Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Ah, the glorious pig. Pork is so versatile and can be prepared in several different ways. Pulled pork sandwiches are a great example of pig satisfaction. Pulled pork sandwiches are tender, tasty, full of flavor with a tangy BBQ sauce. A few places around Alameda make a Pulled Pork Sandwich.

A restaurant that should be able to knock out a pulled pork sandwich and does not deliver is Everett and Jones. Everett and Jones has been around the block a few times and has many years of experience of preparing smoked, cooked meat. Unfortunately their pulled pork sandwich is a miss. The meat is poorly sliced and not pulled away from the bone as it should be. The pieces of pork are chunky, and the meat is not that tender when you bite into the sandwich. The only part of the sandwich that makes up for some of the deficiencies is the sauce. The BBQ sauce comes in different varieties of mild, medium and spicy. The sauces taste complex, have depth and have a pleasant, smokey flavor. I would pass on this sandwich at this establishment.

Great American BBQ has better quality BBQ food compared to Everett and Jones. The only problem is the difficulty in getting to the restaurant. With the High Street Bridge closed and the parking lot minimal, it's not easy access to pick up food. The positive aspect of the food is that the meat of the pulled pork sandwich is tender and cooked well. The meat was in long strips and may not be from the rib area, but another part of the pig. The sauce is tangy and slightly sweet. I would recommend in coming to Great American BBQ and having a sandwich.

Rooster's the rock and roll hang out joint makes a surprisingly tasty pulled pork sandwich. The meat was tender, smokey and full of flavor. The sauce was delicious, but there wasn't enough of it on the meat. I guess they were conservative on the sauce so the bun would not get soggy. I also had the opportunity to eat my sandwich when a rock band was performing. A memorable time while listening to a song that was titled Devil. Rooster's was the least expensive sandwich out of the three restaurants at $4.95. The meal came with french fries. If you don't enjoy loud, rock music, go to Rooster's before the party starts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best Food

People always ask me what is the best restaurant in Alameda. To be perfectly honest, I don't believe there is one specific place on the Island that holds that title. Alameda is not home to haute cuisine, there are no five-star establishments or Michelin Star chefs. Instead of searching for the best food in the City, your hunger should lead the way. Here are some of my picks around town:

Best Ambiance - Pappo
Best Bakery - Feel Good Bakery
Best Bar - Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge
Best BBQ - Roosters
Best Cafe - Julie's or Wescafe
Best Chinese - Hong Kong East Ocean
Best Deli - Culina
Best Dessert - C'era Una Volta
Best Diner - Marti's Place
Best Fusion - Zen
Best Hamburger - McGee's Bar and Grill
Best Italian - C'era Una Volta
Best Japanese - Angelfish
Best Mediterranean - Asena Restaurant
Best Mexican - Calafia Tacqueria
Best Sushi - Yume
Best Thai - Amarin Restaurant
Best Vietnamese - Dragon Rouge

What are your favorite places?

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Legend is No More

For those of you who visit bars in Alameda on a regular basis, the legendary Pop Inn on Park Street is no more. The bar is closed and is under renovation for a new bar to hit the scene. The owner of the Pop Inn also owned Lincoln's Address on Lincoln, which he sold a few years ago and is now the Tiki Lounge. If you have never been to Lincoln's Address, you are lucky to not have experienced the abundance of camaraderie of true alcoholics. I was never a fan of dark, dirty and sad places, but all those factors encompassed Lincoln's Address. Unfortunately, the same issues plagued the Pop Inn as well. On more than a few occasions I have passed the Pop Inn during the breakfast hours and noticed people drinking hard alcohol. If you are having a hard drink for breakfast, it is not a positive sign.

I hope the new bar brings a freshness and lightness to Park Street.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are awesome! They are one of mankind's greatest accomplishments. Hot dogs are pre-cooked, easy to travel with and does not require a fork and knife. Hot dogs in large quantities can be unhealthy for you, but not all hot dogs are made the same. There are plenty of hot dog manufacturers on the market and most of them make inferior products. Hot dogs are the made from leftovers of the fatty parts of a cow or other organs that are not wasted.

Hot dogs in Alameda came, gone, and never go away. The Pampered Pup on Park Street has been around for a long time, it's the only food joint in Alameda specialized in hot dogs. If you ever tasted a hot dog from the Pampered Pup, one has to wonder how it stays in business. The texture of the wiener is tough and when you bite into it, the skin has resistance. You can even hear the snapping of the wiener skin when you bite into it. Unfortunately, there is no flavor of the wiener, all you taste are the condiments on the dog. This indicates to me that the wieners they purchase are poor quality even though the least expensive dog is over $3.

There was a place in Marina Village called Top Dog that sold gourmet hot dogs for a while and eventually went out of business. The gourmet hot dog business plan did not work in Alameda. Gourmet dogs work in other major cities, but for some reason Alamedans do not support it.

Der Wienerschnitzel on Webster and Park are fast food places that sell a lot of hot dogs. The Chili Cheese Dogs are popular items since the chili smothers the taste of the wiener with melted cheese on top. The Corn Dogs are chicken wieners and not beef. I guess they are trying to serve a more healthy food product, but the taste is not the same. The Corn Dog tastes good with the outer corn meal batter, but most people would not be able to tell the difference between a chicken or beef hot dog. This also supports the idea that anything deep fried tastes good. The little mini corn dogs they sell are also chicken wieners.

Culina sells a gourmet deep fried hot dog called the Ripper Dog. The idea of eating a deep fried hot dog is indulgent. Eating hot dogs in general bring on the guilt factor, and then when you add the deep fried aspect to it, it becomes over the top. However, when you bite into the Ripper Dog, it calms all of your guilt sensors and you happily taste the hot dog and the condiments. The dog tastes good and has a satisfying, spiced meat flavor to it. The bun is also a great feature of the hot dog experience. The bun is not wimpy and kept the condiments in place without the bun getting soggy. The Ripper Dog is a bit more expensive compared to the fast food establishments, but it is worth the cost since the product is a higher quality of meat.