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Short trip to the Berkeley area

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Roberto Jun 8, 2007 09:01 AM

I'll be in El Cerrito next week and am looking for a good lunch spot. I stopped at the Nantucket under the bridge in Crockett earlier this week and it was a miss. I'm open to any cuisine, Chinese, Japanese, American. Just good. Thanks,

Roberto

  1. a
    adrouault Jun 9, 2007 08:41 AM

    in berkeley, try Cesar. get the fried potatoes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: adrouault
      r
      Roberto Jun 10, 2007 07:16 AM

      I'm comming from Sacramento so a couple more miles to Berkeley is no problem. At the Nantucket I had Fried Calamari strips. It was the frozen calamari steak cut into strips and deeep fried. The veggies were cooked "al la mom" wayyyyy over done. All in all not very good.

      Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm sure I'll do better this time.

      Roberto

      1. re: Roberto
        rworange Jun 10, 2007 07:38 AM

        If you are looking for a place on the drive down, there is Gumbah's in Vallejo ... Italian beef, Chicago hot dogs, etc and really good versions of that type of food.

        Yeah, about the only thing The Nantucket has going for it is fresh fish. So if the dish you ordered starts with frozen there's not much more there than the view. Dead Fish on top of the hill is a chain and not much of the food is spectacular, but they have decent muscles and I hear the prime rib is good. They made some good lunch sandwiches at one time but raised the prices to more than I care to pay, so haven't been there in a while. Pleasant outdoor patio on a nice day though ... actually two patios a lower and upper outdoor dining area.

        1. re: rworange
          p
          pinotnoir Jun 10, 2007 08:26 AM

          Reports on Gumbah's seem quite favorable. Remember hours are limited.

          Gumbah's
          136 Tennessee St
          Vallejo, CA
          (707) 648-1100

          Hours
          Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm

        2. re: Roberto
          l
          lintygmom Jun 10, 2007 08:20 AM

          If you want fish and your budget allows, drive a little further in 80, get off on University and drive to Sea Salt! They serve lunch.

          http://www.seasaltrestaurant.com/

      2. l
        lintygmom Jun 9, 2007 08:26 AM

        Solano: Super good and cheap Indian at House of Curries* next to Sunnyside Cafe (the keema naan, stuffed with spiced ground beef, was like a wonderful, incredibly cheap at @2.99 hamburger and the sweet lassi is the best accompaniment), excellent Mexican at Tacqueria Talavera, Fonda's* for wonderful Latin American inspired small plates, really quite fantastic Middle Eastern and hamburgers (also lambburgers) at Jerusalem Cafe*, wonderful lunches at 6 Degrees** for the more upscalish (like Fonda) California cuisine. And you could always get food to take out from Lola's (everyone loves it but I'm not sure it's open at lunch) and have a picnic under BART on the Ohlone pathway. And this is just Solano...

        *can eat outside if nice

        **“From website: Tasty ½ lb Meyer Ranch Burger”
        tomato, red onion, romaine, pickles, avocado aioli $6.5
        with jack, cheddar, provolone cheese, avocado or bacon add $1

        ((I never have disagreed with rworange before, but I HATE FatApples. I've had the second and third worst meal of my life there. The first worst meal of my life* was at Walker's on Solano. I walked away without eating.))

        *barring international worst meals of bad/spoiled sea cucumber in Hong Kong and gray stewed cardoons with mutton in Afghanistan, etc.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lintygmom
          nicedragonboy Jun 9, 2007 08:53 AM

          I would second most of Lintygmom's suggestions. though for my part, 6 degrees was a big disappointment the last time I went.

          I would also add Jodie's on Masonic, just off of Solano Ave in Albany if you're into southern, breakfast, bbq/fried chicken type stuff in a true hole in the wall environment.

          1. re: nicedragonboy
            l
            lintygmom Jun 9, 2007 09:13 AM

            Oh yes! Be prepared to sit at the counter and chat with Jodie unless you get an outside table. But it's a real experience, eating there. What a kick he is! And the food's good. (I don't think there's fried chicken or bbq during the week. If there were, I'd be there every day. If it's bbq the original poster craves and he's rich, there's always T-Rex on Gilman west of San Pablo. Or Looney's up near campus.)

            Why was 6 Degrees a big disappointment?

            1. re: lintygmom
              nicedragonboy Jun 9, 2007 07:42 PM

              The service seemed fine, but when my office went there for a small team lunch, the food just didn't impress. Everything was bland and the menu wasn't very exciting and basically, I between the four of us at lunch that day, I don't think anyone left satisfied, not to mention we could've just gone somewhere else better for less.

              Maybe it was just an off day and it's been a while since then, but after that day, I just haven't gone back.

        2. janetofreno Jun 9, 2007 01:04 AM

          Don't forget Vik's. Indian chaat. Lots of discussion on the boards if you want further descriptions. Its an easy jaunt down the freeway from El Cerrito....

          1. Morton the Mousse Jun 8, 2007 02:42 PM

            The drive from El Cerrito to Berkeley is brief, and will increase your options for good food exponentially. A few of my favorite lunch spots in North and West Berkeley are:

            900 Grayson - comfort food done right - on 7th St in West Berkeley
            Eccolo - Upscale, pricey but delicious - on 4th St in West Berkeley
            O Chame - Japanese homestyle cooking, great udon - on 4th St in West Berkeley

            Ajanta - Good Indian food, low lunch prices - on Solano in North Berkeley
            Gregoire - Casual French style sandwiches and potatoes. Great value. Limited seating/mostly takeout. On Shattuck in North Berkeley

            1 Reply
            1. re: Morton the Mousse
              l
              lintygmom Jun 9, 2007 08:29 AM

              Going to O Chame one must be prepared for dainty portions at high prices--but also the OP could head over to Tacubaya for Mexican or the deli next door and get a great sandwich or sald with cake for dessert and eat outside on 4th Street.

            2. rworange Jun 8, 2007 10:49 AM

              Yeah, I'm with you on The Nantucket. What did you have.

              There are lots of food options at the Pacific East Mall which is right off Central Avenue.
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/401262
              http://www.chowhound.com/digest/2834

              My favorite there at the moment is Daimo.

              For American, FatApples is very good. For a quick snack, on Tuesday at the Farmers Market in the El Cerrito Shopping Center, DiBrova has a cart that sells good sausages. The Junket in that same plaza has German food. It isn't the best of its class but it is good homey decent food. They have some good beer and you can even get that wheat beer with the green or red syrup.

              If you head down San Pablo Ave to Gillman, there is T-Rex for lunch. It is upscale BBQ. I like the burger a lot. They have a great happy hour from 3-6.

              I'm not sure what your range is since you went all the way to Rodeo to eat. However, T-Rex excepted, the other places are right in El Cerrito (Pacific East Mall is on the city line in Richmond, but really close the the shopping center). I personally would either pick Daimo or FatApple.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rworange
                d
                dimsumgirl Jun 8, 2007 02:37 PM

                Robert, what day are you goiing? I might want to tag along if teh timing is right. We like Genki for good Japanese at the northwest corner of San Pablo and Cedar in Berkeley right across the street from Acme bread. How about Gregoire's on Cedar just south of Shattuck? Especially with weather like this, you could pick up some of those fried potato puffs and enjoy them and the great weather.

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