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Seafood Recs in East Bay

g
gmk1322 Mar 31, 2008 03:40 PM

I will watching the A's play this Saturday and was wondering if there are any good seafood places in the area. I will be driving from Sacramento so anywhere along 80 and 880 in the bay area is feasible. I am looking for more of a seafood-house like place that has a good selection of FRESH seafood and is moderately priced (around or less than 20 dollars per entree). Any advice is appreciated, Thanks!

  1. k
    kc72 Mar 31, 2008 03:51 PM

    Probably Sea Salt in Berkeley. You won't find much in Oakland area near Coliseum

    1. m
      Munching Mark Mar 31, 2008 04:02 PM

      Spenger's in Berkeley, just off 880 at University...might push the budget a bit, but a good Happy Hour and great food, in my experience.

      It's weird though, some people despise the place...I've always enjoyed it

      4 Replies
      1. re: Munching Mark
        k
        kc72 Mar 31, 2008 04:10 PM

        that'd be 80 not 880

        1. re: Munching Mark
          rworange Apr 1, 2008 10:31 PM

          What do you like at Spenger's? The East Bay Express gave it a less than enthusaistic review this week
          http://www.eastbayexpress.com/restaur...

          "One would think that cioppino, with its local lineage and rustic, seafaring character, would be made to order for a place like Spenger's. Sadly, its broth is tepid and watery and its crab legs, crawfish, clams, mussels, calamari, and whitefish, plentiful though they are, are overcooked and stringy."

          1. re: rworange
            f
            Frostee Donut Apr 3, 2008 10:53 AM

            Agreed, both times I've eaten at Spenger's have been disappointing. I've heard Skates on the Bay is good, but the exorbitant prices have kept me away thus far.

            1. re: Frostee Donut
              Robert Lauriston Apr 3, 2008 11:00 AM

              I don't think you heard Skates was good on this board.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39317
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451077

        2. r
          red_red_radish Mar 31, 2008 04:06 PM

          There are not alot of great seafood restaurants in the East Bay. That said thier are some great places serving California and Pacific Rim cuisine where good seafood can be had.

          I can't reccomend anything near the airport or 880 but I have a couple of reccomendations around North Oakland.

          In Rockridge I reccomend Pearl which is a fusion restaurant that does asian inspired small plates including the worlds (Oaklands) BEST Spicy Tuna Poke. They'll have other small plates as well. Wood Tavern is also great...they usually have one seafood offering only though.

          Kirala in berkeley ($$$) or Drunken Fish in Oakland ($) for Sushi

          In Berkekey (and in your price range) you might want to think about Spengers. Very old school and traditional ... but lots of entrees in the $20 range.

          1. wolfe Mar 31, 2008 04:53 PM

            A recent review of Spenger's in the East Bay Express was less than enthusiastic.
            http://www.eastbayexpress.com/restaurants/fishy_nostalgia/Content?oid=669346
            Sea Salt is good and an easy on/off from the freeway but is pricey.
            http://www.seasaltrestaurant.com/menu...

            6 Replies
            1. re: wolfe
              s
              Solop Mar 31, 2008 08:57 PM

              I've gotta agree with the EBE review. I went to Spenger's a few times before McCormick & Schmick bought the place, and it was decent, with a few interesting/unusual things lurking on the menu (I still fondly recall the calamari sandwich, even if it didn't include tentacles).

              Since the change of ownership, though, it just seems boring. No creative flair, very pedestrian.

              1. re: Solop
                wolfe Mar 31, 2008 09:05 PM

                It may be time for the Solop curse for Spenger's.

                1. re: Solop
                  w
                  wally Mar 31, 2008 10:09 PM

                  You mean there was a time when stuff was decent? I have to admit my last visit to eat was in about 1978.

                  1. re: wally
                    f
                    Fine Apr 1, 2008 07:22 PM

                    I'd bet the last (and probably only second) time I ate there was the 70s or very early 80s too and I really disliked it.

                  2. re: Solop
                    Robert Lauriston Apr 1, 2008 11:51 AM

                    The food at Spenger's went way, way downhill before it closed. The elderly owner thought business was down because the prices were too high, so he switched to frozen, which drove people away even faster.

                    Now it's like any other McCormick & Schmick place. Quality fish, might eat decently if you stick to the simple preparations and send it back if it's overcooked. Oysters and fish & chips are safe bets.

                    I much prefer Sea Salt. Probably more expensive, but higher quality.

                  3. re: wolfe
                    m
                    ML8000 Apr 1, 2008 12:22 PM

                    Spenger's is okay for certain things. I wouldn't make it my first choice for seafood but for lunch, it's great. Decent piece of fish for around $10 bucks, validated parking, easy in and out, nver a wait. If you stick to a simple prep and look for something that should be fresh, it's way better then a $8 buck Bette's Oceanview's sandwich.

                  4. Robert Lauriston Mar 31, 2008 04:58 PM

                    Nantucket in Crockett is a very old-school place right on the bay in Crockett. Same kind of place as Spenger's (which is part of the McCormick & Schmick chain) but has a much nicer vibe.

                    Sea Salt is great and the fish is top-quality but the entrees are $25-28.

