Dragon Terrace, Hercules - sour taste in my mouth
I've eated here once in the past and it was okay, nothing specail but okay enough for me to go back today. However after today I will not be back I promise.
I'm sure people will say I should have handled this differently, I guess I was a little in shock that I accepted it and simply paid up and left. I ordered 'Black pepper steak cubed', I waited and one waiter came out with food and checked what I ordered, the next waiter came along and asked if the 'gren pepper beef' was mine, I said no, but the original waiter insisted it was 'black pepper beef'. fine byy me it looked good.
The sauce was good, the green peppers also, the issue was with the pile of fatty uncooked beef (??) which was also on the plate. I searched every piece of fatty chewy meat (?) and found a few spots that were not pure fat, but they were so small it was hard to get a bite of those and not fill my mouth with fat also. On inspection (ie sucking the sauce of the meat/fat it was obvious that they were raw as well as of very poor quality.
It was lunch time, i'm in a rush and I was hungry what can I say? I ate the rice, sauce and peppers and then informed the owner that the pile of fat on my plate was disguiting and inedible. He agred completly and apologised, his solution was a replacemt meal, even a take out meal - not sure he understoood why I refused this offer, I've just had the worst meal of my life and he wants another chance? Sorry I don't work that way. Anyway he said he would tell the chef and agreed it was unacceptable and then presented the bill.
I paid up and left (with no tip), but am I wrong in thinking he should have knocked something of the bill? even the drink would have been nice - I accept the fact that I ate it and only complained at the end, but I think a free drink, or a few dollars of would have been an honest gesture. Whatever after that meal I would not ever return regardless of if they had waved the full cost.
Sorry for the ramble but had to vent a little - I wasa little worried earlier of the ramifications (on my insides) of this luc\nch, but a few hours later I'm still walking.
Oh yeah, Uncle Sam's. There's a new place there that I keep meaning to explore a little more ... The Villa Modern Chinese Cuisine.
The one thing I had there so far was pretty good ... Thai street noodles which was spicy hot chow fun chock full of fresh basil, chicken, beef, slivered red and green bell peppers, fresh green beans, onions
I didn't get a lot of positive feed back on the Viet place in Albertson's and my pho was ok but not too memorable. There's another L&L or some Hawaiian BBQ there. Next door the coffee shop, Mai's I think, went out of business and a new pizza place is going in. It said something about NY pizza ... but, you know, San Pablo ... I'm not holding by breath. If all else fails there's Popeye or El Pollo Loco.
One more Viet Place is next to that big Asian market ... Pho 80-something I think. Better pho than the place near Albertson's. Meant to check out more of the menu.
Yes, the mexican truck in the gas station parking lot (across from Raley's) is very good. The carnitas or al pastor is great. I lived and worked in that area for years. I don't anymore, but here are a few tips from me -
The mexican place across from Bianco's Deli (Appian Way) has very good carnitas. The other meats I could take or leave, but the carnitas are great, and they make a nice fresh-to-order Enchilada meal with whatever meat you want. Jones' BBQ is bland, and I've had undercooked chicken there twice. The new VN place (Champa Gardens) had potential on my one visit. The new Filipino place was disgusting. I haven't loved a west CC Co chinese meal ever, except when the old Uncle Sam's wasn't even a big buffet.
I don't know why people love Uncle Chungs. Maybe they are used to boiled fat pie, and this is exciting for them. Bianco's Deli makes decent sandwiches and has a nice selection of salads.
I've had some decent lunches at Due Rose - never have been for dinner. Same with Pear St. Although it isn't exciting or "great", I've had pleasant lunches at the VN place (Old Saigon) across the freeway by Albertsons.
The "Tandoori Chicken USA" sandwich is very good. Their other items aren't bad, but not worth the $ (and the sandwich has gotten spendy, too). The mexican place by the Starbucks on Appian - nice people, bland, but harmless, food. The place up by Uncle Chung's is better, but wasn't worth a 2d visit. The mex place in the Pinole (Fitzgerald Dr.) mall makes a large Quesadilla w/meat that will kill you if you try and finish it, but w/the al pastor, is pretty good.
The good news for you, rob, is that you aren't in Antioch.
my choice for Chinese in the area is China Delights - (good food, huge portions) which is in the Safeway strip mall (Pinole)
Shinsen (Japanese) in Hercules is great - the best Japanese in the area. Gigi, the owner is the best!
Happy Sashimi and the Red Onion on Pinole Valley are owned by the same owner. I love the Red Onion, Happy is not so good.
I prefer L&L versus Ohana (Pinole), cheaper and just better tasting.
Marylou's is great (pricey compared to the others in the area, but worth it), Vivian's, I believe is closed and has been replaced by another Filipino place (haven't tried yet).
My choice for Mexican is the truck across the street from the Raley's on SPDM - the carnitas anything is fantastic!
Raley's Plaza? Are we in El Sobrante? Or is there another Raley's around here?
and there is an Indian in the safeway lot? I'll have to sniff that one out sometime.
I've only worked around here for the past 4 or 5 months so I'm working on finding some decent places. Tried the Southern place (Trinity's) in Rodeo last week.....not going back, don't understnad anyone eating at Kinder's...hmm what else..the Embers is acceptable if thats your kind of thing (Emil Villa clone).
any decent Mexican? Or deli's (New Deli is not to bad in Pinole)
Yep, the Raley's in El Sobrante. BTW, the Filipino Place that opened in El Sobrante has been getting trashed.
In that same plaza beside Champa is Cafe Solel ... a place I've only been to for breakfast and Jones BBQ which is maybe B- or C BBQ.
