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Restaurants & Bars 6

The Alley Café – Pinole - $2.75 Soup/Sandwich Combo

Krys | Feb 8, 200512:42 AM

The Alley Café is frozen in time. It is what I remember when I think of the good coffee shops of the past.

The food is simple with all the breakfast standards, burgers and sandwiches. The prices are reasonable and the coffee is good. The soup is house made and so are the huge biscuits which you can order with gravy.

There are items I haven’t seen in years like cinnamon toast and fried egg sandwiches.

You can get linguica or German Sausage with breakfast or on a French Roll for lunch.

An item I have never seen was a French toast Sunday … French toast, topped with cinnamon, sugar and ice cream.

Other interesting items were Chicken fried steak, a torpedo sandwich (no clue), and a bacon and Grilled Cheese sandwich …. Mmm great idea … bacon … kick that fat level up a notch.

The table next to me ordered oatmeal which was a large bowl of oatmeal generously mixed with raisins ($3).

There’s nothing extraordinary about the food, just honest tasty grub at a great value. As fancy as it gets is there are less common flavors of Smuckers Jelly, like apple cinnamon.

The soup and sandwich however was like a snap shot of old time coffee shop food right down to the condiments. In the bag with the soup were packets of Morton’s salt and pepper with the picture of the girl with the umbrella, Sunshine Krispy Crackers and Heinz catsup.

With tax, soup and sandwich was $2.98 … how do you even tip on that? I liked the split pea with ham soup which was satisfying and not too salty. Grilled cheese was American on two slices of buttered white bread. On the side were iceberg lettuce, two very good thick tomato slices and pickles. What a deal.

I had breakfast one morning and for $7.75 I had unlimited coffee, a German sausage omelet with hash browns and a huge, fluffy house made biscuit. Everything is huge. Although I really liked the food, I just could not finish it. I felt really bad about leaving half that biscuit.

They address the size of the portions by charging an extra $2 to share or $1.50 for an extra plate (I guess you split the food in that case). At lunch I saw plates with good sized burgers and a generous serving of fries.

You can order half an omelet, which I thankfully did. It still comes with a full portion of hash browns which are perfect, freshly shredded, fluffy and buttery on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside. They covered half the plate.

There is a 20 seat lunch counter that wraps around the cooking area. There are comfy wooden booths and tables. Someone is a Giants fan. There is a Giants clock, a poster of the new stadium and quite a few signed pictures of Giants players on the walls.

A mural lines another wall of San Pablo’s downtown in earlier times. In the mural a market has a sign advertising 24 oz of Wesson Oil for 29 cents and Challenge butter for 69 cents. Ceiling fans lazily turn.

Located in Old Town Pinole. From San Pablo, turn on Tenant Street toward the church. Pear Street is right across from St. Joseph’s Church.

The Alley Café
2265 Pear St
Pinole, CA 94564

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