Re:California, Here We Come!
Thu, 08/8/13 8:12 AM
Sunday April 21st, 2013 (cont.) The drive to Albany and our next breakfast destination was short and we found ample parking around the corner. This sign on the street let us know we were only 22 happy steps away from Jodie's Restaurant. We knew from the review that this place was small, but we didn't expect it to be this small. I am trying to think of what other Roadfood restaurants have tiny interior seating areas and came up with The Dory, Haven Brothers and the previous Kitchen Little and all of those feel like the Taj Mahal compared to Jodie's. There are six stool seats at the counter, but those seats are tightly packed together and if you have large men like Johnny and I, there is no way six people can sit comfortably. I sat in the stool closest to the opening to the kitchen and there was constant traffic behind me trying to squeeze by. This may sound like a real inconvenience, but the friendly vibe of the place made it tolerable and even made it feel more like an adventure! They do have a regular menu at Jodie's but I was told that absolutely nobody orders from it. We didn't even bother to open it. Above and behind the customers on the other side, the wall is filled with dozens of different dishes to choose from. If that isn't enough, the wall space next to the grill is filled with more available selections. The obvious question is how can a kitchen this small make so many dishes? And they also obviously ran out of names to call the different items. Quite a few are named after regular customers, but you can also order Why?, I Don't Know or the ever popular, I'm Not Ready Yet! It would be impossible to sit there and read every single one, besides, there is most likely going to be someone waiting for your seat. Once I found the name of something especially intriguing, I went with that, which is how I ended up with Nothing, With Something. Since there is no list of ingredients on the card, I asked what I should expect. They said it was something different everyday and was basically up to the whim of the cook, although there was the option of meat or vegetarian. So, here is Something, With Nothing, which on this day featured egg, squash, zucchini, onion, red peppers, mushrooms and beef brisket! An unusual combination of flavors for sure, but it worked. Johnny went with the Joel's Omelet, which contained grilled onions, mushrooms, cheese, three eggs, plus Jodie's special sauce. I asked Johnny about the sauce, but he said it was hard to tell since the eggs absorbed most of the sauce. Some really nice, dark, crispy hashbrowns came on the side. We both got thin, grilled English muffins, which we ate with some of the different preserves and jams laid out on the counter. Even though the food here was very good, what we loved most about the place was the atmosphere. The other three guys sitting opposite of us were most certainly regulars, but they were more than happy to include us into the running conversation. When we weren't chatting, I was able to keep an eye on the grill, just a short distance away. The young lady manning the grill worked it like a seasoned pro and one of the regulars told us we were lucky we were there on a day she was cooking, since she was the best one Jodie had. Jodie himself was hanging around behind the scenes, chatting with everyone, while downing his own breakfast. He stood behind us or just outside the entire time we were there. He is originally from Arkansas, where he learned to cook and has plenty of great stories. As we were leaving, I asked if I could take his photo and he was nice enough to oblige. Whoops, wasn't quite ready yet! Okay, this one is better. Great guy! BTW, Jodie's is planning on moving to bigger accommodations and we wish him much success with the project. But, we were very glad to got to experience this place exactly as it is now. Jodie's Restaurant 902 Masonic Avenue Albany, CA 510-526-1109 Now that we have two breakfasts out of the way, it was time for some ice cream. Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 08/8/13 9:14 AM>