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Dec 14, 2009 09:41 AM

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Hey all. I guess I've been away too long. I'm drawing blanks on ideas for good take-out. Can you help? Here are some guidelines:

No farther north than Albany. Solano is OK. Home is Richmond, near La Bamba area.
No burritos; I have that covered
Any other cuisine is OK.
Travels and reheats (if necessary) well.

How about Zaki Kebab House? Anything else come to mind?

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  1. La Bedaine.

    The restaurants in Pacific East Mall, where 99 Ranch is.

    Pacific East
    3288 Pierce St # M126, Richmond, CA

    La Bedaine
    1585 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706

    20 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Seriously La Bedaine. There are linked reports here ... well, there should be

      About a block away is the new Nepali restaurant Mt. Everest which has been promising on my two visits so far ... gotta remember to post about the most recent visit.

      Within the last year the following Chinese restaurants have opened and have had favorable mentions: Happy Golden Bowl, L & L Chinese Seafood, Jac's Asian Bistro

      I have yet to try it ... for years I have yet to try it ... but someone who's taste I respect likes Waikiki Hawaain BBQ

      Addresses for the above are in this list

      There are other good restaurants in that list, but they have been there a while, so I don't know if you need a refresher course

      If you want to go as far as Pt Richmond, there's a new German restaurant in the Baltic that is great. Also there's a good Brazilian restuarant, 25 West, that has a killer feiojada on Saturday. The best in the Bay Area. I haven't been, and it is not really carry out, but The Boilerhouse is new. I've been dragging my feet as the biggest feature seems to be the view.

      In Richmond, Alvarado backdoor bbq is good ... sometimes better than others. Speaking of which, if you are going as far as the excellent Zaki, you might give T-Rex BBQ a try. Closer to you than either, Mississsippi Catfish moved from a truck to a building and I just saw a sign that they are now making BBQ and have expanded hours. I like their fried fish, but the bbq is on my to-try list.

      Also, Catahoula coffee is a wonderful local cafe and coffee roaster.

      Another person whose taste I respect, says that Maria, Maria on MacDonald makes good pizza. Haven't tried it yet. I'm a little disheartened since that has housed four different businesses in the last few years. It takes a while to get enthused again. M.r Pizza Man does a nice pizza and has some Brazilian dishes.

      I know you said you have Mexican covered, but Panadria Guatamalateca on 23rd is a very good Guatamalan bakery. It always smells wonderful in there and on Saturday they have Guatamalan tamales.

      I'm not much on Indian food, but I liked my visits to Chirag. They seem to be hanging in there so they must be doing something right They are in the strip mall nearish Wendy's

      Change the search criteria to "Richmond, CA, USA (don't ask) to pick up all the restaurant addresses mentioned

      In San Pablo ... not that much farther than traveling to Solano Ave in the other direction ... there are some top-notch Laotian restaurants. Rose and That Luang have had the best reports. Starbread is a Filipino bakery that does ONE thing excellently ... the hot senoriata bread ... but you must get it to order hot out of the oven for it to be much of anything special.

      In El Sobrante, California Thai has good Thai food that is California-ized without being dumbed down. If you are in that area don't forget Gou Bu Lei next to Raley's for reliable Cheines food.

      What Mexican restaurants are you interested in? There might be a few new good ones you are unaware of.

      1. re: rworange

        They've got barbecue at the Alvarado again? Is it Bobby's?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          No. Someone else. Actually I haven't been in a few months and should check it out. again. Looking at the restaurant data base search list, I saw T's Cajun bbq at that same address, so I'm wondering if things have changed recently.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Think it's now known as Pit Boss BBQ

            Pit Boss Barbeque
            12889 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA

            1. re: kc72

              Coming from the South, I'm BBQd out (Southern-style anyway).

              For Mexican (mostly taquerias) I'll trek to the Mission or Fruitvale but that doesn't need to be carry-out. I'm just trying to avoid wasting any precious Bay Area food time eating what my parents pull out of the freezer from Costco. I love 'em but...

              Chirag sounds good -- did that replace another Indian restaurant that was in that same strip mall (I think?).

              There used to be a good place in El Sobrante for tandoori chicken sandwiches. Is that still there and still good?

              What's the latest on La Bamba? It's been pretty hit or miss the 7-8 times I've been there. Sometimes good, sometimes mediocre.

              1. re: HungryGrayCat

                There's a large Mexican population and good Mexican food in Richmond.

                Do Mi Tierra or Trujillo have hot food to go?

