Albany’s Sam’s Log Cabin Is Ick

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I’m pretty sure my friend K who writes about food told me that Sam’s Log Cabin on San Pablo Avenue in Albany has good food. I’m probably wrong about that because they do not. I tried to have Sunday brunch there a few weeks ago and there were roughly 25 people on the list before me 45 minutes until closing time. My friend P and I easily got a table today at 8 am.

It’s cute, especially the back patio area. Everyone working there is very friendly. The portions are big. The blueberry lemon scone, sourdough toast, and potatoes were very good. They are not too fancy to serve Diet Coke. The important stuff, eggs, pancakes, and sausages were not good at all. If it’s possible for all three of these foods to be dry, that’s what they were.

The most important part of breakfast is the egg. If a place overcooks my scrambled eggs, I never go there again. I probably like them more runny than most but if they look and taste like I’m at a breakfast buffet in a London hotel or at Whole Foods for that matter, then I’m out. Sam’s Log Cabin served dry ass eggs.

I ordered the Hardly Working breakfast consisting of a pancake and egg and added sausage because I like to make my own McDonald’s McGriddle type messy roll up thing. The pancake was dry, even with the whole shot glass of syrup. Finally, the sausage was dry, like crumbling in its little casing dry.

I’d say the food was on par with Au Coquelet in Downtown Berkeley. That is a super dis.

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Albany’s Sam’s Log Cabin Is Ick

Purple Rain Cocktail At Albany’s Eugene Is Not So Good

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I like Albany’s Eugene. I don’t like it because of the food, drinks, or ambience. I like it because they named it after the city in Oregon (not the man’s name) where my beloved Oregon Ducks play. I have mad Oregon pride. Oregonians are some of the best people in the world.

I had an awkward brunch date at Eugene (shout out to my friend S who was randomly there and tried to save me). We only ate there because there were about 25 people on the list waiting for a table at Sam’s Log Cabin on San Pablo Avenue and it was about to close. I don’t like fancy breakfast unless you count silver dollar pancakes. Brunch at Eugene is fancy. There may have been a lot of polenta and kale on the menu but I forget.

My second visit to Eugene was to have a drink while waiting for a table at Little Star. I don’t like the chunky tomato stuff that they put on deep-dish pizzas but that’s another post. I ordered the Purple Rain cocktail, duh. It has gin, crème de violet, maraschino, chartreuse, lemon, and sparkling wine. It does look kind of like polluted (purple) rain water. All I tasted was lemon.

Poor Prince. First he has to die and then he has to have shitty cocktails named after him. Real charmers we Oregonians are, I know.

Purple Rain Cocktail At Albany’s Eugene Is Not So Good

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her III

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Chocolate cupcake with salted caramel filling and vanilla bourbon buttercream

Tomorrow night is my friend L’s 30th birthday at Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. After my Easter brunch with a friend’s family (pumpernickel bagel, egg salad, Kerns pear nectar, and See’s chocolate Easter eggs), I got to work baking cupcakes. It feels good not to have to follow recipes and be able to improvise now. Baking isn’t as rigid/scientific as some people think.

I did my usual Duncan Hines Devil’s Food mix with a box of chocolate pudding mix for the dry ingredients. Four eggs, 1/3 of a cup vegetable oil, 3/4 of a cup buttermilk, and 1/4 cup bourbon got mixed in.

I decided to fill them this time. Filling is fun. You core out little pockets of cake with a pairing knife, pipe in some goo and then pop the little tops back on. After frosting, no one is the wiser until they take a bite. I’d asked my friend P to get me salted caramels to melt at Berkeley Bowl but he was too stressed out by being in that fucking madhouse, he abandoned his mission.

I ended up at Safeway at 9 am buying something trying to fancy next to squeeze bottles of Hershey’s Syrup. It ended up tasting not salty at all, so I added salt. Then it was too salty. I’d say I eventually wrestled that shit into submission.

The frosting was standard buttercream with extra vanilla and some more bourbon. I went to the fancy cupcake store and got snazzy little chocolate vanilla swirl straws to top them off. Very professional looking. I also got 3 and 0 candles because I think everyone should blow out candles on their birthday. I hope they help make a it a special night for her. She deserves it. She’s wonderful.

 

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her III

Pair And A Spare

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Don’t be the donut tire

My friend L did the double dating thing on Sunday. She went to brunch with guy #1 (day dating can be fun), the guy who has been giving her that goofy grin. She met guy #2 in the late afternoon and ended up spending 5 hours with him. She likes them both. She likes the idea of dating them both. I asked her if she already a spare.

A few years ago, women seeking dating advice were told to, “Date Like a Man.” I didn’t know who originally came up with the idea. Was it Steve Harvey or Patti Stanger? My research turned up a woman named Myreah Moore or, “America’s Dating Coach.” She wrote the book on the theory a decade and a half ago and then promptly fell off the face of the earth.

