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Lunch in Moraga?

My mom and I will be in Moraga in the next couple of weeks. I am not familiar with the area. Are there any decent, non-chain places for lunch? Basically any cuisine and price range -- just would like to find something somewhat of a little better than average quality and not overly noisy, which is not always easy to find in the Walnut Creek-Lafayette area. :-)

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  1. In a couple of years of going out to St. Mary's for classes I never found anything. There is/was a Chinese place in the shopping center at Rheem and Moraga Road near the pet store that was ok (have no idea of the name or if it still exists). I usually stopped in Orinda at Alekos and had one of their yummy gyros or other greek offerings.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SLRossi

      Cool .. insider info ... do you have thought's on the following places in Moraga ...
      - Bianca's Deli
      - Tamami's Japanese Restaurant
      - Ranch House
      - Ristorante Amoroma
      - Terzetto Cuisine
      - Ozzie's Soda Fountain
      - Mucho Wraps
      - La Penne
      - Pennini's Ristorante Italiano
      - Michael's Ristorante Italiano

      1. re: rworange

        Frankly, I can barely remember the course material at this point let alone the names of all the crappy places I tried. Sorry.

        1. re: rworange

          Bianca's Deli - Is a small sandwich shop in downton Moraga. Sandwiches are ok, a step above the Safeway across the way. Warning one of ladies can be a little impatient and mean if you don't order quickly. (think Seinfeld's Soup Nazi)
          Tamami's Japanese near the theater- I have not eaten there in over 5 years. The last time I was there, we were the only table at lunch. Even so the food was slow and cold when arrived and being warm probably would not have helped much. I rarely see anyone in there. It is very quiet.
          Ristorante Amoroma also near the theater- is my favorite restaurant in Moraga. They serve very homey and comforting Italian food. Service is friendly, but reservations are needed for dinner. I'm not sure they are open for weekday lunch. But they have started a weekend brunch menu.
          Mucho Wraps - Basic burrito shop.
          Terzetto Cuisine near Bianca's and Safeway, has pretty good breakfasts and the rest of the lunch menu is basic sandwiches and salads that I have not tried although friends have enjoyed the something like a taco salad.
          I have not been to the rest of the places.

      2. anyone been to Lily's House in Lafayette lately?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kc72

          I took my students for stuff on the Shanghai menu a couple of weeks ago. They really enjoyed the rice cakes and roast pork thigh. The meatballs are very nice. Good flavor and the meatier/coarser texture that I prefer (I don't like it when they get sort of spongy, as if there's too much filler and not enough meat). The Beggars Chicken was flavorful and a fun production number, but on the dry side. Had a sweet warm rice ball soup/dessert that I liked, but I expect is an acquired taste. There are lots of other Shanghai dishes to try, and Lily is very nice and helpful. Just let her know you're interested in the Chinese, rather than the regular menu (don't worry, every dish is described in English). http://www.lilyshouse.com/allchinesem...

        2. there's alway chow in lafayette, and i like geppetos cafe for sandwiches in orinda at lunchtime. if you are craving a big diner burger, nations is good (orinda or moraga)
          and there are a couple other options, but most in orinda

          1. If you're willing to drive the short distance to Lafayette, there are a TON of great restaurants. But, then again, I grew up there so I may be a bit biased. :o)

            -Great Wall or Uncle Yu's for Chinese. I'm not a fan of Uncle Yu's personally, but a lot of people seem to like it.
            -Pizza Antica
            -Chow
            -Postino
            -Bo's BBQ
            -Numero Uno for quick/cheap Mexican

            Avoid El Charro's at all costs - ugh.

            3 Replies
            1. re: adrienne156

              hmmm... why avoid el charros? I have some friends that LOVE that place! is it the food, the service, the crowd, the aptmosphere?

              1. re: shastashark

                Greasy food, lackadaisical service, and I was once served a margarita in a glass with fresh lipstick on it. There is so much better mexican food in the bay area that it seems like a waste of calories to me.

                That being said, their takeout that is open late night (you know, that weird door at the back of the building that opens onto the parking lot) is okay for late night food. I did like their tortillas.

                1. re: shastashark

                  I grew up in Orinda and this place used to be the only Mexican in town. Fortunately when I left town I discovered much more authentic food. You know, salsas with actual taste (not just mediocre pico de gallo or canned red enchilada sauce). Beef dishes that didn't start with ground beef.
                  IIRC (can't find a menu online) El Charro still is pretty much overpriced 1950's Tex-Mex, and not done very well at that. I totally agree with this seven year old review: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
                  Educate your friends - visit some alternatives and don't give much importance to yelp-like reviews that rave over chips/salsa, cheese dip and margaritas. In addition to El Jarro, try La Cocina Mexicana in Orinda.

              2. The so-so Chinese restaurant in the Rheem shopping center might be china moon.

                I agree, it is worth the 3-5 mile drive to Lafayette and if you are either going or coming to 24 you probably pass through Lafayette.

                My vote would be Pizza Antica or Bo's bbq. Chow is way noisy, can barely hear across the table although food is good. Postino is very high end and probably a $25-$30 lunch bill with a glass of wine.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: adrienne156

                    Husband thinks they purposely don't bother with improving the acoustics to give it a "happening/popular" place vibe and so the tables will turn more quickly. A close friend also doesn't eat there because he has impaired hearing and can't hear the table conversation.

                    On the weekend, it is full of families, and poster specificially mentioned "not too noisy".