Unemployment Day Trip: Good Coffee, Cheap Grub, and Local Art on Tennyson Street


March 30 2009, 12:19 PM

Having been in the unemployment line twice in my life, I'm now looking to find the silver lining in the rush of resume-updating and online-classified-refreshing that can consume my days. So, what might the silver lining possibly be? It turns out being job-free affords you a lot of free time. More free time than any of us have probably ever had on a weekday--hence, the launch of our Unemployment Day Trip series. First stop? Tennyson Street in the Berkeley neighborhood.

Cup of Joe: Tenn Street Coffee

If you get going early, stop by Tenn Street Coffee (418 Tennyson St.). On weekdays from 6:30 to 9 a.m. they offer $1 off all their coffee drinks. Also, with free wireless Internet and comfy seating, it's a good place to stop in and see if any of your job leads have e-mailed you back.

Cheap Diner Grub: Kyle's Kitchen

There are two ways to label your morning meal--it's either breakfast or it's brunch. Brunch means your eggs have, say, Brie in them, and your bill can look like last night's receipt for dinner and drinks. Breakfast is a different animal, and Kyle's (4018 Tennyson St.) embodies it perfectly--you get mismatched mugs, a simple menu, and sassy waitresses keeping your coffee warm. It's also a great place to go in solo and grab a place at the long bar, always piled with the day's newspaper. Be sure to notice they offer half-orders of most of their breakfasts. It's always more than enough food and keeps things even easier on your checkbook.

Cheap Browsing: Galleries and Studios

If the First Friday Art Walk crowds can get to be a bit much, stop by any of the myriad Tennyson art galleries during the daytime hours. Most galleries open around 9 or 10 a.m. View a complete list here.

Earning Money: Trade in Books at Barely Read Used Books

There's something in my DNA that sucks me straight into used bookstores. It's like I can sniff out the smell of old pages blocks away. However, with a more economically-minded brain, I now schlep my old books over to Barely Read Used Books (3931 Tennyson St.) to earn a little dough back.

Dinnertime: Recession Special at Parisi

This is the kind of stimulus package I can get behind--cheap grub. Parisi (4401 Tennyson St.) offers two take-out dinner specials--two can eat for $15, and four can eat for $25. The menu of the Economic Relief special changes weekly. A few rules to keep in mind: Parisi only offers this Monday thru Thursday, and you need to call in your order before 6 p.m. and pick it up by 7 p.m.

Did I forget one of your favorite Tennyson shops, or  do you want to tip me off to another good day trip? E-mail me at [email protected] to send me suggestions, or leave ideas in the comments below.