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Restaurants & Bars 4

Albany - Beauregard’s – Nice soup

rworange | Mar 21, 200612:52 AM

There was a positive post about Beauregard’s and then a very negative post. I’m somewhere in between.

The clam chowder was really good. The wood-fired pizza was mediocre. The bread was not good. The service was slooooowwww. The prices were a little high for the neighborhood.

They have a $9.95 lunch special where you get the pizza of the day and a choice of soup or salad.

The chowder is house-made and had a nice balance of clams and potatoes. It was not overly thickened. While it was no Sea Salt chowder, it was a notch above most New England-style chowder in the Bay Area.

There is no pizza choice with the lunch special. The day I visited it was fresh tomato margherita pizzetta with tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and Grand Padano Parmesan.

Yeah, fresh tomatoes and basil in March … but I was there and I didn’t want to walk out a second time. I went there for lunch on Fat Tuesday because Beauregard’s serves Cajun food Tuesdays … but only at night. So I left on the first visit to celebrate Mardi Gras for lunch elsewhere.

I really should look up info on restaurants prior to a visit. Once I read that co-owner Gary Beauregard was VP of food and beverages at California Pizza Kitchen for about a decade, it explained a lot.

Then I read Jonathan Kauffman’s review when the restaurant opened and he just nailed my experience when he said;

“Something's not quite right with the pizzas. The twelve-inch rounds are pulled from the oven right before the cheese blisters and before the round roll of the crust cracks and browns. Like California Pizza Kitchen's … chronically bland, just-melted mozzarella and fontina. It was pizza -- we were all Americans, so we ate it -- but nothing more”,

Yeah, that was it exactly … only with out of season tomatoes and basil … and it wasn’t until I just re-read the menu that I realized there was any Parmesan involved. At least I was lucky the lunch pizzeta is individually-sized and I didn't need to deal with a 12 inch bland pie.

I considered going back, and I might because I like the soup, but only because it is near my home and only if I couldn’t find parking at other the Solano restaurants.

That’s the problem. There are better and less expensive restaurants on Solano, IMO. For $6 I can get a tasty lunch at 6 Degrees with great bread and an attentive staff. At night, the price and food at Bendean is so much better. The pizza prices at Cugina are similar, but that pizza is in a whole higher class of deliciousness.

This is one restaurant that really didn’t make changes after the East Bay Express review. It remains exactly as it was described except the service isn’t as good … at least at lunch.

On the first visit, when I asked about the New Orleans menu, no on knew and when I asked to talk to the manager for more info, no one showed up. I finally just left … but I was curious about the lunch special so I gave them another try.

On the second visit the service was slow. There was no real wine advice. The wait staff didn’t check back although the bus boy would stroll from the back of the restaurant to the front occasionally, but he never refilled my empty water glass. He was MIA when I wanted more olive oil for the dry bread … it was quite a wait for the pizza.

Some of the brunch items sound interesting like the frittata cooked in that wood-fired oven or the sugar-crusted fruit pizza topped with mascarpone cheese sabayon and caramelized apple slices The Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict with tobiko caviar might be worth a try. I might give them a shot for breakfast.

Some day I might check out the Cajun night on Tuesday. This week’s dinner menu was themed for St. Patrick’s Day with Irish stew and a few Irish beers.

So who knows … I might stop by again. However, it is not high on my list.

East Bay Express


Likes it


Ok, but no wow factor


Hates it


Beauregard's California Bistro

1373 Solano Avenue,
Albany, California 94706
Phone 510 - 526 - 7200
Lunch Tues-Saturday 11:30-2:30
Brunch Sunday 11:00-2:30
Dinner Tuesday-Saturday 5:30-10:00 Sunday 5:30-9:00

Link: http://www.beauregardscaliforniabistr...

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