On Sunday afternoon Alan flew up to Seattle for work while I stayed behind to take care of some last minute things for the move. Before he left though we decided to go out to brunch at a place that is spitting distance from our condo.
We’ve been to Boot & Shoe a handful of times over the years for dinner, and I’ve gotten a cappuccino to go more times than I can count but in 2.5 years we’ve never done brunch there and I have absolutely no idea why since we do breakfast or brunch probably once a month.
We started with iced coffee & cappucino while we waited for them to begin service. We ordered the most amazing, thick, rich wood-fired grilled toast with butter (bread made in-house at Pizzaiolo – one of the chef’s other restaurants in our old neighborhood) as a sort of appetizer and Alan got a potato, chanterelle, and roasted squash hash. I’ve been on a major heirloom tomato kick this week since I’m not sure what tomatoes are like in Ireland and the locally grown ones here should be coming in to their peak ripeness – our old garden had the best, most succulent brandywine, purple cherokee, and green zebras in September and October. When I saw the heirloom tomato BLT I knew immediately what I wanted.
I can’t speak for Alan’s meal but I *loved* that sandwich. I could probably eat it every day of the week and not get tired of it. I really appreciated that not only did they use a tomato practically the size of my face, but they cut it super thick like a hamburger as well. I hate it when you get a BLT and it’s just a thin, limp slice of tomato.
Oh, and I also drank a perfectly spicy Bloody Mary that was served up with two green olives, shaved carrot, pickled green bean, and a piece of okra. I’m not a fan of okra outside of gumbo so I put that to the side. I thought the olives were a nice touch. The only thing that could have made it better was a piece of perfectly cooked bacon – my favorite Bloody Mary garnish.
We won’t be able to get brunch there again until we come back to visit, but if you’re in Oakland and you love good, hearty cuisine made with ingredients that are at their peak freshness, I strongly recommend you give Boot & Shoe a try.
(Having lived in Oakland for over a decade I should probably put together my own Guide to Oakland at some point. Chef Hallowell’s entire portfolio would be included in the “Where to Eat” section.)