Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alameda Vintner's Club

If you are into wine and want to join a club, well step right up to the newest wine club in town, Alameda Vintner's Club at Angela's Restaurant.  Five wineries are part of the club: Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, JC Cellars, R & B Cellars, and Urbano Cellars.  This new club just opened this past weekend (July 28) and it appears to drawing interest. I don't know anything about prices or how many bottles you have to agree upon to join. I am certain that it will impact Karen's business at Alameda Wine Bar.  Karen will not be happy and I hope she doesn't paint her face blue again.

In case you haven't heard or tasted, John Thiel of Pappo has also created his own wines at his restaurant.  His wine labels are water drops that matches the photos at the bar.  It took me a few times to finally get it and then I figured it out with the wine branding.  The message is indirect and clever.  Prices for his wines are less compared to other options on the menu.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Art & Wine Festival

As I strolled through the Art & Wine Festival this past weekend, I realized the vendors and the food were pretty much the same each year. I didn't see any new features, but luckily the weather was warm and everyone was enjoying the weather.  Lockeford Sausages had the lock down on best street food.  People waited in long lines for their products. The smell alone from their grills was quite inviting.  I also noticed the high number of corn dog vendors.  I am a sucker for a corn dog, but the there were too many of them.  Also a good number of the vendors were selling chicken wieners and not beef, which seems sacrilegious.

I ended up eating at The Hob Nob for lunch and had the fish and chips. The fish batter was light, fluffy and amazing and didn't mask the true flavors of the fish. The restaurant always serves decent food and I wanted to sit down and rest my legs instead of standing up and gobbling down food in a hastily manner.

Of course I will return next year and I do each year.  I wonder if I will write the identical blog entry next year?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best of Alameda 2012

The votes are in and this month's issue of Alameda Magazine has the winners for the Best Of Alameda.

Did your favorite restaurant get nominated and win?  Do you agree with the winners of each category? Check out the link of the article and see if you agree with the magazine.


Some of the categories were a little too obscure for me such as Best Savory Scone, Best Breakfast Sandwich or Best Thin or Thick Crust Pizza.  By the way, only two of the winners were based at the west end, whereas all the other winners were located along Park Street or east of Park.  This is a true indicator of how economic development will continue in Alameda.  I also think some of the winners were slam dunks since they had no competitors in their category.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bastille Day Celebration

The Bastille Day celebration was in full swing this past Saturday at Cafe Jolie.  The cafe had lots of decorations and the staff got customers excited.  I bought lots of croissants and macaroons, but I forgot to wear my beret.  The plain croissants were flaky and delicious, just like buying one in Paris. The chocolate croissants were unfortunately dry and they did not have enough chocolate inside for my liking.  Nonetheless I  still ate it because I love chocolate.  The colorful macaroons were packaged so nicely in a set of six.  The cookies were tasty, lots of different flavors, slightly chewy texture and bite size.  

It is such a blessing that there is a French cafe on the island. Alameda is in dire need of varied food establishments, especially since Le Bouc closed down about a decade ago.   

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

American Oak

The newly renovated space is comfortable and casual with an Americana look and feel.  There is a lot of wood in the bar area and paneling along the wall where is the front door is. I however, cannot determine if the wood used is actually oak since the lighting is so dim inside the restaurant.

What is amazing is the Whiskey menu.  One can taste a variety of over 100 different whiskeys. Yee haw!  If you are not that adventurous or if your liver cannot filter that much alcohol, a whiskey flight of four selections will cost anywhere from $8 to $22.

As for the food, the ribs and french fries on the appetizer menu are tasty, I highly recommend these dishes.  The ribs are juicy and tender. The children's pepperoni pizza which is too large for any child to eat and at a price of $7, can feed two adults. FYI - if your kid can eat the whole pie, the child is overeating. The pizza is a kick ass price; one cannot beat the value of this item.  The pizza is palatable and decent, but it's no where near the high quality standards of East End Pizza Co.  Nonetheless, customers continue to order the pizzas because of the value and the portion sizes.  Fortunately, the owner kept macaroni and cheese on the menu from the Barceluna days.

I firmly believe the kitchen will continue to improve and work out the kinks of the food. Wait and see, this establishment will be fantastic in a few months.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th of July Parade

Get your blankets and folding chairs ready for the 4th of July parade in Alameda.  What's awesome about the parade is seeing families spending time with each other and grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in front of their homes. The parade route runs basically from Park Street to Webster, so food and beverages are not in far reach.   The parade is also a great indicator of what new businesses or restaurants are in Alameda and are invested in the community. I really love the small town feel that the parade exudes.

Take advantage of the food specials that the restaurants will have along the parade route.  Happy 4th of July!