Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Buzz Word...Gluten Free

Have you noticed around the bay area that foods are now gluten free. Wall Street Journal had a great article earlier this week on gluten free products. Consumers are lead to believe that gluten free implies healthy, which it doesn't. Gluten free products usually has higher fat and calories compared to wheat.

Scientists cannot understand why people are allergic to wheat compared to decades past. It could be that wheat is processed differently now, which is causing people the grief, or that somehow people are born with the allergy.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I am always a sucker for coupons. For some reason, I look in the Friday Alameda Journal inserts, or the grocery store coupons in the mail. The other great place to look at coupons is the Alameda Phone Book. I probably use more coupons from the phone book more than any other source.

I recently had a coupon encounter at Alameda Pizza. When you buy a pizza at Alameda Pizza, they tape a take out menu on the box that has a few different coupons. When I called, I used a $2.00 off coupon in buying a large sized pizza. I also tried to redeem a free 2 liter bottle of soda from another coupon. The cashier would not except the soda coupon because I already used the $2.00 coupon. Technically, Alameda Pizza should have accepted my free soda coupon because I followed the instructions on the coupon that clearly stated that one must order a 14" or 16" pizza to receive the free bottle of soda. The coupon did not state that there was a one coupon maximum for each order. Since I am following their business requirements, the owners or workers should also follow their own protocols.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Curry Wurst

I had a novel idea of serving curry and chips. The Indian restaurants in Alameda won't serve it, but I came across the most unlikely of places that makes it, Speisekammer. I was amazed and surprised that a German restaurant took the risk. The dish is called Curry Wurst. It is a grilled bratwurst with curry sauce on top, served with french fries on the side.

When I tasted the meat, the food confused me. The curry sauce didn't match well with the bratwurst. The flavor profiles were not complimentary and the fries didn't help with the dish. The idea is great, but the execution fell short. If the chef made the dish with a different meat, perhaps a schnitzel, than it would be a winner. Speisekammer gets an A for effort, but a C for flavor and taste.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Never Again...

About a decade ago, my old stand by restaurant was Kobe Ya on Encinal Avenue. The owner was an older Japanese woman who ruled the kitchen and never had a smile on her face. She however, was efficient, the dining area was clean and the food was decent with great prices. She then retired and sold the business to another Asian person. That owner was not as detailed as she was, and the food was palatable, but not as good. When the economy slowed down, so went the second owner. The third owner is another Asian person who should not be in business.

I went to Kobe Ya on a Friday night. There was a long waiting line for people who placed phone orders and the cashier was taking care of them and not the people wanting to make an order. I had to wait in line for over twenty minutes watching the cashier carry out food for take out. When it was my turn to get to the counter, the woman told me the restaurant was closed. I was of course furious because the open sign was still on and plus, I had to wait a long time. The cashier than noticed my frustration and took my order of the Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box. The price was right for $6.00 with rice, salad and macaroni salad. The food was take out because the restaurant was closed. When I got home to eat my dinner, the meal was a disaster. The teriyaki sauce was poured over the salmon with a one-inch layer covering the rice. The salmon was over cooked, hard and dry. The food was the worst meal I've had in Alameda to date. Such a disappointment!

I will not come back.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cupcakes at Boniere Bakery

Cupcakes at Boniere Bakery look tempting to eat. The price of $1.25 is attractive and is less expensive than most cupcake places that charge $3 per item.

The Red Velvet cupcake comes with two different frostings: chocolate or white. It was recommended by the salesperson to eat the chocolate frosting cake, so that is what I chose. The first bite of the cupcake was disappointing. The frosting was too sweet and did not have a strong chocolate flavor. The frosting basically tasted like whipped sugar with a chocolate coloring. The cake itself was dry and no flavor. I am a fan of Red Velvet cake and this was no Red Velvet cake. The cake had no moisture.

The price is right, but the taste and quality is wrong. I will have to find another place for my cupcake hangout.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Begging for Bacon

Every where I turn I see bacon. I love bacon and bacon loves me. I have consumed chocolate dipped bacon at a fancy wine event at Rock Wall, bacon bread and my new obsession is bacon ice cream.

Our little island of Alameda is a bit slower in food trends compared to San Francisco or Napa, but I am hoping one day that I can buy bacon ice cream local.

Scolari's on Park Street may be the answer to my food hunger. Scolari's specializes in pork sandwiches, salami and drinks.