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Merritt Restaurant & Bakery in Oakland - Great Waffles, Good Chicken

Cindy Sep 7, 2006 08:12 PM

Just went there for lunch - they were filming a commercial and my co-worker and I were entertained by the tap-dancing actor.

I ordered the waffle with chicken wings; co-worker ordered the waffle with chicken thighs. Fantastic waffle. Crispy yet light. Big waffle - took up the whole plate.

Chicken was good, but we didn't think it was as good as Nellie's or Southern Cafe. On the other hand, easy to find parking, just a few minutes away from work, and really friendly staff. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, just be a little warned - it's a dicey neighborhood.

Merritt Restaurant & Bakery
203 E 18th St
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 444-8680

  1. m
    ML8000 Sep 7, 2006 10:12 PM

    Thanks for the tip on the chicken and waffles.

    What do you guys think of their pies and cakes?

    I was disapointed by the pie there. Ordered a last minute birthday cake from there but don't remember much about it except it was a little sweet and heavy (nothing crazy). It (basic white cake with butter cream frosting) was good and okay but I understand it might not have been their speciality. Very old school which is nice however.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000
      Cindy Sep 8, 2006 12:18 AM

      We didn't have any cake or pie, but we did see some big pieces of strawberry shortcake (advertised as "fresh"). In addition, we took a peek at the bakery counter before leaving - everything is HUGE - eclairs a little less than a foot long, cookies bigger than my hand, etc. Don't know what they might taste like, but you would certainly get your money's worth.

      What kind of pie did you try?

      1. re: Cindy
        m
        ML8000 Sep 8, 2006 12:51 AM

        Peach and apple. The apple was "okay", the peach bad. I can accept that peaches might not have been in season (it was summer however) but it didn't make sense. The cakes seemed to have potential from what little I had.

    2. g
      gb44 Sep 7, 2006 09:53 PM

      Cross streets or some other identifying data on 900 Grayson, please.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gb44
        Morton the Mousse Sep 7, 2006 10:13 PM

        On 7th and Grayson in Berkeley. Near the Bayer factory.

        900grayson.com

      2. h
        Hunicsz Sep 7, 2006 09:12 PM

        Oh, I didn't even think of weekends! I think I know what I'm doing on Sat.

        Cindy--Yeah, I suppose there are some unsavory loitering types around there. Was it a commercial for the restaurant?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hunicsz
          Cindy Sep 8, 2006 12:16 AM

          Yes, it was a commercial for the restaurant. Well-dressed black man (dark grey suit) in his 60's, doing shots in front of the takeout counter as well as at a table and a booth (the one right behind ours, so if you see a gal in a peach colored shirt behind this gentleman in the commercial, that's my co-worker!)

          In general, I really liked the atmosphere and vibe of Merritt - nice staff, good range of customers from single diners to couples to families. It was pretty crowded when we left at 12:30pm.

        2. h
          Hunicsz Sep 7, 2006 08:56 PM

          I love Merritt Restaurant. I find Chicken & Waffles supremely comforting. I agree though, that the waffle is the star rather than the chicken.

          I've been meaning to try 900 Grayson, but can't get over there since they're only open for lunch. Is it true that they'll eventually be open for dinner too?

          BTW, re: the neighborhood. . .It's actually a relatively safe area, on the Lakeshore side of the Lake. I really don't consider it dicey. Although, perhaps that's what comes of being born & bred in Oakland :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hunicsz
            Cindy Sep 7, 2006 09:03 PM

            Well, dicey in that when we walked out, a man walking up to the door yelled some not-postable words at us. And it wasn't like he was mumbling them to himself, he actually was looking at us. Made me feel a little uneasy. And I grew up in SF, went to school at Berkeley, so I'm used to people yelling and stuff. :0

            Since you're local, it would be interesting to see if my co-worker or I made it onto the commercial they were filming. :D

            1. re: Hunicsz
              Morton the Mousse Sep 7, 2006 09:05 PM

              900 Grayson is trying to get a permit for dinner service, but they're located in Berkeley so they have some zoning hurdles to overcome. I can't make it out there for lunch on weekdays so I stick to the Saturday brunch (closed Sundays). Besides, if you don't have to return to work you have the perfect excuse to enjoy a glass of Drakes IPA.

            2. Morton the Mousse Sep 7, 2006 08:15 PM

              If you like fried chicken and waffles you should check out 900 Grayson in Berkeley. Personally, I prefer their fried chicken to Nellies. And the creamy gravy is so delicious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Morton the Mousse
                Cindy Sep 7, 2006 09:04 PM

                Thanks for the rec, will check it out. What's the difference between the Demon Lover and Seitan Lover? Very interesting menu.

                1. re: Cindy
                  rworange Sep 8, 2006 05:37 AM

                  The seitan lover is the vegetarian version of the demon lover, substituting seitan for chicken.

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