The last time Roger H and I had been out to Treasure Island was March 2018 and there have been some big changes. With redevelopment plans gaining steam, wholesale demolition of older housing and buildings has turned TI temporarily into, well, an unpleasant construction zone. Views of the East Bay, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate remain fantastic but let’s say that the ambience is a little bit ‘unaesthetic’. Nonetheless we had a pleasant visit despite the demo work partly because we were there on a Sunday and mostly because the weather was near perfect: cool temp, very light breeze, and full sun. At some point TI is planned for about 24,000 residents compared to the current level of less than 2,000 and that’s going to make it both less and more hospitable—less because there is going to be hella traffic and more because the infrastructure to support all those residents is going to be in place. A Slanted Door on TI? Maybe. But for now it’s still very sleepy.
The demolition meant that Google Maps was no longer accurate, as a bunch of streets were blocked off to all traffic. After some confusion wandering about trying to follow the route I had designed, we took Will up on this suggestion to go to Mersea for a break. Mersea is a restaurant/cafe made out of repurposed shipping containers. The other choice on the Island currently is the Aracely Café, which was too busy for our taste (plus loud rock music on a Sunday morning? Seriously?!). Aracely is tucked away in what looks to be the front of a school building; Mersea is near the Bay facing SF and has a glorious view. This day we took in everything from the top of Twin Peaks to the enormous cruise ship at the Embarcadero. Mersea has $9 all-you-can-drink kombucha, which Will imbibed, whereas Roger, Leonard and I drank more mundance espressos. Their homemade croissants are very tasty. After languishing there for ages enjoying the sun we saddled up and headed back to the East Bay. The portion of the Alex Zuckerman path into the Port of Oakland has finally been completed and it’s buttery smooth. Being Sunday the Port was a ghost town and looked very apocalyptic-Post Industrial except for some massive new construction. Eventually we meandered over to Alameda for lunch at Speisekammer.
It was crowded. Wow. They’re always jammed at Oktoberfest but it was a surprise that they were doing very good business on a regular Sunday morning. In the past we’ve always been able to sit outside within view of the bikes. But Alameda has been ‘discovered’ and German food is now on trend rather than being the subject of sneering. So we forewent waiting for a table al fresco for immediate seating inside.
Since Roger and I don’t drink, Will and Leonard had to do double-duty for hoisting the adult beverages. God, that was a delicious lunch! As I get older my ability to inhale immense quantities of food has really diminished. Normally I would partake of the wienerschnitzel platter. But two large slices of pan-fried, breaded pork plus the potatoes and salad was going to be a bridge too far and I wisely got the wienerschnitzel sandwich with only one slice. Roger had the vegetable strudel and said it was delicious; Will had the jägerschnitzel and red cabbage, Leonard the pork roast. Everyone was pleased.
The nice thing about this ride is Speisekammer is only a few miles from the end. So you can scarf ’til the cows come home without fear you’ll barf afterwards. Since I can’t eat as much as I used to, that just means we’ll have to come back here again and again to enjoy their heavenly food.