We were across the bay today visiting Chris and Debbie.  They’re in the middle of a master bathroom remodel – that Chris designed – so we went out to a late breakfast.  At Max’s Diner.

Max’s Diner – and all of the various Max’s restaurants – are near and dear to my heart.  They were founded by Dennis Berkowitz, who was the corporate F&B Director when I worked for Hyatt, but more importantly, I worked directly with Walter Fey and Peter Konig who started the company with him during my years at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe.  I learned a lot from those guys and Peter hired me not once, but twice.  A great teacher and a great chef.

I thought at one point I wanted to work for them, again, but decided that eating in restaurants is a lot more fun than working in them – no matter how great your boss is!

So fast-forward to San Ramon, California… We were seated in a comfy booth at Max’s Diner when we were greeted by the waitron saying “Hi!  My name is whatever and I’ll be your server today.”  I responded with “Hi!  My name is Tim and I’ll be the person you’ll be serving.”  We hit it off right away.  I don’t mean to sound surly, but my days of picking up waiters is far, far behind me.  I’m not interested in getting into a relationship with my server.  I just want the order to be right and the food to be delivered hot.  Fill the coffee cup without me having to ask.  Cover the basics and it’s a guaranteed 20%.  The kid got his 20%.

I ordered Huevos Rancheros and was not disappointed.  And the picture really isn’t doing justice to the plate.  It was really good.  Really colorful.  I cleaned my plate.  Again.

I was pleased that Max’s has been able to pull off good food and good service in every Max I’ve been in.  And I still prefer being on this side of the cash register…..

Tonight is Celia’s…..