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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in the Bay Area

The problem with this place is that you don't smell any smoke outside. The ribs doesn't have the smoke ring and texture is like it was boiled and then grilled. The brisket was a tad dry and no smoke flavor.

Earliest Authentic Chinese Restaurant Outside of SF City Limits?

In Oakland Chinatown in the early 80's was On On Restaurant which was a Hong Kong style restaurant, more hole in the wall. It was one of the first in Oakland to serve the won ton that was mostly shrimp and the HK style chow mein (thin noodle fried crispy with protein/vegetable and sauce over the top). I went to Cal with the owner's son and that's how I found out about it. It was on the corner of Webster and 7th across from Tin's restaurant.

san leandro/bay area during the holidays

My take is that price/performance is better at DC but that doesn't necessarily mean the food is better. Maybe the crowds want the cheaper dinner. I'm not saying DC is bad, I like DC, but I think the food is better at Daimo but it is more expensive.

I was at Daimo last Saturday night and all but one table had diners so it wasn't empty.

san leandro/bay area during the holidays

Yes, Delight Garden.

san leandro/bay area during the holidays

I don't know if Delight Cafe is better than Daimo. DC offers 3 dishes for like $17. There's a large number of dishes you can choose from and they cook it quite competently. I still think Daimo's food is better.

DC opened a sister restaurant in the Greenhouse (Washington & Fargo in San Leandro). This place serves dim sum and has the same 3 dish specials for dinner. Gets really crowded.

Fish & Chips

I remember Yorkshire and the white-haired English guy from my days at Berkeley. You are right, I have not found a fish and chip that comes close to that. I went back there 20 years after graduating and he had long sold it to someone else and it was not the same.

Be interested to hear from others about Sea Salt. I have not tried that place.

Knife Sharpening in East Bay?

Thanks for the recommendation at Japan Woodworker. The knives came back really sharp and you can tell the knive sharpener knows his craft. It was pretty cheap too, 5 knives (8", 6", 4", and 2 2") for $25.

They have a nice glass display of some large sushi knives. Not as big as the ones in Iron Chef, but then again those are swords not knives.

Castro Valley/Hayward spots to check out?

Pickin's are slim but:

Lime Leaf - probably the best Thai in CV, located in the Castro Village. I haven't tried the other two, but friends have said they're not as good.

Pyzanno's - home of the world champion pizza thrower. Decent thin crust pizza.

Val's in Hayward - second the recommendation. nothing fancy or foo foo.

HK BBQ - good cantonese roast duch and pig.

Willow Park Paradiso is nice, but the San Leandro location is better, IMHO.

For a cheap steak, El Ranco is pretty good.

Palomares Cafe wasn't too bad for Mediterrean, but I haven't been there is 2 years.