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Hayward or Fremont - dinner with a friend?

purplescout Jan 4, 2008 01:25 PM

I will be on a business trip in San Jose next week. An old friend lives in Berkeley, and we've agreed to meet for dinner half-way. On the map, that looks like we are aiming for the Hayward or Fremont area.

The ideal place would be everyone's favorite neighborhood restaurant. Not the kind of place that people necessarily travel to in order to dine, but the kind of place that locals eat in again and again because it's good, comfortable, reliable, and interesting enough.

I prefer to avoid national chains.

Ethnic is ok, as long as it's not a dive. (I like dives, but I'm looking for something with a bit of comfort in the atmosphere.)

I don't want to wander miles and miles from the highway.

Any suggestions?

  1. purplescout Jan 10, 2008 04:54 PM

    We had a nice dinner at Buon Appetito. Thanks for the tip!
    I hope I can return the favor when you're in my neck of the woods.

    1 Reply
    1. re: purplescout
      gtrine Jan 14, 2008 03:40 PM

      I am so happy you enjoyed yourself. Funny you mention returning the favor since I've started a post on the LA boards about this coming weekend and our desire for authentic ethnic experiences in and around Long Beach.

      Please excuse the Pinks and NY pizza references because I know they aren't ethnic but I threw them in there anyway. The link to the chow post is


    2. y
      yerioy Jan 5, 2008 09:45 AM

      If you want a place where you can sit longer than usual you might consider Harry's Hofbrau in San Leandro. Just comfort food, but you can sit a long time and refill your own coffee. We took relatives who had a long stopover at the airport to have a nice visit catching up on news.

      It's roughly between 580 and 880. The phone number is 510 357 1707.

      Harry's Hofbrau
      14900 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94578

      1. purplescout Jan 4, 2008 06:47 PM

        Thanks for the suggestions. These look good!

        1. daveena Jan 4, 2008 05:04 PM

          Hayward/Fremont/Union City/Newark have tons of great non-European ethnic eateries. I've had good meals at Banyan Tree (Malaysian, Union City), Ninji Mala Hot Pot (pain/euphoria inducing Szechuan hot pot, Newark), and Mirchi Cafe (Indian Pizza, Fremont). A lot of people love Little Potato (Northern Chinese, Union City) - I wasn't super-impressed, but I also didn't get a lot of the dishes people raved about, Little Potato might qualify as dive-y.

          These two threads have good discussions, and the first has a bunch of addresses:

          Mirchi Cafe: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40746
          Ninji Mala Hot Pot: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43934
          Banyan Tree: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/453926

          1. gtrine Jan 4, 2008 04:59 PM

            Buon Appetito is a nice neighborhood Italian restaurant in hayward. It's not spectacular food, but I find that its a good value meal for your money. Its a pretty nice atmosphere and they have an open kitchen so you can see what they are doing. Word of caution, do not order the seafood canneloni as I found the filling to be disappointing. It lacked substance and flavor. The lamb chops and pork chops are served with a delicious wine sauce.

            Their address is
            917 A St.
            Hayward, CA 94543
            (510) 247-0120

            You can also try Nuemanali. Its more upscale that Buon Appetito. They serve new california cuisine and have a pretty good wine selection.

            742 B Street
            (at Montgomery Ave)
            Hayward, CA 94541
            (510) 583-9744


            3 Replies
            1. re: gtrine
              bluecheesewiz Mar 1, 2008 06:29 AM

              Four of us were there yesterday. The service was very attentive without being bothersome. The antipasta plate was good. one order really serves two people especially given their generous portion of bread with a great spread. I couldn't figure out what was in the spread unfortunately.

              The chicken breast de moldonese was very good. The proscuito wrap flavored the breast stuffed with fontina cheese. My wife had the spagetti bolognese which she thought was just ordinary. Our guests had lasangna and canneloni. They enjoyed both. We had a side of garlic bread which was excellent. Used nice crusty bread with a garlic and parmesan topping that gave it a great crunch and had perfect amount of garlic.

              The best thing was that we ended up spending 2.5 hours there talking and eating and never felt rushed to leave. Its a good casual place with decent food.

              1. re: bluecheesewiz
                susancinsf Mar 1, 2008 10:02 AM

                can you clarify whether your report is on Nuemanali or Buon Appetito? Thanks!

                1. re: susancinsf
                  Cecelia Mar 1, 2008 12:09 PM

                  I think bluecheesewiz means Buon Appetito, very old school Italian with fairly new decor. Nuemanali has a lighter touch.


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