Lunch at B in Oaktown

Matt’s first day of school at Berkeley City College is tomorrow, so we thought we’d head over to Oakland and have a nice lunch as a sort of pre-celebration.  He’s nervous, and there’s nothing like a good meal to help make it better.  We parked in Old Oakland and perused the pickings.  Having never eaten at B, 499 9th Street, we figured we’d give it a go.  It’s in a wonderful space — an old retail store with huge windows and a tile mosaic floor.  Bistro-ish things typical of what is served in this kind of place in the Bay Area make up the lunch menu:  herbed fries, organic greens, the ubiquitous all-natural burger.  They use Acme bread, which is always a plus.  We both ordered the smoked New York steak sandwich, which, according to the menu, was served “open face.”  What arrived, however, was akin to the old joke about looking for the lamb chops under the mint jelly:  these were not sandwiches and there was precious little steak involved.  What we were served would properly be called smoked New York steak crostini.  There were two slim slices of toasted bread topped with a couple of slices of steak, blue cheese and a fruit puree of some kind.  The crostini were served with a mound of fries and a bit of microgreenery.  When our plates arrived, Matthew proclaimed them “lame-ass.”  I believe he was talking price ($11 on the menu, but we were charged $9) and overall value at this point and not taste.  We agreed that the crostini were very good, and the fries were excellent, but felt misled by the menu and were already eyeing Ratto’s deli across the street, which we made a B-line for when we left.

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