In one of the chicken fried steak discussions, someone mentioned that some place in Alameda had good chicken fried steak. When I saw CFS with cream gravy on a copy of Albert's menu online, I thought I'd check it out.
The chicken fried steak was definitely not good, but the rest of my breakfast/lunch was excellent, making Albert's Cafe yet another entry on the list of old-fashioned breakfast places in Alameda.
A long time ago Patrick posted asking for a "working man's breakfast place" and Albert's qualifies: long counter with stools, and few tables, funky decor, and a gravel-voiced, rainbow-haired grandmother presiding behind the counter. The original owner retired a few years ago and sold the place to his long-time cook. He's still doing all the cooking, with 20 years of short order under his belt, and the pride of ownership shows in the housemade hashbrowns, which were some of the best I've ever had. They lost a few points for only being browned on one side, but I'll bet you could request them browned on both, in which case they would approach perfection. My scrambled eggs were perfectly cooked: cooked through but still tender and fluffy.
What makes Albert's unique is the rather amusing attempts to add a few touches of Berkeley to the classic fare: when a patron ordered coffee the waitress gave him a choice of "regular" or "Peet's French roast" and the a mixture of sauteed veggies is dubbed the "Hippie" and is featured in several dishes. Despite that, the waitress recommended the Mexican specialties (in particularly the huevos Guillermo).
Cheap -- chicken fried steak with two eggs, hashbrowns and toast was $5.95. The most expensive thing on the menu was the steak and eggs at $7.95. They also serve burgers, sandwiches, etc. (for you Atkins folks out there, you can get your bacon cheeseburger with a side of cottage cheese instead of fries for $4.85).
Open 7-2:20 (no, not 2:30) seven days a week.
1541 Webster St, Alameda