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Launching Project Lunching Down Solano

It's fun starting a new project, right? But who has extra time in the day to devote to yet something else? However, I've come up with a project that combines two things that I already do with regularity: eat and write. Are you ready for it?

The year 2014 will be the year that I eat at every lunch spot on Solano Avenue. And since I'm also trying to get in more activity this year, I will walk to each one.

Before starting my quest, I did a bit of research. According to the Solano Avenue Association website, this street that's just over a mile long boasts 65 restaurants. But I'm limiting my project to places that serve lunch, so a few of those 65 will be knocked off the list. (I wonder if Rivoli's would consider opening for lunch...) Without doing too much math in advance, that probably means eating lunch out on Solano about once a week. And of course with the way eateries come and go along this famed Berkeley/Albany thoroughfare, some may disappear before I reach them this year, and more might pop up.

I thought about approaching my lunching alphabetically, from Ajanta's to Zand's, but decided instead to start at the top of Solano where it intersects with the Alameda and eat my way down to San Pablo by year's end.

Now I'm no gourmand, but I have eaten pretty much all my life, so my experience is considerable. In general, I plan to give my opinion on the food, service, prices, and even the décor. I may even include completely unrelated bits of information and personal anecdotes that you would never see in a reputable restaurant review. But I can do that because it's my blog, and I'm paying for my own food. (Well, technically my husband will probably pay most of the time since he'll be coming along too, but it's the same bank account anyway.)

Hope you come along on this epicurious journey with me.

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Alina C January 21, 2014 at 12:36 AM
What a cool idea! Have fun! Looking forward to reading all about it.
Sylvia Paull January 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Tanya, Let us know where you're lunching next a week in advance so we can join you. Might be a way to help that restaurant stay in business, at least long enough for your review to appear in Patch.
lindy January 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM
great idea! there are some good restaurants between Colusa and The Alameda. I hope they all stay in business this year.
Karen Tompkins January 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM
Good Luck Tanya! I look forward to reading all about it.
Tanya Grove January 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM
I should probably map out ahead of time where I'm going, Sylvia, but so far I was just walking to the top of Solano and looking for the next place down! I've gone to three so far, but haven't written them all up yet. I do know that I next eat at Ajanta.
Margaret Tong January 21, 2014 at 08:51 PM
when we first came to Albany, 26 years, we did something similar, but we did dinner on Thursday nights. We started at the bottom (San Pablo) on the south side and weekly ate our way up to the top and then our way down. I don't remember all the restaurants that are gone, but only a few have remained favourites. I'm looking forward to your 'eating Albany'.
Carol Suveda January 22, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Great idea, I posted this on my Facebook page for my new small business, LoveBerkeley, which for starters is offering free welcome visits for Berkeley newcomers. I'll be on the lookout for your reviews and hope that some of those eateries become LoveBerkeley business sponsors in the future....offering discount offers and gifts to the newcomers via my personal introduction of them to prospective customers. (see LoveBerkeley.net for more)
Solano Avenue Association January 23, 2014 at 08:31 PM
What an excellent idea and would love the merchant's association to get involved somehow... thank you for choosing Solano Avenue and I will try and contact you (Tanya). Feel free to call: 510-527-5358 as well (Allen).

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