Thursday, February 25, 2010

Uh Oh

On New Year's Eve I wrote a blog entry that a new dessert restaurant in Alameda Towne Centre was going to open next to Pearl's Hamburgers. Well, two months has passed and I decided to walk over to the space to check out the progress of Fruits and Chocolates. OMG! Yikes! The restaurant bailed and got cold feet. The space is empty and the shopping center is looking for someone to lease the space.

Pearl's Hamburgers has not opened yet either. There appears to be some work going on inside the space, but no where close to opening. I wonder if the owner is slowing down and waiting it out to open when the economy improves? The restaurant is claiming they are the "Best Burger in the Bay Area."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slow Food Movement

As you know the Slow Food Movement has been trendy for the past few years. It makes common sense to buy produce and meat that is close in proximity to where you live due to the carbon footprint, and also for freshness. Last week, the Wall Street Journal printed an article on Alice Waters, Queen of the Slow Food Movement who happens to live right in our backyard. One of the questions in the article inquired on Ms. Waters' selection criteria in determining where she dines at. The obvious is no fast food or chain restaurants. Her other comment was that she would not eat at dining establishments where there was more than one location.

I then asked myself, where are those restaurants in Alameda? None of the restaurants in Alameda Towne Centre would qualify, nor wood the diners because they may not use organic ingredients. The places that could be acceptable to Ms. Waters' are: Asena, C'era Una Volta, Angela's, Hob Nob and Pappo. The sushi places serve fresh fish that come from far away places, so they don't qualify. I am not certain if the Chinese restaurants would register with Ms. Waters because of possible canned foods products. La Pinata would not qualify because they have too many locations.

These requirements according to to Ms. Waters are more difficult than I realized. It is much easier to select a restaurant that serves delicious foods instead, and choosing healthy appetizers and entrees. I hope you Alamedans remembered the Mexican Restaurant in the current Sushi House space that was once owned by a relative of Ms. Waters. As we all know, the restaurant did not survive.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Spritzers on Central off of Webster Street has a new owner. The transaction took place approximately two weeks ago. I don't know what transpired the previous owner to sell the business, but the new owner is a female.

Good luck to the new owner and I hope she will sell better breakfast and baked goods for the morning coffee runs. I also hope the new owner will continue exhibiting art in the space next door because the cafe really needs artistic flair.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

VD Day & Holiday Weekend

Valentine's Day this year falls on a three-day weekend with Monday being President's Day holiday. Restaurants around Alameda printed their VD menus on Friday with couples entrees and special drinks. I guess restaurants want to capture as many customers as possible on Friday and Saturday just in case people are going out of town.

Critics panned the Valentine's Day Movie and more people don't believe VD is a real holiday, it's a made up day for suckers to spend money. Love does not have to come in a package of a card, flowers and chocolates, it can be whatever you want it to be. Watching the Olympics with chips, beers and guacamole sounds like a grand time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Zealander...Gone Under, Literally

The New Zealander Restaurant, home of the meat pie on Webster Street has closed its doors.

I have no idea of what were the causes of its downfall. Perhaps it was the lack of customers during the economic downturn that forced the restaurant to shutter. All of the restaurants in close proximity have been able to keep afloat somehow, despite facing the same weak financial conditions.

I thought Alamedans embraced the food and pub-like atmosphere. There was live music every weekend, which was a great feature on the West End. Where did it go wrong?

I hope the closing of The New Zealander is not a trend of more closings on the West End.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Touchdown! And the Saints Come Marching Home...

Did anyone eat any awesome Superbowl snacks or food while watching the game? I gorged on food from late morning to early evening watching the game. I started off eating bagels with cream cheese and blueberries. I then moved on to Manhattan Clam Chowder with oyster crackers. The next course was BBQ pork ribs. The meat was purchased from Costco and slowly smoked and grilled. I have to say the meat from Costco is better than expected. The ribs were extremely tender and fell off the bone. After eating a few courses, I had to take a break from eating. During half-time, it appeared the Colts were on their way to win another Superbowl. The half-time show watching The Who was somewhat difficult to watch. The band members were old and not their rock-n-roll sexiness that everyone remembers them by. As the third period started, I continued on my eating journey with filet mignon. The meat was awesome! The beef was purchased from Costco and it was so juicy, tasty and really delicious. You could eat the meat without a knife, it was that tender. The meat was cooked on a BBQ grill. The last and final course was dessert. A chocolate cake from Boniere Bakery was at the party. The sheet cake was gorgeous to look at, but the chocolate flavor was not intense. The cake lacked personality even though it was moist and the frosting was not tooth ache sweet.

Fourth quarter, the game changed and the Saints rallied back. Surprisingly enough, The Saints won and earned their first Superbowl title.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

India Palace

The amount of rain in the past month has put a damper on outdoor workouts and riding my bike around the island. So with all of the wet weather and gray skies, I have decided to have indoor workouts and eat instead. If you don't know what type of food you want, it makes it difficult choosing a restaurant in Alameda. One night I was too lazy to make dinner and could not pinpoint my hunger. I wasn't in the mood for Chinese or hamburgers, and ended up going to India Palace.

What is great about Indian food is the versatility. There are curries, meats, and vegetarian dishes. I ordered a small smorgasbord of food with the poppadom, naan, vegetable pakora, saffron rice, chicken vindaloo and lamb curry. At the end, there was a lot more food than what I expected. There was enough food to feed four. The pakora is always yummy because it is fried food. Poppadom can be a miss at times if there is too much oil, but the poppadom that night was crisp and delicious. The chicken vindaloo had a great sauce, with some heat to it, but the chicken was overcooked. It seemed the vindaloo was made ahead of time in a giant pot and scooped out when ordered. The lamb curry also had a great sauce. The meat was prepared well and the dish was cooked with potatoes. Saffron rice is always a wonderful side dish. I enjoy tasting saffron, such a great and unique spice.

So the next time you are asking yourself what food you are in the mood for, Indian food makes sense.