Planet Coffee


Update October 2013

This site is now Four Seasons Cafe and Deli

Update December 2010.
Planet Coffee has been sold twice since our 2004 update, the last time a couple of months ago. I haven’t checked it out since but I’ll try to stop by sometime.
Update December 2004. We went back to Planet Coffee for Vietnamese Sandwiches a few weeks ago and this time we were not impressed by their Vietnamese Sandwiches. There was so little meat vis a vis the bread and veggies. The bread was also over-toasted. In all, I don’t think we’ll try it again.

Planet Coffee is a cafe in downtown San Leandro. Though we’ve lived in the city for 4 1/2 years, today was the first time we went in.
As a college student I *loved* cafes and used to hang out in them all the time. Mike, however, dislikes them so we’ve pretty much avoided them after we got married. It doesn’t help that most cafes around here close early – Planet Coffee is closed by 5 PM so it’s not as if we could go there and hang out in the evenings.
I became interested in trying it, however, when I saw and ad in the local paper that mentioned that it was under new management and that it was now serving Vietnamese sandwiches for lunch. I had heard that Vietnamese sandwiches were delicious and cheap, and I certainly wanted to try them.
The opportunity finally came today when Mike was over for lunch and there were no leftovers to share. We decided to stop by Planet Coffee after picking Mika up from school and we had a very nice lunch.
The cafe is actually larger than I’d imagined given its narrow facade. It’s nicely appointed, with a mural of a European open-air cafe by a lake and nice, bright paintings of Vietnamese scenes. At 1-1:30 PM there was nobody there but us and a couple of people who came to get pick-up. In other words, we could eat lunch without Mika bothering anyone.
As you would expect, Planet Coffee has a typical cafe menu with a wide variety of coffees (they also sell coffee beans by the pound) as well as hot and cold drinks (smoothies, frappes and fresh juices). They serve breakfast (mostly eggs & bread concoctions) and a wide variety of salads and sandwiches for lunch. In addition to the Vietnamese sandwiches they have traditional American sandwiches (all around $5).
But we were there for the Vietnamese sandwiches and that’s what we got. They have six different ones with different combinations of ham, head cheese, pork salame, grilled pork, grilled chicken and BBQ pork. They cost $2.75 for a small and $4.95 for a large, which includes a small side of potato salad. The sandwiches come with pate, pickled carrot & daikon, pepper, cucumber and cilantro. Mike decided on the large grilled pork and I had the small grilled chicken. They were both very good. We liked the contrast of textures and tastes between the meats and the crunchy veggies and the tastes all came together very nicely. We both liked the sweet grilled pork better than the chicken, and we both felt that the sandwiches needed morer meat. They were too bready as they were. Still, we very much enjoyed them. We felt that the small sandwich was a better value than the large sandwich, as there wasn’t such a big difference in size between them.
In all, we’ll likely go back to Planet Coffee for more Vietnamese sandwiches.
Planet Coffee
1423 East 14th St.
San Leandro, CA
M-F 6am-5pm, Sa 6am-4pm


2 Comments on “Planet Coffee”

  1. Rachel Seligman says:

    New update, as of June 2007. I go to Planet Coffee all the time for the terrific field roast sandwich. The coffee is great, the people are nice, and overall it’s a great place to go read, meet with people, or do work (free Wifi!). I highly recommend it.

  2. Cindy says:

    Copy of letter regarding San Leandro local cafes
    First let me say this place has the best coffee in San Leandro, especially the organic French Roast. It is incomparable except now maybe the Molokai at Maui Wowi but that’s a franchise.
    As I said to the owner of Zocalo, nearby, I support your business as it brings some character to San Leandro. I started visiting Zocalo a couple of years ago when a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus said he likes Zocalo. He lives nearby and I worked with him in Rigoletto in October of 2004. He likes the child play area and family environment. The family environment used to be one of San Leandro’s strengths in general when I was growing up here in the 70s in the Manor neighborhood.
    Anyway I was studying for the US Foreign Service exam and spent a lot of time in local cafes a couple of years ago. I did pass that written part, one of 2,000 out of 18,000 in the country.
    But what chased me out of at least three local cafes I really had enjoyed was one particular individual. This man is one of several older men who sit in the local cafes for hours and this one–you must know him–plays chess. He works at Guittard Chocolate and he offered me some one day when I was at Planet Coffee. Never take candy from strangers.
    Eventually one day at Sorriso he informed me “you have three holes”. Soon after that he saw me at Planet Coffee and he reminded me as if I didn’t get it the first time “you have three holes”.
    He treated me with hostility when I refused to acknowledge him whatsoever at Zocalos and started ridiculing me with a strange man he was sitting with. I was literally being chased out of each cafe I went to. I started going to Sabino’s where the old men are not so explicit.
    I never bothered mentioning this to Sorriso’s, Planet Coffee or Zocalo’s at the time but I did refer to it in a recently published letter to the editor of the San Leandro Times. I support independent business in my hometown but I find displacement of the natives to be a serious issue in the quality of life.
    I also had another sexual harassment situation at Planet Coffee with another regular. Or irregular. An older couple Betty and Willie say they sell vitamins and are interested in vegetarianism and health. Yet one day when Betty wasn’t there her husband seemed to proposition me. He told me to my shock that he is making a film about alternative sexual practices. Swinging, wife swapping. He just had a guest from Costa Rica come to talk to him on the subject he said. Then he says, they like the wholesome girl nextdoor type like me. This is absolutely disgusting because they knew very well I have no such interest or inclinations. Moreover they are so unattractive–Willie is a runt, an old Jewish guy with brown crooked teeth. And of course they come from Oakland and formerly from the East Coast. Again, dirty outsiders displacing the locals and trying to prey on them. Somebody needs to tell them to keep their willie to themselves. I will not be around until they leave.
    I generally treat everyone with at least common courtesy so I find it so hurtful and demoralizing when somebody takes that kindness and decency as weakness. I don’t recall ever having these problems at UC Berkeley.
    I suggest our city councilmembers instruct their constituents to behave. We have a big enough problem with violent crimes without these nuisances.
    Cindy Warner
    cc: Planet Coffee
    Cafe Sorriso

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