In a world full of ever-changing dietary guidelines, the importance of eating responsibly grown, sustainable, and organic food has been a constant touchstone regarding ideal food philosophy and health. Not only does Berkeley’s Mission Heirloom honor that, but they take it to the next level by offering clean, Paleo, and nutrient-rich meals at their stylish restaurant in the Gourmet Ghetto. I met with owners Yrmis Barroeta and Bobby Chang to tour their incredible space, enjoy their back patio space complete with a unique and chic dining shelter, and take in their fantastic garden while also nibbling edible flowers along the way. Come take a photo tour of one of the East Bay’s most beautiful restaurants and find out what dessert they make that I am still craving!
Why You Need To Go: If you don’t have time to stay for a meal or want to stock-up on meals to enjoy at home, then take advantage of Mission Heirloom’s marketplace. Jars of favorites likes Chicken Curry, Carrot Ginger Soup, Romesco sauce to add to vegetable dishes, and even various broths as a base for your next homemade soup are all ready to go home. They also have a section full of sweet desserts that are free of refined sugar and processed flours. I got an assortment of things to take to go, and the Avocado Pomelo tart quickly disappeared as I ate it on my way home. It tasted like a fresh, summery key lime pie with graham cracker crust, yet is made with avocado, pomelo, coconut flakes, dates, apples and cinnamon. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Delicious.
Design Details: I couldn’t get enough of this antique iron chandelier and exposed brick walls mixed with industrial-modern cluster pendants. The yellow tables add a pop of color while the white chairs and plants keep things feeling light and airy.
What to Eat: Mission Heirloom was founded upon the premise of offering foods that are free of common allergens like gluten and nuts. The Chicken + Waffle (made with yuca root flour) topped with coconut syrup and blueberry reduction will tame both your sweet and savory tooth. The Brazilian Breakfast will have you re-thinking waffles all together – it is a stuffed with raw cheddar cheese that melts and served with two eggs, guacamole and smoky chipotle sauce. Other favorites are the Chicken Curry with a side of Lake Wild Rice, a pilaf mixed with the crunch of roasted almonds, sweetness of peas, and flavors of tarragon. For dessert, remember that Avocado Pomelo Tart and also try the Apple Crubmle.
Glorious Greenhouse: We often see shed-chic design in more rural areas or in the Wine Country, but this glassy shed-in-the-city has us in awe. Hanging plants and contemporary black pendants dangle from above, and the surrounding edible garden is covered with herbs, flowers, and succulents. Think you can only enjoy the patio on a sunny day? The space is heated, and it is particularly memorable and romantic to eat under the sound of rain drops bouncing down the roof.
When to Go: The restaurant is primarily open for late breakfast and lunch from 10am until 4pm, with extended service on Fridays and Saturdays until 8pm. During the week, their market is open until 6pm. Can’t make it in? Try Caviar, Real Food Bay Area, or Good Eggs to have Mission Heirloom delivered right to your door.
Photos by Nanette Wong