At San Bruno’s Mazra, known for its Mediterranean mezze plates, diners are met by the mouthwatering aroma of woodfired kebabs and spit-roasted shawarma. This family-owned spot just minutes from SFO marries classic Levantine street food and vibrant, playful aesthetics for a unique dining experience. Then, at Benchmark Pizzeria in Kensington, a small community in the East Bay, the emphasis is on simple, satisfying ingredients: hand-stretched mozzarella, house-ground polenta, homemade sausage, and thin-crust dough made daily. The menu changes nightly, but one thing remains the same no matter the preparation – light, slightly blistered, crisp crusts and ample fresh toppings. Finally, Berkeley’s Flacos dishes up meatless Mexican bites, delivering all the flavors of a traditional taqueria while maintaining its all-vegan menu. Reporter Cecilia Phillips rounds out this week’s episode with a trip to Hella Plants Market in San Francisco for plant-based fare, vegan sweets and other treats for environmentally conscious eaters.
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My name is Leslie Sbrocco, and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I’ll share my tasting notes about the wine, beer and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.