Company, Fort Point Beer Company, and many others.
DATE/TIME: Monday, February 20th at 6:30 PM
PRICE: Tickets are $75 inclusive of food, beer and service charge
RESERVATIONS: Space is limited – to purchase tickets, follow this link: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1417558
ADDRESS: Comal is located at 2020 Shattuck Avenue (at University Avenue) in Berkeley
Fieldwork Dinner Menu
(paired beers to be announced closer to the date)
Dungeness crab grapefruit, jicama, chile arbol
Roasted beet-habanero soup crema, toasted piñones
Flank steak guisado taco blood orange-pickled onion relish
Spinach-requesón tamal mole negro
Flan tradicional candied kumquats
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
From SF Eater:
Click here to read the full article.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
On December 31st, Comal will once again usher in the New Year by clearing out the tables, turning up the volume on their state-of-the-art Meyer sound system, and transforming the restaurant into a funky dancehall for one special evening. Doors will open at 9pm and longtime Bay Area DJ Jose Ruiz (KPFA, KPOO), who has an ongoing residency at Comal on Thursday nights, will spin his infectious mix of Latin and funk into the wee hours. The first three hundred guests to arrive will be presented with an authentic, unique “lucha libre” wrestling mask, which should make for a festive scene on the dance floor. New this year will be a free on-site photo booth to commemorate the night.
Bar Manager Joanna Poz-Molesky has created a special cocktail for the event: El Santo. Named after the legendary lucha libre wrestler, El Santo is an easy drinking tequila cocktail featuring Cimarron blanco, tangerine, hibiscus and lime.
Chef Matt Gandin and his team will keep a steady stream of antojitos (little snacks) flowing throughout the night – expect some familiar items from Comal’s menu along with a few wild cards, with an emphasis on Oaxacan-style street snacks like quesadillas, de eses, and flautas. Highlights include: adobo shrimp-wild nettle quesadillas; jalapeño-requeson flautas; chorizo molotes; mole negro chicken wings; and chipotle deviled eggs.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1390574. All food offerings are included in ticket purchase. All previous parties have sold out, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.
Please make special note: BART runs until 3am on NYE and Comal is less than a block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Also, Comal’s large beer garden is uncovered, so use of this space is weather dependent. Additional tickets may be released December 30th if weather permits the use of the beer garden for the occasion.
Plan Your Holiday Party at Comal
Whether for business or family and friends, Comal has two great options for your holiday gathering – Table 30 and Abajo.
Table 30 is our community table in the front of the restaurant – it seats 8-11 people on long benches. Abajo is our cozy private dining room located in our cellar – it seats 12-22 people. In both cases we offer a multi-course, fixed price menu that can be tailored to the specific needs of your party. For Abajo, we have also created special custom cocktails for parties with names to match on several occasions.
Here are sample menus for Table 30 and Abajo
Dates are filling up fast, particularly in December, so we encourage you to contact us soon. For further information and to inquire about available dates for either of our group dining options, contact us at email@example.com.
Hope to see you soon at Comal!