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San Ramon Bound: Need Your Reccos

The Mrs. is going to an annual business conference in San Ramon, and I get to ride shotgun on her company's dime. Could Bay Area 'hounds help a refugee from the south out with your recommendations, we would like any info on BBQ, Chinese or Thai, seafood, Mexican, and burgers, and any really good breakfast joint for Sunday.

We have done Back 40 BBQ (brisket aint bad) and Big Horn Grill (too fancified/gimmicky for us, "watermellon" bbq sauce?) and Uncle Yu's.

Could someone also confirm that Bagel Street Cafe still has a store in the shopping center behind the Marriott, I'd much rather have a coffee, and bagel with white fish salad there, instead of an unremarkable (except for their bacon) breakfast at the Marriott.

Thanks for any and all help.

A little time waster> http://www.Indefatigable-Indolence.org

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  1. Wayne,

    Let me recommend a couple of places in that neck of the woods. I grew up in Danville and return frequently to visit my parents.

    The burger at Blackhawk Grille is far better than I had any right to expect. And the fries and pickle that come with are out of this world in a slightly unexpected way. It's a 5 minute drive from where you're staying - just take Crow Canyon Road east and the Blackhawk Plaza is at the corner of Camino Tasajara and Blackhawk Road (which is what Crow Canyon becomes). Nice place for lunch or dinner. It's good for brunch or breakfast on Sunday too.

    Just North of San Ramon, in downtown Danville, on Danville Blvd., just south of Diablo Road, is Norm's Place. Give it a shot.

    I don't believe that the Zachary's pizza destined for San Ramon has yet opened, but if it has, you must go and must try the chicken and basil or spinach and mushroom stuffed pizza (although my brother swears by the chorizo stuffed pizza). Even if they're not open yet, consider a short drive to the Rockridge area of Berkeley on College Ave. to try Zachary's - it's in the top 5 of things I miss about not living in the Bay Area any more.

    In the same neighborhood, but on the west side of the Rockridge Bart station on College Ave. is Pearl Oyster Bar, which does great things with fish and seafood.

    Finally, not that far from the Marriott is the shopping center on Bollinger Canyon Road that has the Whole Foods Market etc. There is a Peet's Coffee in there (another one is in Danville) for your morning cuppa Joe, and I actually very much enjoy the offerings of Pasta Pomodoro too, which I wish would expand more in LA.

    Have a great time in a lovely neck of the woods.

    1. My favorite Thai place is in Pleasanton off Santa Rita. It's called Little Home. For a nice place, check out Cafe Esin in San Ramon. There is also some excellent Indian places out here. For really fresh Indian fare, I like Tabla in the same location as Little Home. Both spots are in the first complex off the freeway by Trader Joe's.

      1. You might want to check out Kinder's in Danville. I've only done the sniff test and haven't tasted the product myself. More info in the chow archives.

        1. Chino Wayne, I want one of your way cool CH road trip reports when you are back home. Yours always crack me up.

          1. For Mexican, I'd go to:

            Los Panchos Mexican Restaurant
            (925) 275-1300 3104 Crow Canyon Pl # C
            San Ramon, CA

            El Balazo
            (925) 543-0000 2005 Crow Canyon Pl
            San Ramon, CA

            Both are very good. Los Panchos reminds me of the restaurants I went to in San Diego; El Balazo is more like Mission District.

            The closest good bbq is:
            Bo's Barbecue & Catering
            (925) 283-7133 3422 Mount Diablo Blvd
            Lafayette, CA

            If you go at rush hour it will take a while. If you go a little later, it's a 20 minute drive.

            1. Yes, the Bagel Street Cafe you mention is still there.

              1. Is there anything good in Niles Canyon? Wayne might enjoy seeing this area, it used to have lots of 'character.' Anything worth visiting there now? I remember it as a lovely area from my childhhood, the western terminus for the famous Zephyr train. I recall we ate in Niles or somewhere nearby, maybe Sunol, after greeting a relative wo'd come out west on the Zephyr.

                1 Reply
                1. re: toodie jane

                  It is pretty through there. No replies to my query last year, maybe we'll smoke out something this go round.

                  Sunol Cafe inquiry -
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                2. hubby used to go to the PG&E Learning Center ( now SRVCC)occasionally, and ate at a Japanese restaurant nearby--Sakura? He said it was "fine". This was over 5 years ago, anyone know if it's still there?

                  1. Sozo in Pleasanton is pretty good. Large portion (Korean owned) Japanese restaurant. It gets pretty packed during lunch and dinner, so try to go early.

                    1. Zachary's is opening TODAY (9/13/06) in San Ramon on Crow Canyon...WOO HOO!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: melinna

                        Thanks for the heads up, melinna. Look forward to your report!