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Monday, September 24, 2012

Beeb's Sports Bar and Grill--After golf dependable!

Lunch date #23: Friday September 21, 2012

It was birthday time again-this time for our dear friend Kris. Every year we brush the cobwebs off the clubs and do a short nine in celebration of Kris' special day. Since the short executive at Los Positas had re-opened, we decided to try it. Kris always golfs well on her birthday, and since she beat us—this day held true to the claim! For lunch, it is convenient to stay on sight at Beeb's Bar and Grill (www.beebsatlaspositas.com), so Mom and others joined us for a birthday lunch party there. Obviously another foray out of Pleasanton, but close-by and we were overdue for a lunch date!

Location 3 points: At the Los Positas Golf Course in Livermore by the airport. Easy freeway access, but not exactly somewhere we would go if not playing golf. A bit off the beaten-path for a restaurant.

Ambiance 3 points: Very casual sports bar inside-with many flat screens showing all of the current sports. We chose to sit outside, and while the golf course view is nice, the hard-wire table and chairs are not all that great. No linens on the tables—and a new thing: if sitting outside, you have to walk into the counter to place your order. Also—they need some seat cushions: we were getting a waffle pattern imprinted on our backsides (Mom made a funny joke about this)! Definitely not comfortable. It wouldn't take all that much effort to upgrade their patio seating.
Great group for a birthday party!

Menu Selection 4 points: A very good selection of sandwiches, salads and burgers. Mom was especially happy to see Philly Cheese Steak on the menu! I went with my standard for Beeb's: the BBQ Chicken Salad. I said that I enjoyed the availability of the full bar-as I brought out our Bloody Mary's. Mom was quick to point out that we have been to numerous restaurants with a full bar, and commented she was surprised I was drinking at lunch. Just one, I figured…after all, it is fun to be festive at a birthday party!

Service 3 points: Since we had to order at the counter, it is hard to judge the service. The food was brought to our table, and the server did get some drink refills. She was very pleasant, but we felt the service was overall very minimal. The food did come out fast, so that was a bonus.

Food 3.5 points: My salad was pretty much as I had expected, and I liked it. Nothing special, but dependable. Mom liked her Philly Cheese Steak, but was disappointed with the fries. They were cold and lacking flavor—also she seemed to get the bottom of the bag with just little bits and fragments instead of normal sized fries. The others we were dining with enjoyed their lunches for the most part, other than Kathy who was not thrilled with the taco salad.

Value 4 points: Prices were fairly routine for what we typically pay for lunch at $9-10 each. Considering they have no competition in the area, it is nice that the prices are reasonable. I suppose you could counter-argue that the lack of location, other than after golf, makes the destination less than desirable.

Overall score for Beeb's: 3.4 points.  We always eat there when we play golf. It is reasonable and usually pretty fast. The prices are fair and food quality fairly consistent. We all enjoyed our time together to celebrate Kris' special day and were very relaxed and happy to be there. Like I said above, it is a place to grab a bite after a round of golf that is very dependable!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rising Loafer Café and Bakery-Dependable lunch, fun party!

Lunch date #23: Mom's birthday August 17, 2012

Such a grand day! Mom loves to have fun on her birthday-who among us girls doesn't? Since it was her special day, I thought it would be fun to go to one of her old favorites: Rising Loafer, (428 Main Street, www.risingloaferpleasanton.com). She was delighted that we had several surprise guest diners with us: my brother Gary, Emily, Jordan, and our dear friends Kelly, Kris and Dorothy! Perfect group for a perfect birthday lunch party. I have to laugh since Mom prefers to call this restaurant "Rising Loaf", which I do suppose is more technically accurate. This was one of regular lunch spots, before we started the 'project', but I realized it had been some time since we had been there. We were all looking forward to it.

Location 5 points: Downtown with parking in the back, say no more.

Perfect lunch party
Ambiance 3.5 points. While I prefer the outdoor tables, we had a rather large party that day so we sat indoors. The overall appeal of this place is not in the décor by any means. Rather simple bakery style with several tables. Kris pointed out the packing boxes and Windex on the sideboard in the dining room. Not a high class sort of place. Mom was thinking to give the place a "3", but then we looked back to see that we gave Dean's a "3"—which should have been a "2"…oh no what to do? We decided to give Rising Loafer a 3.5.

Menu selection 4.5 points. They do a good job with choices. Many lunch and breakfast items from which to choose. The home-made bread is always an added bonus. A good variety of sandwiches and salads making the choice difficult. I went with the turkey club on oat bread and a side of potato salad. Mom chose the chicken salad on lettuce greens. Dorothy ordered the quiche and was surprised to choose the type of cheese offered; which they melted on the top—rather different!

Service 4 points. Considering this is a bakery/café we didn't expect attentive service, but the server was on the ball. He was on time to take our order, the food was served pretty quickly and he was right on hand getting refills. We were especially pleased with the little offering of a few bakery treats to honor Mom's birthday celebration.

Birthday girl!
Food 4 points. Everything was good. My sandwich was large enough to take half home and I finished off the potato salad. Everyone else felt their meals were fine. Jordan was especially happy with the Sun Chips-his favorite. Unfortunately, Mom wasn't overly thrilled with her choice—I was wondering why she chose the chicken salad scoop onto greens instead of a sandwich. She forgot that they do a nice turkey sand with cranberries. Still she insisted that it was "good to try new things!" I was happy we were planning to grill some burgers for dinner that night—have to get a burger fix on your special B-day!

Value 4 points: Overall pretty reasonable at about $8-9 per sandwich. The ½ sandwich combos with salad were about $9. Seems a pretty good deal for good food and a good location. Mom didn't get to take home any left overs this time, but she was too happy as the birthday girl to notice!

Overall score for Rising Loaf (er): 4.2 points. Our memories were correct—it is a good spot for a nice lunch. Nothing fancy for sure, but good food at a reasonable price. We certainly had a grand time celebrating the birthday of a very special lady!