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May 14, 2007 10:33 PM

it was done for berkeley... TOP 5 RESTAURANTS UNDER $10 IN SOUTH EAST BAY?

so i came upon this march 2007 thread for top restaurants under $10 in berkeley...

i was wondering if anyone had any ideas for top 5 restaurants under $10 in the SOUTH EAST BAY (hayward, castro valley, fremont, newark, union city)...

i travel frequently between northern and southern cali, and well, during one of my upcoming northern cali stints i'll be planning a get together from folks from a church that i go to... the thing is, unlike me, most of the folks are in their early 20s and are in school or working part time jobs.. and i can't afford to pay for everyone... (i think there will be about 10-15 individuals


sooo... i was thinking that if there was a place that was pretty decent for $10, everyone wouldn't feel so strapped for cash...

i have absolutely no idea where to go that would fit this budget... i was thinking pyzano's and then splitting a pizza, but i'm actually not a big fan of pyzano's...

we're not averse to chains, they usually go to appleby's... but someone is coming back from an overseas missions trip, and well... it's something to celebrate....

my other option for them was to suggest a restaurant that has an extensive menu that has a variety of prices, so that people who were on a budget could find something, and people who weren't as strapped could find something else...

anyway, any information is greatly appreciated!!! =)

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  1. There are plenty in Hayward and Fremont:

    1. Manilla Garden for Filipino food served buffet style. All you can eat with more than 12 dishes. Great halo-halo desserts. About $8 except on Friday night.

    2. Raja is Indian buffet at its best. Very large selections - not huge but quality is quite good here. White linens and top service !! For all that only $ 6 or so at lunch only

    3. Hometown buffet: very decent American buffet with grill section such as steaks, pork chops on most days. $6-8

    4. New China Buffet in San Lorenzo area for like $7-9. Huge selections and taste allright.

    5. China Tofu (now it's New China I think) in Union City: many outstanding dishes discussed on this board. Must know what to order ! You can have a big meal for less than $6 here.

    6. TK Noodle in Hayward: you can be full for less than $5 here for a good solid noodle soup. Try #8 with flat egg noodle and separate soup. Extra pork skins will also enhance it. They have great condiments: chilis and pickled chilis are great flavor enhancer

    Just type Hayward: I discussed many of these places and others too,

    Is this what you want ?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Han

      thanks.... yeah kind of what we are looking for.. but i'm not sure we want to go the buffet route... are we pretty much stuck because of a dearth of options in thie price range? i really don't know what to look for... is there anything in union city, fremont, or newark?

      is china tofu a sit down place?

      1. re: kinipela

        If you search the archives for those cities, most of the recommendations are for cheap places. Generally that's what's good in that area. Upscale places tend to suck compared with their counterparts in Oakland / Berkeley / SF.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          thanks robert! i did a search but it was taking a long time and there were a lot, and i'm not quite sure how to narrow the results down to the more recent recommendations (like the past year)... any search tips?

          1. re: kinipela

            Look for 2006 / 2007 dates in the search results.

        2. re: kinipela

          China Tofu is a sit down place and a CH favorite. That complex is full of cheap and good places but you must know what to order, thus check the previous links. Song Ko Dong is a good Korean place, Banyan Garden decent Malaysian, Little Potato has good Dongbei dishes that are seldom found elsewhere.

          This area has a lot to offer for hounds who like Asian food. And cheap too

          There is a lot more than that. We have not even touched Vietnamese, Afghan, Thai, Shanghai, Taiwanese, Japanese, etc.

          Don't count out the buffet place because some of them are really unique. Where else can you find a Filipino buffet place in Bay Area ? I do not think there is many. Those buffet place that I mentioned were outstanding IMO. Not the inedible places like in Reno or Las Vegas. Hometown and New China Buffet is better than most buffet in terms of taste. Also, China AA Buffet in Mission (better than New China Buffet) is pretty good and most hounds would agree I would think.

