Bowzer’s Pizza in Alameda has vegan cheese, and cornmeal deep-dish! »
Bowzer’s Pizza is like a Patxi's on The Island! Man, Alameda is really stepping it up. When I was but a wee lass, making my way around The Island’s culinary dining scene took everything I got. And now, you kids, just rolling around in your vegan pâté and your cornmeal-crusted deep-dish vegan pizza. It’s almost enough for me to blow the whole place up except that my parents still live there and I can’t really deal with that kind of tragedy right now.
I will say, the other night I was dining with my mom and she was acting like she had no clue about the takeout options around town and I was like, “WOMAN DID WE GROW UP IN DIFFERENT HOMES?” because I think I was actually fed sushi in place of breast milk. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy for me to be vegan? I don’t really have the strong culinary memories that many people do. Or, if I do, it’s for wonton noodle soup at China Gourmet or Dragon Rolls at Kamakura. Seriously, what does pot roast taste like? And what about fresh baked apple pie? AM I EVEN A WHITE MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN? *takes off mask to reveal 200-year-old Chinese lady*
Also, here’s a pic of the regular pizza with Daiya. The menu says “soy cheese,” but it’s Daiya. BIG SURPRISE. The pizza was really fantastic, I love cornmeal crust, and potatoes are an option for a topping. Yes! And they deliver on The Island! Strongly considering moving back to Alameda, as we even have a movie theater now. THINGS CHANGE, PEOPLE.
Have you been to Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda? Because they’ve got vegan pastries, tea-soaked quinoa, and THE BEST G-D VEGAN PÂTÉ ON EARTH. I wrote it up completely for SF Weekly but I just want to encourage you all to head to the isla bonita for some tasty treats. Plus, heated patio and also, VEGAN PÂTÉ. Get fucked, foie gras, this is where it’s at.
Alameda Pie! »
There is a lot of pie in our lives right now. But that doesn’t make any of the pie less special, and certainely doesn’t eliminate the need for more pie because you ALWAYS NEED MORE PIE. The newest contender in the pie olympics is Alameda Pie, and this one comes packing heat. I’ve mixed like five metaphors in this post already. I’ll keep going. Alameda Pie makes and delivers pies to your home. You order at the beginning of the week and that Friday (or Saturday!) delicious fresh pie is DELIVERED to your DOOR. We ordered the 10” apple pie and the 5” coconut curry pie. The apple pie was super-duper tasty (both playing solo and à la mode!) BUT THE COCONUT CURRY PIE. Giiiirrrrrl, it was off the hooooook! Potatoes, onion and carrots coated with perfect, rich yellow curry. It was seriously ridiculous. My only regret is that it was only 5”, we could have easily taken down a 10”. or a 60”. Whatevs. Bring it, Alameda Pie. IN FACT, I propose we have one of those contests where they make the biggest pie they can possibly make (100”?) and if I can eat it, it’s free. Who is in!? I AM! Alameda Pie, your turn. WILL YOU MAN UP TO THE CHALLENGE? You have two days to accept at which time, we will breathe collective sighs of relief that you are less batshit crazy than I am. Man, I’m so sleepy and so full of pie this review is done GOODNIGHT, SIR!
St. George Spirits on No Reservations. PUKE. »
Anthony Bourdain, that hella old white dude who likes to pose with hamhocks over his junk* and who is all I’M A TEAR A BITCH UP but is really just some smarmy once-upon-a-time chef hosts a show on the Travel Channel called, No Reservations for Smarmy. This week, they hit up San Francisco and there is a sneak peak up of their visit to Alameda’s St. George Spirits.**
So watch that video and then all I have to say is A) what is up with the screeching car sound effect when he pulls up? Are we supposed to think, GOD HE IS SO BADASS? I’m confused, because what crossed my mind was that’s total midlife crisis, STOP EMBARRASSING ME WITH YOUR CHEESY CAR, DAD stuff right there; B) Do you still get hangovers when you’re 1,000 years old? And is it cool to play them up when you’re SO OLD WHY WERE YOU UP PAST 9 P.M. DRINKING ANYTHING BUT METAMUCIL?; C.) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A METH LAB LOOKS LIKE, SO STOP ACTING LIKE YOU HAVE STREET CRED. Ugh obnoxious. The closest that white-bread motherfucker has ever been to a meth lab is watching an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent; C) Man, I am disappointed in St. George Spirits. They have been nothing but awesome to me since way back when I lived near their old warehouse and they let me in for free tastings. It was just a couple of people then, including a really old awesome German dude with VERY rosy cheeks, if you know what I’m saying.*** I’d come in and we’d talk animals and sip port and there would be some awkward flirtation and I’d leave before it came the time when someone was about to Cross the Line. Anyway, they were always supportive of animal rescue things I’ve pitched at them, readily supplying delicious vodka to benefits and just being the raddest best. But now I see this video and firstly, where is my old German homie? And who is that roided-out, beanie-wearing d-bag and his friend, live-action Howard the Duck? Did they eat my old German bro when they warped in from 1997? I’m ascurred. And now they’re making FOIE GRAS VODKA? Did they do this just do this because they knew Bourd-lame would crap his ill-fitting pants when they saw their nasty-ass concoctions and therefore they’d definitely get on the show? I mean, that’s like the ultimate example of media whore-ery. Way to get famous for being the cocksuckers who impressed the king cocksucker. Man, just look at those three. I’m tempted to challenge you all to a game of fuck, marry, kill with those three champs but it’s like Sophie’s Choice: you can’t win. I guess I’d have to choose murder-suicide?
