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Resources Expert Talks on Food and World Security

Michael Klare

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Author and professor Michael Klare will discuss food and world security on Monday, Dec 3, at the Clark Lecture Hall in the Fisher Science Building at Simon's Rock.  

The Edible Education event is presented by Berkshire Co-op Market, Berkshire Grown and Bard College at Simon's Rock.

Klare, Five Colleges Program professor of Peace and World Security Studies, will talk about issues such as the future of food, how climate change could affect farming, food production and corporate land grabs and the effects of population growth on food supply.

For years, Klare has focused his studies on world security. Along with his work at Hampshire College and the Five College Extension, he has been the defense correspondent for The Nation Magazine and has published two books, "Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers" and "Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency."

Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, and is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. He also was the narrator of the documentary "Blood and Oil," which was produced by the Media Education Foundation.

For more information, contact Barbara Zheutlin at Berkshire Grown

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East Side Cafe: Cheap and Easy

Stephanie Farrington
East Side Cafe
378 Newell Street, Pittsfield, Mass.
Pizza, pasta, full bar, takeouts
Thin and crispy, charcaol oven-baked pizza from East Side Cafe.
So, it’s Thursday night and you’re looking to get a pizza and a beer. There are probably more pizza places in the Berkshires than any other kind of restaurant but they’re not all created equal.

Many are pitched as "family restaurants” some are just plain ugly and the pizza is all over the place too. To be fair, I think we in the Berkshires have more than our fair share of decent pizza joints for take out and most of them are pretty good but there’s something special about the East Side Cafe.
The place is cheap. Not inexpensive — cheap. For under $25 you can stuff yourself on pizza and beer. I'd describe the decor as 70’s funk. Brown vinyl upholstery covers the soft-to-saggy benches on either side of tables topped with a thick, syrupy layer of varnish so old it looks like cracked amber. 
There’s nothing much on the walls but the pizza is the real deal. If you want to have pizza, you have to come on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Otherwise, no pizza. They’ll make you a burger or a hot dog but no pizza. If you want to try their house made pasta your window of opportunity is even smaller; on Thursdays for lunch, you can choose from ravioli, gnocchi or ziti, Fridays you can have linguine with clam sauce. Only on those days and only until they run out.
The pizza itself is New York style, thin crust with a bit of char on the bottom, made in a charcoal burning oven, it’s tasty and slightly smokey which makes even a plain cheese pizza a little special.
We were feeling zen so we ordered a large one “with everything” and a small cheese pizza (to really taste the sauce) on the side. Pizzas are on the small side, 12 inches is a large but that’s enough for two for dinner and the most you can spend on it is $13.
Young families do show up here with their kids but the kids seem to know the place is not about them. While we were there families with babies, toddlers and school aged kids all came in, ate their pizza or took it out and socialized with a minimum of fuss. We were not subjected to someone’s children running roughshod over staff and patrons alike, there was no shouting, there are no crayons. It’s more of a pub than a restaurant, after all.
The East Side Cafe offers gluten-free beer and pizza as well as their more typical offerings. You can have anchovies on your pizza if you want them. Service was fast, friendly and no-nonsense. 
Our pizzas were hot, fresh and tasty, covered in bubbling cheese with a tasty sauce serving as their foundation (East Side Cafe won best sauce in this year's Berkshire Pizza Competition, and it was deserved.) Toppings are traditional, you can't have goat cheese or fresh sage or pine nuts or anything like that - if you want that stuff, you're in the wrong spot. It was good, fresh, no-nonsense pizza and on a Thursday night, in my book, that's hard to beat.
We took the opportunity to try their pasta specials the following week. Gnocchi was fine, in a good, rich tomato sauce, the ziti was nothing special. Both dishes would have benefitted from a layer of melted cheese. (If I could ask this place to do one thing, it would be to retire the shakers full of powdery-dry “parmesan”) But the ravioli was excellent. Hand made pasta enveloped some very tasty filling, we were told the ravioli was meat-filled but we had both meat and cheese filled ravioli in our take out dish which was just fine with me. If you have the choice, the cheese filled ravioli is really a standout. 
All three dishes were priced under $10 for a generous serving of pasta and bread. (I’m told they serve salad if you stay but we had ours to go, there was no salad offered.)
Unpretentious, totally local and old school, this is great comfort food for a night that’s not-quite-the-weekend yet.
We’ll be back.
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Italian Restaurant Closed in North Adams

Staff Reports
The Red Sauce sign has been removed from 139 Ashland St. The Italian restaurant closed Sept. 1 after six years of operation. Left, Eddie Ciccherini after winning the annual Winterfest Chowder Cookoff in 2008.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Red Sauce Ristorante at 139 Ashland St. closed quietly on Sept. 1.

The Italian restaurant had been operated by chef/owner Edward Ceccherini since 2006.

Scott Avery, whose family owns the building, said Friday morning that he was unsure of the exact reasons why the restaurant had closed but thought it may have been for personal reasons.

He said the Ceccherinis had been good clients and kept the restaurant in excellent condition.

A sign posted on the door by Avery stated the closing and noted "The Avery family would like to express best wishes to the Ceccherinis after operating a very well received, viable business for nearly 6 years at this location."

The Averys purchased the former Peno's bar in 2000 from Robert Pontier. Scott Avery, himself a restaurateur, remodeled the bar and opened Canteen. Desperados had a location there for several years (it has since reopened on Eagle Street) before Red Sauce opened in 2006.

