The East Bay Express has just made the official announcement: It has hired a new restaurant critic, and it's none other than former SFoodie editor John Birdsall.
Birdsall, who has lived in Oakland for a decade and was the paper's restaurant critic in 2006 and 2007, will be returning to write a weekly restaurant review and start up the Express's food blog. As he writes in his introductory blog post:
It was on Fruitvale's streets where I first experienced restaurants and loncheras that didn't seem purely random, popping up in the odd storefront with food that was either good or bad depending on the cooks' skills, but dishes that were an expression of the neighborhood they served, a genuine symbiosis between cook and diner. It still makes me irrationally happy to wander Fruitvale, eating early-morning tamales or what I'm convinced is one of the best pozoles in the whole wide bay.
Congratulations to both Birdsall and the Express!