Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Mar 30 - Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

2010 Mar 30 - Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen (Berkeley)

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Today five of the Lunch Bunch is headed to Berkeley to Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen.
The five today have known each other for a pretty long time. This is a photo of us in a Grade School Class picture taken almost 58 years ago. :-)
I put names on the photo so you would not have to guess which five.

Anyway the plan is that Ken will drive Patti and me {Don} to Grandma's home. Linda will meet us at Grandma's. From there we will crowd into Grandma's car and head to a BART Station to ride that to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station. Angeline's is just a block and a half south of that BART Station.
Patti and Ken picking me up. My reflection is on the car door.

One of two bridges on Hwy 4 in the California Delta

The view of the river and farm island as we enter the bridge pictured above

Farm hands working a field in the California Delta

We first stopped at a local Safeway to purchase a Senior BART Pass. A Senior Pass gets $24 worth of Rides for a cost of $9. Well the local Safeway had run out of the Senior Passes.
Patti hands stuff over to Grandma at Grandma's home

Patti and Linda getting ready to get into the car

Oh well it turns out that Linda and Ken both need to buy a Senior BART card so Grandma takes us to a local store on the way to a BART Station. After buying the card we drive the 15 miles to the North Concord BART Station and board the BART. In Oakland we have to transfer to another BART line to get to the Downtown Berkeley Station. We climb the stairs and look a block south, no Angeline's in sight as no one had written down or remembered the address.
It turns out that there are a couple of BART exoduses and we had gone up at the far one from the restaurant so it was two and a half blocks away.
Patti is wondering what to order

The Lunch Menu

At least we figured out what to drink

Patti and Linda both order the Crawfish Etouffée. It is both spicy hot and tasty.
Crawfish Etouffée over rice with fresh green beans

Ken decides to play it safe and orders the Baby Back Ribs basted in a sauce with a little soy sauce in it. It was very good as everyone "stole" a taste of every dish.
Baby Back Ribs with a side potato salad

Grandma has a much smaller appetite than just a few years ago settles on a Roasted Vegetable Muffuletta with a cup of Gumbo as a side.
Roasted Vegetable Muffuletta

And I decide on the Oyster Po' Boy with a Gumbo side.
Oyster Po' Boy

The cup of Gumbo sides

As we are passing various tastes of food around Patti has an accident with Grandma's taste of sandwich.
Not on the table..... That is a real Rolex on Grandma's arm

The aftermath

And a Lunch Bunch day is not complete without some shopping.
Grandma is the traveler of the Bunch and is looking for a small piece of luggage

Then it is time for dessert at a little Gelato shop down the street.
I have the Hazelnut with a little bit of Chocolate Hazelnut

We BART and drive back to Grandma's home and the girls chat while I sit outside and have a smoke with Grandma's husband David. David is more of a Cracker Barrel type having grown up in Tennessee, home of Cracker Barrel.

Well by now a few hours have passed since lunch and Linda insists that we grab a bite somewhere. That somewhere turns out to be the Carvery or Harry's Hof Brau.
Going into Harry's Hof Brau

The pastrami sandwich on rye looks good but the meat had a lot of gristle and I would not recommend it.

The French Dip roast beef on the other hand was delicious

I have eaten here a couple of times before and the turkey was great as well as the roast beef.

Linda is spending the night at Grandma's because they have something they are going to do tomorrow morning. So we have taken two cars to our "light" dinner. We say our good byes and head home.
My goodness it is dark outside


Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 Mar 14 - San Francisco

2010 Mar 14 - San Francisco to Check GPS

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Anyway the background for this trip was to do a Pre Ride {from my motorcycle ride leader mode} of an auto tour that I am giving to a couple and his nine year old son when they ride in from Elko, NV on the California Zephyr. I also needed to check out the new Garmin Nuvi 1200 with the Transit Maps for the Bay Area to see how well it showed the bus routes. It performed amazing well and I will loan it to my friends. It is a thin 3" square screen and will easily fit in a pocket.