The restaurant seats more than 100 and has a double kitchen. Avery said anyone interested in leasing the site for the "next talked about" restaurant or bar can contact him at 413-663-4374.
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A Summer Place

Stephanie Farrington
Berkshire Food
1575 Pleasant Street, Lee, Mass.
Between Lee and  Stockbridge
Perigee's mussels siam, mussels in a lovely coconut curry broth.
I first noticed Perigee last winter. It's between Lee and Stockbridge, its parking lot was usually full and it seemed pretty down to earth to me. Plus, according to its website, it has pasta delivery.

This summer, I noticed they had a $7 burger on the sandwich board outside.
Like many Berkshire residents, we don't have a huge disposable income, so I am pretty careful about where we choose to eat when we eat out. A place that delivers pasta and has a $7 burger seemed about right to me. So, on a recent Thursday night, my husband and I made a reservation and went to Perigee for dinner.
Perigee is a good place to take your grandparents when they come to visit. Your grandpa can have the steak and, if you check with them before you go, whatever your grandmother chooses off the menu might be half price (but I would be sure to check in advance).
As for the burger special? They don't mention it inside the restaurant and there really isn't anything else on the menu that gets close to that price so if you want a $7 burger from Perigee, call them first and confirm that the special is available before you go. It is not available on weekends.

On the positive side, we really enjoyed the mussels siam, a small serving of mussels in a lovely coconut curry broth. The sauce was, as promised, wonderful when soaked up with the bread provided. The calamari, as our server suggested, was also very good. It was perfectly cooked, tender inside, with a crisp, light golden crust coating it evenly.

The house side salad was pleasant and very reasonably priced at $3 for an appetizer but it arrived at our table without dressing, and asking for the dressing to be brought to the table seemed to confuse our server. We had to be quite assertive and explain that the salad was supposed to be served with a dressing and it was dry so ...

The host was very friendly and charming. She explained her favorites on the menu and encouraged us to give her feedback. Unfortunately, this was the place where we learned, if someone says they don't like duck but they like this duck because it doesn't taste like duck and you like duck — don't order the duck.

It was pretty apparent from the happy diners that the restaurant caters to an older crowd, and proudly so. One of their desserts: "The Brooklyn, just as you remember — yellow sponge cake in a paper push cup, topped with whipped cream and a cherry, served with a pretzel rod and a minature egg cream 'shot.'" I've never met anyone old enough to remember this and my husband lived in New York City for 30 years.
If you go to Perigee, the way to have a good time is to remember to double check the specials, be firm with your server, remember that they cater to a much older crowd, and stick to the steak.
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Where Everybody Knows Your Name — In The Morning

Stephanie Farrington
Berkshire Food

You can get a cold brew at Corner Lunch — they'll know your name, too.
Does anybody remember "Cheers?"
It was a TV show set in Boston where everyone at a local pub knew everyone else. People don't expect that kind of treatment anymore but if you live in the Berkshires and eat out for breakfast, there are plenty of places where it's true, "everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came."
Two of those places are Linda's Cafe at 178 Union St., North Adams, and The Corner Cafe at 50 Summer St., Adams.

Linda's is busy every day; they are an old-school diner doing a booming business in basic breakfasts. Pancakes are their specialty but they'll make you just about anything you can think of for breakfast.
The cafe has been a North Adams institution for the last 17 years.
Both places are open early — really early. They close early, too. If you want breakfast or lunch at Linda's you can eat at 6 a.m. but you'd better be done by 1 'cause that's when they close. On weekends, if you sleep in, forget it. Linda's closes at 11 a.m.
Linda's makes pancakes, big, huge, fluffy, moist pancakes. They make them with bananas or blueberries, lots of them or with strawberries and whipped cream if you prefer. Ask for them dry with butter on the side or you get margarine. They are not trying to wow anyone with the quality of their ingredients here. It's plain, homestyle food. But it is good and Linda's has my number for sure, because they make great corned beef hash

Corned beef hash is an American thing. I've never seen it on a menu in Canada or England, granted, my experience in England is limited, but I'm pretty sure it's strictly an American standby. If you like corned beef hash and eggs Linda's is your place.

For the benefit of the team, however, I had the pancakes that were excellent. They come served with extra crispy, not burnt, bacon. Absolutely yummy if you're not busy being envious over your tablemate's home fries, hash browns (Linda's has both) or corned beef hash, and reasonably priced.

Breakfast for two with bottomless coffee served to you at a table by the owner, comes in under $15 at its most extravagant. A bargain.

Clockwise from right: Linda's blueberry pancakes; diners; english muffin sandwich at Corner Lunch; Dick & Joan's menu; western on rye.
We went to the Corner Lunch on a Saturday morning during the annual Adams Community Tag Sale. The Corner Cafe's menu is not as large as Linda's but the place is just as down-home friendly.
My husband ordered their special, an english muffin topped with sausage, egg and cheese, served with home fries, coffee or tea for $5.75. From our seat at the counter, we could see Dick making our breakfast, using a spatula to flip the home fries until they were all an even golden brown.
Everything arrived hot, fresh and well seasoned. I chose a western sandwich, a personal favorite. It arrived as ordered on two buttery slices of rye toast. I would have added more onion but we're all different in our tastes and this was clearly a very respectable western with all the right things in all the right places. The home fries were delicious.
As we sat and ate, owners Dick and Joan Carrigan were happy to answer our questions about the fish on the walls and their trips to Canada. Working alongside Joan was our waitress, (whose name I did not get). She greeted everyone, most of them by name and everyone seemed very glad to see her. One customer went so far as to lean out over the counter and take her hand. While she served, Joan was busy washing dishes in a sink behind the counter.
The atmosphere is plain. The service is great. The food is like home cooking, fresh, hot, and unpretentious. And I'm pretty sure, the next time we go to either place, they'll remember our names — pretty great way to start your day.
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