The first time I walked into on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, I expected to sit down and be served. It looks like that kind of place. But no, there is a little order window. Order and pick-up. Nobody seems to mind this though.
If you're not won over by the great imported and micro beer selection, the mac 'n cheese will likely do you in. Or if it's a potato craving that's got you, Cato's Catatoes are a choice in themselves. They come spicy, drowned in cheese or smothered in black bean chili. There are burgers, sandwiches and pizza too, and none of them seems to take away from the quality of others, as often happens on menus like this.
Similarly, a couple of different vibes also play well together here. As you order your drink, you really feel the bar atmosphere. There's "that guy" and the cute bartender. Yup. Grown-up. Ordering beer. Then, swinging around to find a table, you realize that this place is full of families. Bar? Or family-friendly restaurant? The two seem to coexist peacefully under one roof.
There's live music Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., and Sundays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Monday night trivia contest starts at 7:30. Check out Cato's menu and beer list on their website.