What places do you go to because of chowhound?
I read this question on the Boston board. What places do you go to because of chowhound.
I go to many places because of places I read about on chowhound.
Back-A-Yard, Menlo Park
Thanh Thanh, Newark
New China, Union City
What are yours?
Thanh Thanh Sandwiches Food to Go
6180 Jarvis Ave, Newark, CA 94560
Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill
1189 Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025
1743 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587
That's an interesting question, because "causation" can be interpreted a couple of ways. If you mean places I read about on chowhound and then made part of my regular food beat, I'd have trouble coming up with an answer. On the other hand, if you mean places that I was inspired to "discover" because of Chowhound, the number is too many to count. For example, even though I'd patronized taco trucks off and on over the years, I was inspired to go out and do a serious investigation of Oakland taco trucks by Melanie's taco truck reports from Santa Rosa. And then there's the third category, which is places I first tried specifically through Chowhound, i.e. at a chowdown (too many to list) or with dining companions I met through Chowhound (La Ciccia comes to mind).
A couple of places I never would have tried if it weren't for Chowhound:
Binh Minh Quan
2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606
Binh Minh Quan
338 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607
re: Ruth Lafler
Another place I might not have walked into (or even noticed) without Chowhound is Shanghai (original location) in Oakland. At the time, it hadn't been open very long and there had only been a couple of passing comments on Chowhound, but the board was in the middle of the Great XLB Quest of 2002 and I was keeping an eye out for Shanghai restaurants. Now, of course, it's a board favorite.
Also, I'm adding a link to La Ciccia, which I neglected to provide above.
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607
I think Chowhound is great for stretching geography & uncovering places as they open. Given that .... there are several places I likely would never have found w/o Chowhound:
1. Old Port Lobster Shack .... I mean how tempted are you to try a restaurant in a strip mall in the industrial/commercial part of RWC
2. Cafe Gibralter HMB ... No way you can "discover" this place by walking in -- it's not visible from the highway
3. Most of SushiMonster's list .... wow
4. I don't live in SF, so following that scene is tough .... CH has led me to Oola (great in the early days), Coco500, Incanto .....
The only restaurant that I an think of that's in my regular restaurant rotation because I read about it on this board is Lotus Garden, a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant in the outer Mission. We go there every couple of weeks and the food is always wonderful and Kathy, the owner, treats us well.
3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Oh yeah, China Village! There are so many places on Solano I never would have tried it if not for Chowhound.
Speaking of Solano, every time I drive by Montero's I remember the positive remarks about it on this board and remind myself to try it sometime (so far I've always had my dog with me).
1106 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706
China Village is definitely one for me also. as is Champa Garden. and a *whole lot* of places outside the bay area. Usually (though not always) it is the places outside my neighborhood, or places that I try while travelling, that I am led to by Chowhound....Neighborhood places I am more likely to try on my own....I was going to Lotus Garden (in its original location) before I had even heard of CH....ditto Passionfish in Pacific Grove (because I travel enough to Monterey that it is like a second neighborhood to me)..
but the other great thing about CH is that even if it doesn't lead me to try a place for the first time, it gives me a sense of what to expect, how to decipher the menu, what I might want to order...etc....
Also New China (aka China Tofu) was for 3 years while I was in EB.
In SF =
Oyaji and Shin Toe Bul Yi because they're both rather far out in the avenues and not somewhere within my normal path. A16 because I don't trust non-CH opinions on pizza crusts. And Aziza because it seems to be the board go-to for out of town recommendation.
5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121
3123 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Shin Toe Bul Yi
2001 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123
The House, SF
Back a Yard, Menlo Park
Speederia, San Carlos
New Kapadokia, Redwood City
Shalizaar, San Mateo
Kabab and Curries, Santa Clara
Pie in the Sky, Berkeley
El Pollo Supremo, San Mateo
Annapoorna, San Mateo
Naan N Curry, San Francisco
Pastaria, Los Gatos
Tamal, San Francisco (closed)
Some of these I would have discovered on my own (Tacubaya, Naan N Curry), but my first visit was prompted by a Chowhound post.
