Ginger Pig food truck Chinese Chicken, spicy Sichuan peppercorn Chinese nine-spice rub with house pickled red peppers and Thai jasmine rice at the Isabelle Farm in Lafayette on May 15, 2019. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)
While we’ve been keeping a running list of the restaurants closing their doors for good during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to note that other new businesses are finding opportunities to open amid all of the shifting.
Back in April, Scratch Burrito & Happy Tap closed at 4262 N. Lowell Blvd. after seven years in the Berkeley neighborhood. Now, Ginger Pig owner Natascha Hess has announced she’s moving her Chinese food stall and roving truck into the empty restaurant space. Westword first reported the news this week.
The Berkeley Ginger Pig will be Hess’ first brick-and-mortar restaurant. A former attorney, she left her previous career to make recipes learned while living in Beijing for a year with a host family.
Dishes such as char siu pork, Sichuan chicken, smashed cucumbers, Auntie Zhang’s noodles and curried “Bangkok” rice balls will be on the menu. A full bar will add cocktails and more to accompany Hess’ food.
Last May, when we first reviewed the Ginger Pig food truck, our critic gushed over Hess’ street food dishes, inspired by her time in China as well as travels to Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines.
“Eating at this truck spurs a regular paroxysm of glee, and how often does eating spur a paroxysm of glee?” our critic wrote.
Since then, Hess has opened and operated a stall out of Boulder’s Rosetta Hall. She also has started a new restaurant group with longtime friend and mentor chef Carrie Baird, who has opened her own stall, Rose’s Americana, inside the Boulder food hall.
The Ginger Pig has finished operating at Rosetta and should start serving in Berkeley out of its food truck later this month as renovations continue on the restaurant space. Hess plans for a full restaurant opening by September or October.
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