Hippies and Pubs (Raleigh's - Berkley, CA)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don't think I hate hippies, I really don't, but when a girl with earlobes stretched out to the size of dinner plates, twigs in her dreds, and smelling to the point where the whole table has to try not to breathe in serves a raw on the inside charred on the outside burger, then yes, I will call her a dirty hippy.

Let me go back a bit. I was visiting my cousin Bob, his wife Cio, and kid Davey down in Berkeley. We all wanted to hang out a bit, catch-up, and just have a bit of fun. We decided to go downtown amongst the throngs of denizens and students and have a bite to eat. We approached a rustic building with a classic signs hanging down.

Raleigh's is a classic sports bar. Red brick walls, beaten wooden bars, and a Saint's game on every screen. Sweet. The atmosphere is exactly what it should be. The wooden seats are surprisingly comfy, and a diverse crowd seems to work and dine there from goths, to punks, to preps. From what I understand there's even a beer garden out back (though I didn't go there).

They had quite a few beers, many of them microbrews, on tap from what I saw. The menu had a great selection of grub to choose from burgers to salads and each one is served in gigantic portions.

We started with a few half iced tea - half lemonades, and a side order of corn meal battered shrimp served with side of long island dressing for dipping. Simple and pleasing, it was a nice change from your basic aioli served as a dipping sauce, though we did kind of miss it.

My bacon, swiss, and avocado burger was piled high and huge. The bacon was a bit overcooked, and the avocado a bit sparse, but it was delicious pub grub none the less. Burgers come with many options for sides from fries to salad, and my mixed greens salad hit the spot.

Rob's burger, a blue cheese burger, was just done all wrong. The blue cheese wasn't mixed into the meat, instead just being thrown on where it fell out of the burger. It was black on the outside and raw, I mean RAW on the inside. This is a serious no-no. Bad sports bar. No biscuit. The fries were dead on though, flavor hitting harder than a left tackle.

Bob and Cio's salad was classic and huge. Split between the two of them, I still don't think they finished the whole thing. Davey had a burger, he seemed happy.

Would I go again? Yeah, though maybe not during the playoffs. The chef wasn't paying attention, and the staff wasn't paying attention. To quote Cio, "This is Berkeley, what did you expect? Service?"

2438 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 848-8652


  1. Eww you can totally see how raw it is on the inside!

    I'm bummed for my mom- she's a huge Saints fan. Aww well, such is life.

  2. Odd dining choice for Berkeley, I must say. I consider Berkeley one of the best places on earth to eat, from Top Dog to Chez Panisse. Consult me before your next trip -- I'll hook ya up.

  3. I would love to have hit Chez P, but we had a 7 yr old with us. Plus there was a Saints game on and it was 1 pm. LOL

  4. We have an advertisement on the television here in the UK which details the pitfalls of the BBQ - and the oneliner is: When will I meet you again. I think if the burger was consumed then the above would be appropriate!

  5. Wow! That's a scary burger!! Burgers are pretty standard in a sport's bar, so they should have done it much better.

  6. Garrett, I'm sorry to hear you had this lackluster experience will dropping by the bay. You gotta come back, and hopefully next time will be better :)


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