Review: Sweet Bar Bakery

Found another new cafe with wi-fi, plenty of space to write, and an excellent assortment of tasty treats; and apparently, so have many other others! This rainy afternoon drove a lot of people indoors, but I was still able to find a great window seat, of which there are many. They offer a bottomless cup of coffee for two bucks, perfect for those like me who intend to stay awhile, and I started with a delicious slice of apple crumble pie with whipped cream. The coffee is good, the pie better, and people behind the counter were even sweeter than the pie. And while the people who work here and who frequent this establishment, the warm and friendly atmosphere give it a significant advantage to a certain way-too-cool-for-you vibe of another nearby one which will remain unnamed, though you locals may easily guess.

Besides pies, cakes, cookies, and other sweets, they have plenty of savory snacks and smaller meals to choose from, too.

All around, a tasty experience, highly recommended! I got one of those stamp cards where you can earn a free drink, since I’ll most definitely be back.

Who: Sweet Bar Bakery
What and Why: Baked sweets and savories, coffee, tea, soup, pizza, and more
Where: 2355 Broadway, Oakland CA 94612 
When: Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm, Sat 8am – 7pm, Sun 9am -7 pm

Review: Farley’s East

I love to write essays, and I also have the tendency to be easily distracted by having all the comforts and hobbies of home surrounding me, as well as the tendency to justify laziness after a day at work. Therefore, to avoid stopping off at home, I’m often on the hunt to find a workspace, a great coffee-shop / cafe that’s more or less on my way from work to the hills for my early evening hike, a place that’s homey, friendly, reasonably priced, has tasty small meals and snacks, and has wi-fi. 

Farley’s East has just joined the list of my favorite such places. 
Who, What, Why, How:
Where: 33 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
When: Mon – Fri 7:00 am – 9:00 pm Sat – Sun 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Review: Blue Danube in Alameda, CA

Hungarian Coffee Cake and House Coffee
at Blue Danube, Alameda

Coffee Shop: Blue Danube, downtown Oakland

What I had: mug of house coffee, a slice of ‘Hungarian Coffee Cake’, and a bagel melt with tomatoes and cheese

Prices: Reasonable

Decor: Cozy, painted walls, rugs, a rather antique home-y feel, a world traveler’s aesthetic combined with shabby chic. Nice Eastlake door pull!

WiFi: Yes, two hour time limit; they’ll give you more time so long as you order another item

Seating: oodles of comfy places to sit

Would I come back: Yes

Bagel Melt at Blue Danube, Alameda

I am not in the best position at the moment to offer a qualified assessment as to the taste of the items I ordered, since I’m in the healing phase of a nasty chest cold and my sense of taste is almost entirely gone. What I could taste of the coffee is nice and earthy, as I like it, and the coffee cake seemed fine too. A little quibble: the cake came out of a refrigerated case, which is good for freshness, I know, but a cold slice of cake is a less tasty slice, and it spoils the texture a bit. If I wasn’t so hungry (I woke up early to get my teeth cleaned and then came straight here, so this is my breakfast) I would have let it reach room temperature before I gobbled it up. The bagel melt was perfectly toasted, the real cheddar cheese had that lovely crispy bubbly outside and melty inside that a melt should have. All in all, a pleasant experience. 

Piece I’m working on: Free Market Fundamentalism’: A Moral Objection
July 17th, 2013

Review: Modern Coffee in Downtown Oakland

Just for fun, I’ve decided to start writing little reviews of coffeeshops and other venues I visit to work on my writing. This is the first in the series.


coffee of the day & a brownie at Modern Coffee

Coffee Shop: Modern Coffee, downtown Oakland

What I had: mug of house coffee (the chalkboard identifies it as ‘Streetlevel’) and a brownie

Prices: totally reasonable

Decor: Sleek, modern, large windows

WiFi: Yes, and no time limit

Seating: Ample for the size of the shop

Would I come back: Yes!

A lovely, tall, blonde woman with a friendly (direct, not gushing) manner was at the counter, and it was a lovely start to my visit. The coffee is delicious, strong but not overly so, of the earthy, chocolately sort I like. (The trend in Bay Area coffee shops over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed, has been to serve coffee of the tart, even sour variety, which I detest, but which is popular with the aficionados, I hear.) The brownie is tasty, of the lighter cake-y sort, and tastes like a cross between a classic homemade chocolate cake and a brownie

Piece I’m working on: Anxiety-Depression: An Experiential Account