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Need recommendations for Oakland trip Dec 27 -30- nothing elegant! --Report Back

Thanks again for all the great recs. Since hubby was very, very busy with work and I'm just not that into dining solo, we only made a tiny dent in all the great places to try. We are planning to return to the area on our own because we had so much fun. The people in the East Bay were really fun and friendly and for the first time on any type of trip I can honestly say I loved everything! The first night, after dealing with the crazies on I-5, we took bbulkow's suggestion and headed for the Kingfish. I can see why people were happy to see it open again. We each had a Star Special which was a shot of bourbon and a Red Stripe. Not something I would normally have, but they went down pretty smooth! Then we ordered chicken wings and the Vegetable Combo from the Red Sea across the street. This is a huge combo of 5 different vegetable dishes, plus salad, plus 3 injera breads. We ordered ours "spicy" and it lived up to the title. The best part of the dish was chopped greens (possibly collard) with lots of garlic and spices. Yum! This all went well with group of guys who loaded the jukebox with really old country music and caused a giant impromptu sing-along. (I fit in because I do know all the words to Devil Went Down to Georgia.)The next day for lunch we headed to Fruitvale and El Huarache Azteca (Thank you to Robert Lauriston.). I had the huarache con mole and it was terrific. I loved the slightly smoky taste of the beans inside, and the mole was rich and the chicken tender. Hubby had alambres. I can't remember the exact name of the one he had, but it included bacon, pineapple, ham, onions and bell pepper and was served over homemade corn tortillas. I also got a giant jamaica and it was the best, made from scratch, not Kool-Aid masquerading as jamaica. The next night we went to the House of Chicken and Waffles. (bbulkow again, but not in the Jack London Inn, next to it)I had the Homeboy (fried chicken livers and a waffle) and hubby had a thigh and a waffle and then we split candied yams (partial to my Mom's, but these were pretty tasty!). We also ordered 2 martinis from their $2 Tuesday martini list, but they never came. We asked the server to check on them twice and then the third time he came back and told us that the bartender said he never got the order even though he showed him the printout. Oh well, I'm not sure a dirty martini would have gone too well with those candied yams and all the syrup anyway. Plus, this way we were able to console ourselves with a trip to Forbidden Island (bbulkow knows his bars). Super interior, felt like being in the Tiki Room at Disneyland only without the birds and with booze! The only problem was we drove there so it was one drink and done. The people there were really great and they are even going to ship me one of their signature tiki mugs because hubby ordered a Hurricane instead of the drink that came in the signature mug and then when we got home realized he wanted a pair of them. So we didn't get to try near as much as we wanted to but are grateful for all your suggestions and can't wait to come back and try more. On the way home we decided we wanted a burger and stopped in Los Gatos at Main Street Burgers. On our last trip north we ate at Taylor's at the Ferry Building. Now the disagreement: hubby says Taylor's is better, giving them props for their bun, pickles, and sauce. I preferred Main Street. The Niman Ranch meat tasted like Niman Ranch meat and extremely juicy while still being done inside. The bun was sturdy but not overpowering, which I thought the Taylor's one was. Also Ioved the sauce on the Main Street burger (a mix of mayo and mustard, I think). But here's the big difference: both places served good burgers, but the guy who took our order at Taylor's could have cared less if we ate there, and no one that was working there that day acted any differently. They all appeared to be bored and "over it". Meanwhile, at Main Street the girl who took our order was cheerful and helped us by pointing out some cost-cutting measures we hadn't seen. So I guess it's a toss-up, at least in our household. Thanks again to all the East Bay Hounds! If you’re ever in the IE, I hope I can steer you to some good food. And I guess I’ll have to find somewhere here to have my banh mi!

Jan 08, 2010
lgoodwood in San Francisco Bay Area

Need recommendations for Oakland trip Dec 27 -30- nothing elegant!

A big thank you to everyone who has posted so far! I can't believe the wealth of information. I have so many tabs open on my computer I think it will explode! Some of you even seem to be somewhat psychic and recommended stuff that I also like, but didn't mention: like bookstores. I am a library assistant and planned to hit some used bookstores with my Christmas $$ while we're there. I will most definitely post a report back when we return. You guys are the greatest!! Thanks again.

Dec 22, 2009
lgoodwood in San Francisco Bay Area

Need recommendations for Oakland trip Dec 27 -30- nothing elegant!

