Thursday, April 29, 2010

OMG! Acquacotta Closed

I was shocked when I found out that Acquacotta closed its doors. The restaurant stopped serving food at the end of March. What is sad is that the owner and chef had a pedigree culinary background and somehow could not make it work in Alameda.

If the restaurant was on Park Street or a higher foot traffic area, would the restaurant still be in operation? Is the West End a bad business decision for a medium priced dining establishment? Or was the food overly creative for the palates of Alamedans? One has to wonder what went wrong with this restaurant. Diners in Alameda thrive while other restaurants perish.

Another Dinner at Pappo

I decided to come back to Pappo and try the Steak and Pomme Frites dinner one more time. Even though this meal is extremely simple and I could have cooked this meal at home, the delicious french fries make up for the dish. I don't cook french fries at home because it is messy, too much oil is used and deep frying stinks the kitchen.

Pappo is a decent restaurant for simple meals. The food is no longer sophisticated and maybe the chef simplified the menu to get Alamedans in the seats of the restaurant. The crowds that once visited the establishment are now ghosts of the past.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Kebab Place on Central Avenue

I poked my head into a construction site on Central Avenue, right across the street from the Alameda Theatre. A new kebab restaurant will open. The interiors were appealing with a calm color scheme. Kebabs are great to eat, I can't wait for the new place to open.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Zealander Re-Opens

The New Zealander is back in the game. I was happy to see people eating inside and hopefully the new menu and new management will reinvigorate customers back to the corner restaurant. The interiors were basically the same with a new wall color and more masks hung on the walls.

The restaurant is maintaining its pub food theme, thus, the infamous pot pies are back on the menu. I hope this idea works because it failed the first time.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ching WHuat?

When Ching Hua on Park Street came on the food scene in Alameda there was a lot of hype on this restaurant. The interiors are amazing with modern, Asian flair. The high ceilings are great, the color schemes are vibrant with two contracting colors, and a bar on the right side of the dining room. I kept on hearing the hype about the food and so I finally had an opportunity to eat a meal here.

I started off the meal with Happy Hour starters. Thankfully the wait staff were not restrictive on the starters because I came fifteen minutes before the Happy Hour food (4 to 6 PM) were to end. The starters I ate were the Won Ton Platter and the Crab Shao Loong Bow. The Won Ton Platter sounded awesome on the menu because it was a mixture of three different won tons for two people. When the platter came to the table, the won tons were somewhat cool and greasy. The food was not a pleasant experience. I then waited for the next dish to arrive and the Crab Shao Loong Bow dish was also greasy. The starters were not great and I had high hopes for them because the menu looked delicious.

The next starter was the Hot and Sour Soup. Now, this soup is something to talk about. The soup was the perfect mixture of some heat with sour notes. The soup was full of vegetables, eggs, tofu and meat which was a pleasant surprise. The soup was the best starter of the meal.

The next two dishes of Chicken Lettuce Cups and Crispy Hong Kong Noodles were the entrees. The thought of eating meat and vegetables in a lettuce cup is a great idea, like a veggie shelled taco. The lettuce cups were washed and drenched in water. The kitchen should have quickly dried the cups with a paper towel so that when I picked it up, water would not be dripping all over the table and on my hand. Besides the water issue on the cups, the chicken lacked flavor. I tried the dish with lots of sauce on the meat and it helped slightly, but I had to add on a load of sauce to get flavor. When the Crispy Hong Kong Noodles arrived at the table, it was stunning to see. The food was presented like a piece of art work. The noodles looked like a birds nest with veggies and meat in the middle, all sitting in a sauce on the bottom of the plate. The noodles dish was difficult to eat because you had to cut the crispy noodles with a spoon and load it onto the plate. The veggies and meat on their own lacked flavor for some reason and the sauce was on the bottom.

The portion sizes were large for the entrees. I could not eat all of the food and took home about half of each dish. I was extremely full at the end of the meal and could not order dessert.

Overall, I had to say the food coming out of the kitchen was diluted to appeal to American palates. I think if the dishes were made with the same flavorings of the original recipes in China, the dishes would be much spicier, which is a good thing. The best dish of the evening for me was the Hot and Sour Soup.

The next time I come back, I would order food that is not on the Happy Hour selection and ask the staff for the signature dishes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Root Beer Float at Hob Nob

I enjoy eating food at the Hob Nob. It's pure comfort food and the atmosphere is relaxing and unpretentious.

One night I was strolling down Park Street on a weekend and wanted dessert. I was not in the mood for yogurt and knew I didn't have a lot of choices on Park Street. I didn't even know Hob Nob served desserts until I inquired with a waiter.

I was surprised to see a separate dessert menu. There was a list of about five choices of desserts to select from. Out of all the choices I picked a Root Beer Float because it was warm outside and float would cool me down. Well, when the float came to my table, the root beer was not cold and was room temperature. The Tucker's Vanilla ice cream was the only cooling agent. I had to pour the soda in the glass and wait a few minutes for the ice cream to cool it down. Drinking a warm root beer float is not cool! Sorry for the bad pun, but the float was not acceptable.

I would rather continue coming to Hob Nob for the food and not for the desserts.

Monday, April 5, 2010


If you are hungry and seeking food before a flick at the Alameda Theatre, a great hangout to dine at is Burgermeister. The food is simple with hamburgers, hot dogs, cheese steak sandwiches and fries three different ways (curly, garlic and regular). The prices are reasonable and the portions are large.

My favorite hamburger is The Western Burger. This burger has bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce under the bun. I love the taste of onion rings and BBQ sauce with beef. The crunch of the onion ring is a great texture. You can't go wrong with this burger.

Burgermeister does not serve desserts, so you can get your candy and ice cream at the movie theatre.