I did a bunch of reports abour area resturants and then did recaps of those cities like Rodeo, Hercules, Pinole, El Sobrante with links to the reports. The move to the new software I'm finding did a really strange thing. The migration picked up some of those reports and inserted them in the recap. So until search is working and I can find stuff, off the top of my head
Next to MaryLou's there's an L&L BBQ in the Albertson Plaza. It has positive mentions, but Hawaiian isn't my thing so I've yet to try it.
Marylou's is the best of the Filipino. Vivian's is god-awful. That's the one in the same plaza as Dragon Terrace. I never tried the Japanese Plaza Shinsen. The coffee shop next to it is only ok. Nothing special there.
As far as Kinder's they do one decent thing. I forget the name but the beef is rolled up. The bottom line is that it is a good version of roast beef but a little pricy.
In Rodeo there is Won Thai in the Plaza next to Burger King. Keep in mind my lack of Thai Expertise. However it does get good mentions on the board.
People's Market has some ready made sandwiches but they are of the 7-11 type. Not too impressed with the chicken.
Rickey's has good fried chicken, a little pricy except for one day a week, but I like Trinity's fried chicken better ... so there you go. You can buy a single piece of that chicken. Even though you didn't like the pork chop and didn't share my opinion on the beans, this is a good chicken ... just takes forever though.
I haven't tried it but the Mexican restaurant in town I hear is good, but haven't tried it yet. It's near that breakfast place.
In Pinole, Bear Claw makes a fine herb chicken sandwich. Some of the deli items can be hit and miss and a little pricy, but I liked that sandwich. They make good cake donuts too.
The Red Onion in Pinole is one of the better one. It is a fast food hamburger, but not bad.
I haven't tried the Thai place in town and was trying to get some info that no one replied to. By then I was too discouraged by area Tha to give it a try. Here's the info I have.
Here's info on Eva's, the cheap Filipino Place
Speaking of cheap and better than The Embers, is Alley Cafe. I think I got a sandwich and house made soup there for under $5 once. It is not amazing food but it is decent. I'd say New Deli is better, but it is also a little more expensive.
There's a new Japanese Place Happy Sashimi across from the Thai restaurant. It got some good reports.
Giovani's has some good house-made sausage and decent enough sandwiches. I'm not thrilled with the bread they make and I stick to the Italian food.
Further down San Pablo there's a Thai restaurant near Walgreens where Starbucks is location. It was ok. Won Thai was better.
Going further down when you hit San Pablo there's a big Asian Market that will fry up a fish from the tanks. There's a good Filipino bakery next door for bread and empanadas. Across the street is a Mexican restaurant that didn't impress me a whole lot.
On Rumrill, there's La Loma #11 a Mexican market with a small restaurant in back. They have a great birria and excellent house made tortillas. Sometimes cool vendors hang outside selling good food. Near the counter there can be little boxes of great baked goods.
There are two great shops selling tortas on 23rd. My favorite is La Guarecita Taqueria .. Great Torta ... just great. Tortas Los PIcudos is pretty darn good too.
Waaay down on 23rd & Rheem is Pepito's Deli which makes an excellent chile verde as well as other things.
Oh yeah, one more ... on Appian way, near the other Red Onion is Biaco's Deli which makes some good Italian sandwiches. Love the gorgonzola sandwich.
Ah ... forgot ... one of the better Hawaiian joints in the Pinole mall sort of near Carl Jr's.. I'm not a fan of Due Rose nearby but others like the place.
Hope you will report back on whether you like some of these joints.
Maybe I'll try the Filino on my next few outings...Any Indian opinions? Tandorri Chicken USA did nothing for me and I thought I was going to love Hawelli (next to Uncle Chungs), first visit I was so impressed, second not so much and third I decided it was another bland version.
Oh ... and Indian ... I am a terrible at recommending Indian. Rule my opinion out as far as anything Asian. There is an Indian restaurant across the freeway from Hawelli in the Safeway shopping area. For me Tandori Chicken is only about that sandwich and it must be eaten on the spot.
If you are down that far ... have you tried Gou Bou Li in the Raley's Plaza? There's also Champa Thai next to The Cellar Liquor store. Need to get back there.
I work out here and I have a real hard time to be honest. I tend to bring left overs most days. But about once a week I might have a meeting in the am and so I am only arriving out here at lunchtime, and I struggle as to where to go.
I've only eaten at Uncle Chung's once and it did nothing for me, I'll likely go back at some point but i'm not exactly breaking down the doors to do that right know. As for other options, give me a suggestion and I'm there. I always want to give places a go and see.
The only other place I go (on occasion) is Hunan Villa, which I consider decent good quality food, but I don't think of it as that good Szechuan or even as good Chinese, just as a place I know will have fresh edible food thats expensive!
Yeah, I have an active dislike for Hunan Villa though I love Pear Street by the same owner.
Chinese I can't help you as I spent most of my life ordering beef & brocolli. What about Filipino? MaryLou's in the Albertson's shopping center is good. There's a super cheap and not bad Filipino joint in Pinole up the street from Pear Street.
I can give an opinion about other types on cuisines in the area. I'm just not a good reference for Chinese or Japanese.
If you want a stop on the way from where, I know a few good torta joints in San Pablo and theres some decent food in El Sobrante.
How do you think it compares overall with "Uncle Chung's Szechuan" in Pinole which someone commented was better? Where would you eat Chinese food in the area rather than Dragon Terrace?
The issue about compensation probably belongs on Not About Food board where you would get more of a response by linking to this post.