After we left the School for the Arts near the downtown of Uptown, we headed back up Telegraph to make our way to some of the cool mixed-use warehouse spaces on 26th Street. A bit off the beaten path, both literally and figuratively, spaces like Uptown Body & Fender (not just your typical auto body shop), Studio Quercus, and Warehouse 416 offer up more of the Oakland that I came for years ago… large, affordable spaces for artists to be creative & funky.
We’ll get to a couple of these later in the week, but first we decided to grab a quick dinner at the Liba Falafel truck parked on 26th. We weren’t the only ones…
After waiting in line and shelling out a full 10 bucks for a falafel sweet potato fry combo (which at the time – meaning, before eating – seemed a bit steep), we received our falafel packets… fantastically crispy falafels tucked into whole wheat pitas perfectly toasted, loaded with either spicy carrot ribbons (my choice… delicious) or red cabbage with black sesame dressing (friends chose this and quite liked it too) and topped with an optional spicy sauce that the truck’s proprietor (Gail Lillian) highly recommended, I can easily say this was the best falafel pita sandwich I have ever had. But wait… it gets better.
After you’ve had a few bites of your falafel, they call your name again, and hand you a warm bag of sweet potato fries… slightly crisp, slightly soft, and perfectly seasoned. The combo was out of this world and well worth the $10 I had previously been reluctant to part with. The ingredients used by Liba are nearly all organic; the falafel, salads, and condiments are made from scratch daily; and all her take-away products are compostable. Even the cooking oil is ultimately turned into bio-fuel.
Do you feel the love? I know I did.
(Liba means love or romance in several languages.)