Brunch at Cock-a-Doodle Cafe, Oakland
I had a (mostly) very good brunch today at Cock-a-Doodle Cafe in Old Oakland. It was bustling, as would be expected on a Sunday, but the wait wasn't long for our party of two, and they did not try to move us along when we were finishing up, but let us take our time.
The ginger pumpkin pancakes on the specials board were lovely, fluffy, though not thick, with subtle but present pumpkin flavor and a nice dose of ginger. My dining companion inquired, and was surprised to learn that they use only 2 tablespoons of dry ginger per 8-quart batch of batter, but these didn't have lots of other spices or molasses to obscure the ginger and pumpkin. I was surprised and pleased to find that they were served with real maple syrup, only because the menu didn't mention it (and they usually do).
The shrimp omelet was a thin layer of egg wrapped around a generous filling on sauteed shrimp with garlic and tomatoes and a small amount of cheese. Only later did I remember that there was supposed to be avocado and it was missing. The "skillet potatoes" were cooked well-done, dark and nicely crispy on the outside. Dishes that come with toast have the option of a biscuit for $1 extra, but please don't bother. The biscuit was wretched, the worst I've ever been served, a dense, leaden hockey puck not worth eating. It had cooled by the time we got to it, but I could tell when I was cutting into it while it was still warm that its texture wasn't good.
We didn't get a cocktail, but the list looked good, and there were several on the specials board. The menu has a section of "mimosas" with a choice of several juices/flavors, including peach puree and creme de cassis. I suppose they thought that simpler than naming the drinks that have names, and creating names for the others.
The back patio might be the best bet if it is warm enough, because the main room has two-story ceilings and no sound damping, and is extremely loud when the place is busy.
719 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607