There is no real reason for this post except to say, man. Fuck the world. Nothing is good and pure and I hope they choke on that foie gras vodka. Ugh, back to Safeway Select vodka for me. Oh well, it’s cheaper and tastes the same(-ish). Plus, it soaks up infused flavors better SO THERE.
Also, Pirate Cat is having a viewing party tonight if you’re into that. Apparently they’re serving up bacon (of the pig and non-pig variety), if you’re into that. Which you might be. I’m not one to judge you, lovely reader.
*WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO NEVER HAVE SEX AGAIN. OR EAT FOOD. OR HAVE EYES.
**I know Meaverly and MD will be bringing you more insightful awesome scoop on the whole show but I just like to get angry and shiz.
***I’m saying he was a raging alcoholic.
Burma Superstar! »
Burma Superstar: You either love it, or you refuse to put up with it because of the ridonkulous wait*. I love it, I can’t help it. I’m a glutton for food you must fight for. And all other food too. Burma Superstar I love so much that it’s usually the first place I take out-of-towners and it’s always the favorite. In fact, I have a friend who went three times on her last visit. Of two days.
Things to order: Tea leaf salad (no skrimps!), samusa “I AM THE BEST EVER” soup (it is made with falafels, samusas, lentils and other manners of perfection in the best slightly spicy broth. No description could do it justice, it is beyond words. It will probably one day be my viewed as my hamartia. That, or my good looks.) and coconut rice. Everything else on the menu is very good but those three items are stand outs and you must, must, must eat them. In my version of Heaven, they are all served to me at all meal times (which is every hour on the hour and sometimes on the half-hour). Also in Heaven, the streets are paved with Funyons and there is a donuts ‘n waffle fries stand on every corner. Actually, just imagine Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but replace the children with more candy and Gene Wilder with a talking pig and there you have it.
Finally, they recently added a make it yourself Tea Leaf Salad kit that they sell in the restaurant. You just add everything in the kit to some chopped romaine or cabbage, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice, and mix it all up. It’s a party in your mouth. The salad comes in a cute red bag sealed with a label that warns of its addictive qualities. Too true!
*If you hate Burma Superstar because of the wait then I have two suggestions: go 10 minutes before they open and you’ll always get a table; AND/OR go to the one in Alameda. Not only is it located on the Maui of the West but also, it’s really not that much farther than the fucking Richmond District when it comes down to it.
Review: Jim’s Coffee Shop! »
It’s not super easy to find truly old-school diners or coffee shops in the Bay Area. In New York City, you can find one on every corner. If you haven’t eaten coleslaw out of a vat infested with maggots, you aren’t really a New Yorker. I’m looking at you, Waverly Diner! Anyway, there is something comforting in sitting down in a place where the waiters speak Greek or Russian or Armenian and are slow AND rude and all there is for a vegan to order is a plate of hash browns the size of your face. If you’re feeling nostalgic for a true diner, then head to Jim’s Coffee Shop in Alameda. You will not regret it. Just don’t ask for soy milk. You will regret that.
Jim’s is also special to me because I saw the most awesome fight outside of this place. It started as a fender-bender and ended in…well, you’ll see. Here’s how it went down. This one car rear-ends this other car. Like a very light tap. I mean, if it had been my minivan, I would’ve waved the other dude good-bye, saying something like, “Have you SEEN my car? It might be a high-powered piece of automotive genius on the INSIDE but a ding on the outside? Keep moving, buddy!” because I mean, really. If I have one ding, I have a hundred. Literally. I have 100 dings on my Kia.
