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Sep 8, 2006 04:51 PM

Dorsey's Locker- don't be scared

I had driven by this place a thousand times and while tempted, never stopped- maybe because the place seemed to have no windows, maybe because eating in a bar (with lingering beer, cigarette and ammonia fumes) didn't appeal, perhaps it was the memory of a shooting 10 years or so ago when it was Bosen's locker.. but finally made it over there yesterday for lunch and realized my fears were for naught. The restaurant is next to the bar, not in it; clean and tidy as can be and sun streaming in the, yes, windows.
I had the short rib special which was the boneless variety cooked fork-tender and served with a beefy brown gravy. Loved the sides including tender but somewhat acrid collards with a satisfying pot liquor perfect with the corn muffin which I must say is one of the better corn muffins- Southern style..fresh but dense, not sweet, not one of those jiffy cakey cornbreads- great black eyed peas with shreds of ham, cinnimon-y but not cloying sweet potatoes and GREAT sweet tea. I'll be back to try the oxtails and made to order fried chicken.
I've never made it to Nellies at JLS but this seems like a great North Oakland option without the drive and wait.

5817 Shattuck Ave near 58th Street; 510-428-1935

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  1. Thanks so much for the report. I too always go past this place and have never gone in. How are the prices? Was it busy?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hunicsz

      Most of their business is takeout, although there are maybe 10 small tables. It can get very busy weekend evenings. There always seems to be a wait to get fried foods, but I'm more interested in the specials anyway.

      For you Rockridgers, Dorsey's is surprisingly close, 1 freeway exit from Claremont and 2 from Broadway.

    2. Did you say oxtail stew?? Is it a special or on the menu all the time?

      1. Prices were about 10-11 dollars for a generous main with 3 sides and cornbread. My only gripe was that the tea does not come with refills. But it was great tea (or I wouldn't have asked for a refill) Some items are daily such as the fried chicken and a lot of sandwichy things and then everyday they have about 3 specials and the sides are always available. The oxtails were on Tuesdays, I think. (I would call ahead to make sure.)
        Honestly it was the most cheerful little place, I feel so silly about my previous qualms..

        1. Interestingly enough, Nellie's was originally located in the back of Dorsey's Locker but they grew popular enough that they relocated to their newer, larger digs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Hi Mr. Mousse,
            I've been going to Dorsey's Locker, nee Bosun's Locker, since the late 80's. As I understand it Nellie was a cook at Dorsey's and she left to open her own place, but Dorsey's has always been Dorsey's (except when it was Bosun's). As I recall there are photos of the longtime owner near the register.

            On Friday's Dorsey's has gumbo, which is on the salty side but very flavorful and packed with crab, chicken, sausage and shrimp. I get the large and usually can't polish it off in one meal. Also good is the humble turkey wing and dressing plate. Like Thanksgiving all year round.


          2. Good for you for stepping in the door of a place we ALL passed by a zillion times. Sounds like a find ... especially the fact that there are windows.

            Do you remember the hours?

            2 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              well... I gave them a call.

              Tues/Wed 1130-9pm
              Th-Sat 1130-11pm
              Sun 12-7pm

              I've had fried chicken and cornbread on the brain all day...

              1. re: berkeleypie

                Thanks so much. Sunday dinner is sounding good.