Lunch date #10: March 23, 2012
"I feel like I've come out of a cocoon!" marveled Mom as she reflected back over our ten lunch dates. "I never even knew this sort of food existed, or that I would like it," she admitted. I think her palate has been awoken! We have had many different types of food: Chinese, Italian, Greek, Indian…and now sitting at lunch, eating Afghan food, Mom has had a bit of an epiphany! It is amazing to see the transformation from a diet that existed primarily of cheeseburgers and roast-beef sandwiches, OK…so maybe with the occasional turkey sandwich or taco salad thrown in. But to see her really enjoying the experiment to try so many different types of food—this project, in 10 short dates, is already a huge success. So many different things to try, so many places to go…we are having a blast!
For our 10th date, we headed to Oasis Grille (and Wine Lounge) 780 MainSt. (www.oasisgrille.com). I've always loved the venue, since first built for Coffee Roast Express—and was sad when the owners decided to close that Pleasanton icon. I had tried Oasis several times, for lunch, dinner, appetizers/drinks and always thought it was fair. When I suggested it to Mom, I told her we'd eat Afghani food. She wasn't so sure…but being the sport that she always is (and even more of a "foodie" these days), she was all for it.
Critique #2 ambiance: 5 points. The conversion from coffee shop to restaurant/wine lounge is not an easy one. We felt they did an extremely good job to create an inviting atmosphere to dine and relax. We were seated inside, due to inclement weather, but I've enjoyed sitting in the patio ("rose garden") and on the front porch several times; a perfect place for a summer afternoon or evening. When we first walked in, Mom was surprised: "It's nicer than I thought it would be!" We appreciated the décor and white linen table cloths. On the wine-lounge side, there are a few little couches and bar-style tables, and the main bar is beautiful. I actually like that it still has a bit of the old Coffee Roast Express personality peeking through—like seeing an old friend.
|Flame-Grilled Chicken Kabob|
Critique #4 Service: 4 points. Our server did an excellent job. We let her know that our mission was to try Afghani-style food that day, and she was quite helpful deciphering the menu by giving us good descriptions of the unfamiliar items. She definitely encouraged us to try the Pumpkin Borani. Our only complaint with the table service was that they failed to give us any appetizer plates with which to eat our Borani. We had little plates for our flatbread, so we used those and dug in!
|Phenomenal Pumpkin Borani|
Critique #6 value: 4 points. If we had delayed lunch just a bit, we would have been delighted with the price of the Borani later. Between 2-6pm, half priced appetizers and happy hour wine pourings are offered. We started lunch at 1:00, so paid the full $10 for the Borani (quite worth it, by the way…but for $5 would have been the bargain of a lifetime). The entrées were a bit higher than what we had been paying elsewhere. The dinner menu is fairly similar with slightly higher prices…perhaps due to larger portion sizes?
Overall score for Oasis Grille: 4.4 points. We had a wonderful lunch date and enjoyed our experience at Oasis. We will definitely return…especially during happy hour! As per our usual, we ordered too much food—but we wanted to bravely sample some different items. Also as per our usual, we took home the left overs and this time, I think I was the excited one to savor more Pumpkin Borani that evening!