Comfort food celebration: Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade's uber-popular little mac-and-cheese restaurant, Homeroom, has ample reason to celebrate. Their "Mac + Cheese Cookbook" (Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 128 pages) just went up for preorder on Amazon; the book releases Aug. 20. They're serving Second Anniversary Mac (gorgonzola, caramelized pears, sauteed onions and walnuts) this week, and the Oakland eatery just added weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can design your own omelet ($8.95 and up; cheddar, chorizo and broccoli, anyone?), dip into French toast ($7.50) with raspberry-blueberry sauce or enjoy a breakfast mac -- super cheddary mac with bacon and a fried egg ($10.50). Details: 400 40th St.

Oakland’s mac-and-cheese-centric Homeroom is launching brunch -- with breakfast mac, of course -- and a new cookbook.
Oakland's mac-and-cheese-centric Homeroom is launching brunch -- with breakfast mac, of course -- and a new cookbook. (Dean Coppola/Staff Archives)
, Oakland; http://homeroom510.com.

Za in Pleasant Hill: It's official! Zachary's, the deep-dish Chicago-style pizza place that has made Oaklanders, Berkeleyites and the San Ramon crowd very happy, has opened in Pleasant Hill. Order up a Zachary's Special (Italian sausage, green pepper, onion and mushroom) or one of the other stuffed-to-the-rafters combinations, or opt for a thin-crust. Lunch slice service starts March 1. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, until 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 140 Crescent Drive; www.zacharys.com.

Clam Chowdah: Is it possible to have too much clam chowder? We don't think so -- and neither does the Santa Cruz crowd. The annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Festival is Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. on the boardwalk. Admission is free, and tasting kits -- which net you generous tastes of five different chowders -- are $9 each. Yum. Details at http://beachboardwalk.com/clamchowder.

Don't want to drive to the beach? Boudin Bakery is celebrating National Clam Chowder Day on Monday by giving away bread bowls of the lovely stuff. The "buy one, get one free" coupons will be available at www.boudinbakery.com starting Friday.

One last chowdery thing: The Exploratorium's new digs on San Francisco's Pier 15 open April 17, and the new restaurant's clam chowders are absolutely amazing.

Send your Bay Area restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, jburrell@bayareanewsgroup.com.