Sad news. JD's is closed after 40 years. Between costs to upgrade the facility recently, the down economy and the major construction on Castro Valley Blvd which has driven all businesses along the boulevard down (and nearly running many other businesses out of business) JD's had to shutter its doors.
Sawyer's in Gilford - a short drive down the road, was a place I went to twice, once for dinner, and again for lunch. The lobster rolls were to die for. Sweet, whole piece of claw meat, not too much mayo - you could barely notice and I don't like mayo but this was perfect, huge amounts for the price. Ice cream that had a butter fat I don't ever recall encountering (very high).
One night went to Patrick's Pub & Eatery, across the street from Sawyer's. Pretty good, I went with two friends from the conference and we were all pretty happy with the food we ordered, though it's been so long I can recall what I ordered. But we all liked it.
Do not eat at Cactus Jack's. I'm from California (grew up in L.A., live in the Bay Area) and I've had a lot of good Mexican food. I should have stuck to my old rule: Never eat Mexican in a place that does not have a large Mexican immigrant population. I learned that lesson when I went to London and tried "Mexican" there. GAK!
Needless to say, DON'T eat at Cactus Jack's. They threw some BBQ powder crap on the chips, the salsa tasted like they threw some weird seasoning on some canned tomatoes, the burrito was so bland and meh, Just don't go.
Red Tractor in Dublin has pretty good breakfast. Huge portions.
JD's Restaurant in Castro Valley has pretty good French toast and their crab eggs benedict is awesome.
Ole's Waffle Shop on Park St. in Alameda is a bit more old school cafe diner and waffles are the specialty. It's been a long time since I ate there, but supposedly the quality is still as good today as it was when I last ate there.
El Rancho Steak House in Castro Valley is a small chain (they used to have two or three, but I think the economy has whittled them down to only one restaurant now). They have a $3.99 breakfast M-F and are pretty fair. Not the best, but not bad at all.
Just four to recommend, but I eat at these four, so I can vouch that they have decent food.
Red Tractor Cafe
El Rancho Steak House
Going to a conference in late April in Laconia, NH at The Margate on the lake.
Never been to NH and so need recommendations.
I'll be listing your recommendations on my LJ for friends who also will be coming to the conference, so a wide variety of types of food and prices would be greatly appreciated. Any great seafood joints, best lobster roll in the area, Mexican, Chinese, Sushi, Indian, steak, and so on. Probably a lot of dinner places since people will probably be eating breakfast/lunch at Blackstones Restaurant on The Margate's property to spend the maximum amount of time at the conference, so dinner joints would be the best.
Is Blackstones' (at the resort) food edible? Over priced or reasonable?
Something within a 30 minute drive of The Margate/Laconia would be nice.
Closer is better considering everyone will be tired by the end of the day.
I want some old school English food. I'm dying for Welsh rarebit, and not tepid velveeta dumped on Wonderbread.
Does anyone have a lead to some good Welsh rarebit? Last time I had it, it was at the Cock N' Bull On Sunset Blvd at Doheney in West Hollywood before they closed it down in the late 80's/early 90's and turned it into a Jaguar dealership. That was a very old school English pub.
My Dad's local Vons in Granada Hills carries it. Try Vons.
La Mediterranee on College in Berkeley just North of Ashby is good,
Turkish Kitchen on Shattuck just North of University in Berkeley is a good cheap place for middle eastern as well.
El Gordo#2 taco truck in the parking lot on the south side of High Street between San Leandro Street and E 12th Street (in the shadow of the BART tracks) for fantastic burritos and tacos. The lingua is fantastic!
Dim Sum I'd recommend Peony and Legendary Palace in Oakland's Chinatown, though Peony tends to be a little better. You'll want to acquaint yourself with 99 Ranch Market chain for Asian groceries. Great China on Kittridge, just east of Shattuck is very good food, HUGE portions and long lines if you get there during rush. Price is very good for the amount you get.
For Indian, Flavors of India on Lakeshore in Oakland just around the corner from the GrandLake Theater. Their Madras sauce for lamb and chicken is FANTASTIC! Breads of India on Sacramento @ Dwight in Berkeley is really good too. Lots of different types of breads if you like variety other than plain naan.
For breads, Arizmendi on Lakeshore (across from Flavors of India) or CHeese Board Collective on Shattuck in Berkeley for breads and best selection of cheeses. Check their web site for daily bread selection. SOem breads are offered every day, some only one particular day of the week. Onion cheese curry hobrot on Tuesdays is worth the trip.
Japanese, Geta on 41st street in the Piedmont area of Oakland. Salmon cheeks, great choices in addition to usual sushi fare. Small, bit cramped, but great food and lots of charm.
If you want good French/California, Bay Wolf. Anything duck they serve, order it.
Ice cream and very flavorful sorbets, Ici on College, just North of Ashby, a few doors up from La Mediterranee. The lines speaks for the quality of the ice creams and sorbets.
Great China Restaurant
Breads of India
Bay Wolf Restaurant