Tribune Tavern brings brunch to 13th and Franklin in downtown Oakland.
I love a good brunch. At home, out or at a friend’s house, I love sharing a weekend meal when the whole day is ahead of me. Already a huge success at lunch and in the post-work dinner hours, Tribune Tavern is getting into the brunch business. My husband and I visited as guests of the restaurant to get a look at their new brunch menu and try a few dishes.
We were greeted by General Manager Rob Soviero who was wearing a special retro baseball t-shirt the restaurant made with the folks from Oaklandish to celebrate the 1969 Oakland A’s. The whole staff was wearing the shirts that the A’s were distributing that day to 10,000 fans. On a quick tour, Rob told us some of the background of the restaurant’s design. Repurposed materials from the building’s basement, like lamps made from pipes and a table resting on massive dollies, might be easy to miss if you are focused on your meal, but we enjoyed taking a closer look. There were also a few reminders of the building’s storied past like these typeset letters.
Tribune Tavern makes their own cocktail mixes, sodas and tonics. A quick trip through the kitchen revealed an entire prep and testing area for cocktails, complete with a wall of herbs to work with. We’ve had cocktails at dinner on previous visits, and it’s easy to see there is a real commitment to a creative, thoughtful set of offerings. Here’s a look at the bloody mary that arrived with a pickled asparagus spear, an olive and a lemon. The pint glass was rimmed with chile powder and salt, and it had a spicy kick. Their full cocktail, wine and beer menu is available at brunch.
While the brunch menu combines the familiar with the somewhat unexpected, Tribune never goes too far away. This is not about pushing yourself to unheard of flavor combinations. It’s not edgy. The food is honest without being simple, and interesting without showboating.