          1. re: Han

            ohhh china tofu sounds great! i also looked up banyan garden too =) thanks for the recs! this is exactly what we are looking for =) the individual is returnng from a missions trip in the south pacific, so i think this would be great especially to look at pictures and such... =)

            i'm not really into the filipino restaurants... i'm very very picky.. but that's 'cause i cook my own stuff, or go to my mom's... but i hear that manila garden is pretty popular.. some of my family members go and dance the night away there =) i just have a sensitive stomach...

            and last time i was at aa buffet, i had a fat migraine, do they use msg? maybe it was a fluke....

            since you seem to be very knowledgeable about this area, for future reference, where can i find good kebabs??? =) i only know of a persian place in south fremont on mission by stevenson, it's in a plaza, but the name escapes me.. the place is kind of difficult to get to....

            have you been to val's in hayward? i heard that's pretty popular too...

            thanks again for your recs!!! these are awesome!!!! =)

            1. re: kinipela

              Banyan Garden has good ambiance too. Their roti, cha kway tiauw, kangkung balachan, tofu dish (forgot the name) with tamarind flavor are great.

              At AA buffet, I like their grill section. I made a point to the griller to make my steaks medium rare. I also love their pork chops right off the grill. Their sushi is allright too - nothing spectacular but good.

              Don't know much about kebabs - Melanie should know.

              Val's burger: I really was not impressed with their burger. Don't waste your time there. Not much taste to it.

        3. re: Han

          Han, have you tried Bombay Garden for their Indian lunch buffet? It's on Mowry, across from Newpark Mall. I'm wondering how it compares to Raja.

        4. I love De Afghanan. The downside is that it's harder to find a place that's more hole-in-the-wall-ier than this. You wait around 15 minutes for your order, hoping one of the 3 tables opens up. And when it does you inevitably have to give it a good scrub down yourself.

          Their kabobs (accompanied by a cilantro tomato salad, some onions, rice, and bread) are very good, but not great. Their potato bread is worth the $8. You get a huge serving that's so big it fills up a pizza box (they actually give you a pizza box). One order of kabobs and the potato bread is enough for two (with leftover bread).

          8 Replies
          1. re: katya

            De Afghanan was the restaurant. It has been closed for some time now. You talk about the kabob place with three tables. That's De Kabob, on the other side of the theater. It was sold last year. We've been there once since it was sold and it's real cr*p. We are _so_ disapointed because we have been going there for years. A young Afghan man was cooking the kabobs and handling the cash register. He had a couldn't-care-less attitude. A Hispanic woman was making the bulani. I asked the man where the Afghan woman was that we had seen for years. He said that she was at another place, but didn't say where.

            1. re: chow_eb

              I last went to De Afghanan 3 or 4 months ago. I've heard that there was an Afghan restaurant to the left on the theater (south side) - it's a Pakistani restaurant now. Maybe you're thinking of the Afghan restaurant that was in that spot?

              1. re: chow_eb

                De Afghanan Cuisine & Catering was the restaurant. De Afghanan Kabob House was the three-table place. Has the location in Walnut Creek survived?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Oh. I assumed the storefront said De Afghanan but I could definitely be wrong.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Wait, do you mean to say that De Kabob is the three table place?

                    1. re: katya

                      Both places had De Afghanan in the name. De Afghanan KABOB HOUSE was the hole-in-the-wall, three-table place.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Oh, okay. Thanks for the clarification!

                2. re: katya

                  was walking on Polk Street in San Francisco this afternoon and noticed a new restaurant undergoing construction with signs that said "De Afghanan Kabob House." It was located at:

                  1303 Polk street
                  San Francisco

                  Couldn't determine how far along it was or when it might open.

                3. Mr Kebab, Union City is pretty good. Here's my report:

                  1. In Fremont there's also a Pakwan and Shalimar. I think Shalimar is a bit overrated. Pakwan in Fremont isn't nearly as good as the one on 16th St. in SF, at least judging by the Fremont location's much too oily chana masala and chicken tikka masala, but I have a feeling ordering the grilled meats (much like eating at Shalimar) is the way to go.

                    Pizzeria SFO in Fremont is a decent option for deep dish.