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GREAT East Bay Hamburger?

Season To Taste at the Alameda Marketplace on Park Street and Buena Vista
prepares a very juicy, succulent specimen that's comprised of prime beef from the
neighboring butcher and freshly-baked ciabatta from the bakery next door. Nicely
grilled medium-rare and topped sparingly with a pungent, bleu cheese aioli, well-carmelized onions, crisp romaine and a slice of sweet heirloom tomato, it's about a five-napkin burger-juices flowing down your arms and splattering all over your shirt, that sort of great stuff .

Season To Taste also includes some crispy,crunchy.savory homemade chips with it.

Worth a trip to Alameda.

Aug 21, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tahoe Joe's Slowwwwwww Roasted Steak?

Sadly, Alameda hasn't been to hof brau heaven, except for a brief time at the old
Whale'sTail in the 1970s. Regrettably, there has never been
a Harry's here, although many Alamedans make the meat and potatoes pilgramage
to the Harry's in San Leandro. Which brings up another question to ponder- why
the decline in the hof brau population in the Bay Area? Oakland too is hof-brau-less,
ever since the very cleverly named "Hof's Brau" on Grand and Broadway turned into
a trendy yuppie-bar.
Only Brannon's in Berkeley and Harry's carry on the grand trencherman/open-faced
gravy-laden sandwich /giant roast turkey leg tradition in the East Bay.
I suppose that today's generation of big eaters would rather pig out on sushi and bubble tea.

Regarding the Tahoe Joe's "Joe's Steak" thing, I agree that the "steak" is probably
a slice of a large, slowly-cooked beef roast, in this case a sirloin, that is then grilled
to make it look more appetizing. Perhaps Tahoe Joe's would be more accurate
in calling it "Joe's Roast Sirloin" or "Joe's Roast Beef" rather than a steak.

It would be like a prime-rib place calling their slices of rib roast "rib-eye steaks."

Jul 25, 2007
alameda fats in General Topics

Tahoe Joe's Slowwwwwww Roasted Steak?

Thanks for this. I love learning restaurant secrets. I especially enjoyed the
painted prime rib trick. Of course, some restaurant secrets are best kept secret.
Like the "Our Fabulous World Famous Chili-It's a Meal in a Bowl !" recipe at a diner I once worked at. The "Fabulous" secret? Every scrap of stray, cremated or otherwise unsellable grill detritus went straight into the chili. Some overcooked, split franks? Right into the chili. Some burnt onions, or a broken fried egg? Yep. A patty melt too well-done and sent back? Chop that sucker up and toss it in. The chili there was kind of a culinary black hole. I couldn't stand to look at it, let alone taste it. I just kept adding water, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce and almost everything else to it until it ran out, and then I'd start a "fresh" batch. Aaaaccckkk.

The customers loved it.

Jul 24, 2007
alameda fats in General Topics

Tahoe Joe's Slowwwwwww Roasted Steak?

I've never eaten at Tahoe Joe's, (Northern-Central California restaurant chain)
but I was intrigued by the description of their "Joe's Steak" in a newspaper ad.

The ad claimed that "The Joe's Steak is 100% USDA beef slow-roasted for over 17
hours, then grilled............."

Now I don't claim to be an Iron Chef, but what "steak" could survive 17 hours in an oven, albeit a very slowwww oven, then take a smack on a hot grill? Would it then not be very well-done, more like jerky or mush? Perhaps it could actually be a hunk of brisket, or maybe a slice of a (very) large roast?

I suppose that only Tahoe Joe's knows-

Any chefs out there have a technical take on the slowwwww-roasted "Joe's Steak?"

Jul 23, 2007
alameda fats in General Topics

Delivery options in Alameda?

I'll agree completely with Ruth on this one. IMHO, Alameda is a delivery black hole, with perhaps a faint glimmer of hope from Ching Hua, whose garish trucks seem to whiz around town a lot. As far as Gim's goes, the owners are friendly and professional, the delivery prompt and the food reasonably priced and usually piping hot, but after a few bites, everything tastes the same. There is a pervasive salty, soy/umami flavor that takes over. And occasionally,the food tastes like it's been around awhile.
Perhaps "Burritos on Wheels' was the most bizarrre. You'd place your order,
and it wouldn't get delivered. One hour, two hours would elapse. You'd then call
back irate, and they'd either tell you that "it's on its way" (it wouldn't show up)or tell you to slog off . Really.
The Afghan kabobs at A-Town are-to put it nicely- different.
.
Takeout Taxi used to have an Alameda franchise, but even they gave up.

