Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The cake looked good, but once I took the first bite, it was disappointing. The cake was dry. The cream cheese frosting was too sweet. The benefit was that it added moisture to the cake, but it made the cake overwhelmingly too sweet. The cake was not enjoyable. I will pass on it the next time I see it.
Even Nob Hill Grocery has a better Red Velvet Cake in the bakery department.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I think Alameda businesses are suffering and I don't think City Hall is taking the downturn seriously for food establishments or business owners. They are focusing all of their energies on the budget deficient instead of giving themselves a 10% pay cut just like everyone else had to take due to the weak economy.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I sure hope The Frog and the Fiddle can survive the lack of business on Webster Street.
Friday, November 25, 2011
The most stylish restaurant in town is Spice I Am. The dining room is slick, modern with clean lines.
Again, I have to re-iterate the fact that a stone's throw away in Oakland where all of the action is. Plum is still red hot with delicious and innovative dishes. Daniel Patterson pushes the limits on food and creates not so apparent food combinations and makes them work. The Side Bar by Lake Merritt has wonderful, home style cooking that I love, and Commis Restaurant is a one star Michelin rated establishment. To me this is insanity!
Why can't Alamedans embrace great food. What is wrong with people on this island? Decent restaurants come and go on this island, but the mediocre and lower priced places are here to stay.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Luckily for Calafia Taqueria, they have no worries or competition from 1400.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Asian tapioca drinks are quite popular here, but I don't think you can drink many of these in one week due to the high sugar levels. The restaurant also serves savory food items. The food menu is quick and easy Asian items such as noodles and chicken wings. I am not sure if the savory food comes out of a frozen bag or do they make the food fresh on demand? I do know the quick stir frys are done on demand, so this could be the safer way to go when purchasing food here.
I also recommend taking the food home instead of eating it there. The ambiance is least to be desired, unless you are hosting a Hello Kitty party. Meow!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Halloween in Alameda is such a wonderful family experience. It's a riot seeing all of the adults get into costumes and character when passing out candy. The grave yards and haunted houses in the Gold Coast are also spectacular and uplifts the children's imaginations. Please be careful when driving around high traffic areas of little ones. We want safe and enjoyable activities for all.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
From the get go, the hostess placed us at at a dirty table. There was spilled soy sauce all other the table, which was not acceptable to me. Strike #1. I then moved over to another table and sat down. The waitress then came over to our table and took our order. When she gave us our plates, there was food remnants on the plate from the previous customer. Of course we returned the plate and asked for a new and clean plate. Strike #2.
When the food was delivered to the table, the food came out of order. The sushi came out before the appetizer. The gyoza tasted alright, but I had to double check to see if the pork meat inside the dumpling was properly cooked. The color of the won ton skin was very light and the temperature inside the dumpling wasn't exactly hot. Strike #3. My friend and I took our chances and hoped for the best. The sushi of unagi and the hamachi was palatable and it tasted okay. The rolls however, were another story. The rolls were quite difficult to eat. You could not bite into the roll and have a clean break. You literally had to eat the entire piece and shove the food into your mouth. Otherwise the rolls would crumble apart since they were not rolled properly. The flavors of the rolls were also somewhat bland which was a disappointment since the cost of the rolls ranged from $8 to $11. Strike #4.
With four strikes into the meal, we decided to end our dining experience at the Sushi House and move on. Even though both of us were still hunger, we were agitated enough with the service and the quality of the food. I have to wonder why the large groups of Asians always keep on coming back for more. The prices are not cheap and the noise inside the restaurant can be quite loud during peak times. What am I missing?
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I will definitely be back.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The space was clean, neat and with a new coat of paint. As I looked over the menu, my first gut reaction was that the menu was similar to a hot dog place in Hawaii. I was experiencing deja vu from an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The menu had a decent selection of Asian inspired hot dogs of nori, kim chi and banh mi. The hot dog I really wanted was the chili cheese dog with grilled onions. The hot dog came with raw onions and the cook wouldn't grill the onions. Grilled onions is something they just won't do. I then opted for the plain beef hot dog.
