Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Hamburger in Town

I ate a really delicious hamburger at a restaurant in Alameda that I didn't think could or would put a burger on their menu.  Can you guess what place I am referring to?   The answer is Pappo.  The meat was cooked medium rare and it was juicy.  The meat had a lot of flavor and you didn't need all of the toppings such as cheese, bacon, or guacamole because the meat was tasty all on its own.

Watch out Scolari's because Pappo is gaining on your territory in the burger realm.  Another positive for Pappo is that eating in their establishment is much more comfortable compared to eating at Scolari's or Lucky 13.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A New Trend in Restaurants ... Becoming an Investor

With a weak stock market (not including tech stocks), the housing market still depressed, CA bonds are too risky, what is a person to do?  Why not become an investor in a restaurant...

A friend of mine, his father decided to become a lifetime member of a local brewery.  The guy paid $500 which gets him free beer on certain occasions, he always gets a table, never has to wait in line, and membership allows him generous discounts on food items.  Little did the restaurant know that my friend's Dad is originally from Bavaria and can drink beer like water.   He is definitely getting his value from the investment.

Daniel Patterson, owner of Coi, Plum, Plum Bar and Haven.  Daniel is banking on customers paying $500 upfront to become seat holders of Haven Restaurant.  Seat holders will get 20% discounts on food for parties up to four people for the life of the customer or restaurant, whichever ends first.  Seat holders will also receive first priority on reservations and supposedly no waiting at the bar.

I've been to Haven, the space is quite nice and it's relaxing.  Even though the food can be a bit over worked with complex techniques, the $500 would be well spent.  I can see this idea taking off in the diner scene in this town, but not for high end food.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Come and Get Your Juicy Friday Meatballs

The Friday meatballs they make at Santoro's are delicious!  You have to pre-order them or get their early on Fridays because they will sell out every week.  The store has a tendency to run out during lunch time when the high school kids order meatball sandwiches for lunch. One Friday I bought the last six chicken meatballs in red sauce.  Surprisingly there was no pork, veal or beef inside.  I was skeptical at first because when you think of chicken meatballs, flavor does not come to mind.  However, these meatballs were juicy, flavorful and fluffy.  The homemade sauce from Santoro's was also fantastic.  The red sauce was rustic with chunks of tomatoes, fresh herbs and hearty flavors.  The sauce definitely added a boost to the meatballs.

Friday meatballs are a great way to kick off any weekend.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Three Phat Bobs in a Row

After shopping at Alameda Towne Centre and completing all of my tasks, I decided to treat myself to a  Pearl's hamburger.  I ordered the mini Phat Bob, a 1/4 lb. burger with bacon, onion rings, and Jack Cheese with a side of regular french fries.  The burger looked amazing on the food board, but when I took the first few bites, the burger wasn't what I had expected.   I thought the flavors were dull and the bacon and onion rings did not add a lot of dimension to the food.   The bacon had some fat on it so I had to tear off the grizzle and eat the rest.  There was only two onion rings at best, so the flavors were subtle.  As for the cheese, I didn't notice it.  The burger was edible, but it wasn't memorable.  The side of french fries were lackluster.  I was eating cardboard with no flavor.   I would not order the french fries ever again. I  recommend going for the onion rings, garlic or sweet potato fries.

While I was eating my meal inside the restaurant, I was listening to what new customers were ordering.  The next two parties also ordered the Phat Bob.  This burger was a hit.   Was this simply coincidence?  I even wondered if they were consuming the same burger that I was because I was not amazed by it.