Jul 17, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

"Spill the beans about the franks?" Marrone mia, that's awful! (Tee hee hee)
Regarding Harry's son, IMHO, the effects of "urban blight" (i,e, several armed robberies at the store) probably dissuaded him from keeping
the old place running. Sad. However, with the Temescal area rapidly
becoming a new gourmet ghetto, maybe he'll decide to dust off the old steamer and make a "bun-a-fide" effort to once again cut the mustard. I certainly would relish that possibilty, because Original Kaspar's tube steaks, quite frankly, were a real "weiner."

Jul 14, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

I always used to talk Hotdogology with Hot Dog Harry back in the day,
and he always bragged that his franks were "custom-made" to his recipe
by some mysterious West Oakland sausage maker. Plus, according to
Harry, his Kaspar"s was the Original. So the magic of Harry's titanic
tube steaks died with him, probably never to be replicated. Sniff.

But hell- I'm too fat to be eating hot dogs anyway.

Jul 13, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

Ruth, you and I are on the same wavelength. I went to Nob Hill and picked
up some Caspar's franks, and also an old reliable favorite, Evergood
Old Fashioned franks. The Caspar's cooked up ok, (steamed), with a
moderate "pop" and a subtle spiciness, but were rather dry, not at all
as good as the restaurant product. However, the Evergood were great- juicy, flavorful, with a profound "pop", and when ensconsed in a steamed,
cottony white-bread bun with French's mustard, freshly sliced vine-ripened
backyard Early Girls and some finely chopped yellow onions, were
vaguely reminiscent of "Hot Dog Harry's" North Oakland masterpieces.
Now all I need is a source for Yoo-Hoo, and my tube steak quest is comptete.

Jul 12, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

I tried Bip's "Big Dog"; it's a Hebrew National-style large beef frank , grilled, on a
toasted French roll, with a sparse smattering of tomato and onion. You get
mustard, relish et al, from little plastic pouches. No celery salt or other great
hot dog necessities. Certainly nothing special. I didn't try Nation's on Webster,
although I made the effort. The condiment bar was too befouled and empty to use,
so I left I'll give Jim's a shot. Thanks.
FYI- "Tubesteak" is also a rather infantile slang term for something-ahem- other
than a hot dog or sausage..

Jul 12, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

Thanks for the Baron's tip, Ruth. I would have bought the Fearless Franks.
I tried Joe Scalise and Sons at Encinal Market, since they carry Boar's
Head and a "Caspar's" -style sausage, but both were unremarkable, and,
quite frankly, (terrible pun intended) both tasted like they'd been around awhile.

Sigh. No hot dog heaven in Alameda.
There's a Caspar's on MacArthur near Coolidge in East Oakland. The only
problem is, you have to drive through International and Fruitvale to get there,
in which case I'll probably forget the hot dog thing and get a nice chalupa
instead.

Jul 12, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

I've tried both Pampered Pup and Dog Out, and a few other Alameda weiner outposts, and sadly, the offerings I sampled- plain, unembellished hot dogs- were pretty uninspired, definately nothing close to the quality of Original Kaspar's or Top Dog.
So plan B is a trip to Dave Samaljian's Baron's Meats and some serious home tube steaking-
And- based on what I tasted, I would seriously doubt that Alameda's Dog Out is related to Top Dog,

As for the juvenile "tubesteak" comments......No comment.

Jul 12, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Tube Steaks in Alameda

Am in search of an edible hot dog in the Island city. My two references for doggie delights are those offered up by the late, great "Hot Dog Harry" Yaglapian at his tiny, dirty- pink "Kaspar's Original" kiosk on the traffic island at Telegraph and Shattuck in North Oakland,(The franks "popped" and spurted savory juices when you bit in, which is an absolute requisite for excellence in tube steakery) and, of course, the multiple pleasures
of Berkeley's Top Dogs.

Anything close in Alameda?

Jul 11, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ Opens in Alameda

I would agree that most Hawaiian BBQ fare, no matter where you buy it, has definite
industrial, mass-produced qualities, which may account for the homogeneous flavors
one finds at all the various venues. A fan of classic Southern BBQ will be grossly disappointed by most Hawaiian BBQ offerings, especially the short ribs. IMHO, the chicken Katsu, the braised cabbage under the Kahlua pork and the bland.boiled rice are the most consistently edible items on the menu(s).