                Supermercado Trujillos
                1025 Rumrill Ave, Richmond, CA

                Mi Tierra Super Mercado
                516 23rd St, Richmond, CA

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Oh I know. I just want to travel around a bit. Not stay in Richmond proper for my entire stay. It's part of my "anti-stir-crazy" plan. The take-out part of my plan is to bring home tasty food since my parents don't like to /can't go to restaurants much these days.

                  But since you mentioned Mi Tierra and Trujillos, would either have tamales for Christmas Eve?

                  (Just trying to get as much planning done in advance since it's a bit of a whirlwind trip.)

                  1. re: HungryGrayCat

                    Tamales, you might want to check out Unicos de Cuernavaca.

                    Unicos de Cuernavaca
                    3831 International Blvd, Oakland, CA

                    1. re: HungryGrayCat

                      Neiter Mi Tierra on 23rd or Trujillo have hot food to go. There's some good food Mexican food in the Richmond area, but tamales really aren't one of the better thing in the area. As Robert mentioned the top of the line and some of the best tamales I've had are at Unicos de Cuernavaca.

                      Surprisingly other really good tamales are at the chicken store across the street from Monerrey Market.

                      At the Tuesday and Satruday Farmers market there is a tamale vendor who is a slight bit better than most. Her tamales are a little too healthy for me EXCEPT this time of yearshe makes really great sweet tamales. The pineapple are really, really good. The raisn isn't bad, but not as good as the pineapple.

                      Tres Hermanas does tamales for Christma, but IMO, the head hermana has a higher opinion of her tamales than is justified.

                      The chicken at Zaki is really going to be one of your better bets. I have yet to find someone I shared it with that hasn't liked it.

                      What type of food do your parents like?

                      1. re: rworange

                        My parents are pretty good eaters -- they like almost everything. Zaki sounds right up their alley. Being elderly, they don't need big portions and lately my mom seems to prefer little bites of things so a bit of chicken, some hummus and fava salad would be perfect. The reason I suggested non-Chinese is because my dad eats at China Village every week and has done so for 10 years.

                        I really appreciate all of your suggestions. Even though I'm back twice a year, I seem to cook the whole time instead of getting out -- and I'm resolved to have an easier trip this time. I'm excited to check out the new Bowl!

                  2. re: HungryGrayCat

                    Yes, Chirag replaced the other place after the owners were murdered.

                    I believe the place w/ the tandoori chicken sandwiches closed down.

                    I went to La Bamba a few weeks ago (1st time since their remodel) -- still good carnitas, pupusas didn't seem as oily as before.

                    1. re: HungryGrayCat

                      The tandoori chicken place closed a while ago, no great loss as it had been in an unchecked downhill slide.

                      Champa Thai/Vietnamese in the center with Cafe Soleil is good and reasonably priced.

                2. re: rworange

                  rw - have you been to L&L yet? Just noticed it the other day and haven't had a chance yet.

                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                    Not RW, but have had dinner here a couple of times and it's pretty solid. Prices might be a little higher than the rest of the San Pablo Ave. Chinese offerings. but pretty good and they're still running their 10% off promo. Haven't had a chance to try the lunch/dim sum offerings yet

                      1. re: rworange

                        We ate at Pit Boss (formerly Alvarado Gardens) a few months ago. The BBQ was virtually inedible; I will never go back--it was that bad. Do you know for sure if the new German restaurant in Point Richmond actually does takeout?

                        But I'm mainly concerned about the OP's sense of direction. Lives in Richmond but doesn't want any suggestions for places north of Albany??? And how far south? San Jose is not north of Albany. And why is El Cerrito apparently off limits?

                        Since La Bamba reopened, I've found their food to be consistent and pretty good. And they take credit cards and offer table service now. Their quesadilla suiza is an incredibly good value--huge, tasty, and cheap.

                        1. re: dlglidden

                          The OP came and went.

                          Yep, German place does take-out. I'm not sure if Pit Boss is still open. I haven't seen the lights on lately.

                        2. re: rworange

                          I strongly concur that it's worth the trip to San Pablo for Rose Garden Thai Cuisine -- wonderful! And Chirag is also very worthwhile -- but then, I'm crazy about Indian food.

                          The feijoada at 25 West in Pt. Richmond is pretty good (avoid their American dishes, though, especially the execrable burgers), but the fake feijoada across the street at the vegan Symphonie is even better.