I went for the plain hot dog because I wanted to be able to taste a delicious hot dog instead of consuming a large pile of condiments that is all fluff. The hot dog came in a warm french roll and I only added mustard and ketchup. The hot dog was tasty on its own. I was pleasantly surprised. I know the owners ate several dozens of varied hot dogs before they chose the dogs they are now selling. They made a good choice.
I would definitely come back to have another hot dog. I am not sure if I am adventurous enough to have the Dogzilla with bratwurst, asian slaw, wasabi mayo, teriyaki sauce and nori.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I am still looking for inspiration from Alameda establishments.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I ordered four different dishes based upon recommendations of the wait staff. I started off with the Clam Chowder. The soup tasted good, but it was runny and had very little clams and potatoes. The soup had more bacon in it than any other ingredient. The flavors were overwhelmed by the bacon. It's a good thing that I love bacon. The second course was the Pulled Pork Sliders with slaw. The slider was not successful because the potato bun was too mushy and the texture was off. There also wasn't enough pork in the sandwich, the kitchen skimped on the meat. Lastly, the cole slaw was limp, and I had to question if it was fresh. The third course was the Fish and Chips. The batter on the fish was light and delicate. The cod fish was fresh and delicious. The fish tasted great with the malt vinegar and the home made tartar sauce. The potatoes that came with the fish however, were a problem. The potatoes were wedge cut and Dutch style meaning the portions were large cut fries. The dish came with only four huge slices of potatoes. Unfortunately, the potatoes were over cooked. It was difficult to eat them because the texture was hard. For dessert, I had to ask the wait staff because she did not mention anything. The dessert I selected was Oreo Cheesecake. The menu was quite deceiving because when the cheesecake came to the table, it was basically a slice of New York cheesecake with Oreo cookie crumbles and chocolate sauce on the side. The dessert was a miss.
I would come back to 1400 and order the Poblano Hamburger. I was told that this burger is spectacular.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Ben who was barbecuing at The Frog and the Fiddle is now gone. The kitchen is closed and a new business will move in next week. I was informed by the bartender that the menu will be pub style food.
Can you believe that Boniere Bakery moved to Oakland. After reading yesterday's article in the Alameda Journal, it seemed depressing since the bakery was the oldest running business in Alameda. Their former space is still empty.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
For some reason I have to kick myself in the head for getting duped, not only once, but numerous times, for buying desserts at Feel Good. I guess when I look at the delicious items in the glass shelves, I get hypnotized and buy goodies. My stomach is temporarily happy, but my pocketbook hurts.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Even though I was on a quest for garlic noodles, the salad was better than I had anticipated and even better than the noodles.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Cera Una Volta is a great choice if you are seeking more than just fast food in the little alley way. You can also people watch while sitting at your table. Another great feature is that there are heat warmers coming down from the pergola, so it's makes your stay longer and comfortable.
I wish Tomatina had good food to eat because they have outdoor dining in the back. The space is quaint and cute, with a great view of the tall trees and old brick wall.
Pappo has an indoor-outdoor vibe along the front of the restaurant. There is plenty of action going on in this spot due to the theatre and main thoroughfare of Central and Park streets. The food is good and the dishes are safe. Outdoor heating lamps also creates an ambiance of positive energy.
Pier 29 has a great marina view of the boats and water. The outdoor seating is at the back of the restaurant and can get breezy when the wind picks up after 3 pm daily. If you stick to the seafood basics at this restaurant, you will be okay.
If you are short on time or need to study, go to Pauline's Cafe on Park Street and order a quick sandwich and eat in the outdoor garden in the back. The space is quiet, spacious and you can relax.
I am not sure if 1400 is using the old beer garden that the New Zealander had for outdoor dining?
Speaking of beer garden, Speisekammer has a wonderful outdoor space in the front of the restaurant. The atmosphere is casual, very relaxed and family friendly. It relates to the casual German food it serves.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I waited for the food to come to my table. When I sat down the room was half full. Everyone inside the eating area was Chinese and speaking Cantonese, there was not a native English speaking person in the place with the exception of me. When the soup arrived, the bowl was huge and it was a large portion of soup. After stirring the bowl a few times, there wasn't a lot of chicken. The noodles were plentiful as well as the broth, but not the meat. I would say there was less than a third of a cup of meat in the bowl. The broth was simple and clean. The soup was mainly comprised of rice noodles. What made the soup was the side dish of fresh ginger, cilantro and garlic. The sauce gave the meat a boost.