May 11, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Strombolis and Italian Beef in the East Bay-

Thanks so much to Robert and yourself for this- How did I miss Gumbah's? I frequently go to church right down the street! (Revival Center) Ah, Tennessee St.
in Vallejo- a blessed place!

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ Opens in Alameda

Yes- All three Alameda Hawaiian BBQs have ample indoor seating, even though a
sizeable (horrible pun intended) number of their well-fed, big-eating clientele may take up
unusually large amounts of space.

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Strombolis and Italian Beef in the East Bay-

Tell me that Lola's and Parry's strommis are better than Hot Pockets- please.

Can you describe the sandwiches a bit? Which do you recommend?

Is Gumbah's worth a trip to Vallejo?

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ Opens in Alameda

Well, let's see- The flavors, portions, prices, atmosphere and service at all three are pretty much identical, so I'll have to choose my fave for convenience reasons:

L and L has ample parking, but doesn't take plastic, although they have an ATM machine-
Hawaiian BBQ takes plastic, but has horrendous to no parking-
Ohana takes plastic, has plenty of parking, plus it has that "rich brown gravy"
thing on the Katsu chicken, Loco Moco and the roast pork, so it wins, IMHO.

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Central Vegetarian Open in Alameda

After a prolonged delay, the Central Vegetarian restaurant has finally opened on Park
Street. Anyone been?

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Strombolis and Italian Beef in the East Bay-

Any recommendations? Or do such things exist on the Left Coast?

May 09, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ Opens in Alameda

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ recently opened in the re-born Bridgeside (Blanding) Shopping
Center, and, having tried their Kalua Pork and Katsu Chicken offerings, (served forth
in absolutely mammoth portions) the question begs to be asked- given the incredible ubiquity of menus, presentations and tastes of Alameda's three Hawaiian BBQ's-L and L, Hawaiian Drive-Inn and Ohana- do they share a remote, communal kitchen?

Ohana's Kahlua Pork was tender, fat-free and bacony- umami tasting, the cabbage nicely braised and al dente, the rice comfortably bland and clumpy, and the macaroni salad Hawaiian BBQ style over-the-top rich. The Katsu was crispy and greaseless.
IMHO, a good fast-food deal.

You can also get the Katsu drowned in "rich brown gravy" here. Nice.

May 07, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay Burgers, Fries and Shakes

The tiny, recently re-modeled Bip's Broiler, a "1950's-style diner" at High and Encinal In Alameda, has a soda fountain-like feel, although the only ice cream available is "soft-serve." There's a relatively imaginative burger-hot dog joint menu, standouts seem to be
the fish 'n'chips, patty melt, and the "Code-Bleu Burger." Portions are large. Service is extremely friendly and homey, the owner/chef worked the grill at Scott's for many years. Prices in the $4-7 range. No culinary epiphanies here; it's a family-style thing. The place has been around, under various incarnations, for 53 years.

Apr 28, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Worth a trip to Alameda?

To expand on Robert's intriguing topic, what are some of the specific dishes that are worth a trip to Alameda? For example, I have a friend from Dinuba who, whenever he's in the Bay Area, will detour to Alameda for chile rellenos at the Acapulco, or maybe a martini-thon at Z's. Any similar suggestions/anecdotes?

Apr 28, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Hob Nob in Alameda-Anyone been?

Hmmm.

Apr 25, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Hob Nob in Alameda-Anyone been?

The Barceluna acquisition of Gold Coast fell through. So where did
Barceluna go?

Apr 25, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Hob Nob in Alameda-Anyone been?

The Hob Nob owners are the same crew (executive chef, etc.) that operate ThirstyBear in SF. Kelly's/Barceluna were supposed to relocate to the Gold Coast Grill site, but
that deal fell through.

Supposedly Hob Nob will specialize in "American small plates". I've had some pretty good experiences at ThirstyBear, so the whole thing looks promising- I'll try to get in Hob Nob this week-

Apr 23, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Hob Nob in Alameda-Anyone been?

Hob Nob opened on 4/18 at the venerable Kelly's/Barceluna/Driftwood spot on Park Street.
Small plates and a plethora of brews the specialities- Anyone been there yet?

