If you want a hearty, healthy, delicious and reasonable lunch try the chicken salad sandwich with soup of the day. The sandwich is made with home made whole grain bread with a generous portion of chicken salad. Not only is the food great, so is the service. Try it, you' ll like it and you won't be sorry. Credit cards not accepted so have cash on hand.
All I wanted was something warm to drink...
Let me start from the beginning.
I'm a college student who works part-time at an office in the 150 building of Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Part-time = no key to the office = I have to wait for my boss to get there. Last Friday I forgot that my boss would be out until 10:30 am, and my silly self rushed to get there early. When I finally realized my error, I decided to take it as an opportunity to try out The Rising Loafer Cafe and Bakery. I've been working in Downtown Oakland for the past year and had always wanted to try it, but never got around to it.
There was only one lady in front of me in line, and the owner, Maria, finished helping her way before I was done looking over the menu. She asked me if I needed more time, I nodded, and she smiled and told it was no problem. After a few minutes I finally decided on a hot chocolate to legitimize me sitting down for a bit and waiting in the warmth of the cafe, and a half a sandwich to go because I had forgotten to pack myself a lunch.
She rang me up and it was around $5-something. I pull out my credit card and -
Maria: "We don't take credit cards; we only take debit cards."
Me: "Oh, that's fine." I open my wallet, tuck my much-abused credit card back into a slot, pull out my debit card, and -
Maria: "The minimum charge is also $10."
Me: "Oh... alright then. That's still okay." I upgraded to a full turkey and avocado sandwich and grabbed a vitamin water from the fridge. Even though I'm an English major because I hate math (and I love to read/write... kinda =P), I was able to tally up the total in my head: $2-hot chocolate, $2-vitamin water, and $6.95-full sandwich = $10.95 + tax = ? (What? I wasn't sure what the tax rate was!) In any event, I had met the $10 minimum. I handed over my debit card and -
Maria: "I was just talking to the other lady about this." She takes my (Bank of America) debit card and waves it at me. "We are giving the banks the power to keep the economy the way it is right now." She shakes her head, swipes my card, punches in my total ($11.91), and hands it back to me with my copy of the receipt and a receipt for me to sign.
Me: "_____." + this face: o_O. I sheepishly sign the merchant's copy of the receipt and hand it back to her.
Maria: "I'll get your hot chocolate first. Please have a seat." She goes to prepare the hot chocolate.
Me: "Thank you." Before I take a seat at one of the empty tables (they're all empty), I grab some pamphlets near the register... pamphlets on credit unions.
I take a seat, put down my stuff, and begin to browse. A few minutes later she comes over with my hot chocolate and some napkins. It was the perfect temperature, not too sweet, and it had a good amount of foam on top. As I always say, there is nothing like a good hot chocolate after a serving of chastisement! (Emotional eater right here!) ;)
Maria packed my sandwich to go and brought it over to me as well. But before I could finish my hot chocolate my boss sent me a text to let me know that he was at the office. I hurriedly finished it, grabbed my sandwich, and clutching the credit union pamphlets in my hand, headed out the door.
~*~ My star-rating breakdown:
+ 1 - This is not a chain restaurant; it is a local business.
+ 1 - The hot chocolate hit the spot on a very cold, rainy day
+ 1 - When I finally had lunch at 2 PM, the sandwich was not soggy in the slightest; there were also thick slices of turkey breast, cheese, and tomatoes.
+ 1 - This is definitely the biggest one for me: Maria is not afraid to tell it like it is. We are giving the banks the power to run things the way they see fit, by giving them our money and not holding them accountable. Maria is a prime example of the kind of person that Margaret Mead was talking about when she said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Thank you, Maria, for speaking out and giving me the wake-up call that I needed!
Why did I withhold that final star? Well, I haven't tried the scones/muffins, the crepes, the other sandwiches, the soups, the salads, etc.
I will definitely be back though.
$11.91 for a soothing hot chocolate, a filling sandwich, vitamin water, and a gentle kick in the pants? SO worth it.