As mentioned in the previous post, Rudy's is one of our favorite places to eat over the last few years we've come home to visit the Bay Area from Downtown LA. We usually eat breakfast here so having an opportunity to try the various menu items and specials is becoming a real treat!
The "Shakin' Jessie" forever taunting us when we either are there too early or too stuffed to try it.
Being "Good Friday" Sean was thinking about Rudy's Fish & Chips Friday Special. I looked over the menu online and decided that I wanted to see what their Crunchy Asian Tofu Salad was like. I was hoping the tofu would be battered and fried, and if not I was ready to try something else.. Rudy's has a large selection vegetarian dishes on their menu, as well items that can be made vegetarian on request. The taco salad with veggie chili as an option was appealing to me, or possibly a cheese quesadilla with possibly some grilled vegetables added.
Ready for dinner, we took the walk over to 40th, near Park and Hollis. Unlike other times we'd been there it was pretty busy, and we put our name down but didn't have to wait long, as we got a couple seats at the counter. Shortly after sitting down, we've decided we *will* be ordering dessert, as it's the best chance to give the "Shakin' Jessie" a try.
We start with an order of Buffalo Tofu:
Buffalo Tofu: served with carrots and celery and option of blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce.
firm tofu center with crispy fried outside, sauce was spicy but not especially "spicy hot"
For our entrees, I went with the Crunchy Asian Tofu Salad. Our server, who was super nice & helpful convinced me to give the salad a try. I'm already missing the Crispy Tofu Balls (and chopped salad) from Starry Kitchen but know there has to be something I will enjoy almost as much.. somewhere.
Crunchy Asian Tofu Salad: tossed in Sesame Soy Vinagarette, served with multicolor cabbage, carrots, romaine, cucumbers, sliced avocado, sesame seeds and sprouts
Salad was 'very hearty' as our server described it. The tofu was the same crispy tofu that served as the base for the buffalo tofu, but I missed the buffalo sauce. Since it was a salad, this crispy tofu was served cold. I definitely loved the salad, but probably would have liked it better without the cold tofu.
Sean ordered Friday's Special and opted for a side salad:
Mr Roadie's Fish and Chips: breaded fried cod served with french fries, cole slaw, and tarter sauce
The Fries were crispy on the outside and seasoned. The malt vinegar was a nice addition that Sean added, but was not necessary. Battered and fried cod.. Sean said it was good 'but not the best' he's had. I don't eat fish, so I don't have an opinion to add. I did like the fries and I would order them with something if given an opportunity on another visit.
And now.. for dessert! I know, we definitely should have passed on it, but for whatever reason, Sean decided he would order the Shakin' Jessie and not share it. I wasn't sure if the Guinness, expresso and chocolate ice cream shake would be to my liking, so I decided to get the "ultimate chocolate cake" as it seemed it would compliment Sean's choice better than the strawberry rhubarb pie I was tempted to order. =)
I had a sip or two of the Shakin' Jessie, and yes, you can taste the Guinness Stout, but it compliments the shake really well. My 'ultimate chocolate cake' was a darker, rich chocolate with hints of a liquor flavoring that I forgot to ask about.. There's no description of the cake on the menu. Suffice to say it was very rich and the a la mode option broke through the richness of the cake and frosting just enough without taking away its decadence.
I honestly couldn't decide which dessert I liked better. Sean, on the other hand, loved his Shakin' Jessie. I liked his shake enough I would order it for myself in the future and not share it. The ultimate chocolate cake was pretty good though, and I can see it being a 'go-to' dessert on those chocolate craving days.
Rudy's has a huge and varied menu, and while not everything is "amazing" it's still very very good. The service is always friendly, despite sometimes being busy. I know we'll keep coming back because over-all we've been very happy with the food and with the service. It's one of our top three or four favorite places to eat breakfast in our area, so you know we'll be back for another round of "My own Private Eyedaho"(my favorite breakfast dish) or possibly the Meatless Soyrizo Scramble, which caught my eye on the menu today.
Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe
4081 Hollis Street
Emeryville, CA 94608