Is the First Street Alehouse the Most Popular Restaurant in Livermore? [TGLRC #40]

Always busy

The First Street Alehouse is always busy.

First Street Alehouse
2106 First St
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 371-6588
First Street Ale House on Urbanspoon

If you are hanging out in Livermore and ask someone where’s a good place eat, there is one place locals will probably recommend more than any other. If you’re looking for a place with a great selection of craft beer, chances are they’ll recommend the same place – the First Street Alehouse in downtown Livermore.

Even the internet will steer you towards the Alehouse. For Livermore they have the most reviews on Yelp and the most votes on Urbanspoon. Heck, just google “Livermore Restaurants” and the Alehouse will be at the very top of Google’s search results.

I’ve been a regular there since I moved to the Tri-Valley back in 2003. At that time, the Alehouse was only three years old (it opened in 2000) and was in a different location. You know the Double Barrel Wine Bar next door? That was the First Street Alehouse’s original home.

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A Homemade Sandwich at Ofelia’s Kitchen [TGLRC #39]

Waiting in line

The order window at Ofelia’s

Ofelia’s Kitchen
850 Hillcrest Ave
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 449-5162
Ofelia's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Sometimes you just want a really good sandwich. Not one of those fancy BBQ-bacon-meatball-cheddar-ham-chicken-swiss-teriyaki subs invented by the marketing department of a large corporation. No, sometimes you just want an honest homemade sandwich with tasty goodness between a couple of slices of real fresh-baked bread.

A real homemade sandwich. when was the last time you had one of those? Well, that’s what Ofelia’s Kitchen is all about.

Where is Ofelia’s? It’s located in the Chardonnay Shopping Center on East Avenue in Livermore halfway between the lab and Livermore High School. It’s on the left side of the shopping center, so take a turn on Hillcrest Avenue and you’ll see it on the end right next to the barber shop.

Tuna salad

Fresh and yummy!

Now when I talk homemade, I mean it. The bread is baked in-house every day from scratch. And I tell you, each slice of that fresh-baked wheat bread is thick, moist and luxurious. Not a fan of wonderful bread? Your only other option is bread-free by making it a lettuce wrap.

While your bread selection is limited, what you put between them is not. Their menu will make both herbivores and omnivores quite happy. You can check the selection out their menu. See their website or the photos below.

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Does Spanky’s Dog House Have the Best Hot Dogs in Town? [TGLRC #38]

Spanky's Dog House

Spanky’s Dog House

Spanky’s Dog House
174 S K St
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 292-7398
Spanky's Dog House on Urbanspoon

Before I began my journey to try every restaurant in Livermore, I challenged myself to try every hot dog joint in town (read about it here). That hot doggin’ idea actually inspired me to start The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge.

Now that I’m closing in on forty restaurants so far, I find that my taste buds are a little more refined than they used to be. A year ago I’d eat anything without much of a fuss. Today I can tell the difference between filler and good food. Who knew?

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. I’ll admit that my pinky finger now rises when I lift a burger to my mouth. But hey, I knew that this challenge had risks.

So what does my pinky have to do with hot dogs? I mean, can you actually have refined tastes and raise your pinky while eating a footlong? Darn tootin’ you can!

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A Taste of New York Delivered from Big Apple Pizza [TGLRC #37]

Looks tasty

A Big Apple pie!

Big Apple Pizza
2566 Old First Street
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 606-5555
Big Apple Pizza on Urbanspoon

The future is finally here! Wow, can you believe it’s 2015? Where were you when the clock stuck midnight? Like many of you, I was watching Dick Clark‘s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest as my friends and I counted down to 2015. Little did I know that by watching the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square would influence my first dinner of the year.

Fast forward 19 hours and it was time for dinner and #37 of The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge. With a stale hangover and fresh out of holiday leftovers we were in a bit of a dilemma. What are we going to eat? Pizza of course!

As I looked up “pizza in Livermore,” for some strange reason, Big Apple Pizza really stood out to me. It could have been Ryan calling out to me, or maybe it’s because Big Apple Pizza has two completely different websites: and Why do they have two? I have no idea. But the second site is more expensive and charges a $3 delivery fee. You’ll save $5 if you order from It’s weird they have two, but whatever.

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Craving Sushi? Try Sushi Zone [TGLRC #36]


Sushi at Sushi Zone!

Sushi Zone
4094 East Ave
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 455-6868
Sushi Zone on Urbanspoon

After writing about Manpuku last month as part of The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge, I realized that I’m kind of on a sushi kick. After each sushi experience, my cravings seem to skyrocket. What is it about sushi that does this? Not everyone has a taste for raw fish, but for those that do, it’s like a drug.

I bring this up because my wife and I were driving around town looking for a place to eat, however neither of us could decide.

“What do you want to eat?” I asked.

“I dunno, what do you want to eat?” she replied.

And the endless loop begins. You know how it goes.

As we made our way down East Avenue, “Sushi Zone caught my eye. That’s all it took for that drug-like craving to take control.

I make a quick turn left turn, tires squealing barely clinging to the road. I enter the parking lot a little too fast and pull into a parking spot breaking a little too hard. As I pull out the keys I look at my wife. She has that look that I know too well.

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