Friday, July 08, 2005

Oakside Cafe. After a false start to "Le Metro" in the Castro, which included dizzying circling for parking to discover the 'breakfast' place closed we settled at the Oakside, very much a neighborhood place, a place not found by searching the Chron food section. It's a place so grown into its surroundings, it can easily be passed and only found when looking back over your shoulder. It's the kind of place you cannot find a photo of on the Internet, and I don't know if I have the energy to circle around and around for parking to snap one and edit this post later... It is a home madeover -- tucked in the back corner is a counter with big blackboard overhead stating the offerings.

There are bread goods/pastries/cookies organized in cute baskets on one counter, and an entire display case is devoted to pirozhki. They have a big basket of bagels in the middle and a large section of the blackboard is devoted to the various toppings, so that's what we chose to have with soya (yeah!) latte and hot chocolate - Dad's fav. The drinks come in large glass cups with 'Altoid' advertisement sleeves to protect hands from the heat. Now that's unique advertising - give cup sleeves to independent coffee houses. Each Altoid sleeve came with a small sample packet of Altoid mini's attached.

The interior had walls and ceilings painted bright colors, blue intersecting with purple and bright yellow mottled down the side of the staircase and into the lower floor. Now you know why the different colors in today's post. We were quite early, perhaps the second customers of the day. As we sipped our drinks at a brightly colored round tables, I observed the other decor, and patrons. The furniture looked like it escaped my Mom's living room in the 60's. Captain's chairs (yes Mom was right, they are comfortable), funny little side tables, rectangular with a second level on a third of it and carved ball like legs. Hanging high from the ceiling were four completely mismatched lights/chandalier's including a stained glass "coke" one. A couple sat next to us, the gentleman with a long gray beard, flashing brown eyes and a black beret worthy of a Parisian. One of the men standing in line looked like he might be a linebacker escaped -- after visiting a tattoo parlor. Someone came in with a grandfatherly looking gentleman, and a woman with a young child came in to get some takeout bagels.

Now we're out of that character-filled place, and I discovered it was just kitty-cornered from a DMV, and yes, my Dad lost his wallet yesterday with credit cards & ID which kept me hopping. So we spent a good chunk of the rest of our time sitting in line watching for his number to pop up. It will be 4-6 weeks for his new ID to come.

Believe it or not I managed to get the hospital thing done, all the above afterwards, then bring Dad home, start a load of laundry and fix Dad a nutritious lunch and cover it with plastic wrap in the refrigerator with written heating instructions taped on top and a DO NOT FORGET TO EAT label on some specially prepared fruit AND I still managed to get to work by 10:30 a.m. I'm definitely getting better :-).

Tonight I made dinner at home, it was an abalone mushroom and french white mushroom with crab sauce over spaghetti al dente accompanied by steamed broccoli spears. I have to admit, the sauce came out of cans mixed together. However, the unique mushroom pasta sauce was a prepared sauce I found by carefully examining interesting canned goods in my local Japanese supermarket. It was a nice light sauce, wine, herbs and olive oil with the above-mentioned interesting mushrooms. I just added a can of crabmeat and it was quite fine.

The other night I made my Mom's famed eggplant dish -- think eggplant parmeasan lightened and with some killer fresh extras! Dad was really happy since it's been a few years since I attempted it. It keeps well afterwards, and although I halved the recipe we had plenty of leftovers. I even shocked my friends at the office by bringing some in for lunch to reheat in the microwave.

I have noticed that breakfast reviews and information is sadly lacking in the bay area, and even some of it is misleading. Searching for 'breakfast' can list those only serving brunch on weekends in the mix. Also I found it quite interesting that some that are open everyday start breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and what do their patrons do for a living?

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