old brooklyn cafe and bakery in downtown oakland...yes, I do get to the east bay..sometimes
Yes, I know I don't get over to the East Bay often, but so what. It's a slog sometimes especially if you have to deal with crossing the Bay Bridge--both ways! Still, if I'm over there for whatever reason, I do at least make an attempt to eat at a new place there.
Originally when I brought this up to the SO as we were flying down the highway, my goal was to try out LocoL, the new fast food place with a twist by well-known chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson. But on this particular weekend, when we got to the address in downtown Oakland after a few wrong turns, the place hadn't opened yet. They are now, which didn't really help us a few weeks ago. Since we were already in the hood, we just decided to eat at the place that is right next door, Old Brooklyn Cafe & Bakery.
Perusing the menu in the window it looked like standard neighborhood restaurant/diner food with burgers, sandwiches, salads and a host of breakfast/brunch options, because even in Oakland, brunch is a thing. After reading it over and looking at each other, we were like, sure, why not. Doesn't exactly gung-ho I know, but sometimes we are like, we're here, we're hungry, let's eat. Plus, we had run all the way out to Pleasanton (may as well be Modesto..) to run an errand and the place was closed, even though they said they'd be open. It's like an hour each way out there and after such an arduous journey, we figured we'd indulge our bad eating habits and order up a couple burgers. Screw healthy and a side of greens, we are also getting fries with that!
The burgers did seem like a decent choice anyway as the guy at the register said they are good. The 1/3 lb. beef patties are made in house as is the bread. The SO went basic and I chose the feta with the bacon upgrade, duh. They all come with mixed greens, tomato, onion and pickle, then whatever mayo, mustard, etc. you'd like. The burgers are pretty big and you do get a nice portion of chunky fries fresh out of the deep fryer. Which is good considering the basic will run you $11 and the feta/bacon $14. Surprisingly a buck or two more than I thought they'd be since we weren't in SF after all.
Still, they were tasty, juicy burgers cooked to order--medium rare. The bread was a toasted brioche bun, light and fluffy, though could of used a little butter on there. (yes, I'll put it on most anything) Taste wise, it's a nice burger that stands up pretty well compared to some of this same style you can get in SF like at Super Duper, Pearl's, Barney's or Home Skillet. Or more closely related to the old Flipper's that used to be in Hayes Valley, for anyone that remembers them, just with a better bun.
Since we'd blown whatever good eating habit we had for the day, we went all in and got some cookies for dessert. We were in a bakery, so it seemed like the thing to do.
These are cookies like I like them--BIG and $2.50 each. Chocolate chip was good. Crisp on the edge, little soft in the middle. Plenty of chips to get chocolate in each bite plus a little sprinkle of salt, which seems to be the thing these days on chocolate chip cookies. Since I'm all about peanut butter, you'd think I would be down with that one too, but I wasn't on this one. It was too soft, kept falling apart. Was also a bit too greasy for me also. Even though it looks like it was baked golden brown, it came off more as cookie dough. The SO is a fan of that so did like it more than me. But you know, everyone's got their own tastes.
This is one of two locations Old Brooklyn has in Oakland. I think they are sort of well known for their boiled bagels, which is like the New York way to do them or something. I'm not enough of a connoisseur to really tell the difference, but then I don't live in NY, so whatever. Overall, they are like one of those neighborhood places you hit up on a lazy weekend morning when you don't want get all gussied up to wait in line for brunch at some trendy spot of the moment. Always there, always available, with all the basics.
Since LocoL is now open next door to them, it will be interesting to see if they have any effect plus or minus with their $5 burgers and $2 sides. Possible they could get spillover from folks who don't wanna wait in line. I'm guessing it sucks being beside one of these new all the rage places. It's just all part of the ongoing burger wars in the Bay Area to see who can do it bigger, better, tastier, more local, more organic, more...ugh, I'm exhausted already. At least they've got cookies and bagels to fall back on.