Friday, February 3, 2017

Who Knew About San Leandro?

An impromptu outing with my good friend, Dylan, found us out exploring San Leandro, California, a neighboring town of where I reside. Dylan lives in Livermore and their downtown area is coming up. Perhaps San Leandro was too but I haven't been explore it too much. We happily booked a reservation at Paradiso via Opentable. Though, it was moreso I that made the decision. Dylan is pretty easy going when it comes to that sort of thing, and I think he trusts my judgement. Selfishly, I wanted 100 points to get more Opentable rewards so I can go eat at more restaurants and provide you with more content! Win-win, no?

Driving by, looking for parking, the restaurant on the corner was busy and the only thing happening in all directions. The parking lot with about 10 spots was full so we both found parking on the next block.

The hostess was friendly and we were seated immediately. Around the wall, the first dining room pretty full of diners at the tables with white linens and at the bar top. We were seated at a two top. There were other dining rooms in the distance, large pieces of artwork hung on the walls and the high ceilings and exposed beams were a nice touch. 'This is San Leandro?'

First things first, beverages. I was only allowing myself one drink so it had to be a good one. I went with the basil cocktail. One, because I love the basil gimlets at Mua in Oakland and second, basil sounds similar to MBT's name. Funny that Mua was where we had our first date. The cocktail delivered by Morgan was electric green and tasty, not too sweet as you'd think it was straight DuKuyper Puckers Sour Apple. Dylan went with a Manhattan. It's his new thing.


Silly me, my first real meal of the day was three hours before from Chipotle. I love their salads. I ate a whole one. So worth the $7. It's such a great value. Dylan and I agreed to opt out of an appetizer and just go for our entrees. I decided on the lobster for $34, no potatoes, a side salad instead with balsamic vinaigrette and their vegetables. I ate every single morsel. The lobster was made to perfection but the butter it was served with! It was was great, delicious without clumps, separation or strands from a brush, which I recall using often to butter breads.


Dylan had the rib eye. I had a taste. That was incredibly good too. I also ate most of his vegetables. What is it with men and not liking veggies? They're so good!

With my plates clean, we did tempt ourselves with looking at the dessert menu. Dylan and I are competing on who can reach 15% body fat first. I am no where near that. Giving in, we ordered a scoop of the Blackberry Cabernet sorbet and the Coconut Almond Crunch gelato. Oooh man, was that an incredible pairing. Thinking about it makes my mouth water.


Paradiso, well done! I am sure I'll be back.

Before we left, we took a tour of the rest of the rooms. The bar wraps all the way around into a wine wall room with more art and which seemed to be more casual dining at some high tops. I will have to partake of some wine next time.

We had an early morning the next day with meeting up for a hike on Mt. Diablo. Dylan wasn't ready to go home quite yet so I turned to Yelp for our next destination. I guess I was having two drinks that evening.

I found a place that was 'Hot and New' called Sons of Liberty Alehouse. It was relatively close by and I love trying out new places. After parking and walking around the whole building, we found it and sat the bar. I checked in on Swarm and was one of the first 50 people to check in there. I think that 's pretty cool.

We met Nick the Bartender and he was quite entertaining. I love watching the bartenders do their thing. They wore the same kind of attire that my staff does at DW - a vest, tie and button up shirt.  I think it's a good look, especially when your establishment is in a shopping center. It takes it up a notch.

I had the Flannel Shirt cocktail made with "Glenlivet 12 Year Old Scotch, Averna Amaro, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Fresh Apple Cider, Lemon and Angostura Bitters 12". I was a whisky cocktail over rock ice and with a pineapple leaf as a garnish. It was good. I typically don't like cocktails over ice because they water it down and I usually like my whiskey neat.



Nick said the spot has been open for nine weeks, that it's owned by a couple and that they will soon have beer on tap. I guess I will be coming back!


While on the top of the city of San Leandro, my good friend and Hair Stylist, Justina Downs, and I had lunch before she gave me a trim back in November.  She picked the spot, said her friends told her it was 'hella' good and that it was new. We met up at Noodles Pho Me, a Laotian and noodles spot at 377 Bancroft Ave.

It does not have its own parking lot so you'll have to find parking on the street. We met up in the afternoon and had a little bit of everything. Justina was was able to try some of their broths with some rolls before I arrived.  I went with the Papaya Salad and Thai Iced Tea. Both were very good, light and I finished the iced tea like I was dehydrated. The staff was incredibly friendly and it seemed like it was doing alright in terms of business. They now have 110 Yelp reviews. Good for them!



So there you have it, a few good spots to try in San Leandro! Please let me know if you make it to one of these spots. Enjoy!

Also, don't forget to contact Intertwine Hair Design for your special event hair needs, a trim like me or eyelash extensions from Justina. They're fun to get!


Jewelry by Stella & Dot




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