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May 23, 2007 12:23 PM

Rihab's Bakery update

I stopped by Rihab's in Belmont for lunch yesterday - they now have new owners as of May 17 and the bread is as good as ever. However, the new owners are half HK Chinese, half Filipino - they are following the "old" recipes, but I wonder how long it will stay authentic. Regardless, they are super-nice and really want to have a successful business, so swing by and give them a try!

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  1. I was there last week too and met the friendly new owner (Mr. Lai?) at the cash register.

    The fresh bread was wonderful, as always. Just keep patronizing them and telling them that.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      The transition is complete, and the bread is exactly the same. Picked up two zatar pizzas and a couple of bags of pita yesterday on my way to visit friends in Menlo Park.

      Jeff, the owner, said to call ahead if you want to be sure he has bread or other items saved for you.

      1. re: Windy

        We stopped by around 1:30pm on Sunday, almost everything was sold out already. Had the zatar bread and a cheese bread. The cheese one was a little overdone and tough, but the zaatar tasted identical to before to me. Has anyone tried the egg bread, Sat and Sun only?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Although I usually only go on Sundays, I haven't tried the egg bread, usually get the ground beef wrap and tried the chicken wrap last time. The beef didn't quite taste the same, good, but not enough oil/grease to make it slightly "fried" on the edges and really tasty. The chicken was good, meat tender and lots of herby flavors. The new owner seems really nice.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I've only had the "spinach" bread, which was filled with something good besides spinach. And the tomato basil pizzetta.

            1. re: Windy

              The egg bread was described as the same round of flatbread with a whole egg cracked over it sprinkled with sumac and feta cheese. Doesn't that sound good?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Okay, I'll swing by tomorrow and put in a request. At least we don't have to worry that they're hurting for business.

                1. re: Windy

                  The egg bread is Sat and Sun only, brunch food, I guess.

        2. I too, went to see what's going on at Rihab. Been awhile since I last visited the place. The flat bread was really good. The small pizza tastes much better than what the previous owner made. I had the Spinach turnover and had some spices that up to now I could not recognize. It's good and yummy and as always FRESH! They also sell Baklavas. The owner Jeff gave me a sampler. He is very friendly and professional.

          1. I have to admit that I had misgivings after Rihab sold the place: I had been a regular customer ever since I read Melanie's post on the bread several years ago. (Another one of the innumerable occasions she has pointed me towards exceptional chow.) But I was even more concerned when I read that a Filipino-Chinese had taken over from the Syrian-Palestinian couple. (I'm a part-Chinese Filipino, so I am allowed to say that ;-)) Countryman or not, I don't like anyone messing around with one of my favorite breads! (Okay, I'll admit I was afraid I'd be served something akin to pan de sal and monay--typical, often sweet, Filipino breads.)

            Well, after reading the favorable posts on this board and elsewhere, I decided to give it a shot. My prejudice was unfounded. As of yesterday, I'd been there thrice in the past couple of months, and to my delighted surprise, I can say that it's better than ever! The bread is the same chewy delight as before; and I've also had the chicken shawarma sandwich, which is a generous serving of chicken breast chunks, generously coated with a garlicky yoghurt sauce, with some token salad thrown in for good measure. I've also had the grilled chicken plate, which is marinated chicken thighs drizzled with yoghurt, on top of fluffy white rice. Salad (romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, and a bit of fresh mint), bread, and cumin-laced hummus on the side.

            Not the same as when Rihab was there. Definitely better! The food is tastier and the portions are more generous. The new owner is also trying to fix up the place: part of it has been painted in cheerful primary colors, and there are new tables and chairs. I am so happy that this is one place that has actually improved with each change in ownership, even when I didn't think it was possible to do better than the original.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pilinut

              Thanks, an endorsement from a former skeptic always carries lots of weight! You've been there more than I so a better judge than I could be. I'm wondering if we could get the new owner to expand the menu to include some other Levant specialties, such as the stuffed vegetables that are so ubiquitous elsewhere but missing in our area.

            2. I had lunch at Rihab's on Saturday. The bread was even better than before (I have been dieting, no bread ;-( ) It was quite a treat,the bread was fresh out of the oven and the chicken was wonderfully spiced and cooked to order. I was in a bit of a hurry so I did not want to wait the extra minutes for Lamb. The place is much cleaner and brighter than I remembered, and the owner's cute shnauzers (sp) pics were up on the bulletin board. I think they need to be busier, so everyone should drop by and check the place out.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blinkie

                I passed by this morning and I think the owner changed the name of the bakery to Tastybites Cafe now?

              2. So far nothing shows up for that name in Google.

                Good Bites Cafe
                1504 El Camino Real, Belmont, CA 94002

                6 Replies
                1. re: rworange

                  It's definitely been renamed, and I think it is indeed provocatively titled Tasty Bites now. The sign has been repainted. Saw it yesterday.

                  1. re: orezscu

                    Yes, the name has been changed to GOOD BITES CAFE. I went there for lunch today and still offered the shawarma and falafel plate/sandwiches. THe owner added some breakfast to go stuff and even rice plates. I think the owner changed the hours to 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and now close on Sunday.

                    1. re: madusarocks

                      Thank you for the is indeed Good Bites Cafe...I guess I drove by too fast to remember! I will have to stop by today and check out the rice plates.

                      1. re: honu

                        I highly recommend the chicken shawarma plate -- the chicken is really good but what makes is super-special is the bread that comes with it (can be bought separately)! It's better than what it was before.

                        1. re: PekoePeony

                          I passed by today for lunch - got chicken shawerma, chicken turnover and Filipino breakfast (served all day) Adobosilog. Pork adobo was shredded and I could definitely taste the vinegar and bay leaf; however I think he was heavy handed on the salt (at least for me). He didn't have garlic rice today but it also came with 2 sunny side up eggs, rice and tomato/onion relish.

                          1. re: honu

                            Continued thumbs-up. I work in this neighborhood and there's a shortage of options for tasty, cheap, and vegetarian (and I work with enough Indian software folks that the latter is a critical component).

                            Went with a couple of visiting colleagues from India and we got:
                            - 2 orders dolmas
                            - 1 order baba ghanoush
                            - 1 "zato's special" pizza with mint and feta
                            - 1 grilled veggie pizza
                            - 1 chicken shawarma sandwich
                            - 1 falafel sandwich

                            Had a fun time trying to remember the Indian equivalent names to all of our vegetables (eggplant = brinjal, zucchini = courgette, chickpea = channa, etc.) so I could explain what they were ordering.

                            and somehow all of this food only came to $33? Crazy. I tasted everything and it was all very good, AND I have two bags of leftovers.