Albany - Sam's Log Cabin What came first, the free-range chicken or the organic egg?
Dr. Biggles who has yet to steer me wrong, recommended Sams. I liked it.
Almost everything here is organic, eggs, chicken, coffee, etc. There are homemade fish sticks (usually catfish) and you can even get fish sticks with eggs. The Swedish pancakes were looking good.
Theres the fresh fruit mango raspberry and yogurt parfait served in an old fashioned shake glass. It looks too good to be healthy.
The orange juice is so fresh it is squeezed to order. Theres a big bin of oranges cut in half and the server uses an old hand press for the juice.
What is excellent is that you can have it your way. While the menu is brief, theres lots of mix and match. Not interested in toast? Substitute a house made scone, muffin or coffee cake for a slight extra charge. Todays muffin was strawberry. It was a little sweet, but tasty and had a good texture.
Instead of the excellent looking home fries, you can substitute fruit salad or sliced tomatoes. The fruit salad was almost up there with Bettes. Today there was mango, papaya, strawberries, honeydew and bananas. All the cut fruit was ripe and good quality.
In addition to fish sticks with your eggs there is also Hobbs ham, Hobbs bacon or sausage. Sams uses sustainably-raised meat.
Some other breakfast / lunch items include:
Special cakes (not sure what this is)
French toast (looked a bit ordinary)
These items are served with real maple syrup or, for an extra charge, home-made, warm, mixed berry syrup.
Egg scramble of the day
Free-range chicken salad sandwich
Roasted Veggie sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwich (available with grilled onions / peppers)
A soup of the day
Sams has its fans and critics on Chowhound. I can see both sides. The fish sticks were good, but fried too long and black on the bottom. The tarter sauce with it is excellent and I read that sometimes there are Meyer lemons to squeeze on the fish sticks. The plain scrambled eggs were made the way I absolutely hate them, the folded type that were soft cooked. The special scrambled eggs were more in line with how I like my eggs.
It was early and the music was a little too loud and pounding. It was HOT in there and the smell of frying fish sticks and pork products filled the place, not in the best way.
However, there was more good than bad and I like the healthy options. I liked the strong organic coffee served in the type of mismatched mugs that are picked up on sale. Weather permitting, Ill probably sit on the brick patio that is shaded by redwoods and looks out into a little garden with herbs, vegetables and flowers. That should resolve the heat and music problem.
The building really is a log cabin and has been a café since the 1930s. The current owners took over in 1998. In a glass case at the front counter there are a few old Lincoln log sets as well as antique log cabin containers made of glass and tin.
Theres an ancient cash register that is still used. The link to Dr. Biggles site shows pictures of the restaurant, patio, interior and some of the food. What isnt seen in the shot of the interior is the ancient egg beaters strung from the ceiling. What you can see is the impressive hot sauce collection on one of the shelves.
Thanks Dr. Biggles for another fine tip. Those Swedish pancakes are calling my name. Have you tried them? What type of fruit is inside? The lady at the next table was going on about it, but I caught the conversation too late.
The SF Chronicle on Sams
The Bay Guardian on Sams (scroll down
Sam's Log Cabin
945 San Pablo Ave.
Albany, CA 94706 ( Map
7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tue.-Fri.
8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
oh ... hey, cool. Took me a moment to realize what happened, I didn't think you'd jump on it that fast.
Yeah, you're right about some like it and some don't. I read some of the responses and I can see what people are talking about. But given what I have in my 'range' for locales, I don't have a large choice and Sam's always does me right for their daily scramble, toast and water. Ooooo, ain't that garden nice? They use what they grow in what they cook for customers too. I like that. Not too long ago, one of the cooks fried my toast, best ever. MmMMmM, fried toast.
I popped in to Sam's today thinking about getting the corn cakes which I'd had and loved a year or so ago. Instead, I was lured away by the egg special of the day, which were scrambled with cheddar, ham, and green onions, with a generous serving of potatoes, piping hot toast, and a bit of pineapple and grapefruit. Classic and very tasty, as was the coffee. I actually loved the music today -- an interesting selection of world music, African and South Asian fusion. Very pleasant service too.
Finally went this morning for breakfast, after looking at it with curiosity almost every day for the past several months. We went at a little after 9 AM, and there was no line at that point. The food was very good - we had the special pancakes of the day, which were coconut-mango, and they were huge and fluffy, but still a little crispy around the edges. We also had the special scramble with cheddar and mushroom (and without the sausage, since I'm veg). The eggs were well-cooked and well-seasoned, and the potatoes were very good also - browned russets with with onions and red peppers, also well-seasoned. Portions were very generous. The coffee was strong and smooth, just as I like it. There were several things on the menu that we're planning on trying on future visits.
Also, we enjoyed the building itself. Very cool old building and very interesting old food-related items around. The smell of fried stuff is a bit heavy when you walk in, but you do stop noticing it after a few minutes. We'll be going back.