I didn't drink all of the broth in the bowl, but I did eat all of the chicken and noodles. When I finished my soup, my stomach was full, but my brain wasn't really satisfied with the food that I ate. I don't know how to describe the feeling, but the food didn't insatiate my appetite. I wanted more food in the soup bowl and didn't get it. What I got was a bowlful of noodles and some chicken.
The next time I will try a rice plate instead.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
The Hob Nob is always a safe and great choice for small plates. My favorites are the fish and chips, the spaghetti and meatballs and the truffle french fries. I am ecstatic that the chef is concerned about the consistency of her food as well as quality.
If you are in a real bind and don't have a lot of cash, there is always Der Wienerschnitzel. You can't go wrong with a chili cheese dog or a corn dog.
Barceluna has a rich and creamy macaroni and cheese. It is delicious when it's hot.
Scolari's has great hamburgers and an awesome stromboli sandwich. The food is great pre-hangover food or late night party food. You can eat the food at Lucky 13 or inside.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Rolling Pin Donuts went out of business and a new Thai restaurant will be moving into the space. Rolling Pin was once noted as the best donut joint on the island, and now no more. Boo hoo! I love donuts and I cannot believe the owners got out of the game.
Boniere Bakery is still closed and there is butcher paper on all the windows. Park Street is still screaming for a bakery and when will this happen?
A new Cambodian restaurant, The Angkor Grill, is now open for business. I don't think many Alamedans are familiar with Cambodian food, but it is worth a try.
The Kabob House has a new owner and a new name. The new name is The Kabob House and Afghan Tandoor. I hope the food is better since the former owner could not make it work.
Alameda Taqueria has new owners and changed its name to Island Taqueria. Thank goodness the cooks are the same, so I can continue to purchase my carne asada burritos that I love.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I got adventurous the last time I ate there and ordered the chili and cheese omelet. The portion could feed two, but the flavors were absent. I did not enjoy the food. I chewed my food and fed my body, but did not receive any pleasure from the meal.
Of course I would return to Jim's Place, but I would keep my order to what I like.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
There was a brown gravy covering the meat. The gravy was there to hide the taste and texture of the meat. It didn't help or save the meal. I had about one-third of the meal and stopped. Two hours after the meal, my stomach hurt. I did not vomit, but I felt ill. Luckily I felt better after a nap and the food passed through my body. I will never go back. Once is enough for me, especially after my stomach pains and short term illness.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
The up and coming tenants are small shops, which is great for the community, but bad if they don't have a lot of capital to wait out the weak economy to keep their doors open. Let's hope the Easter Bunny brings prosperity and good fortune to the mall. We still need a rockin' eating place since Pearl's and Zeytini's are not doing it for me. Applebee's is Applebee's, need I say more.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Some may think Angela's is innovative and great food. I don't think their food is creative, but they make food they are comfortable in making and can produce on a consistent basis. Their food is simple and not technically sophisticated. You will notice a rush of customers during the happy hour time for discount deals.
Pappo use to be bad ass and now they have lost their luster. They can make a mean steak, but how difficult it is to grill a steak. I do have to say they make the best french fries on the island. Yummy!
I just remembered that there is one woman in Alameda who makes great, creative food and that person is Mona of Mona's Table. She is probably the most forward thinking chef in this town. Her food is tasty and she gets inspired from various ethnic foods and makes them her own. Her hours are limited, so be aware of the clock when you drive to Fernside.
For some reason Otaez is getting tired or perhaps lazy in their cooking. The last few times I had a meal there, I could not eat a regular entree. I ordered food from the appetizer menu because everything was heavy. Even the deep fried fish, which is usually a crowd pleaser was difficult to eat. The diabla sauce was off and it didn't taste good.
For a low key night with decent pub food, The Hob Nob is always a good place for me. I do enjoy their fish and chips, blue cheese wedge salad and their spaghetti and meatballs. I stay away from the cuban sandwich. When I go to The Hob Nob, it always surprises me to see people playing games in the dark. How are they able to read the board and the cards? With enough alcohol, I don't think anyone is checking for accuracy.
