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Brunch in Berkeley/Piedmont area

j
Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 04:41 PM

We're going to meet some friends that we haven't seen in awhile for Sunday brunch in a couple of weeks. They live in Piedmont so we're looking to eat in Piedmont or Berkeley. However I'm not so sure about their choice of restaurants judging from past experience. I'd like a restaurant that has really good brunch food, maybe bloody marys and would be a comfortable place to get together and talk. They suggested the Claremont which I went to years ago. I just don't care much for large buffets. I eat too much and the food isn't usually that great. Would love suggestions.

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  1. r
    Rapini RE: Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 04:47 PM

    Best brunch: Camino (on Grand Avenue).

    It's convenient for your Piedmont friends. There is a bar for an eye-opener, but Camino's approach--at all meals--is to put a few specific cocktails on the menu, rather than leave the bar open for all requests.

    If you can live with that, the food is out of this world, and the place is much quieter at brunch, so that you can talk...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rapini
      lexdevil RE: Rapini Feb 6, 2010 06:20 PM

      Totally concur on the Camino brunch. Convenient and awesome. Only issues to be aware of are 1)long communal tables (though no forced conviviality), and 2)fabulous menu that does NOT include your brunch standards. Here's a sample: http://www.caminorestaurant.com/brunc... I think it's much better than the standard fare, but those who want a house of large sizes buffet will be disappointed.

    2. k
      kmah RE: Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 05:54 PM

      I haven't been so I don't know about the food, but for convenience, I've heard that Citron on College (Rockridge, pretty close to Piedmont) takes brunch reservations. Nice looking menu, quiet-looking atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kmah
        bbulkow RE: kmah Feb 6, 2010 07:53 PM

        I've eaten dinner there twice and found it less than acceptable. Wilted veggies, tasteless meat. It made the 'never again' list a decade ago - I still don't understand why they're open.

        Cesar Piedmont has brunch - "the best kept secret in the bay area' - and a full bar. Might be worth a try.

      2. m
        ML8000 RE: Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 06:08 PM

        Across the street from the Claremont is Rick and Ann's. The food is good to very good but nothing special or mind blowing but it's a comfortable place and it fits in with the 'hood in a casual way. It gets crowded and the lines long however. Of course they probably know of it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ML8000
          r
          Rapini RE: ML8000 Feb 6, 2010 07:53 PM

          Unreasonably long wait, leading to, at best, neglectful service by vapid servers...

          The food at my last visit (some years ago) was good, but not nearly good enough to overcome the rest of the experience...

          Can't recommend it, don't know why anybody puts up with it...

        2. wolfe RE: Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 06:25 PM

          Does Pican still have brunch? Fried chicken, hollandaise and beignets, mmmm, mmmm do cardiologists take Sunday calls?
          http://www.picanrestaurant.com/Docume...

          1. a
            abstractpoet RE: Javagirl Feb 6, 2010 07:15 PM

            T-Rex does a pretty good brunch. Sunny Side Cafe (on Solano Ave.) is probably our favorite brunch spot -- Fonda next door is also good. if you don't feel like going all the way up to Albany, you can try the new downtown Berkeley location of Sunny Side on Oxford St. (near campus).

            Camino is another great option, as others have noted.

            1. j
              Janet RE: Javagirl Feb 7, 2010 11:36 AM

              We like the Terrace Room at the Lake Merrit Hotel. Great View, very good food, very good service. I think there is a thread from July 09.
              http://www.theterraceroom.com/

              1. m
                milklady RE: Javagirl Feb 7, 2010 03:06 PM

                I would go to Sea Salt, Camino or Cesar.

                1. j
                  Javagirl RE: Javagirl Feb 7, 2010 05:21 PM

                  Thanks everyone. It looks like Camino is well-liked by many. In addition to Camino, I thought that the menus at Sea Salt, Cesar and Pican looked good to me. Now I have to pass the info on the my husband and my friends. A question about Camino. Are there only communal tables?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Javagirl
                    r
                    Rapini RE: Javagirl Feb 7, 2010 06:35 PM

                    If I remember correctly, they're not all communal...in any event, when I went for brunch, it wasn't so crowded that you were elbow-to-elbow with other diners...

                  2. j
                    Javagirl RE: Javagirl Feb 8, 2010 12:41 AM

                    Thanks Rapini for the info on Camino. It turns out our friends love Cesar which is also close to their house, so that's where we'll meet. I'll keep the rest of the suggestions for future Berkeley/Oakland visits.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Javagirl
                      a
                      abstractpoet RE: Javagirl Feb 8, 2010 12:46 AM

                      Note that Cesar (on Piedmont) will be switching to a Pan-Latin menu starting 2/12. Don't know how that will affect their brunch menu. The branch in Berkeley will still be serving Spanish-style tapas.

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