Monday, February 18, 2008

Hook Me Up: Gaylord's Caffe Espresso

Happy Presidents' Day to everyone. I'm chilling it near the hood on my day off, so I decided to check out the cafes near my home in North Oakland. The first place I went to was nice but small so all the tables were taken. So I walked a few yards down to Gaylord's Caffe Espresso, which always seem packed so that's why I thought I'd avoid it.

And when I got here, I was right. It was packed and didn't look like a table would be free by the time I ordered my tea. Luckily, one did so I sat myself down.

If you believe the window, Gaylord's has been serving up coffee since 1976, so it has that institutional feel. What I really like about it is all the funky artwork on the wall. It's this huge space with a bunch of round tables filling every spot. Like I said, it was packed when I got here around 2:30 p.m., but now it seems to have loosened up a bit and a few people have left. But there's a constant stream of people coming in and out so you have to grab a seat fast when you get here.

I'm really disappointed at the food choices here. They just have sandwiches and baked goods. The baked goods really look home-baked, but not necessarily in a good way. I also found that the people here are really not very organized about the line. Everyone's all laid back so some people are standing, waiting for their order but they also look like they're standing in line, and for some reason they look really disgusted when you ask if they're in line, like it's such an assumption on my part. Um, lady, move to the side if you're not in the line and then I wouldn't have to ask. Weird vibe so far among the customer base.

I just got a pot of Madagascar Vanilla tea and a lemon bar that was wrapped up in cellophane. The lemon bar looked weird and the tea steeped too long so it tastes really dark and virtually no hint of vanilla. Luckily I ate before I got here.

Gaylord's has a great wi-fi connection, very strong despite so many people hooked up to it. But you pay for it, $1 per hour, so I only have 30 minutes left and will have to sign off and just work on organizing my photos on my laptop. I like the neighborhood feel of Gaylord's with its mixed group of regulars, but I bet most people come for the atmosphere because it's definitely not the coffee or the food.

I'm really amazed at how Piedmont Avenue near my home has all these coffee places, but at the same time they all seem so packed. Where do everyone come from? Don't they know it's a holiday? Oh well, I'm down to 20 minutes so got to get going and POST. :) (UPDATE: OK, so maybe it's not $1 per hour of wi-fi. I waited past the hour to see what would happen and doesn't look like Gaylord's wi-fi system can figure out if you've gone beyond your 1 hour allotment, even though that's what it says on the receipt. So I'm just pushing it as far as I can go. You may still see me here later tonight. Ha!)

Gaylord's Caffee Espresso
Location: 4150 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
PH: 510.658.2877
Food: Baked goods, sandwiches
Coffee: Equal Exchange free-trade coffee
Tea: Unknown
Wi-Fi: Yes, $1/per hour (password on your receipt), but really, you can keep on wi-fiing it until you leave.
Outlets: Yes, alongside the walls.
Restrooms: Yes
Seating: About 20 small, round tables and two Pac Man game tables.
Cleanliness: Average

1 comment:

agent713 said...

LOL Livin' on the edge by stealing WiFi.

I like the artwork. It's the first thing I noticed in the pictures.