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Nathan Landau | Sep 29, 200204:16 AM     2

Emeryville has a fun new nouveau diner--Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe--at the corner of 40th & Hollis (where the Ranch House used to be), across from Emeryville City Hall and Pixar's fenced fortress. It's been open 3 weeks. It's got campy decor--a bunch of barbies of both genders in server costumes, toys under glass on the tables. There's also an outdoor patio which seemed pleasant enough on Saturday, but I wonder about its ambience on a traffic-choked weekday. But the good news is that Can't Fail Cafe is not too hip to serve good food or to be friendly, unlike some places.

They've got what I'm pretty sure is an all day breakfast-lunch menu, since that's when they're open (seven days a week). Omelets, egg dishes, burgers, a few sandwiches--not an adventurous menu, particularly. Different $6.95 lunch specials for each wekday.

My wife's order was called a Southern something and consisted of cornbread, collard greens, and red beans--a combination which made her very happy. The collard greens were neither sodden nor raw, though they were a bit salty.

My BLT with avocado almost was a failure when they brought it to me without bacon! But when, after I number of bites, pointed this out they promptly took it away and brought a whole new one. The lettuce was good leaf lettuce and the tomato was as good as any you get in California. Our little one had Chicken Tenders (nuggets) and french fries, which she was happy with--the staff was all very friendly to her (and brought milk and a small cup of fruit that they didn't charge for). Worth checking out.

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