Brunching in the Bay: San Leandro Edition, Paradiso

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On Sunday of this past week, I had the pleasure of having brunch with two really amazing women! Both of whom inspire me! We decided to have brunch at one of our favorite spots, PARADISO, and they NEVER disappoint. The service was A-1, the food was great, and the overall experience was great!

I arrived first and walked-in to a host with a big smile and welcoming attitude. I let her know, we would be a party of 3 and what table we preferred. She reserved our table, and I went outside to soak up the sun.

After my girl C-C arrived, we went and sat down and began to chat and wait for the third member of our party. As soon as we got comfortable the waitress was there asking us for our drink order, we ordered tea, she brought the tea and water.

After the third member of our party arrived, we ordered our brunch and an appetizer to share. For our appetizer we shared the DUNGENSS CRAB & AVOCADO, it is the best thing on EARTH. The flavors just dance in your mouth, it’s truly superb. Anyone who has ever been to Paradiso has tried this dish. It is unique to their restaurant and its fresh and healthy.

My main course was the DUNGENESS CRAB OMELET with egg whites, sub the potatoes for fruit. I enjoyed my entree, but it was not as flavorful as the appetizer.

We sat, talked, laughed, sipped, bounced business ideas off of each other, gave relationship advice, and enjoyed our time with each other. I appreciate having genuine relationships with intelligent, ambitious, people who like to have fun with its time, and get stuff done when its time. I’m very grateful that the universe has brought these two into my life.

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Brunching in the Bay: Oakland Edition, CANA

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Sunday Brunch at Cana in Oakland started off a little uneasy. My BFF and I walked in for our 11am reservation and it was cold, and they wanted to give us a small table by the door, or sit somewhere that we would have to get up after a certain amount of time, so we decided to just sit at the bar. At this point I felt a little embarrassed because I invited her out, picked the restaurant and our experience started off wack. After taking our seats at the bar, we relaxed a little, got comfortable (FYI, I love that they have hooks for your purse at the bar), and looked over the menu.

I was a little overwhelmed with all off the selections that they had for brunch! Everything looked so tasty and exciting. I had only had Cuban cuisine once, so I was excited for this treat! As I’m looking over the menu, I tried to find something that was point (Weight Watchers Term) friendly, I got excited for the Ceviche Trio, with Plantain Chips.

We ordered the Ceviche Trio for our appetizer, and we both selected the American Choice Omelet for our entrée. The Ceviche was AMAZING, the flavors just danced on my taste buds. Each one having its own distinct flavor, yet all of them were good. This was my first time having ceviche made with halibut in addition to the traditional shrimp. They also used more than just lemon and lime for citrus, they used pineapple and orange citrus. We ordered the American Choice Omelet, but it definitely had a Cuban flair. I subbed the eggs for egg whites.

The service was interesting…… It started off with a take it or leave it attitude with the wack seats from the hostess, to a very helpful/service oriented attitude from all of the staff towards the end of our meal. Our waitress/bartender seemed a little overwhelmed, it was the beginning of the day, and she was putting things together, so she was very pushy for us to hurry up and order, and then was forgetful of our request. We would ask the other bartenders and even the hostess for certain items and they were very helpful and eager to assist us. We had hoped to stay for the music, but it had got packed by the time we finished eating and we were ready to go.

Sitting at the bar, we were tempted to take advantage of their bottomless mimosas, but because juice and alcohol are not point friendly, I opted out, and my BFF wanted to be supportive of me, so she opted out as well.

Note, during the week M – F, they charge all of the patrons a $2.00 minimum wage fee, because minimum was increased to $12.00 in the City of Oakland. On Sunday’s, there is no Minimum wage fee, but if you stay for the band (which is nice if you’re not there to socialize), they charge a $2.00 band fee.

Overall, I would rate the experience a 3/5, customer service is really important to me and first impressions are important as well.