May 18, 2007

the one in which i am slightly hypocritical

Posted in restaurant review, self-flagellation at 7:03 pm by Marise Phillips

while on my nightly internet crawl, i stumbled on this article on LA’s pinkberry frozen yogurt obsession. as a proud “orange curtain escapee”, nothing raises my ire more quickly than the vapidity of my former homies.

as is my custom, i got all frothed up. i could instantly picture the impatient throngs of over-tanned, underfed MILFs double-parking between spinning and bikram classes for a nonfat treat. these are the same people who believe in the negative caloric effect of celery. and high colonics.

so anyway, here i am up north, feeling all superior cause i compost, and occasionally ride my bike to work. (never mind that it’s been over three weeks.) yet sadly, this morning, i had to forgo the bike once again and drive into work so as not to arrive later than 10am. (woops.)

halfway down Park Street, i questioned my habit of picking up a bagel or a croissant for breakfast along the way. declaring such a meal insufficiently nutritious for my on-again/off-again healthy-eating plan, i decided to stop in Oakland’s Chinatown for a banh mi at Cam Huong.

as usual, the streets were filled with cars, trucks and pedestrians going about their morning errands, so I couldn’t find any parking nearby. as luck would have it, however, someone had double-parked in front of the tiny storefront, so i rationalized this meant that i could double-park there too.

keeping my eye on the car while i ordered and waited for my sandwich, i began to notice traffic getting worse and worse along Webster Street. maybe the nearby closed-off streets for the farmer’s market, and that big Golden State Warriors sign i saw out in front of the convention center actually meant something.


eventually, a cop drove by, and i actually had the balls to assume, “nah, he won’t stop to ticket me. Oakland cops have far bigger fish to fry.” but before i knew it, the ladies in the restaurant were all a-flutter, along with several passing shoppers, everyone having noticed before i did that the cop did indeed stop to ticket me, and that i better get a hustle on, and now.

“but i haven’t paid yet! or gotten my sandwich,” i whined. i stomped out to my car, fuming, waiting for the officer to bring me my ticket, which was doubtless going to cost me plenty.

then a miracle happened. as i sat in my car, one of the ladies working the counter brought me my sandwich, and then change for the $10 bill i gave her. then the cop, a handsome, strapping young Vietnamese-American man, gave me my ticket — and literally apologized for it. he explained that area merchants had complained so much to city hall about the double-parking problem, the police had been ordered to crack down on offenders.

and the cost of the ticket? $30. that, plus the $2 for my delicious sandwich, was well worth the price of admission.

awwww. i ❤ oakland. i really, really do.

and i promise not to double-park again!!!


April 3, 2007

last day in amsterdam

Posted in internets, lovey, restaurant review, travel at 12:35 am by Marise Phillips

last day of vacation… and it’s grey and cold after 6 straight days of lovely sun. oh well!

we rented bikes and are thoroughly enjoying our increased range of travel around this thoroughly lovely city. today, we’d planned to go to the botanical gardens and the zoo, but not sure if that’s so practical now, with rain so likely.

last night, we went to a great-looking place in the Jordaan called “restaurant tante agaath” – but the service was deplorable. a party of four blowhards (two tiresome Cockney businessmen and their dull Dutch hosts) sat right next to us, getting louder and louder with each drink and cigarette.

even worse, our entrees took literally an hour to arrive (and we hadn’t ordered appetizers in order to save room for dessert!) needless to say, we didn’t stick around for that, and just got some pastries at a stall closer to the center of town.

we ended the night at “rokerij” coffeshop, probably my favorite establishment of this entire trip so far. great interior design, dark and tribal, comfy wall benches, cool music.

piccies so far are up on flickr.

January 8, 2007

it would be nice

Posted in restaurant review at 2:58 pm by Marise Phillips

…if WordPress allowed me to post my Yelp Widget.

But maybe the name of the widget (“blog bling”) is just too idiotic.

Oh well. I thought it might be fun to keep a log of all the restaurants I’ve eaten at in Alameda, so here are my reviews thus far.