I adore brunch. I also adore sleep, and being located in Hayward, I honestly don’t have a lot of brunch options nearby, so I don’t make it out to brunch often. But occasionally, the desires to (a) eat brunch and (b) meet up with friends combine to get me out of bed at a decent hour. By which I mean noon.
I also adore Alameda, and Friend #1 lives on the island, so we chose Alameda for this brunch review. With an equal number of brunch items as brunch cocktails, American Oak seemed promising, though I bypassed the alcohol for coffee. It’s a choice I make more often than I’ve led you to believe.
American Oak’s coffee set-up is charming, from the hodge-podge mug collection to the cute individual buckets of cream and sugar. I also found the restaurant itself charming, especially the little nooks and crannies to hide in. Friend #2, in contrast, found the wide, open space unnervingly airy—the two-floor establishment with a patio is obviously meant to host a vibrant night life, and this was definitely daytime.
For me, all the open space meant a brunch spot that doesn’t have an hour-long wait. Walking right in to a table is AMAZING for brunch in the Bay Area. I firmly refuse to complain about that as long as the food is good. Though not having crowds does make one suspicious…
…though I was thoroughly satisfied with my heirloom tomato and bacon benedict. They had no problem serving it hard-poached, which is more often a problem than you’d think. The hollandaise sauce was thinner than I like but its tang was acceptable, if not memorable. And that may have been the fluffiest english muffin I’ve ever had. I’m not sure where the corn portion of the corn and arugula salad was, however.by