                          I have to take issue with another of your recommendations. I ordered a pizza ONCE from Mr. Pizza Man, and had to throw it away. Totally wrong, and just awful. Their Brazilian selections, which rotate daily, are okay, but nothing special. Except the feijoada, which is pretty bad -- more fat than pork.

                          1. re: ptrichmondmike

                            Thanks for the update on Mr. Pizza Man. Haven't been there recently. I know last time I was there, Rosa's name was no longer on the menu for the Brazilian dish.

                            Maria, Maria opened on MacDonald in a location that has seen a number of places that lasted briefly. I haven't made it there, but someone whose tastes I respect said it was pretty good ... though he was more enchanted by their speedy delivery.

                            They also have Brazilian dishes. That would lead me to think they are making Brazilian-style pizza which isn't really my favorite style. But since I haven't been yet, can't say.

                      2. Zaki is excellent.

                        But you want places no farther _north_ than Albany, and you live in Richmond?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ernie in berkeley

                          Sorry, meant no farther south. Doh.

                          My parents eat a lot of Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese etc. so I'm looking for something to bring them that's a little different. La Bedaine could be a winner!

                        2. I assume no one is mentioning China Village because it's too obvious? Having been to Happy Golden a few times now, I think I still prefer CV - but HGB is good, and a lot closer to richmond. When I lived in that nabe, my carryout was nothing but CV. Reasonably priced, carries well, huge menu means there's always a "road less travelled" option. On the parents side, not knowing your parents, CV actually makes great "classics" like Lemon Chicken while allowing you to chow down on cracklin' entrails or whatever you like.

                          1. I lived in your neck of the woods for years and most of the places I've frequented have been mentioned...

                            Huang Tra for Vietnamese takeout. I'm a fan of their crispy ginger prawns, ginger chicken over rice, lemon beef salad, shrimp on sugarcane, and bun bo xao.

                            Pit Boss BBQ is a mixed bag. I've had good meals from there, but it really does depend on who is cooking and what time of day it is. The owners are good people.

                            As kc72 noted, La Bamba's pupusas definitely seem less oily than before and they reheat ok, but not great the next day. I love the salsa that comes with them... I know you said no burritos, but their al pastor burrito is one of my guilty pleasures.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: adrienne156

                              Thanks! I'll definitely try the al pastor. My parents love Huang Tra so that's on the list too.

                              1. re: HungryGrayCat


                                Just a warning about the al pastor: I have no idea of its individual virtues (authentic, "proper," etc.), but that burrito in total tastes pretty darn good.

                            2. A little late but HGC reporting to duty.

                              So, plans didn't go exactly as anticipated but I did have a nice surprise: The Baltic in Pt. Richmond.

                              We went on a Saturday night at about 7pm -- only one or two tables were occupied the whole night so if you like German food, you'd better get there soon. Granted, no liquor license, but the server was great and kept our beer cold and our glasses refilled. I’m a tad blurry on all details having just flown in but there were 4 of us and we tried: Wienerschnitzel, Jagerschnitzel, Sauerbraten, and the special goose. Portions are huge! Seriously!! My Wienerschnitzel was a bit dry and overcooked (a pretty deep brown breading) but the accompanying potatoes were delicious. The Jagerschnitzel was phenomenal – a rich mushroom sauce covering the ample dish and the perfectly cooked spaetzle. The Sauerbraten was very good – I wondered about the cut (tri-tip) but it worked well. The hit of the night was the goose. It was crisp, moist and not at all fatty. The apple strudel was truly special. The Black Forest cheesecake was just OK. The owner came over to chat…super nice guy.

                              Zaki Kabob House was a great recommendation. We ordered to go a whole chicken (no sides), baba ghannouj (smoky and creamy), mashweeya (more great eggplant) and the cucumber salad (refreshing and light). That chicken is a keeper. Really, really good, moist and flavorful. Waiting for the food was fine…lots of tea and things to watch and great scents coming from the kitchen.

                              Had lots of the usual stuff: burritos, take out from the Pasta Shop, etc. Oh, and the obligatory trip to The Junket in the El Cerrito Plaza (for Mom)…such a funny place but I did have a pretty tasty olive salad sandwich with havarti.

                              Thanks for all of the suggestions. Sometimes the best laid plans don't work with Bay Area traffic and family and all that.

                              Oh one last thing: I LOVE the new Bowl. Went on December 23 (just after opening) and was in and out in about an hour. And that's with a monstrous shopping list and me not knowing the layout. Parking was fine!