Dating like a man aims to bring down a woman’s tendency to emotionally attach a couple of notches to shrug level. The idea being that when a woman and a man go on a date and feel a connection, she turns into a baby monkey (gripping him around his neck so as to hang on for dear life) and he’s texting someone else.

Dating like a man teaches a woman to date three men at the same time. A pair of guys she likes and sees a romantic future with and a spare, who she also likes but for whatever reason is unavailable (schedule conflicts, separated or divorcing, FWB potential only, lives far away etc.). If she’s dating multiple guys, she won’t focus too much on one AND she’ll get more free dinners. I kid. I’m not Patti Stanger. Sex with all three is optional.

I have too many spares, but I like them. Whine! I think my therapist (see you Thursday Kelly) would tell me to keep focusing on how I want to feel when I’m with potential future guy. When you’re dating spares, you are also the spare and who wants to feel like the donut tire? I want the smart, passionate, handsome, funny guy. More than all that combined, I want to be a priority.

Games suck. Power plays suck. If I want to text a guy I’ll text him. If I want to tell a guy he is amazing. I’ll tell him. If I want to focus on one guy or date a lot, I’ll do it. I will love when I want to love, reciprocity or not. I will live my life. I will not live his. He will feel like a priority. I will feel like a priority.

I’ve got one final question for all those who play hard to get. If you act unavailable or legitimately spread yourself too thin, and some dude finally “catches” you, what happens then? Where did your allure go?

Pair And A Spare

WeWork Is Making Me Fat

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I can’t resist free food. TGIM! Community Cereal Bar? Thank you WeWork, I will consume a bowl of the delicious Oatmeal Squares. New Member Brunch? Munch munch. Lunch and Learn? Nom nom learning. There’s a lot of deliciousness around my office building, which is probably very appealing to the undernourished 20-something boys around but I should resist. Free food also results in people gathering and sometimes socializing.

It’s different than other places I’ve worked. Teaching meant that in the staff room there was always something sugary or cheesy or sugary and cheesy available to snarf on recess breaks. We weren’t particularly social about this bingeing unless it was someone’s birthday. Nothing good comes from the staff room at a school. It’s all snark and snarf.

When I worked at a synagogue, if I wanted free food I would have to stay for Shabbat services. My boss bought me Diet Coke when I was a consultant until she realized if it were free, I’d slurp up at least 3 a day. It’s not Google with its unlimited supplies of artisanal chicken salad sandwiches and coconut water but WeWork is my own free food utopia.

Actually, I don’t blame WeWork for making me fatter. I just blame working. It’s sedentary (at least I can walk to work), stressful, and not about me. Watching what I ate was actually easier for me when I was unemployed because I had the time and desire to stick to a routine of healthy eating and working out. My mother who recently retired has had the opposite experience. Work kept her busy and therefore not eating as much during the weekdays.

I’ve been here a year and have only been offered 2 free donuts, so there’s that at least. Donuts are the death nail.

Are Donuts the death nail?

WeWork Is Making Me Fat

La Note Is No Bon Jovi

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Years ago my friend and I arrived at MOCA in downtown Los Angles for an art party. The line went down Grand, past Walt Disney Concert Hall and stretched around the block to First Street. My friend exclaimed, “This art party is no Bon Jovi!” Apparently, a Bon Jovi concert was the only event she’d consider waiting in line for longer than an hour.

I rarely go to La Note in downtown Berkeley. Weekend brunch waits are even more enormous than their pancakes. You can arrive at 8 am and still wait. Long lines for breakfast in the Bay Area are why I’ve patronized Doyle Street Café in Emeryville for years. Unfortunately, the secret got out and the wait is now long even for their mediocre food.

The food at La Note is not mediocre. It’s good, almost sometimes maybe great. I judge a breakfast place on the eggs. For the love of god, please don’t overcook eggs. I always undercook eggs. This grosses some people out but those people are wrong. My scrambled eggs at La Note this morning were perfect. I also ate bacon, sourdough toast, and some of my date’s raspberry oatmeal pancakes but the eggs were the best part.

The ambience at La Note is just OK. I’ve heard the back patio is super nice. My favorite breakfast places look like dumps in Concord or they’re in strip malls. Some are dumps in Concord strip malls. La Note looks nice ish. There are probably some chicken knick-knacks around.

Finally, my date’s grapefruit had a hair in it. The hair was like really in there. As he pointed out, “There are scarier things we can’t see in our food.” We think our waitress might have said, “Good luck to you guys” referencing the fact that we were on a date. That was odd but she backed me up on the fact that a Diet Coke is a superior beverage choice to coffee first thing in the morning so I loved her for that. Go to La Note on a weekday.

The salad Nicoise is also good

La Note Is No Bon Jovi