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.

San Jose Juneteenth 2015

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Most recently it’s celebrated in a festival-like manner, where people celebrate black culture, with performances, vendors selling clothes, jewelry, food, non-profit organization giving out information, and now even service providers offering different services for the attendee’s at the event.
I try to make it out to several different Juneteenth celebrations, but this year I only made it to one, and that was the San Jose Juneteenth festival. Often this celebration is fun and has several people attending, but this year seemed a little off.
The celebration was at a new park this year. This park was bigger than the park it is normally at, and I think it worked against the organizers. They had Keke Wyatt perform and maybe anticipated a larger crowd, but it seemed like not very many people attended the celebration this year.
The event began in the late morning, I arrived around noon and got lost. I initially went to the original park, where another festival was taking place, and so an old family friend who pointed me in the direction of Juneteenth. I finally made it to the park, after getting lost on my journey. I made it in the gate, and it was hottttttttt, I probably guzzled down a gallon of water as the day progressed.
As soon as I got in the park, I had to feed my daughter and myself. I was looking for a #PointFriendly option and noticed, the food options were very few. There was a fried food vendor (chicken, fish, & fries), a Jamaican food vendor, and a sweets vendor. I was hoping for BBQ but settled for Jamaican. I got the Jerk chicken, which was grilled, with plantain, and rice and peas! It was very tasty and filling, and the #PointFriendly option.
After getting my food, I walked around to check out all the vendors. I supported all the vendors by purchasing something from their booth including books, t-shirts, and jewelry. I also stopped by the PG&E booth and the Comcast service booth. Though I didn’t need the service that PG&E or Comcast was giving away, I went by to hear their sales pitch. After checking out the vendors and getting food, we spent the majority of our day sitting with my dear friend at her booth. She was a vendor at the event! She had a prime location booth right near the front of the entrance. Well at least I thought it was the prime location, but I noticed that a lot of people opted out of supporting the vendors, not sure why, but I would assume because they had to pay an admission fee, they decided to just eat, socialize and watch the show.
Keke Wyatt’s performance was mediocre at best. Don’t get me wrong, that woman can SANG, but she kept giving excuses and talking in the middle of the song. She was shooting for her upcoming reality show, and maybe she was directing as she was performing, but I was disappointed in her performance and left in the middle.
Overall, I’m glad I was able to support at least 1 Juneteenth celebration this year, but I wish I would have gone to another. This year’s SJ Juneteenth seemed like a waste of time, energy, and money.

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.