LOVED house of Nanking in Chinatown - excellent recommendation...
LOVED Tartine Bakery - delicious, fresh and perfectamente'
Did NOT enjoy Gold Mountain in Chinatown - dirty and dingy...waitstaff bringing dim sun did not explain WHAT each was fluently. Some dim sum not too tasty... overall Bad recc. from Chowhounders.
re: Robert Lauriston
ha, I've eaten in a bazillion dim sum places.
I can think of plenty of excellent-to-good places, plenty of cheap good-to-decent places, plenty of clean places of varying quality and prices. But I can't think of a single place where EVERY server explains in fluent English EVERY item. But then I've never considered that to be a requirement for me - its a restaurant, not a classroom.
I'd say the closest would be Yank Sing and Hong Kong Flower Lounge - who are pretty good about stating the name of the items and asking basic questions (vegetarian? pork? seafood?) but often enough I've gotten incorrect answers where the server has just said "Yes".
Hong Kong Flower Lounge
51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030
Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105
It's hard to tell which ones were solely because of being on CH, but I do have a few notable examples.
My favorite CH find was the Shrimp Truck Lady in Koloa on Kauai. I was with a carload of hungry snorkelers, and I saw the truck and yelled, "pull over!"
It was wonderful, and everyone was in awe that I knew about the place. I became the hero of the week for that one.
I would also say that my affinity for Tu Lan, The Taco truck on Harrison, and Lotus garden all had seeds on these boards.
I plan all my Bay Area trips around Chowhound. Last month it was Chef Wai and Everyday Beijing in San Mateo, Dim Sum King in Daly City and Classic Sichuan in Millbrae. In May it was Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale, Golden Mountain in Hayward and Imperial Garden in the Portola district. Working on next month's trip right now.
Dim Sum King was quite good. I still can't get over walking into an authentic Chinese restaurant at night and be given a small size dinner menu plus a dim sum order sheet. I mean requests for night time dim sum is something we ridicule on Chowhound. Dim Sum King had some really interesting items on their menu. The two that I can remember were the chopped shrimp ball adorned with kernels of sweet corn (as opposed to grains of sticky rice, which you may have seen elsewhere) and cheung fun (rice noodle roll) filled with fish paste.
Although I'd had more than a few taco truck tacos before CH, the level of taco truck
insanity here turned it from an occasional curiosity to a full-on, thrice-weekly staple.
And even though my favorite (the pair at 22nd and Int.) gets booed out every time
I mention it here, I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all without the hound pioneers.
Other places I would have missed:
Lanesplitter on San Pablo
That nondescript chinese place at University and McGee
L'Osteria del Forno (missed that one for *years*)
re: Chuckles the Clone
From Chowhound only, probably Gregoire and Crixa (semi-regular haunts), and Perbacco (one of the bigger Chow disappointments, because expectations were so high). Also, the guy who used to smoke meat in El Cerrito. If I think hard there may be a few more, but nothing memorable one way or another. I think pretty much everything else I'd also heard or seen from other sources.
I found Koryo BBQ on Telegraph in Oakland because of Chowhound. Korean BBQ with coals on the table, real "burled driftwood" tables, really impatient servers, an enormous amount of special tasty salty sweet fishy cabbagy Korean sides with your meal, and a very interesting Korean "wine" that makes me slur... I take the family there at least once a month.
The meat has been marinating in a spicy Korean BBQ sauces. You plop the meat on the hot grill on your table. When it's oh-so-carmalized, you place the smoky meat in lettuce leaves, adorn them with some of the 47 different types of sides, wrap it up like a taco, take a sip of your "wine", and have bite after bite of pure heaven.
This has turned into one of our favorite family places. Just don't go expecting an atmosphere or service. It's all about the food and the.... "wine".
4390 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609