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Quickie East Bay Jaunt

jim Leff Oct 16, 2005 03:11 AM

Not like any kind of hot urgent tip, but the new fried chicken/seafood takeout down the block from Arizmendi in Oakland (actually down the block and around the corner to the right, down toward the highway)...I think it's called "Louisiana" or something....has really really crisp and nicely seasoned fried chicken, and even the white meat wasn't dry. This is no kind of loving artisanal stuff, it's just a bleak impersonal takeout. But it's leagues better than Popeye's. Sides are poor. I have a takeout menu packed up somewhere, if someone doesn't cough up address I'll type it in later.

Arizmendi was as good as I've heard. Pizza isn't really pizza as I think of it, but it's real good. The corn scones are SO corny...i want all my scones from now on to taste like corn. and yet they're still somehow deeply sconey. Shortbread didn't thrill me. Didn't have any touch to it...just butter and sugar. Mabye if they baked it a bit longer, Idunno.

Everett and Jones in Hayward is under new ownership, and their cue is a shell of its former self. Avoid. Didn't get to compare to Carmen's.

The Patio on Dwight Way in Berkeley is excelling at portobello sandwiches, and I love the hyper crunchy onion rings. Burgers still good, they're not doing jambalaya much anymore. Beers still beautifully chosen and delivered.

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    oakjoan RE: jim Leff Oct 16, 2005 03:35 AM

    Didn't realize Louisiana Chicken had opened a place in the Grand Lake (read my) neighborhood. Didn't like the one order I had from the one in downtown oakland - very dry, especially the coating, which was more like cement (altho the chicken itself was moist).

    I agree about Arizmendi shortbread. I bought a bunch of them for a small party I had. They were sort-of off tasting and flat - little taste of butter....and what do we want with shortbread without butter?

    Cheese scones on Wednesdays are the best - cheddar and scalions in the corn scones.

    10 Replies
    1. re: oakjoan
      jim Leff RE: oakjoan Oct 16, 2005 08:43 AM

      we're disconnecting a little I think. First, shortbread at Arizmendi is very buttery to my taste. As I said, it tastes like butter and sugar.

      And I said the virtue of Louisiana Chicken was its serious crunchiness. For you, that recalls cement; Fine, an aesthetic difference. But I don't get what you mean by saying it's very dry but the meat is moist. Is this just another way of reinforcing your point that the batter's too crunchy?

      1. re: jim Leff
        oakjoan RE: jim Leff Oct 16, 2005 08:15 PM

        Yes. The chicken wasn't dried out but it didn't have any particular taste. The coating was pretty thick, darkish brown, dry (as opposed to crispy ala Merritt Bakery fried chicken)and not particularly spicy. The 3 of us who ate it all felt the same.

        In addition (this was about 3 months ago now) the cornbread was pretty bad - tough and also pretty tasteless.

        I will say, however, that we went within a couple of weeks of their opening on Broadway and Grand and they may have improved. The place seems to be relatively successful. I also haven't tried the new place that appears to be located just down the block from KFC on Lake Park.

        1. re: oakjoan
          oakjoan RE: oakjoan Oct 16, 2005 08:18 PM

          Sorry about the disconnect with the butter/sugar. The shortbread I had was not particularly buttery tasting but was adequately cooked. It was just very bland.

          1. re: oakjoan
            Oakland Barb RE: oakjoan Oct 17, 2005 12:35 AM

            If you get the shortbread at the source (Cheeseboard) the ginger is the best, and choose the thin, light brown pieces.

            1. re: Oakland Barb
              wally RE: Oakland Barb Oct 17, 2005 01:41 AM

              Yes, and the darker and thinner, the better.

              1. re: wally
                jim Leff RE: wally Oct 19, 2005 01:12 PM

                Idunno. Mine was really dark and really thin. And really fresh. And it was a B+ at best.

                Just my data point, but while the shortbread was fine and tasty, I don't think it belongs in the same chow universe as the corn scones. Or even maybe the pizza, though I didn't quite swoon over the pizza (just liked it a lot).


      2. re: oakjoan
        susancinsf RE: oakjoan Oct 16, 2005 12:39 PM

        The LFC branch in Grand Lake just opened if I am not mistaken...Jim was probably one of their first customers, no surprise there...:-)

        1. re: susancinsf
          jim Leff RE: susancinsf Oct 16, 2005 01:54 PM

          I'm always more on top of openings when I travel than at home. It's weird. Some sort of divine intervention or something.

        2. re: oakjoan
          KathyR RE: oakjoan Oct 16, 2005 02:49 PM

          Stay away from Arizmendi's green tea shortbread. It tastes really funny, not in a good way. Reminded me of pot in baked goods (not that I would have personal knowledge about such things!). The chocolate chip brickle cookies, though, are really good.

          1. re: oakjoan
            Shep RE: oakjoan Oct 17, 2005 06:01 PM

            You sure we're not talking about the Tenessee style Ribs-Chicken & Seafood place on Lakepark? Near the Serenader? No connection to Louisiana Fried that I know of.

          2. r
            Robert Lauriston RE: jim Leff Oct 16, 2005 02:05 PM

            Arizmendi's a spinoff of Cheese Board and some of their recipes are the same.

            Cheese Board's hazelnut shortbread is great, especially when it's cooked until golden. The other two varieties, eh.

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