                    -----
                    Nantucket Restaurant
                    501 Port St, Crockett, CA

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      Glencora Mar 31, 2008 05:54 PM

                      Have you eaten at Nantucket? I stopped by recently and loved the film noir setting, walking across the train tracks, ignoring the man mumbling to himself in the bushes, but the menu posted outside had fallen down inside the glass and the place was empty. In any case, I doubt the seafood is fresh. We also stopped at Dead Fish, on the hill above, but it was very crowded with loud office parties and didn't look good for the price. So we went home.

                      Last week, though, I had the crab and shrimp empanadas, a nice clam dish with sausage, and the mussels in Pernod at A Cote in Oakland. Not too expensive.

                      1. re: Glencora
                        Robert Lauriston Apr 1, 2008 12:00 PM

                        I had lunch at Nantucket last year after baking at the the Isleton Crawdad Festival and finding nothing decent to eat.

                        At least some of the fish was fresh, as was the draft beer. I think we had cioppino and fish & chips. We had a good time and I remember thinking I'd go back.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Glencora Apr 1, 2008 12:08 PM

                          It was pretty spooky on a rainy night, but I can see that sitting outside in the sun could be fun. Good to know that it's not all frozen fish.

                          1. re: Glencora
                            rworange Apr 1, 2008 10:59 PM

                            I've eaten at Dead Fish and Nantucket. IMO, Dead Fish is fine if you avoid the fish ... it's dead and tastes it. There are a few good-ish things on the menu that are ok if the view is what you are after. If the choice is between Spengers and Nantucket ... go for Nantucket. We are not talking amazing anything ... but the view is nice. Ask what fresh fish they are serving ... skip the clam chowder.

                            1. re: rworange
                              Robert Lauriston Apr 2, 2008 10:35 AM

                              Dead Fish is right up there with the Old Clam House in truth in advertising.

                    2. michele_corum Apr 1, 2008 06:07 PM

                      How about Jack London Square?
                      Il Pescatore, Kincaid’s Bayhouse or even Scott’s Seafood Restaurant?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: michele_corum
                        t
                        timberyoung Apr 2, 2008 08:10 AM

                        Kincaid's might be over budget if op is wishing to stay around $20 for entree's. I've not been to Scott's but a foodie friend on another board speaks highly of it. Another suggestion might be Quinn's Lighthouse further down Embarcadero. Their menu it Italian influenced and I find their cioppino to be very good (they call it the diggery do or some such).
                        http://www.quinnslighthouse.com/ourme...

                        1. re: michele_corum
                          Robert Lauriston Apr 2, 2008 10:42 AM

                          Quinn's Lighthouse is a great bar on sunny afternoons when you can sit on a deck (even has a great wine list), but I've found the food pretty awful. I'll try the cioppino next time but I'm a little scared.

                          Kincaid's and Scott's are corporate chain places. Restaurants Unlimited has Kincaid's in 10 cities around the country, and Skates in Berkeley and Horatio's in San Leandro are basically branches as well. Scott's has seven branches including one in Sacramento.

                          Report on Il Pescatore:

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/310922

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            t
                            timberyoung Apr 3, 2008 01:12 AM

                            Yes, I think most people are aware they are chains. That said, every once in awhile a chain comes along that does something right. According to my foodie friend, that would be the Jack London Scott's.
                            Agreed, the average offering at Quinn's is less than inspiring, but for fare after a ballgame (or before) the diggery doo isn't half bad and the closeness to the ballpark along with fitting into OP's budget constraints make it seem worthy of consideration. Yes, on the bar, the outside deck has the better seating and I should have said so. Thanks.

                            1. re: timberyoung
                              wolfe Apr 3, 2008 07:53 AM

                              Does Quinn's still have the peanut shell thing so that sandals are not advisable?

                              1. re: wolfe
                                Robert Lauriston Apr 3, 2008 09:01 AM

                                Yes. Free peanuts (quality varies), thick layer of shells on the floors and decks.

                        2. s
                          suebe Apr 2, 2008 08:25 AM

                          We recently had a very nice dinner at Maritime East in Berkeley (coming from 80 you would take the Ashby exit up to Telegraph and make a left) Seafood entrees are 20-25- a bit more than you are requesting.

                          A fantastic side dish that we had was grilled favabeans. They were very young, stringbean size and grilled intact. You eat them shells and all. They were topped with just a bit of crumbled tangy (mild feta?) cheese.

                          http://www.maritimeeast.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: suebe
                            Robert Lauriston Apr 2, 2008 10:46 AM

                            I presume we're talking about dinner, since it's a 1pm game, so the fastest way to Maritime East would be 880 to 980 to 24, take the Claremont exit, turn right, and turn right on Telegraph.

                            -----
                            Maritime East
                            2826 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

                            1. re: suebe
                              moto Apr 2, 2008 01:15 PM

                              we also enjoyed our dinner at Maritime East but I hesitated to mention it because of the budget specified. The freshness and quality of the ingredients and preparation, not to mention the comfortable space and excellent service actually make it a good value for fresh seafood (they are committed to sustainable seafood I believe). The octopus salad and roasted whole fish surpassed my expectations, which were based on versions we had in Italy, and their concession to American fish house eating, the onion rings, were exemplary too.

                              1. re: moto
                                s
                                suebe Apr 3, 2008 10:56 AM

                                Yes!! The onion rings (more acurately onion strings) We had as well.. and loved. Lucky for us the waiter originally forgot to place the order so they were specially ordered and delivered hot-from-the-frier for us.

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