Jurassic Pretzel and Many Roots Beer (photo credit: Tribune Tavern)

Jurassic Pretzel and Many Roots Beer (photo credit: Tribune Tavern)

What I’m Loving Right Now:
Tribune Tavern’s Jurassic Pretzel and Rum & Roots

I admit it: I went to Tribune Tavern for the much-touted Guilty Fries – a massive plate of fries topped with cheese fondue and pulled pork. But what impressed me more was something my dining companion ordered: The Jurassic Pretzel.

So named for its Jurassic size, the Jurassic Pretzel is not only spectacularly large, it’s spectacularly good. This golden-brown baked good first appeared on the Tribune Tower menu a few months ago. Only available at Happy Hour, the pretzel is made daily using house-made dough that rests for about 12 hours before being baked on a bed of cornmeal, which gives it a rustic texture. The warm, perfectly seasoned, not-too-dense pretzel is accompanied by mustard and a pickle spear, as well as Tribune’s signature cheese sauce — a creamy concoction of aged cheddar, parmesan and Miller Highlife beer. The bread-and-cheese pairing is reminiscent of a Welsh rarebit fondue. It’s a fun and inexpensive dish ($7) to share with the whole table.

Don’t miss pairing the pretzel with an order of Rum and Roots, a tasty combination of Matusalem rum, house-made Many Roots Beer and lime. Tribune Tavern’s creamy, all-natural root beer is made with spices sourced locally from Oaktown Spice Shop. Sarsaparilla, chicory, and burdock lay the “roots” for the soda while cloves, vanilla, coriander, and other herbs and spices add depth and a luscious finish.

Unlike the fries, this order won’t leave you feeling guilty. Unless you eat the pretzel all by yourself, that is.

Tribune Tavern
401 13th Street
(510) 452-8742
Happy Hour:  3 – 6 p.m. everyday


What I’m Following Right Now

  • If you haven’t heard American Public Media’s excellent series about the gentrification of Highland Park in Los Angeles called “York & Fig,” you can listen to previously aired segments online at Marketplace.org. Listeners are encouraged to post a photo to “You know your neighborhood is gentrifying when….”
  • Can you eat too locally? Check out this provocative op-ed piece in The New York Times, The Downside of Eating Too Locally, penned by Berkeley author and UC Doctoral candidate Liz Carlisle. She argues that in order to truly overhaul our food system, we need to support sustainable producers everywhere we find them.
  • Can you assign a dollar amount to “lost pleasure”? That’s the idea that there’s a financial cost associated with the deprivation consumers feel when they opt to eat something healthier — say, an apple — than the food they really want — say, a doughnut. The FDA included the lost pleasure concept in its cost analysis of its new calorie count rule for restaurants and other food venues.
  • Soda sales are dropping fast. Bottled water sales are flat. So what’s a multinational company to do? Coca Cola is dipping its toes into the dairy business with a protein-fortified milk called Fairlife — a product Coke expects to “rain money.” While Fairlife is still in test markets, it’s already in hot water for its racy pin-up girl ad campaign, which Coke recently announced it would end.

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