August 26, 2011

Oakland: Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe (CLOSED); restaurant review

CLOSED--IT FAILED  1805 Telegraph Ave/18th St., Uptown, (510) 251-9400. B-L-D daily; $-$$. Reservations taken for 6+.
Located adjacent to the historic Fox Theater and open daily until 1 a.m., this vibrant cafe-diner features a high ceiling, oversize unpadded blue-wood booths, and orange tabletops. A 40-foot- long Doll Walk of Fame features a zoo of Barbie-size dolls wearing a mini-version Rudy’s uniform. A 10-person private booth within a stainless-steel dining car replica anchors the rear of wall decor at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe in Oakland, California; booking it with a show at the Fox sometimes includes use of a private VIP entrance into the theater. The cafe’s name comes from a song by a 1980s band, and many dishes on the menu have song-related titles. Sunday brunch is an especially grand time to eat here because street parking is generally free, and after your meal it is just a short drive to Jack London Square to shop the farmer’s market. And then there’s the food. The brunch menu includes such goodies as three-egg omelets (the super Southwestern is stuffed with chorizo, avocado, and melted pepper Jack), scrambles (vegans should try the colorful sesame tofu scramble with green onion, mushroom, tomato, and spinach), and the kitchen’s specialty fluffy challah french toast topped with toasted slivered almonds (“One of the most addictive items we have,” says manager Doug Smith.). A head-spinning number of substitutions are available (I loved the biscuit I subbed in for toast). Noteworthy items at other times include Buffalo Chicken Salad (crisp romaine, tomato, onion, and crumbled blue cheese), Rudy's Slider Sampler (a mini Cajun Burger, Ranchero Burger, and Blue Cheese Burger), Combat Mac and Cheese, Mr. Roadies Fish and Chips, and the Mile High Club. Locally made pies and cakes are the perfect dessert. Appealing vegetarian and vegan options are plentiful, breakfast is served all day, and original cocktails are available. Specialty coffee drinks include design-topped lattes and the Shakin’ Jesse Milkshake made with Guinness Stout, chocolate ice cream, and espresso. And if all that isn’t enough, the cachet attached to the fact that Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt is a co-owner should do it.

Way more things to do in Oakland.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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