My friend Regina told me just the other day how much she likes Stacey's, so when I was thinking where to go for lunch in Pleasanton (prior to yet another visit to the mall), it immediately sprang to mind. I like outdoor dining in downtown Pleasanton, but I still haven't found a restaurant that I actually like. Unfortunately, Stacey's was not the exception.
We arrived at Stacey's one Tuesday around noon (June 2004) and the place was already crowded. There were no tables outside so we got a table for four inside. Stacey's has children's menus but they didn't offer a high chair for Michaela, and as I didn't see any other children there, I don't know if they offer them. The clientele seemed to be made up mostly of business people out for a leisurely lunch and "ladies who lunch"; most people were well dressed.
The restaurant is very nice; it has a modern casual-stylish look, with a semi-open kitchen, light walls, lots of wood and marble and a huge mural of a restaurant (not, interestingly, Stacey's itself). The menu was Californian eclectic, with several vegetarian choices (I guess that's why Regina likes it so much), a couple of pastas, three sandwiches, some salads and a few full-blown entrees. Prices were in line with other Pleasanton restaurants, with sandwiches $8-12 and entrees $12-25. A little steep for lunch, I thought, but Pleasanton is an expensive city.
Kathy decided on the Portobelo mushroom sandwich ($8). She liked it, but felt it needed more portobelo; the dish was too light. She really liked the herbed fries that came with it.
I had the Penne pasta & Nana's meatballs ($13) which came with a substantial Bolognese sauce. The sauce was quite hearty and was not lacking in flavor, but it was too uniform in flavor, every bite was the same, and tasted a little too much of burnt garlic. The meatballs were fluffy but otherwise standard. I probably wouldn't order the dish again.
I had a coke with dinner, and it had an unpleasant "off" taste.
The real winner of the day was the bread and butter that we were served before lunch. The bread was soft and warm, and the herbed butter was simply delicious. I might consider going back to Stacey's just for that.
And it's a good thing that the bread was so good, because it took us forever to get our entrees. The couple at the table next to us had arrived after us, but were finished eating and had their table cleared way before our food arrived. We had a similar problem at the end of the meal, when Michaela was getting antsy and needed to extend her legs. The bill took forever to come, and it was only after she darted off and I had to take her outside that it finally came. During lunch, we had to ask the bus boy for more bread, butter and refills. I don't know if they were especially busy that day, but I certainly wouldn't count on going to Stacey's for a quick lunch.
310 Main St.