sufficient groundsIf you picked up yesterday’s issue of the Daily Cal and decided to test out Sufficient Grounds, the winner for “Best Sandwich,” you’ll see that it in fact no longer exists. Despite their new colorful, seizure-inducing marquee board, Sather Lane has pretty much turned into a ghost town and Sufficient Grounds is just the latest business casualty.

Seems that the only business that can endure recession frugality and the ridiculously high rent (around $7,500 per month) is student fave Yogurt Park. And really, why walk any further when the best fro-yo in Berkeley is right there? (And is it just us or does there seem to be an inverse relationship between the success of the economy and the success of yogurt shops?)

What made their sandwiches so unique was the owner’s special bread recipe (literally handed down through generations), and it seems that tough times have led him to consider selling it for a “hefty” sum. Die-hard fans, it’s not too late to get out your wallets. The owner is also considering reopening in Berkeley or Southern California.

We can’t help but wonder whether the sandwiches that could serve a nuclear family or the interminable donut samples have anything to do with the closing. Nevertheless, we will mourn the loss of your original honey wheat bread. Sufficient Grounds, you will always be more than sufficient in our eyes. *Sniff*

Image Source: Skyler Reid, Daily Cal
Rising Costs Force Sufficient Grounds to Close [Daily Cal]

Waiting for the 51 is like waiting to achieve Nirvana. The sticky bench. The splat of an unidentified stain seeping into the cracks of the sidewalk (Yogurt Park and home-fermented beer don’t mix, ya dig?), the wizened cashier from your favorite Phở joint clutching a plastic bag of leftovers, the Vietnam Vet offering you sage advice in between generous swigs from a brown paper bag. The wait is long and hard-earned, but once you’re on that bus, it’ll take you anywhere and everywhere.

Thanks to a unanimous vote for an 8.4 percent cut to the AC Transit system, read more »

It’s a sad day in the life of Sather Lane. It seems that not even the laudatory review by the Daily Cal now posted on its window (and really, what higher praise could an establishment receive?) could save the beloved Sufficient Grounds.

It’s not just the ubiquitous mound of free donut samples, the free wi-fi and the prevalence of available seating that made Sufficient Grounds so great … well maybe it was. They are a little on the pricey side after all, and let’s face it, it’s not easy competing against Yogurt Park.

No news on what will replace Sufficient Grounds but the current owner predicts that it will be a similar establishment due to strict regulations about what can be sold on the property. We’re just hoping the words “frozen” and “yogurt” won’t be involved.

Image Source: Emma Lantos, Daily Cal
Owner Expects to Sell Sather Lane Coffee Shop [Daily Cal]

It’s Welcome Week. We’ve got less than seven days before school starts, it’s hot, we’re infested with freshmen and we’re jonesing for some frozen yogurt. We all know that Yogurt Park is the unheralded king of the fro-yo in Berkeley, but the lines can get uber-long. Is there anywhere else we can get frozen yogurt? Of course there is, and they’re all in a five-minute walk away from Yogurt Park.

So we tasted the most basic (a.k.a. lamest) frozen yogurt flavor (usually some sort of vanilla) and one mix-in of our choosing.

Oh, btw, we’re introducing our newest clogger with this piece, just in case you’re wondering “who is that strange girl in that picture?”

First, we had to have some Yogurt Park. You have to. And, if you’re too lazy to come on down to Sather Lane and see which flavor they’re serving, they boast a flavor hotline that you can call and see what flavors they’re mixing that day.

*French Vanilla with Heath Bar, $2.65*

*Christine Borden:* Ahh, it keeps dripping.
*Krista Lane:* That’s because it’s overflowing with French flavor.
*CB:* Ewww…
*KL:* (mumble, mumble)
*Gerald Nicdao:* What?
*KL:* Structural integrity problems.
*GN:* But I love Heath bars.

It’s kind of hard to “eat” your frozen yogurt after it melts in five minutes, but the Heath bar was awesome.
*Yogurty-goodness factor:* 6/10
*Melt factor:* 2/10


Up next we went to the unassuming Michelle’s Yogurt and Treats, which is right across the street from Yogurt Park. And, unlike Yogurt Park, at Michelle’s you not only do you get fro-yo, but you can pig out on all the candy you want.

*Double Vanilla with peanut butter cups, $2.65*

*KL:* The cookie dough doesn’t look very good and what’s with all the cheesy music from those sixth grade dances?
*CB:* I had a momentary twitch in my eye. I think it was all the bad music.
*KL:* It to is melting rapidly, but not as much as the Yogurt Park.
*GN:* Oh, no! The peanut butter is falling. I have to save the peanut butter.
*CB:* This has a much milder taste. The Yogurt Park was too sweet.
*KL:* That’s because that was French vanilla.
*CB:* Yeah, but this one is double vanilla. What does that mean?

It didn’t melt as fast, but it was just sorta “blah.”
*Yogurty-goodness factor:* 5/10
*Melt factor:* 4/10


Lastly, we thought we’d give the new kids on the block a try. Papamingo, natural gourmet frozen yogurt, is located on the corner of Channing and Telegraph avenues and offers us a squeaky-plastic-clean environment right across the street from Berkeley Thai House. It was also the most expensive, but there’s an awesome 10 percent discount if you’re a student.

*Yogurt with Cap’n Crunch, $3.11*

*GN:* Look at all that cereal!
*CB:* Oh, that’s definitely yogurt.
*KL:* You know when hippies have granola and yogurt, this reminds me of that.

(Censored conversation)

*CB:* No one was forced to eat this.
*KL:* Yeah it kind of grew on you.
*CB:* Like culture! Get it? Like yogurt culture.

*Yogurty-goodness factor:* 7/10
*Melt factor:* 7.5/10

Earlier: Crawling Berkeley: Snooty Dairy Products for Snooty People