Apr 23, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Worth a trip to Alameda?

An interesting question. Regarding Speisekammer, what dishes do you recommend? I am particularly enthralled with their potato pancakes, which are roesti-like in quality- greaseless and perfectly crisp on the outside; creamy yet firm-textured on the inside- indicating that Speisekammer's kitchen knows how to fry.

Chef Fate's Southern fried chicken, sporadically available at Season To
Taste in the Alameda Marketplace, is worth special efforts to obtain. It undergoes
some sort of mysterious marination that imparts a subtle yet complex spiciness/heat
to the meat, while the crust stays light and crispy. The best fried chicken in Alameda
since the demise of the ancient Lola's.

The warm roasted eggplant sandwich at Mona's Table is a relatively healthy yet
satisfying way to satisfy one's eggplant Parmigiana yearnings, and worth a trip to the East end. It contains a prodigious amount of Fontina as well as basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, on a sweetish whole-wheat roll. The whole effect is texturally and flavorfully sublime.

Many folks consider Sushi House to be a destination spot, and there are those who will
traverse from near and far to visit Jim's, Ole's, La Pinata, Kamakura, East Ocean and Acapulco.

IMHO, Alameda's most memorable, worth-while destination spot was Chef Lucien Vigney's Beau Rivage, which burned down in the 1980s. He did a spectacular flaming
spinach salad (!) a very toothsome Beef Wellington and some fine veal dishes.

Thanks Robert for suggesting this topic.

Apr 20, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Any decent place to eat close to Oakland airport

Here's a few: Francesco's, on Hegenberger, very close to the airport.
Old-fashioned Joe's-style Italian, nothing fancy, the seafood pastas are OK, huge
portions, good drinks, good service. Again, nothing fancy,
Horatio's in the San Leandro Marina, about 4-5 miles from the airport.
Some interesting surf and turf stuff.
Pappo in Alameda at Central and Park about 15-20 minute ride from the airport, excellent Cal-Mediterranean menu, the duck dishes are a good bet,good wine list, "cozy" atmosphere.
Speisekammer in Alameda at Lincoln and Park, 15-20 minute ride
from the airport, good German menu, especially the pork dishes and potato pancakes, excellent German wine and beer selections.
Asena Restaurant at Santa Clara and Everett in Alameda, 15-20 minutes from the airport, Mediterranean menu, excellent paella and wine list, very cozy atmosphere.
La Pinata at Santa Clara and Park in Alameda, 15-20 minutes from the airport,big Tex-Mex menu, excellent margaritas/tequila selection.

Jeez- I could go on and on, but you'd miss your flight......

Apr 14, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

BBQ in Alameda ... and other meaty topic (Scalise & Mariani's) ???

The mention of a Portuguese reataurant in Alameda brings back melancholy memories
of one of my three all-time favorite Alameda eateries, the legendary Patusco's. It had
an all-too brief run in the South Shore bowling alley in the late 1980s. They did a fabulous
"Portuguese rice", which was more like a seafood/chorizo/linguica laden jambalaya.
I could never figure out how they made their Portuguese eggplant Parmesan, usually a rather leaden dish, almost etherially light. As the ancient SF Chronicle restaurant critic Stan Sesser raved, "they have (had) a way with red sauces." Anyway, they're long gone, (sniff) but I hear rumors that the new "Hob-Knob", where
Kelly's/Barceluna/Driftwood used to be on Park Street will feature the chef from ThirstyBear in SF, and that the house specialty will be small plates, with American, Spanish and Portuguese influences. I'm hoping for some decent crab cakes, mini-burgers, paella and baccala- And maybe some parking.

Apr 14, 2007
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone been to Great American BBQ lately? [Alameda]

Great American changed ownership about a year ago; since then
the pork ribs have improved, the banana pudding is pretty good, but the rest of the choices remain relatively unremarkable, IMHO. But if you're Q-crazed and don't feel like
leaving Alameda, you could do worse.

Season To Taste in the Alameda Marketplace usually features
"barbeque" ribs, but they're the oven-braised cooked-to-death
type, that folks either love or hate. (I belong to the latter
group; I like a little bit of fight left in my ribs.)

Where's Uncle Willie's? I'm dying for some real West Texas
style brisket, something that's hard to find out here.

Oct 03, 2006
alameda fats in San Francisco Bay Area