Update: This restaurant is closed
Sunday before Valentine’s Day a few girlfriends and I got together at this latest reincarnation of Viva Portofino for a “Galentine’s” day brunch (apparently still owned by Francisco). I had heard from others than Viva Portofino (the name it finally settled on) had improved so I wanted to give it a try. The verdict is mixed, at least for breakfast, while none of the dishes stood out, none of them were particularly bad either. Overall it’s an improvement over other local breakfast joints, but only because the competition on that front is so poor. I wouldn’t be raising there for breakfast again.
There were six of us and two (including me) had the strawberry crepes (~$6.50). The thin crepes were “stuffed” with a very thin layer of sweet cream cheese and were topped with sliced fresh strawberries and cream. It was good but nothing too exciting. I probably would have preferred a little bit more cream cheese.
Cynthia had the eggs benedict ($8) and while she enjoyed the flavor, she was unhappy that they were served lukewarm. I can understand their difficulties getting 6 dishes out at the same time, but other restaurants manage to send warm food to the tables and Viva Portofino should as well. Katrina was also disappointed with her vegetarian crepe. She felt it was the sort of thing that she could have tossed together very quickly, and the vegetables weren’t tasty enough to make up for the simplicity of the dish. She wouldn’t order it again. Both Parker and Eloise had omelets, and they were much happier with their choices. They thought they were tasty and well made.
One other “minus” for Viva Portofino is that they don’t have much on the way of coffee drinks to go with breakfast (they do have plain tea & coffee and lackluster mimosas, $6). This is not necessarily a problem if you remember to stop by Zocalo on the way, as Katrina wisely did, and getting your caffeine of choice.
On the plus side, service was good and professional and prices weren’t unreasonable – we ended up paying $14 each after tax & tip. Still, I’m left hoping someone else will open a better place for brunch.
599 Dutton Ave.
San Leandro, CA
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