Meanwhile, I checked with Grandma about how the Pittsburg BART station would be on a Sunday. That was before I decided to drive into the City. Anyway she decided that she would like to go into the City since the weather forecast looked excellent.

So I head off to Brentwood and have a 25 minute wait as she and husband David are late getting home from breakfast.

We get to San Francisco with minimal delay and I head to the motel where I will meet my guests. BUT I find out that this is the first of nine Sunday Street Events to be held in San Francisco where a street will be shut down. And today the street is the Embarcadero.

The first of nine Sundays Streets events -- San Francisco’s version of the car-free ciclovias that have caught on in cities around the world over the last few years, temporarily transforming roadways into vital public spaces -- will be held this Sunday along the Embarcadero.

There is no good alternative route from here to there other than the Embarcadero, so after wasting quite a few minutes I decide we should head over to some where on the Route from the Motel to the Breakfast Place.

Unfortunately the Haight-Ashbury has gone from what I knew of it in 1964-1966 when I was enrolled at San Francisco State and the term "Hippie" was just being coined to a tourist area in the 70's and 80's. Then in the 90's it started going downhill. Now in 2010 it has become a seedy, panhandling area. Parking is impossible so there is still interest or curiosity about the Haight. Not sure why.

We do have Brunch at the Pork Store, the food was okay but the place much too cramped and the unisex toilet was plugged up and would not flush.
There is a waiting line, well kind of a line

Across the street is an interesting Boutique

A bit cramped to say the least

At the counter

The nook where we were seated. That's Grandma's back at the first table beyond the counter.
The food was okay, but I did not even take any photos.

So next we head up to Twin Peaks. It turns out that this is an amazing afternoon. This is the clearest that I have seen the view from Twin Peaks in the myriad of times that I have come up here over the past 50 plus years.
Looking toward Marin County to the north

Looking toward Hunter's Point

The wide street that is clearly visible below is Market Street the main street of San Francisco

Looking to the northwest

This is a 3.3 zoom of the Golden Gate. The domed building is the Palace of Fine Arts.

Now I have not been back to Mitchell's Ice Cream since my college days. It is at the south end of Noe Valley and not really near anything or anywhere that I go in San Francisco. Grandma has spent quite a bit of time in the City and even stays there in Time Shares. But she has never been to Mitchell's. If it were not for the nine year old I probably never would have planned a stop here. In all of my other 6 to 8 tours that I have done I have never stopped at Mitchell's. So I really wanted to check out the route from Twin Peaks to Mitchell's. Even with the gps I managed to miss a turn and wound up way at the top of Diamond Heights and had a few 12 per cent grades to descend.
It is a gorgeous day and people are waiting outside. Mitchell's has always been a busy little place but today seemed a bit more. But it has been over 40 years since my last visit. :-)

I wait outside as we have ticket number 60 and they are Now Serving 50

While waiting I ask to take this photo of the young lady's Mango and Ube cone

These are Filipino flavors except Pumpkin

Halo-Halo is a Filipino dessert. Grandma is Filipino and has eaten the dessert dish before.

Inside the little store

Click the photo to read the ice cream flavors

I decide to have a kids size scoop of Ube ice cream.
Ube is the Filipino word for purple yam

Check out this concoction

Another photo of mango with a chocolate dip

As we are leaving many more people are arriving

Grandma has the Halo-Halo flavored ice cream

She said it is not as sweet as the real Halo-Halo

We had to park two blocks away right in front of an Open House. Grandma went inside to check out the places while I took a smoke break.
These are the depressed prices for San Francisco real estate.
The 2 Bed is a little less than 1100 square feet.
The 3 Bed is 1917 square feet.

The 2 Bed is the upper floor while the 3 bed is the lower two floors

Anyway I have changed the Breakfast place on April 4th from The Pork Store to Miller's East Coast West Deli on Polk.