Grease Trap: Sistah Knows How to Get Her Drink On

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Jessica Yadegaran's East Bay hipster cred isn't always convincing, but it's fun to watch her flaunt it anyway. As the CoCo Times' Night Writer, Yadegaran is the bubbliest guest at the bachelorette party club crawl, slamming down cosmos, throwing out "sistahs" and white-girl head rolls, laying down her "ba-dunk, ba-dunk" on the dance floor. But she's got a knack for sniffing out offbeat stuff to drink, and she's capable of the choice take - like her description of lavender mojitos at the La Piñata in Alameda. "It takes awhile for the lavender to infuse the mint and rum," she writes, "but once it does, it's like you're taking a bath." Perfect: you can indulge in aromatherapy while getting hosed.

Salinas Valley Taint Story Getting Bigger?

It's too early to get freaked out, but the Merc's food section is speculating that those potentially bacteria-tainted organic strawberries blended up in late November at certain Jamba Juice stores may have come from the Salinas Valley - source of E. coli-contaminated spinach that resulted in three deaths late last year. On Tuesday, San Francisco-based Jamba Juice sounded the warning about potentially fatal Listeria monocytogenes in frozen berries delivered to smoothie stores in Southern California, southern Nevada, and Arizona. No one's reported any illness, and it's not yet clear whether the berries in question came from the Salinas Valley or somewhere else. And the spinach catastrophe must have corporate lawyers sweating into their French cuffs. But the vulnerability of our centralized corporate food system is becoming disturbingly clear.

Merc Food Section Unaffected by Cuts

Cuts at the San Jose Mercury News spared food section staffers, leaving intact a department that's racked up nominations for food journalism awards in two of the past three years. Food editor Julie Kaufmann says the department was unaffected yesterday by cuts expected to eliminate 27.5 full-time union positions. On Monday, a last-minute deal with Merc owner MediaNews avoided the loss of 40 editorial jobs. Kaufmann's staff has remained unchanged for two years, and includes writer Carolyn Jung, restaurant critic Aleta Watson, and columnists Kim Boatman and Laurie Daniel. "Everyone in Silicon Valley has gone through some level of uncertainty in the past several years," Kaufmann said. "We're looking ahead to produce more great sections." In 2004 and 2006, the Merc was nominated best food section in the under-300,000 circulation category by the James Beard Foundation.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

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