Monday, June 9, 2008

Food around the Bay Area

By Alejandra, Brian, Vanessa.B, and Amairani

Both Walnut Creek and Fruitvale are two places that have a lot of restaurants and food stalls around with a variety of pricing, and a variety of different foods. Walnut Creek has Mexican, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Fast food, and Mediterranean, Greek, Thai, and Chinese food. Fruitvale has mainly Latino food but it also has pizza, fast food, and Japanese food. Some people that were interviewed said that there are all kinds of food, and that the prices at Walnut Creek were affordable and some were not. The prices range from $2- $65. In the place where they sell crepes, the prices were from $2-$6, which is really affordable, and the food was really good. In other places the food would be really expensive, like some salads were $15 or more. The prices in Fruitvale are really affordable for everyone. You can buy an extra large pizza for only $13 and you get a free 2-litter soda with that. The tacos cost $1.25 for each, burritos cost $4, and quesadillas are $4 too. In a Chinese food place you can get mainly one choice of food for like $1.25. Other food places are really affordable, too. This shows that there is a really big difference between Walnut Creek and Fruitvale.

When we went to Alameda, the food tasted the same as in Oakland but when we went to Old Oakland it tasted different. At the Farmers' Market there, they were giving us food to try out. We tried it and we liked, it even though it looked nasty we still tried it and it was good. When we went to the Castro, the pizza there tasted different than when we went to Rockridge... because the crust wasn't as good as the one in Rockridge. Also, the Mexican restaurant in the Castro didn't taste the same as the one in Oakland, because people have different ways of doing their food, and people make it in a way that they think their customers want it.

Lakeshore and Rockridge have some things in common, like the fact that they have some healthy food places to go to. We guess that people cared about their health since they were seeing that health can be a problem and they wanted to address it. The government collects extra taxes in both Lakeshore and Rockridge to provide the customers better quality food that people wanted, like the Trader Joes (a cheap grocery store that offers organic food). In reading the blogs from other groups in Rockridge, something that stood out was that the taqueria stated “fine Mexican food” and only one Mexican women was working in this restaurant - the rest were Asians. In East Oakland it is much better: it is really Mexican food.

In Rockridge, we noticed that the majority of people purchasing Mexican food were white, African American, and Asians. They were the only Mexican people in thatr estaurant so it kind of felt awkward. In Rockridge, there are no liquor stores, but in East Oakland there are a lot of liquor stores and maybe that contributes to unhealthy food. In Rockridge and Lakeshore there is organic food, which is food that has not being sprayedwith pesticides and is natural. This organic food is much healthier than fast food. In the areas we visited the ones that were not healthy were The Castro, Chinatown, Alameda, and Fruitvale, but the ones that were less healthy were Old Oakland, Lakeshore, and Rockridge. Someone who left a comment for us on our blog said that the City Councilperson, Pat Kernighan supported a community fight for better food, and got a Trader Joe;s there.

Things that we remember from the Castro District in San Francisco are that many restaurants everywhere from many different cultures like Asian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, and a lot of diners where they sold burgers and hot dogs as well as many cafes and fast food restaurants. They were really diverse in foods and they had a little bit of everything. The things that people talked about the most in their blogs were about the specialty stores where they sold things that were special to the Castro, and the pizzerias because there were so many of them. The food was also very expensive, like we paid almost $10 for acheeseburger and fries at a diner, which would usually cost about $5 at a regular fast food restaurant. They also had little markets and stores where they sold healthy and nutritious foods. We think that they had such a wide variety of foods because there are a wide variety of races and cultures in the Castro and it is so diverse, it is one of the most diverse places we've ever been to. It’s probably so diverse because the people who live there are so open about themselves and who they are, and it is a very close community. People could definitely feel the sense of community as soon as you step in the Castro, which we think is probablywhy so many people from everywhere in the countrywants to live in Frisco. The Castro District is totally different from Oakland’s Chinatown in everyway, because Castro has all types of foods and cultures while Chinatown doesn’t for the simple fact that it is mostly Chinese and Asian people there, therefore they want to have authentic Asian groceries and markets, and restaurants, and little shops and things like that.

Just like in East Oakland in Fruitvale, there are mostly Latinos, so there are mostly Mexican grocery storesand restaurants. We believe that it is tha tway because like people like to have their own piece of home. Many of them migrated from another place and want to make their new community feel like home.

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