Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Day

We get an extra day in February this month, February 29.  Is this a special day since it only occurs once every four years, or should I treat it as any other ordinary day?  I am perplexed.  Perhaps, I will treat myself to a special lunch instead of eating at my desk.  Scolari's, here I come! I think this extra day is for reflecting of how precious time is since work and family is all consuming and we all need a personal time out to relax.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Is the Economy Picking Up?

Last Friday's Alameda Journal had an article on the new restaurants that are now along Park Street.  Dragon Rouge just moved and increased square footage to the former Aroma Restaurant space at the foot of the Park Street bridge. Red Onion just opened on January 12 and their daily operating hours are from 10 am to 10 pm at 1222 Park Street. The restaurant has two other locations in Pinole and Vallejo.  The facade has an art deco look and feel with bright colors of mustard and ketchup. The food is American diner food. Monkey King Pub and Grill will open tomorrow in the former Yellowtail Sushi Restaurant (1314 Park Street) next to The Hob Nob.  There appears to be a lot of buzz of this restaurant opening. I hope the food is as good as the PR it's receiving? One great aspect of this new place is that it will stay open until 2 am on certain nights.  I love late night dining and there is never a good selection in Alameda, especially if you don't want to wait in line at La Penca Azul. 

Hopefully these little signs are indicators that the economy is picking up and banks are lending money again. Alameda is a such a small town considering we have two large cities at our front door of San Francisco and Oakland.  Alameda needs variety and diversity in the restaurants because it would be a shame for residents having to go off island for a nice meal.  In the long run this is bad news for city hall since tax revenue is lost and people are going elsewhere to spend their disposal income.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ahh for Pizza

The buzz of East End Pizza Co. has finally caught on.  The waiting lines for a pizza are now long.  When you call to order a pizza it may take a while because the staff has a tendency to not pick up and you cannot leave an order on the message machine.  A few times I have spoken to the owners about paying for call waiting or figuring out another communication mode for customers to order pizza, but they won't bother in having to deal with another piece of equipment.  I somewhat understand where they are coming from since they are so few staff working there.  However, people like myself get somewhat frustrated when you want something and you cannot get instant gratification.

I believe the owners are doing a psychological experiment on the citizens of Alameda in creating small supply with large demand.  My case in point is why East End Pizza Co. can charge $18 for a 14" inch pie.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Offensive Smell

Went out late Friday night for a scoop of gelato at my favorite ice cream place Tutti Melon. While I was eating my scoop of strawberry cheesecake, a gang of high school kids came in and took over the place.  They all ordered deep fried chicken nuggets.  The deep fried smell in a dessert shop was horrifying!  The smell was disgusting and I had to wonder why Tutti Melon would allow such an atrocity.  First of all, Tutti Melon should not feel threatened by Quickly, which makes the sugar filled tapioca beverages, teas and slushes with a hoard of fried foods.

The offensive smell killed my appetite and completely ruined my experience eating inside their shop.  The business owner needs to focus on customers having wonderful and relaxing memories of going to Tutti Melon and not worrying about what other businesses are doing down the block.  Fried foods in a dessert place is a business killer, not a money maker. I plead to the owner to remedy the problem.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Food for Your Sweetie

Valentine's Day is soon approaching. Have you figured out which restaurant will be selected for the special night, or what home made meal will be cooked?  I wish the weather was looking better than grey skies and possible rain showers.  An outdoor European style cafe in a wide open plaza with scenic views and old architecture surrounding you sounds dreamy.  I don't think there is anywhere in Alameda that fits this description.  Oh well, one call always think of Paris or Rome.

Amore.  Ciao.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Fascination with Bread

I never asserted a lot of thought on bread. I enjoy bread, I eat it almost daily. Bread is a food where I underestimate the beauty of it.  There is a real science in making truly delicious bread.  It is a talent and skill that is not to be taken lightly.  When you go to the grocery store, there is plenty to choose from, but it turns into a haze of reading the nutrition and calorie charts. 

It is amazing to realize that only two places on the island actually bakes bread, Feel Good Bakery and Aria International Market.  As you know I am a true believer in having more bakery businesses on the island.  I have been pleading for years to have more bakeries, but these types of businesses do not come. Boniere could not be profitable in their space, Crema never came and advertised for a long time on Park Street.  If you are a lover of lavash bread, Aria International Market on Webster Street bakes it.  Lavash is a Middle Eastern bread usually consumed at breakfast with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil and slightly toasted.  I have eaten my fair share of lavash and I do enjoy eating it.  However, I am not sure if my hips enjoy it as much as I do.

I have written a few blog entries of Feel Good Bakery. I do enjoy eating their baked products.  Their prices are expensive and I do wonder at times, if the cost is worth it. (Acme Bakery in the Ferry Terminal has lower prices for higher or same quality products.)  Thus, when I am really hungry, I take into consideration of the number of items that I buy to control costs.  So when I see the the two for one items, I jump on the opportunity.