Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rick and Ann's - Home Cookin' Done Right

I cannot believe I've never written about my most favorite East Bay restaurant, Rick and Ann's. Tucked away on a small street in the Oakland Hills, next to the Claremont Resort and Spa, you can easily miss it if you are driving by.
You can find me here fairly often, maybe that's why I don't want you to know about it, because it is amazing!
Brunch is everyday until 2:30, so yes, you can get your fix of breakfast foods until the middle of the afternoon. As a testament to how good it is, there is always a wait on weekends. And worth it.
Last weekend I went at 8:30, a daring hour for me in the morning, but was seated immediately. They opened at 8 and had yet to set up the outside seating, so there were a few people waiting for that. The previous weekend my cousin from Toronto was visiting, and we ended up going at 10:15, there were tons of people standing outside, and we were quoted an hour wait. No problem, there's Peet's next door for coffee, the weather was outstanding, and it's not like you are standing on a busy street corner. There are a couple other stores on the street so you can browse cute stuff if you want. 15 minutes later we were called in. What? That never happens! Apparently there was a huge party coming in and so they wanted to sit all the smaller parties first.

Now, I have two absolutely favorite dishes here. And if you go, you have to try at least one. They both take longer to make than anything else on the menu, so I generally try and order as soon as I sit, while my companions take the time to read the menu.
First, I love french toast. In all shapes, sizes and toppings. But their challah french toast is sublime. Why? Because it uses the challah, and is dipped in orange-cardomom batter, so with every bite, there's a bit of the orange flavor. YUM!
Secondly, the potato pancakes. Smothered in cheese. Served with sour cream and applesauce on the side. Need I say more? Ok one more word, this is the perfect breakfast appetizer for your entire table. Order it.
You also might know that I don't usually order egg dishes while dining out, but sometimes I make an exception for the bacon, greens, and cheese omlette. It's wrapped in bacon!!! How could I not.
They also have specials that vary daily, and are always amazing, at least according to my fellow diners that have ordered them.
And for you light breakfast eaters? Or true Berkeley types? How about some of Rick's granola atop some yogurt? I haven't tried it, but I'll bet it's good. Gluten or wheat free? For you there's the orange flour pancakes, which I will admit, I've tasted, and loved.
And if you are coming in later, and want a sandwich and are vegetarian? My mom approved of the portabello sandwich. Because as you can see it's not just a slice of mushroom on bread, done half-heartedly. This is full-of flavor, so much that even a raging carnivore (and mushroom hater) like myself liked it! Eggplant, pesto, provolone, spinach and the shroom.

Dinner, ah yes, dinner time. I've never had much of a wait for dinner, I suppose I go mid-week when things are quieter. But this is the mom's cooking, that mom never made me.
The mac and cheese always makes my mouth water, rich and creamy and some spinach on the side for that healthy factor. If you are a fan of the non-boxed mac and cheeses, this is for you.

Meatloaf is another dinner item that was never on my table as a child, so I don't know how to make it. Rather, playing with ground beef creeps me out, and so I just order it out. Ann knows a good meatloaf recipe when she sees it. Maybe the secret is in the quality of the meat they use!

I'm going to also nominate Rick and Ann's for one of my cheap eats places, because for the most part breakfast is under $10, unless you opt for one of the specials, and dinner, hovers around $15. Both bargains in this era of high priced home cookin'.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Oh! This sounds amazing! I wish I were there!