Hmmm. Just rejoined after about 2 years' absence...so this is my first re-post.
Am surprised that no one has mentioned NAYONG FILIPINO (which I believe used to be part of the original Ongpin)-- this is the one on Whipple Road in Union City. It is a 'turo-turo' place but it is definitely NOT greasy. Also they do not use MSG; better value for the food than Gerry's Grill (altho ambiance is not as upscale). Also, the proprieters later est up the more upscale Kalesa in Milpitas.
Overall the food is good; I love their 'dinuguan.' And they also...OK...this review is kinda all-over-the-place...make an "ube" w/ macapuno bibingka. Flans are OK; sans rival is a little too delicate. They serve good pork ribs when you hit the right day; good binagoonang. Supposedly they make good "kare-kare" but I am not a big fan of that dish...and their "sisig' sells out fast. Am not a big sisig fan either.
THe tiny hole-in-the-wall Toppings too closeby is great for all its grilled dishes (especially the "Belly of the Bangus" one)...but as somebody said, you'll come out smelling of the grill. Well, whaddya expect from places under $10.00.
Valerio's Bakery is VERY mediocre; as is Goldilocks. The faux Red Ribbon still makes better, less greasy desserts. That's my report from the Hayward-Union City nexus. There are a few others (of similar calibre). If I didn't mention them here, it's because they aren't worth the time, $$ and effort.
BTW, is anybody organizing a French dinner outing in the EB- East Bay? I'd like to do one. Le Cote maybe?