Travelling with husband (business for him, Christmas break for me) to Oakland between Christmas and New Year's. Can you recommend some places to try in Oakland?

Specifically:
1. Guy Fieri "Triple D" type places for lunch or dinner.
2. "Dive" bars with good drinks/food where you're welcome even if you're not a regular.
3. Unique ice cream, dessert, pastry places.
4. Sushi (preferably somewhere where sustainable fish is not the exception)
5. Best banh mi place (never tried one, want to on this trip)
6. Anything else inexpensive but fabulous. Authentic Mexican and Chinese are favorites.

Will have rental car and be staying near the airport. Hubby will be working in San Leandro. Willing to go into San Francisco, but were just there last month, so more interested in what Oakland has to offer. Can't wait to hear some fabulous CH rec's!

Dec 21, 2009
lgoodwood in San Francisco Bay Area

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

Is Tony's still here? The one we went to on Magnolia is something else now. Did they relocate? We used to get bags of tacos from there! I haven't had orange bang in forever! I was actually partial to the pina colada flavor, but they don't have that everywhere.

Feb 27, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

Can't wait to go back. And yes, I think the avocado salsa is better at Mijo's than El Pollo Loco (also a guilty pleasure of mine!) because it is hotter. But if you don't like hot, then it wouldn't be.

Feb 27, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

Well I was a Riverside Community Hospital baby and I've never left! But I haven't had the zucchini at the place on Hole...now I will and we'll just see....maybe with an IE standard: the combo burger?

Feb 25, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

A report on Mijo's: We have been trying to diet (!) and hadn't been in a while and my husband just told me they moved due to the upcoming underpass construction. Possible new address is 10203 Hole Ave. If anyone knows anything, please post and let me know. I can't go without their avocado salsa for very long!

Feb 25, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

No problem! Totally off the topic of Mexican food, the best fried zucchini, IMHO, in the IE is at George's on Magnolia. http://www.georgesdrivein.com/
Happy Hunting!

Feb 25, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

Wow, did not expect this reaction. But since everyone has their opinion, I'll add mine. Ancho's is called "Southwest Grill and Bar" I didn't give them this name. They also serve the Mexican food that is traditional to the Southwest, specifically New Mexico. They mention this on their menu when talking about
"Christmas sauce" (Half red/Half green) a term that is used primarily with New Mexican food. Are some of the items Mexican in origin (i.e. tacos, burritos, etc.)? Yes. Is the style similar to the "street food" many of us grew up on? No. Can you have a good meal there? Yes. My comment to Ben was merely to point out that this is not the only Mexican (Southwestern or otherwise) restaurant that is good in Riverside or the IE. People who speak about the IE seem to rehash the same places over and over. In some cases this is because they are very good. I would put Anchos in this category, but I wanted to suggest some places that I consider more authentically Mexican. As for "turista", you can end up with that anywhere, not just in Mexico.

Feb 23, 2009
lgoodwood in California

DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

Welcome to the IE BEN! It is not as dire as it seems at first, but nothing is usually close to where you are. I hope I don't offend too many people when I say that it is truly disappointing that when someone asks for a Mexican food recommendation in the IE everyone chimes in with Ancho's. It is not bad, but it is Southwestern, not Mexican. Please try Papi's Tacos El Carbon (Van Buren location only 5701 Van Buren Blvd) Have the Papi's Special Burrito (carne asada) . Delicious salsas. Also good: Mijo's Tacos (6215 Magnolia Ave) Have a handmade corn quesadilla with carnitas or carne asada. Flour ones are not as good, but the corn ones are amazing! D'Elias Grinders for a terrific grinder that doesn't come with Italian dressing (http://www.deliasgrinders.com), Brandon's Diner (10271 Magnolia Ave) for amazing breakfasts, both Mexican and American. Romano's (http://www.romanosrestaurants.com/) for delicious stuffed deep-dish pizza and a pretty decent carbonara. I hope you find some places you like, and hey, if not, the Metrolink makes goes straight from Riverside to Union Station--a nice day trip!

Feb 21, 2009
lgoodwood in California

Any hole-in-wall restaurants in Riverside?

