Richmond foodies’ fall flavors

All but one photo by Kathy Chouteau.

By Kathy Chouteau

All the signs are apparent: Leaves are falling all around, cool winds are blowing in from the east and longer lines can be seen at the Target Starbucks for the pumpkin spice latte. Yep, fall has officially arrived.

To help get locals into the spirit of the changing seasons, we’ve compiled a roundup of some of the “flavors of fall” at Richmond eateries and drinking establishments that you can sample on your next excursion around our city by the bay.

The McMushroom

Nothing says fall like a mushroom pizza, and when that pizza is made by Raymond’s Pizzaeria in The Point, you know it’s going to be made with some serious kitchen love. The pizzeria, which opened earlier this year, calls their incarnation of the mushroom pizza the “McMushroom,” and it’s made complete with a garlic olive base, mushrooms, ricotta, white truffle oil and thyme. Pair your pizza up with a glass of Pliny the Elder beer (on tap) and one of the eatery’s great salads and you’ll be golden. Raymond’s Pizzeria is located at 130 Railroad Ave. in Point Richmond. Contact them at 510-609-4961 or click here.

Butternut Squash Burrito

Raymond’s nearby neighbor, Maya Taqueria, is not to be outdone when it comes to fall offerings abounding in The Point. Invoke autumn by trying out the taqueria’s Butternut Squash Burrito, a vegetarian offering craftily made with butternut squash, beans, onions, rice, salsa fresca, tomatoes and sour cream all rolled up into a very tasty tortilla. Order up some freshly made guacamole and tortilla chips on the side and you’ll be all set. Visit Maya Taqueria at 130 Railroad Ave., Point Richmond. Call 510-374-6594 or click here for more info.

Toasted Turkey Sandwich

Over at The Artisan Kitchen & Café in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood, you really can’t go wrong when ordering off the incredible menu. But those wanting to conjure up the flavors of fall should check out the café’s Toasted Turkey Sandwich, which aside from fresh turkey meat, is lovingly crafted with cranberry aioli, tomato, cucumber and onion on toasted multigrain bread. The ingredients are a match made in flavor heaven and a nice, get-in-the-mood precursor to the fast-approaching Thanksgiving holiday. The Artisan Kitchen & Café is located at 865 Marina Bay Parkway, #33, in Richmond; note that the café is closed on weekends. Call 510-235-2323 or click here for more info.

Sopa de Elote

San Pablo Avenue is bringing on the seasonal fall flavors too, courtesy of El Agave Azul. On the newly opened restaurant’s appetizer menu, we recommend ordering the Sopa de Elote—a mouthwateringly delicious creamy corn chowder. With its fresh corn, croutons and flavor-packed, creamy goodness, this chowder will conjure up visions of scarecrows in fall corn fields and provide a wonderful belly-warming option when the temperatures start to drop. El Agave Azul is located at 12955 San Pablo Ave., Richmond, near the San Pablo border. For more info, call 510-307-5749 or click here.

Apple Fruit Tart “Sunflower”

Like a little slice of Italy in Richmond, Café Gran Milan is another local eatery where you can’t go wrong no matter what you order off the menu. But the café’s real crowd-pleasers are its pastries, which are artfully arranged behind a glass case near the front counter. For some fall-forward flavor, check out the apple fruit tart—which the café’s staff call the “sunflower”—it’s mind-bendingly delicious. On a side note, the café’s panettone, a traditional Italian bread, is also popular, especially during the holiday season. Café Gran Milan is located at 5327 Jacuzzi St. in Richmond. For more info, call 510-984-0679 or click here.

Fest Bier

What would fall flavors be without an Octoberfest brew? In late September, East Brother Beer launched its Fest Bier, a non-traditional Octoberfest beer that the craft brewery describes as a “more drinkable lager” with notes of caramel and a floral, crisp, smooth taste. It’s just the kind of beverage to get you in the mood for some spirited fall fun, while East Brother’s tap room—complete with lots of tables, video games, board games, pool & ping pong tables and more—is just the spot to experience said fun. Try sampling Fest Bier with the brewery’s resident food truck—La Santa Torta’s—glorious birria tacos. East Brother Beer is located at 1001 Canal Blvd, in Richmond. Contact them at 510- 230-4081 or click here.

OB Amarillo

Photo Credit: Far West Cider Co.

Down the road from East Brother, the fall beverage imbibing continues at Far West Cider Company inside Riggers Loft. The company specializes in making an array of ciders, all of the apples for which are harvested and hand-pressed on the family-run company’s 100-year-old farm in San Joaquin County. To really experience a taste of fall, the cidery’s, Adam Chinchiolo, recommends trying the OB Amarillo, “a lightly hopped, semi-dry cider with a nose full of citrus and tropical goodness,” per its label. Visit Far West Cider Company at Riggers Loft, 1325 Canal Blvd. in Richmond. Contact them at 415-465-0781 or click here.

Do you have a favorite flavor of fall in Richmond that you’d like to recommend? Tell us about it in the comments!