#21 Sometimes It’s Better To Enjoy Things Upside Down

Apple Walnut Pie that is!

If you have never tried it, you are in for a treat! This is Debbie Shahvar’s signature desert, a cross between Apple pie and Tarte Tatin, featured at both Buttercup Grill in Oakland’s Jack London Square and at Buttercup Grill and Bar in Oakland just over the Park Street Bridge, adjacent to the freeway, on Cotton Street. And it is incredible!

I decided to feature this one on Christmas Eve, as so often during the holidays we are rushing to and fro, preparing large, lavish meals at home, or bringing dishes to friends and relatives, it is so easy sometimes to just pop in and pick up a pie to go. While their Upside Down Apple Walnut Pie is my favorite, they have so many to choose from.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and enjoys the time with friends and family!

Buttercup Grill is located at 229 Broadway in Oakland (510) 444-2976
Buttercup Grill and Bar is located at 1000 Cotton Street in Oakland (510) 535-1640

My recommendation is to call ahead to make sure they have the pie available.


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#20 An Independent Bookstore For All Ages


Books Inc is where serious readers go to shop!

What a great store!

I can’t say enough about Books Inc. The independent bookseller, located at 1344 Park St., takes the cake as my favorite bookstore in the East Bay. It’s open and airy, and a great place just to browse the best in new books and periodicals.  It has a  great section just for kids with choices for all levels of reading. Whether you want fiction, history, travel books, cookbooks, memoir or something juicy to read on the airplane, Books Inc. has the right stuff. Who says nobody reads anymore?


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#19 A Room With A View

Beautiful Marina On One Side San Francisco On The Other

One of my favorite spots in Alameda to linger over a meal is Pier 29. With wonderful marina views on one side and mind-blowing San Francisco skyline views on the other, no other restaurant in Alameda (nor most of the East Bay for that matter) has a better view of the Bay and San Francisco.

A wonderful escape for my husband and I is to order a bucket of steamed clams and a bottle of our favorite Chardonnay. What a wonderful way to enjoy a kid-free evening out! Throw in an incredible sunset and it just doesn’t get better!

Pier 29 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sun-Thur: 9 A.M. – 10 P.M. Fri & Sat: 9 A.M. – 11 P.M.

1148 Ballena Blvd, Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 865-5088


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#18 R & B Cellars Holiday Shopping Deal

Are you worried about Christmas shopping? I’m not, even though Christmas is only 5 days away, and I have yet to shop for several family members and friends, I have a plan. I am going to give a gift that just about everybody loves, and that is Wine.

I know, sending wine is a pain! First you have to find the right shipping containers; then you have to stand in line at the post office and pay the price of shipping. Guess what! You don’t have to worry about that. R&B Cellars will take care of all of that for you.

R&B Cellars is a local Alameda Winery that makes great wine, they are located at 2301 Monarch Street in Alameda (formerly Alameda Navel Air Station). Right now you can purchase wine at a 20% discount; you can get a great bottle of Zinfandel (Beverage Tasting Insititue: Gold Medal, 91 points) for only $9.60 (reg.$12) or a bottle of Award Winning CA State Fair Gold Medal Sauvignon Blanc for only $10.40 (reg.$13). That’s only $20.00 for the two, but here is the best part! FREE SHIPPING. R&B has many great wines to choose from, so stop by their tasting room, or call and they can take your order over the Phone, 510-749-8477


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#17 Culinary Night at Alameda’s Winter Island Celebration

I love great food! I love to make it I love to read about it and more importantly I love to eat it! So when I heard about local chefs sharing there culinary skills, I had to let everyone know.

This event will feature local chefs as they demonstrate their culinary skills to create a special holiday meal. Chefs will prepare and share different holiday items, featuring Chef Rudy Duran of C’era Una Volta, Chef John Thiel of Pappo’s and more. Audience members will leave with a sample and a recipe of each item made.
Patrick’s Famous Pies and Live For More Fudge will be selling and sampling tasty and unique holiday gifts.

Cost: $5 at the door.

Bring in a receipt from any retail store or restaurant in Alameda and enter this event for FREE. Receipt must be dated the same day as the event. One receipt is valid for two people to enter event for free. Space is limited and is first come first served.

When: Monday, December 20th – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: The holiday tent at the corner of Webster Street and Pacific Avenue


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A Dim Sum Feast Served At East Ocean Seafood Restaurant

If you haven’t tried it, you’ve really been missing a terrific culinary treat. Dim Sum has its roots in travellers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest and is truly a culinary and cultural adventure. If you are game, Sunday is a perfect day to begin the adventure as the weekend is often the traditional family day. This also means that the variety of choices is at its best with dozens or “appetizer” sized bites to choose from.

East Ocean Seafood Restaurant provides one of the best experiences anywhere in the East Bay, reminiscent of traditional Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong, with a massive dining room filled with many family style tables seating up to 10 or more. This sets the stage for an “energy” that is hard to find elsewhere in the culinary world. Carts roam the room offering diners tempting choices and all you have to do is point to those that you wish to try.

East Ocean Seafood Restaurant is located at 1713 Webster Street, Alameda


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#15a Tonight – Tap Dancing Christmas Trees Beat Back The Grinch


Tonight – Come out and show both your community and holiday spirit as Alameda’s own Tap Dancing Christmas Trees perform up and down Christmas Tree Lane to raise money to replace decorations recently stolen from several of the homes.

Santa and his elves will also be out to greet those coming out in support.

5 pm tonight on Thompson Avenue.

What began last weekend when the Grinch came to Christmas Tree Lane here in Alameda and made off with dozens of decorations, became an international media sensation with major media and social bloggers from as far away as Russia retweeting, when our locally based Tap Dancing Christmas Trees announced they would perform to raise money for those affected.

link to news article

Tap Dancing Christmas Trees

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