With everything being the same in Alameda, I feel that I get the most inspiration from watching cooking shows, Top Chef Masters or reading food magazines. Surfing the web for recipes also peaks my interest.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The mushroom burger was good, but not fantastic. It tasted as I thought it would be. There were no surprises. The sweet potato french fries were decent. The onion rings were a bit greasy.
I am wondering what burger people were eating when they voted Pearl's the best burger joint in the Bay Area because I want to taste that burger.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I ordered the lamb gyro that came with a greek salad and roasted vegetables. The meal was moderately priced at $8.99 that came with a drink. Beware of the super size upgrades for a higher price and french fries. it's not worth it. The greek salad was the best food of the meal. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy and the dressing was tasty. The lamb gyro had problems. The meat was thinly sliced, but the meat was bland. The tzatziki sauce masked the blandness of the meat and tasted good with the lettuce and tomatoes in the gyro. The roasted vegetables were a mess. There was a great selection of varied vegetables, but they were over cooked and limp. The veggies also had a heavy dressing of herbs on them that did not help with the flavors. I would second guess on ordering the lamb gyro again.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
A few weeks later I went to the Alameda location and ordered the same dishes with identical spice level. The food was hot, hot, hot. The food was too spicy for me. All of the flavors were great, but the heat was a fire in my mouth. It's been my experience at the Alameda Burma Super Star to order food mild or medium. For some reason, I got adventurous thinking that two locations of the same owner would not be much difference. I was wrong. I have to remember to go back to my original spice level for Alameda and spicy for SF.
What is amazing about both locations is the quickness of the food that comes out of the kitchen. When you order four entrees, the food comes out fast and furious. And the best part is that the flavor profiles are not compromised.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Black Swan - vegetarian pizza with tomatoes, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic. A health conscious pizza.
The Fighter/Winter's Bone - bacon and pineapple. Both movies dealt in addiction and I figured everyone has a secret obsession with bacon.
Inception - eggplant, feta cheese, tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and garlic. I planted the idea in the guests thoughts that eggplant should be a staple topping on pizzas.
The Kids Are All Right - a green salad. I could not create a pizza that embodied the movie.
The King's Speech - sausage and potatoes. What else would a Englishman want on his pizza.
127 Hours - cheese. Pure and simple.
Social Network - olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, prosciutto, black olives and spinach. The new up and comers don't require a sauce.
Toy Story 3 - pepperoni. What child does not like pepperoni.
True Grit - chicken, prosciutto, sausage and pepperoni. Cowboys love their meat.
The best pizza of the evening was the addiction pizza, everyone loved bacon.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I read in the Editorial section of the Alameda Journal one Friday to find out that Angela's and the Bladium are exempt from paying the proposed Measure A tax assessment if passed. My question is, how did Angela's get to be exempt? Which committee made them God? I am sure every business owner in Alameda would jump at the opportunity to avoid higher taxes, especially at a time when stores and restaurants are closing on Park and Webster Streets. Has this secret committee enlisted more businesses who are exempt and unknown to the public.
Of course our Alameda children need the support and education that increased funds will bring. However, businesses who are exempt should not be able to solicit in favor of Measure A. Is this fair?
Monday, February 14, 2011
Our group waited patiently for our table to clear since the second seating was suppose to occur at 7 pm. Unfortunately, the hostess/owner of the restaurant could not manage the guests for the first seating and people were not leaving the room. The performers did not stop playing at 7 pm and so people stayed and continued to sit at their tables.
Our table of four waited for one hour before we were seated, which was a huge gaffe. When we finally made it to our table, the wait service was not attentive. The other mistake was that the employees circulated two different food menus and we asked the waiter which one was the correct version.
The prix fixe meal of $55 per person was for a three-course meal, an antipasta dish, secondi and a dessert. By the time we finally got to order, it was close to 8:30 pm and the wait staff knew our group was upset due to their own mismanagement. Thus, they gave our table a break and we ended up with a four-course meal, the added dish was a primi. With all of the drama happening at our table, the wait staff forgot to give our table our complimentary glass of asti spumati that was somehow delivered to all of the tables with the exception of ours.
