San Leandro Reviews
Note: This restaurant has closed. Marita's Soul Food has opened in its place
Update 5/06: I went to the Cornerstone Cafe for lunch with my friend Aamani a few weeks ago (May 2006). I can't recall what Aamani had - some sort of chicken sandwich, which she liked - but I had their burger. It was dry, bland and just not very tasty. A total failure as far as burgers go. The accompanying fries were fine, though not particularly noteworthy. Given the lack of places in the area to have lunch - in particular in that part of town - I'll probably be eating there again, but I'm not really looking forward to it.
Jan. 2002 update: We tried the Cornerstone Cafe for lunch on Friday. Their menu featured salads, sandwiches and pastas, as well as a couple of soups and specials (most dishes were around $8). The fare is mostly Californian cuisine. I had the penne bolognese and thought it was very good. I don't usually like penne, but this was was well made, not too hard, not too soft, and was well complemented by the thick sauce. The dish looked and tasted home-made and I thought it was pretty good. The accompanying french bread, however, felt old. Being that it was only noon or so, they should have offered fresher bread.
My friend loved the clam chowder she ordered, it came with large pieces of clam. She also liked the grilled eggplant sandwich though felt the eggplant was a little bit bitter. Service was very good and we had a very pleasant dining experience. We'd go back there for lunch.
Mike loves to go to brunch on weekends but unfortunately San Leandro has a definite lack of good brunch places. Most of the ones around serve traditional breakfast food (eggs, pancakes, sausages) which are heavy in artificial ingredients (corn syrup and non-freshly squeezed OJ are among my biggest complaints). Still, that's the type of food Mike likes so he drags me to these places frequently.
A couple of weeks ago (12/01) I was able to convince him to try the hipper Cornerstone Caf? and finally we had a good brunch in San Leandro. I ordered (I think) the cinnamon raisin french toast with raspberry topping. The portion was not very large, but it was yummy. I'd certainly order it again. I accompanied it with a hot chocolate, which was OK but not great. Mike had the chorizo scramble and he thought it was very good and would also order it again. He accompanied that with a glass of cold low-fat milk, something that is also difficult to get at San Leandro restaurants. The Cornerstone Caf? also serves real maple syrup and fresh squeezed OJ, something I'm sure to try in a future visit.
While we both liked the food, I think we found the atmosphere a bit lacking. As its name suggests, the Cornerstone Caf? is primarily a caf? and that's how it looks and feels. That can be great as a place to stop for a cup of coffee or a conversation, but it's not too conductive to leisure weekend mornings of newspaper reading and halted conversation. The tables are too small to accommodate anything but the food and the atmosphere too rushed. Still, we'll be going back.
The Cornerstone Cafe also serves lunch and, I think, dinner, but we haven't tried these yet.
600 Dutton Avenue