Anyway, the guy who is hit freaks out and motions for the other dude to pull over. Now, I’m watching this whole thing with some French fries in hand—I think this adds to the appeal of the whole thing, the entire time I am watching this, I am casually munching on french fries—the dude who was hit gets out of the car and he’s bright red. Like a scary, big, mean red man of anger and rage. I know some bad (if not interesting) shit is about to hit the fan. I inch closer. The other dude gets out, looking like your average middle-class white dude; he doesn’t seem particularly mad.
And so our story unfolds:
The Super-Agro Man of Rage (SAMOR) is all, “What the fuck, man? You put a dent in my Nissan, man! I just got this car fixed, man! That is fucked up, man!”
Middle-Class White Dude (MCWD) is all, “I’m sorry, let’s check out the dent and see if we can have our insurance talk it over.”
SAMOR is all, “Man, that shit ain’t right! Insurance talk it over man, nah. We’re going to deal with it right here.” (NO SHIT, THIS IS WHAT HE SAID)
MCWD and Laura B are all, “What?”
SAMOR is all, “You heard me, son! I’m about to fuck you up!”
MCWD looking around, obviously totally weirded out. “Uhh…”
SAMOR starts to move closer to MCWD. MCWD is backing away being all, “I think this is best solved through our insurance companies.”
SAMOR is all, “Didn’t you hear me, man? We’re gonna settle this now!”
MCWD is getting more annoyed and starts to roll up his sleeves and is all, “OK, dude,” and starts to move towards SAMOR, at which time SAMOR starts to yell, “HELP! POLICE! THIS MAN IS GOING TO ATTACK ME!!!!”
NO SHIT!!!! He starts waving his arms wildly and screaming for help. I could not make this shit up. Well, maybe I could but i’m not. I swear. There are witnesses. All of them dead or living in Canada.
MCWD is all, “Dang, you are crazy!” and starts to go back to his car, at which time SAMOR is all, “What? You scared of me, bro? You want a piece?” and proceeds to pick a bottle up off the ground and throw it in MCWD’s direction. MCWD whips around and starts heading back to SAMOR, and SAMOR once again starts screaming, “HELP! SOMEONE CALL THE POLICE! 911! HELP! POLICE!”
At this point, I literally drop my French fries and pull out my cell phone because I’m not quite sure some bad shit is about to go down, but I know some freaky shit is currently going down. I call the police.
MCWD is all, “Fuck this, you are crazy,” and starts to move back to his car, and SAMOR is all, “Oh that’s right, walk away you pussy bitch! I knew it, bitch!” and MCWD is just shaking his head, and SAMOR runs after him, passes him, hits MCWD’s car really hard with his fist and runs back around the other side of the car. At this point, MCWD just loses it and is chasing SAMOR around his car while SAMOR yells, “HELP! POLICE!”
The police finally arrive and I’m forced to give witness to what I just saw. Both fortunately and unfortunately, I’m not quite sure what just went down in front of me. I testify to the best of my ability and head back into Jim’s for another to-go order of french fries.
Moral of this story, kids? Stay the fuck away from meth.
[photo via yelp]
Review: Central Vegetarian! »
Central Vegetarian is a new vegetarian/vegan restaurant on Park Street, the main drag in Alameda, a tropical isle of dreams located on the idyllic SF Bay, a.k.a. The Biggest Little City on Earth. I grew up on The Island, and finding ONE restaurant with even ONE vegan item on its menu is like trying to figure out how Star Jones gets out of bed in the morning instead of just killing herself. It’s like Labyrinth, bitches. Next to impossible. However, with the opening of Central Vegetarian, we have a player in the game, folks! With a menu that is nearly identical to Golden Era in San Francisco and Golden Lotus in Oakland, you can’t help but believe this is a Supreme Master Ching Hai Enterprise.* And it is: the chef/owner used to work in the kitchen at Golden Lotus but then realized she was hell of in a cult and jumped ship, taking the recipes with her! You go, girl!
The menu is mainly Vietnamese but there are some Chinese and Thai dishes. If you’re not a moron, you will order any of the clay pots, CARAMELIZED CHICKEN (!!!), spicy gourmet chicken (!!!) and the veggie chow fun. It’s cheap, filling and delicious. A VERY VERY VERY welcome addition to the prestigious Alameda eating scene. It takes its place alongside Subway and Applebee’s to complete the trifecta of Alameda Power Eating (APE). Watch your back, Gary Danko; APE is coming to get you and what we lack in deliciousness, we make up for in knife fights.
*God, I love that crazy bitch. She doesn’t believe in alcohol, drugs, sex, meat or happiness. Obviously, I’m down. With most of it. I mean one thing of it.
[photo via yelp]