The saving grace for the evening was the great music. My friends were knowledgeable in fado music and hoped for more somber music, but the band kept on performing happy, gay songs due to Valentine's Day. The singer sang most of her songs in English instead of the native Portuguese. The band stopped playing around 8:45 pm which was a total bummer since we barely had our first course. If the restaurant was on their game, we could have enjoyed all of our courses with the lovely music. However, we felt somewhat neglected and had the singer perform a Portuguese song at our table. That was the most fabulous part of the entire evening.
Luckily, the four courses were palatable and our friends enjoyed the food. My first course was the spiedini. The shrimp was slightly overcooked, but the flavors were spot on. My friend had six oysters, three raw and three barbecued. Both were equally delicious. The mushroom ravioli was a big success since the cream sauce was perfect. The lobster ravioli was a miss since the sauce and pasta were both bland. The lobster ravioli was heart shaped and was cute, but the flavors did not live up to the presentation of the food. Three people at the table had filet mignon and mash potatoes for their main courses. They all enjoyed their food. I ordered the stuffed pepper with a vegetable souffle with brussel sprouts. The dish did not work. The pepper was flattened out like a pancake, where I envisioned the pepper to be up right. The texture was mushy, which was not acceptable for a main course. The brussel sprouts had a very bitter taste and it did not compliment the other vegetables of asparagus and grilled red peppers. I ate about half the food on the plate and stopped.
We had two different desserts at the table. One dish was the panna cotta and the other was the hazelnut chocolate cake. These desserts were the favorites of the waiter. My friends enjoyed their panna cotta desserts. However, I did not care for the hazelnut chocolate dessert. The flavor was boring and did not stand out. I left half on the plate.
I enjoyed the music and the company, but the hostess/owner did not have the courage to come over to our table and ask how the meal was. She knew she was part of the problem and not the solution.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
When I paid for the dinner with the gift certificates, I then inquired with the waiter if the La Pinata gift cards had an expiration date due to the name change. I was told no. Another hurray since I was not able to use all of the money on the gift card.
Another positive note that I observed at La Penca Azul was that the service is now better than ever. For the first time, many of the varied staff had come to the table asking if everything was fine, if I needed more drinks or had questions. The staff prior to the name change was never that attentive. I have to wonder if the family break up has motivated the family owners of retaining customers and not having defectors go to the other locations.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
FYI - Santoro's also makes homemade meatballs every Friday. I was informed by the owner that he takes orders a few days in advance because he sells out each week. He must be doing something right to be selling out every Friday. His meatballs are made with beef and chicken. I wonder what his secret ingredients are?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
It is difficult to believe that while Alameda may have peaked on Park Street, Webster is waning, and now Oakland is the new and vibrant area of bars, restaurants and clubs. The reason why Oakland is booming is because City Hall has relaxed permits on dining and entertainment, which Alameda has not. The City of Alameda is stagnant and for some reason does not have the foresight to watch all of the activity around and promote similar permits.
The City of Alameda has a problem of allowing tax dollars to go off island due to strict restrictions. In the end, it hurts the city instead of emphasizing growth and keeping Alamedans in Alameda.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
The food at Plum is creative, moderately priced and the kitchen uses the freshest ingredients. There is no bad dish at this restaurant. The ginger and pear soda was refreshing and tasty. Wine can be a bit pricey dependent upon the region and year. My friends and I ordered everything family style and had four appetizers of: cauliflower, carrots, red beets and chick pea fritters. All of the small plates were fantastic. Our main courses were: two pork dishes and one babbette steak. The steak was a classic meal, but the pork dish utilized interesting ingredients that at first did not appear to compliment the meat. However, when the pork came to the table, the food was great. The flavors worked and it enhanced the meal. At the end of the night, we all shared one dessert of a white chocolate parfait with fennel. The portion was a little small, however the bites were bursting with flavor.
Another great attraction about Plum is that the restaurant stops serving at 1 am. This restaurant is getting all the buzz, so getting a reservation may be a 10 pm dinner slot.