Monday, April 7, 2008

Breakfast & Lunch at Café Leila in Berkeley

An early morning appointment in North Berkeley on San Pablo Avenue had J and me at Café Leila (1724 San Pablo Ave.) at 8 a.m. for breakfast.

Although I have since learned that Rachel Ray has paid Café Leila a visit, I never would have discovered Café Leila had I not had business across the street in early March and stopped for lunch here that day. I was delighted with this charming café and tea lounge and promised myself that the next time I was in the neighborhood, I'd return.

Not only did we have breakfast today, we came back at mid day for lunch.

Breakfast choices include Oatmeal or Buttermilk Pancakes, Omelets, Oatmeal, and a variety of baked goods. So far, the Crumb Coffee Cake, made fresh every day, is my favorite...but now I have to return for a scone. I must say that the blueberry coffee cake, which was being cut right out of the pan this morning, certainly looked like it was worth a taste.

Returning for lunch, J had the day's special soup, Carrot Ginger and the California Wrap (chicken, avocado, cucumbers, jalapenos, tomatoes and more, all wrapped in lavash bread). I cannot pass up a Tuna Melt, and so, that was my choice. When I placed my order and pay at the cash register and your food is brought to your table...the cashier suggested that I have my Melt on a roll...good choice! I had hot tea, and, again, I had a choice from canisters of loose tea that line one part of the wall.

Just about all of Café Leila's baked goods are made in house. Whereever possible, fair trade and organic ingredients are used in food preparations. Prices are moderate and servings are generous. For example, most omelets, which are served with fresh fruit, home fries, and toast, are priced at about $8. Sandwiches and Salads are between $6 and $8. My slice of Crumb Cake cost $3.

In the early morning, we sat for awhile at a sidewalk table on the front sidewalk.

At noon, it was warm enough at noon to sit outside on the back garden patio...a beautiful Berkeley day. There is also plenty of indoor seating in two dining areas.

Fortunately, for my waistline, I had to leave Berkeley after lunch. Otherwise, I'd be back at Café Leila for an early dinner...They serve dinner until 8 p.m.

Street parking in this part of Berkeley is usually available and Café Leila has its own parking lot right next door.

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