Tag Archive for lunch

Snappy’s Cafe

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Snappy’s Café is a prime example of what I consider a cozy neighborhood coffee shop. Local art rotates on a regular basis. It’s quite small, with seating for roughly 15 people that consists of tables, two bars, and mismatched, cushion-covered benches. There are a few outlets available, and wireless is free. I’ve only seen it busy during the afterschool crowd in the late afternoon.

Of course, the counter full of turtle collectibles and fridge topped with stuffed turtles adds an adorable amount of whimsy.

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I don’t know how they fit in musicians, but Snappy’s Café also hosts music nights a few times a month including sing-alongs! The only drawback in atmosphere is that it can get quite stuffy in summer heat.

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Pink’s Hot Dogs

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I have fulfilled another entry on my foodie bucket list. Okay, I’m lying. I am way too lazy to have made a foodie bucket list, but if I had, Pink’s Hot Dogs would assuredly be on it. Since 1939, the Pink family has been perfecting the hot dog, and as all good Californians know, perfecting = adding lots of toppings. Though I soon discovered that these dogs are more than what meets the eye. They’re also just darn good hot dogs!

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Sidle up to that window to place your order. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s going to be a line. No mere sidling up is possible. When I went on a weekday afternoon, the line consisted of roughly 30 people, and the ones in front of me had driven out from Reseda, thinking the day after Thanksgiving a good one to finally give Pink’s a try. I’m pretty sure we did have a light traffic day—it took me about 20 minutes to place my order.

And frankly, I needed every one of those minutes because the options are many! From a plain dog to the Three Dog Night with yes, 3 hot dogs wrapped in a tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili, and onions, Pink’s serves up the spectrum of any conceivable combination. Did you not see me type “wrapped in a tortilla”?! ANY CONCEIVABLE COMBINATION.

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Neumanali

Neumanali is one of Hayward’s few fine dining restaurants. Bijou, just a few blocks up B Street, is the only other one that immediately comes to mind. Neumanali is tucked away by the downtown Hayward BART station in a beautiful Victorian that most people don’t even realize is a restaurant as they walk past.

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I’ve wanted to check it out since we relocated here. Early December, I invited another couple who loves good food to come along. The restaurant had an intimate feel despite the lively large party being hosted that night. Discounting that group and ourselves, there was only one other table used throughout our meal.

Neumanali provides typical white tablecloth service despite having a tiny staff. Warm, rosy lighting means photos aren’t as well focused as I’d like, but I’m sharing them anyhow.

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The walls were forest green and decorated with people-pleasing Impressionist paintings of orchestral groups, except for the bathroom that randomly featured nudes. To my taste, the atmosphere is stuffy but I absolutely want to try it again in warmer weather when we can sit on their lovely patio.

Dinner started out great, with us sharing two bottles of Eden Canyon’s Freedom from the Press 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon over the course of the night and enjoying soft, bubbly bread with olive oil, balsamic, and strong garlic.

Another commonality shared between Neumanali and Bijou is that both restaurants serve up new American cuisine with an eye toward French preparations. Our friends started with the warm goat cheese salad that comes with grilled pears and mixed greens.

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Praise of “this is fabulous” and “that was a spectacular salad” rang out, making it one of the most enjoyed courses of the night. Friend #1’s grilled rosemary rack of lamb with roasted potatoes, heirloom grains, and a pomegranate reduction sauce was probably the only course praised more highly.

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In the forefront of that picture are eggplant chips that weren’t listed on the menu. Friend #1 declared she could eat a whole bag of them. They were thick enough to give her something to bite into while maintaining a delightfully crunchy exterior. She also exclaimed over the heirloom grains, which turned out to be close to a sweet version of rice pilaf.

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