This is probably too late for your trip, but try Brandon's Diner at 10271 Magnolia Ave across from the Tyler Mall next to the soon-to-be-closed Circuit City. Fabulous Mexican (try the chile verde omelette) or American (cinnamon roll french toast) breakfasts. Pretty decent hamburgers and other diner classics too, but I can't stay away from the breakfast. Also, if you like menudo they do huge bowls with all the fixin's on the weekend. And they will bring it with "easy meat" if you like the broth and stuff but not the tripe. They are always friendly and they also do pretty good chips and salsa.

Feb 06, 2009
lgoodwood in California

Can't wait to come back!

Stella's sounds really good, what is the dress code there?

Dec 04, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Can't wait to come back!

Thanks for the great ideas!

Dec 04, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Can't wait to come back!

Hi Everyone,
After 4 years, my husband and I are finally returning to your beautiful city. We will make the trip from California in December (12/25-1/1)and are very excited. We love touristy things/places and will do several of them, but would also like suggestions for the best "locals" food, drink, and music. Make as many suggestions as you can, nothing will go unread.

Nov 25, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Can't wait to come back!

We encountered Lucky Dog on our first trip. I wanted to have one desperately because I had read Confederacy of Dunces. Don't know how the rest of NOLA feels, but I won't be taking food suggestions from literature anymore. ;-) So. Cal is not exactly hospitality-oriented anymore, so even the MSY employees seemed great to us!

Sep 20, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Can't wait to come back!

We will be staying at the corner of Bourbon and Canal. We may rent a car, depending on suggestions. Otherwise we will be relying on feet and streetcar, possibly cabs. Will take your suggestion and eat before the game! The food is not any better at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Great Mexican food everywhere, and not a decent taco to be had at the stadium!

Sep 20, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Can't wait to come back!

Hi Everyone,
After 4 years, my husband and I are finally returning to your beautiful city. We will make the trip from California in December (12/25-1/1)and are very excited. We love touristy things/places and will do several of them, but would also like suggestions for the best "locals" food, drink, and music. Make as many suggestions as you can, nothing will go unread. Also, we are thinking about going to a Saints game--how is the food at the games?

Sep 20, 2008
lgoodwood in New Orleans

Need LSU Football chant with "boudin" in it

Does anyone out there know the words to an LSU football chant that mentions several foods? I know one of them is boudin. One might be grits and cochon might be mentioned as well. Need this for a program at work. Go Tigers!

Oct 19, 2007
lgoodwood in Not About Food

Road trip burger results--gimme a Squeeze!

Well, we kinda missed it. We bought bait there. Arggghhh! Well, another time I guess!

Aug 10, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Road trip burger results--gimme a Squeeze!

Thanks to all who provided input on our burger quest in and around the Sacramento area. We got to try two--Squeeze Inn in Sacramento and Ikeda's in Auburn. My vote goes to the Squeeze with cheese. We were lucky enough to snag the two counter seats front and center and unlucky enough to have an hour wait there. But the two girls behind the counter kept our sodas refilled and we got to watch the circus. Only one person who was told about the hour wait left. After a while we were even fielding questions ourselves! (Yes, it's still an hour if you get it to go!)
But then our burgers arrived....wow! Can't say enough about these. The cheese "skirt" is yummy, but the burger itself shines through. And how nice to have nice ripe produce on the burger and quality pickles too. Fries were delicious and perfectly cooked and seasoned. Everyone was nice and we had a blast. Owner has opened a new location in Napa.
We also tried Ikeda's in Auburn. We got ours with bacon. The bacon was perfect, the burger was pretty good too. Service was cranky, and it seemed more crowded there than at the tiny Squeeze Inn. My main reason for stopping though, was Sacto Damkier's tip on fresh peach shakes. I wanted to like them, but these just weren't good. They were made with ice mik and neither my hubby or I could taste any peach. (about 5 minutes after we got our order a man brought a new supply of peaches to the kitchen, so maybe they had run out.) But our marionberry cobbler was pretty tasty. All in all a good rec.
Now, I'd be a horrible person if I didn't share my 2 biggest finds of this trip (Riverside to Downieville). If you are within a couple of hours of Downieville, check out the fabulous pie at the Grubstake Saloon (315 Main St.) Made by a woman from Goodyear's Bar, they are fabulous! I had key lime (which I don't order anymore because it is usually fake lime, with purchased crust, and green food coloring.) and it was sinfully good. Huge piece, homemade graham cracker crust with lots of butter, real key lime juice, and no coloring! Hubby had apple cruch. Real apples, thinly sliced, tasty crunch topping. They also grill up a pretty good burger.
Our other find was just down the road in Sierra City. The Red Moose Cafe (also on the main street) is open mainly for breakfast. Perhaps the best sausage and hashbrowns I've had. In fact the owner told us they named a dish after a patron called the Phil's Special: pie a la mode, with whipped cream piled high and two sausages! We tried to go back to try it but they were closed.
This was our only complaint for this area. Very strange hours and even those aren't always kept. You really have to plan ahead to stay in the area for any length of time.
It is quite a drive up from the more easily accessible Hwy. 49 towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley. Pretty twisty, but man, that pie was good, the air was clean, and I caught my first fish! And promptly released him...he smiled at me, I think.
So thanks to all for the burger recs, they helped make great trip better.

