Strange, weird or hidden places to eat in the Eastbay?
Here are a few:
Try a sandwich at the Honeybaked ham® place on Piedmont Ave.(In a mini mall near the top toward Pleasant Valley) Its been there 20 years.
Its hard to describe the experience.
All I can say is:
You will probably be the only customer.
You will get one of the most elaborate quality $4.00 sandwiches ever made.
It will take at least 10-15 minutes to make your sandwich.
And it comes with assorted free "unusual" side dishes.
Assorted meats too! And great soup bones are available(used to be free ,now kinda pricy)
Jerry's Beefburgers in
Jerrys makes a fine burger with fresh cut fries...way better than In and out.
Located on a strange un traveled section of Macarther Blvd. in San Leandro
560 Macarthur Blvd to be exact.
There is a huge Chinese place next door,but it always looked empty...even at prime lunch hours.
The Kingfish Cafe and pub on Claremont and Telegraph used to serve Sanwiches and Chili and Chowder.
But they stopped just as the area began to prosper.
Still open for beer, at least till its torn down for more condos.
They don't build places like this anymore.
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Chicken teriyaki omelet? They will make loco moco on request. There's the option of rice instead of potatoes. The Japanese owners are retiring soon, so go while you can.
Lots of good ideas here ...
Out of my oddest is the church that makes pupusas and fried fish on Sunday
On my list to try is the Friday Persian Dinner at Woodminster Cafe in Oakland
"During the day, they serve the best chicken salad sandwiches I’ve eaten in California. Complex flavors enhance the chicken without overpowering it. Garlic is top amongst the middle-eastern flavors that suffuse this delight, so don’t eat one before you propose. They have a great tuna salad sandwich as well, but the chicken is king.
During the day it's an unassuming sandwich shop, but on Friday nights, they stay open and offer terrific dinners. They serve Persian classics, such as lamb shank, lamb and chicken kabobs and various cold salads. The star of the menu, however, is their lamb stew. The thing here is that they don’t just have one stew. Each week they change the offering. I’ve been through the cycle of about 4 recipes and they are all delicious."
Vientian Cafe @ 3801 Allendale Ave in Oakland for Thai, Laos, Vietnamese food. I would definitely say it's hidden but it's been mentioned here before.
Saigon Wraps in the Fruitvale BART center for Banh Mi. They grill their meats in the open kitchen and it's this reason why it's one of the best banh mis I've had. Excellent bread too. It's hidden from the street off E 12th St between Fruitvale and 35th Ave.
Ok, I have never been but maybe someone can tell me the deal with Ahn's 1/4 pound burger place on Grand Ave. by the Lake. Its been there a long time but it never appears crowded. I haven't seen it mentioned by any 'hounds. So maybe its considered hidden even though its easy to spot from the street.
re: Scott M
This is one of those Yelp darlings like Smokehouse where I really have to disagree. My first job in the East Bay was one block from Ahn's. So I ate there pretty regularily. It is an ok burger, nothing special. Along the lines of all the other 1/4 burger places maybe a little better than some. Nothing to go out of your way for, but if in the immediate area a decent enough burger.
re: Scott M
OOh! Ooh! I've lived on China Hill for more than 20 years and have driven by Ahn's a thousand times....each time wondering "What th?" I've rarely seen more than 1 car in the parking lot...maybe folks walk down the hill from their homes? Maybe the Ahn family owns the building and lets their weird son run the place so he won't get into trouble?
I've eaten at Ahn's before -- some family friends live nearby and love the place. I've only had the burgers and fries, which are your classic drive thru style burgers (big bun, a little floppy, a little greasy, hits the spot in certain situations) and not quite crisp enough fries, but my sister loves their fish burger.
This is a copy & paste from the original thread I wrote this to on Chowhound. It's not strange nor weird. It's simply hidden in plain sight on busy University Ave. in Berkeley (though most folks are simply zooming by while on the way to the freeway or to the Shattuck/campus area).
I'd been conflicted ever since discovering CH about posting my fave hole-in-the-wall in Berkeley. It's not as if they were going to go out of business; I've been eating there ever since I met the owner's son back in the late 80s. Prices have always been absurdly low, and portions are great. Plus they have the best egg/imperial-style rolls around (family that owns and operates the place is Vietnamese).
So I've finally decided to break my vow of silence. If you want to spend less than $10 (or even $5), my fave resto in Berkeley is.........New Oriental Restaurant on University (cross street is McGee).
So what would I recommend there? BBQ chicken over brown rice plate (you can get any of the rice plates with either steamed white rice or brown rice). Last time I had it there, it was $4.80 or $5.00 (tax included, as you order at the front counter then sit down at a table; all menu prices posted on the wall include tax). Two large boneless chicken thigh strips that have been grilled to order, topped with a teriyaki BBQ sauce (more like a marinade, as it is thin, not goopy). Side is either a basic salad or steamed veggies (it alternates). When I first started eating there in the late 80s, I think this was priced at $2.80 or thereabouts.
I'd also recommend the won ton soup. I forget how many won tons come in the soup, but it's somewhere between 8 to 12. Soup itself is nice and doesn't pack an MSG wallop, and is topped with a sprinkling of green onions. I remember this being $1.80 when I first started going there, and I remember it being $3.00 when I last stopped by a few months ago.
If you eat there, you absolutely must try the egg rolls. They use ground chicken with some cabbage and other veggies, give it a decent slug of black pepper, then roll them up in the same type of wrappers that are used in Vietnamese imperial rolls. I forget the price for these now, but I'm certain they're still under a buck apiece (65 cents sticks in my mind, but that could've been the price a few years ago; regardless they're less than a buck). These aren't little measly egg rolls measuring a few inches long; these are close to double the length of the typical Chinese egg rolls you get at Chinese-American places. They're served with a good sweet & sour sauce, which I punch up with Sriracha. Heaven.....=-D
I've also tried the spring roll, which is this huge pocket of crunchy veggies in a thicker wrapper. Nice when they're hot and fresh.
I'm a big eater, but it's been impossible for me to spend more than $8 on lunch or dinner there (and that includes a tip in the jar on the counter). More peckish eaters could easily get away with a meal for $5 (won ton soup and an egg roll is enough to fill up most). They have a pretty lengthy list of rice plates, noodle dishes and soups, with plenty of veggie options. But I've always ordered some combo (sometimes all 3 when I'm starving and also want leftovers to take home) of the BBQ chicken over brown rice (used to be the #26, may be a different number now), egg rolls and won ton soup.
If you go, be prepared for a bit of a wait even if you're the only person in the place. Everything is made to order, and you can easily see into the small kitchen from most tables of if you're standing at the counter. This is not an operation predicated on doing high volume at any given moment, but they've been in business for over 20 years, so they've obviously been doing a steady stream of business thru the years.