Le Bateau Ivre - Berkeley

Charming cafe that’s just far enough from the campus that it doesn’t see much student traffic.

Ribeye steak & eggs ($18)

Putting aside my terrible photo quality… you don’t usually expect much from a brunch-menu steak & eggs, and yeah, this isn’t a Prime cut of rib-eye, but it was considerably better than I expected going in. The fried potatoes (with peppers & onions) were excellent.

If you order a pot of hot tea, it’ll be loose leaf, too (at least the English Breakfast will be), and it’s not absolutely bottom-shelf stuff either.

This was enough to convince me to come back - so far, every Saturday lunch for the last 3 weeks.

Their burger was also good, and the fries even better.

French toast was spot-on, with a nice (unlisted) lemon curd to go with it.

This isn’t exactly a foodie destination, but the kitchen definitely knows what it’s doing, which goes a way to explaining why much of the clientele are regulars who’ve been going for decades. The pricing (at least for brunch) is, dare I say it, cheap.

They do seem to occasionally run busy enough that walk-ins might be dicey, though as mentioned I’ve mostly only been during lunchtime on Saturdays. Reservations wouldn’t hurt. They have some outdoor seating that seems very nice, though I’ve been snagging an indoor table for myself to make friends with the drinks master and waitstaff.

If you’re in the neighborhood you could do a lot worse.