Aug 09, 2007
lgoodwood in California

What to eat with cottage cheese?

Two I haven't seen so far:
1.spread on a toasted english muffin with honey and sliced strawberries...kinda like a danish without all the fat
2.and my favorite: sprinkled with Pico de Gallo (not the salsa, but a Mexican spice blend with citrus and chiles) delicious.

Jul 17, 2007
lgoodwood in General Topics

Long John Silvers

Ah, now you've done it...I try and eat here only once a year, because I absolutely only want the fried stuff! My husband and I like the combo where you get fish, shrimp and clams and then he substitutes extra fries for his coleslaw and I substitute extra hushpuppies for my fries. (no charge!).

Jul 16, 2007
lgoodwood in Chains

gems at Trader Joe's

We are in So Calif., so I don't know if you will have all these available, but my faves are:
chile-spice dried mango (try with beer, I kid you not it is delicious!)
Frozen mac and cheese (yummy!)
Chile-lime pistachios
Greek yogurt with greek honey (comes together)
English muffin bread (to put it over the top, buy Kerrygold butter!)

Jul 16, 2007
lgoodwood in Chains

Squeeze Inn- worth the detour?

Oh, now you're throwing pies and milkshakes into the mix? I cannot spend the next 3 weeks drooling all over! What about "Ford's Real Hamburgers"? Someone my husband works with recommended it. Road trips...love em!

Jul 06, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Squeeze Inn- worth the detour?

I'm still fairly new to this board thing, so I have no idea if there is a way to reply to all of you, but thanks to all for the tips! If you're down in SoCal, my pick is Nessy Burger On Interstate 15 at the Hwy 76 off ramp in north San Diego County. Up towards you all we loved Mel and Faye's Drive-In in Jackson. Get the Moo Burger and a homemade shake! When we were there they were grinding meat fresh daily from a local provider. 31 N State Highway 49-88 Jackson, CA

Jul 05, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Lunch joints in downtown San Diego

Wow, sounds like none of our visits! Usually I have to fight off the coffee refills. I'd give it one more try, but not without the coffeecake. They have a different kind almost every day, blackberry is amazing. Have you heard anything about the new place downtown, Richard Walker's?

Jul 03, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Lunch joints in downtown San Diego

Don't know if this will reach you before your trip, but our favorite is Hob Nob Hill. I know not a "foodie" place, but not many places like it left. Homemade roast beef hash, homemade chutney to go on top and homemade coffeecake on the side, good cup of coffee...how can you go wrong? Breakfast served all day, lunch has too many choices, so we usually stick to breakfast.

Jul 03, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Squeeze Inn- worth the detour?

My husband and I will be travelling to Downieville at the end of the month from Riverside. We saw the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento on Food Network and the burgers looked mighty tasty. Does anyone in the Sacramento area agree that it would be worth the detour to stop here?

Jul 03, 2007
lgoodwood in California

Best in Las Vegas - lunch & dinner

We have not tried the tapas place at Fashion Show, but we loved Firefly on Paradise. This was our first tapas experience and we loved everything we tried, even the anchovies! Has anyone else tried Firefly? http://www.fireflylv.com/

Feb 03, 2007
lgoodwood in Southwest

Sterling Brunch- Worth It?

My husband and will be in Las Vegas in 2 weeks. I am tempted to try the Sterling Brunch at Bally's, but would like some feedback. What are some of the best items people have had at this brunch? What is the service like? Also, is this a "grownup" experience, or is it typical buffet, full of crying children and parents who let their kids touch all the food ("they're experiencing life, and we don't want to stifle them.") All feedback welcome!

Feb 03, 2007
lgoodwood in Southwest