Oakland Restaurant Challenge: Carb-Loading At Joe Mama’s

Achievement: #4. Eat at 15 Oakland Restaurants

Tonight, to prepare for our big race tomorrow, we decided to do some carb loading, and because we love multi-tasking, we decided to get our carbs from a pasta spot in Oakland, to help us on our Oakland restaurant Achievement.

Our sixth Oakland restaurant was Joe Mama’s, one of the sister restaurants to our favorite Fuel & Fuddle. It’s actually even on the same block, right on the corner of Forbes and Oakland Avenues.

Because we were carb loading, and because beer has carbs, Michael decided a single Italian Peroni to accompany his meal was necessary.

Joe Mama's
And then he made the single most Italian pose he could come up with. OHHH!

Joe Mama's
We started off with an order of the calamari, because you probably need a little bit of protein in your carb-loading. The serving was a little small, but the bits were quite good, as was the marinara.

Joe Mama's
Michael was hoping to add the tiniest bit of protein with some antipasta skewers, but there wasn’t any prosciutto like we’d hoped. There was, however, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and artichokes. Oh, and olives, but I made Michael eat all of those.

Joe Mama's
I was still on my pre-running runner’s high, so we decided if I ever wanted to get to bed tonight, I was going to need a glass of wine to help the process. I enjoyed my glass of Starry Night zin throughout dinner.

Joe Mama's
You get a side salad with most entrees, and they serve it family-style in a big bowl to split at the table. We got the house Italian dressing, which was pretty good and rather tangy. They hooked us up with lots of croutons and cucumbers, and a chunk of seasoned foccacia bread.

Joe Mama's
I got one of the ‘seasonal’ dishes, the portabella penne pasta. It came with spinach, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and of course, lovely portabella mushroom strips. The sauce was a garlic and olive oil blend (my favorite), with big chunks of feta cheese!

Joe Mama's
Michael got the bacon linguini, in a gorgonzola sauce with sundried tomatoes. It was creamy and delicious.

Joe Mama's
We decided to take pictures of our intense, competitive carb-loading faces. Here I am, ready to dive into that pasta and gain superhuman powers of endurance!

Joe Mama's
Michael just can’t wait to channel the strength and perseverence of the bacon linguini!

Joe Mama's
After all that intensity, we needed to take it down a notch with this lovely tiramisu. Unlike your standard tiramisu, this one was served like a cappuchino, with a creamy topping (think the consistency and flavor of melted ice cream) and whipped cream on top of that. YUM!

Joe Mama's
Once we were totally carb-overloaded and could barely keep our pants buttoned, we made our way out into the streets and home to relax and mentally prepare for tomorrow.

Joe Mama’s definitely hit the spot tonight, and for a Saturday night before race day, it wasn’t crowded at all. The service was excellent, and although there was never any overlap of foods arriving at the same time, each part of the meal was delivered in quick succession.

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian place to take a date and savor a bottle of wine, Joe Mama’s is not the place. But, if you’re looking for a reasonable alternative that doesn’t involve a trip to Bloomfield, this could be the right place for you. They have half-price menus after 11pm each night, although it is a limited version of their full menu, and they do have drink specials at different times throughout the day. Finally, if you go to Pitt, you don’t even need to catch a bus to stop in here for dinner, so it’s certainly convenient.

We’ll see how far that pasta takes us tomorrow… Next update will be from the finish line!

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Filed under #4, #4-11, italian food, marathon, oakland, pasta, restaurant

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