The elections and Gilman Grill

Matthew as a candidate for berkeley city college student senate

Today my mom and I went sniffing around the election taking place at Berkeley City College where Matt is making his political debut.  We came upon his name and statement on the glass board, and saw him hovering around the poll booths some set number of feet back, as is the requirement.  Other candidates were also locking in their last minute votes.  It was fun to see his name and platform description in the official voter guide, but we were not able to procure a ballot without a student ID.  I explained that I am the mother of a candidate, and that this sort of trumps any nonsense about having to be a student, but no cigar.  Since Matt had a couple of hours off between classes we were happy to drive over to Gilman Grill (1300 4th Street, Berkeley), where you can get a decent lunch for about ten bucks, to meet Paul Riofski for lunch.  Paul and my mom really like Gilman Grill, particularly the BLT with avocado on toasted Acme sourdough bread.  I agree that this is the best BLT for miles and miles, with plenty of thick bacon and tomato, but there is something about the place that bugs me, and I think I might have honed it down to noise and crowds.  I can’t really put my finger on it.  The chairs are also not all that comfy, but I can deal with that.  The food is good so I suppose this is just lack of chemistry, like not wanting to sleep with someone who has all the right qualifications.  They have solid breakfast items, though the home fries can be bad on occasion — sodden and flavorless.  The sandwiches and salads at lunch are tasty and generous, but take care with the bread.  If you don’t tell them to use the Acme sourdough or one of their other hearty breads you may not be amused.  I like the grilled chicken with melted cheese and mushrooms.  One annoying thing we noticed today is that they squared off the ends of the bread.  The bread is sliced from a rustic loaf and yields an elongated result.  Squaring off means that the poor bastard who ordered the sandwich loses a few inches of bread and, most likely, filling.  I know of no other reason a restaurant would do this other than to save money.  Maybe they use those ends for croutons, who knows, but any explanation like, “It is easier to make a sandwich without the ends” is suspect.  I did not ask, so I am just conjecturing here.  They need to understand how bad it is, business-wise, to change a long-standing menu item that people expect will always be the same, always be good and always have the ends of the bread intact.

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