Saturday, October 31, 2009

Have a Ghoulish Night!

Call out to demons and witches for a party tonight. I am certain there will be hundreds of children running around the Gold Coast area trick or treating. Be on the lookout for ghosts and goblins and be careful while driving.

I definitely love Halloween for the dark humor of the festivities. I also enjoy eating pounds of candy, chocolate and sugar and not feel guilty. What a fabulous event.

Have a ghoulish and safe night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Steak is just a Steak

When Pappo first opened, it brought an edge to the Alameda restaurant scene. The place was cool, hip and the food was better than other places around town. Now, the place is empty and lacks character. I ate dinner here last week after work. The restaurant was sparse. Not many patrons were dining.

The menu list also lacked luster. There was no spark that would capture one's attention on the food. Even though the dining room is still the same, something is missing. I can't pinpoint what it is, but there is no life in the room. The place now seems like a regular joint and no longer stands out. The bright star that once shined, is now dim. The edge in the food is gone; a steak is just a steak.

The aesthetics of the dining room is great, but the food needs to express itself. The owner needs to come back to the kitchen and bring the magic.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kamakura...Unexpectedly Busy

I was around town for lunch one day and had a client with me. The client had never been to Alameda before and it was lunch time, so I decided to take him to Kamakura. I didn't think much about it since it was a business day and did not think the restaurant would be busy. I went there for the first time during lunch and the place was packed. I was in total shock. We had to wait for a while and then we were seated. We didn't have a lot of time since we had meetings to attend. We ordered our food and the service was fairly quick. I ordered the Oyaku Donburi and the client ordered the Chicken Teriyaki. My chicken bowl was palatable. The sauce was slightly bland, but I still ploughed through it since I was hungry and had a long day ahead of me.

A second time, I called the restaurant on a Sunday afternoon to see if the place was open. The owner, Faith, answered the phone and she said they were open for business. During the call, I could not hear any noise in the background and thought it would be a good opportunity to bring a group of six people. I came approximately 45 minutes after I initially called. I took my gang with me and again, unexpectedly, the restaurant was completely packed. Ugh! I put my name on the list and the hostess could not tell me how long the wait was. Who would have thought the place would be crowded on a late Sunday afternoon. And with a group of six, tables were not going my way since four other groups were ahead of me. We waited and waited. We could not wait any longer and decided to walk away.

Kamakura may not be affected by the recession. Kudos to them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yo! Philly's Cheesesteak Fails to Please

I am a big meat eater. I love beef. I love the taste of beef. When I noticed the new cheesesteak place on Park Street, I became curious. The first time I went over to the restaurant, it was a Sunday. Yo! Philly's Cheesesteak is closed on Sundays. I then looked over the menu and decided to come back another day.

I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich with the works which consisted of mushrooms, onions and bell pepper. The bun was a submarine sandwich bun, almost one foot long. The cook grilled the beef after I placed my order. The place is basically a counter and no room to eat the sandwich on the premise. I took my cheesesteak sandwich home and was excited to taste the beef treat. The look of the sandwich looked great, the owner was not skimpy on the amount of beef. There wasn't a lot of grease oozing out of the bun and it looked like it was worth the $7.50 that I paid for it.

I was perplexed on my first bite into the sandwich. I could taste the beef, mushrooms and peppers, but all of the flavors combined was not impressive. There wasn't a strong beef flavor from the meat. I felt that all of the ingredients resulted in a bland product. I also noticed in the sandwich that the mushrooms were canned and not fresh, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but more of an observation. Usually there is a special sauce the meat is grilled with that brings out the flavors, but I am not certain if the cook has a "sauce".

I will say that Yo! Philly Cheesesteak turns out a much better product than other competitors in Alameda. The amount of meat inside the sandwiches far exceed others. In addition, Yo! Philly Cheesesteak is the only place where you can purchase Tastycake products for dessert.

I will check back on this place and report to you later. For right now, I am sticking to my original blog entry on April 24, 2009; there is no decent Philly Cheesesteak in Alameda.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Fall of Gourmet Magazine

I was saddened and disappointed to read that Gourmet Magazine will stop production and shut operations. Conde Nast who owns Gourmet Magazine claims the reason for the closure was due to weak ad sales. Gourmet was the premiere food magazine where critics were highly honored and respected.

Not only do humans require food as a means of survival, but food is also utilized as a peacekeeper to bridge people of different backgrounds. Food is neutral, non-political and non-denominational.