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Dinner near Cerrito Movie Theater on a Monday

Five of us have tickets to see a movie of a play (One Man Two Guvnors) at the Cerrito Theater in El Cerrito on a Monday night, and I'm in charge of a place for dinner. The movie starts at 7:00 pm, so we'd need to have dinner around 5:30. Has anyone eaten at the movie theater? It's a similar setup to the now defunct Parkway, so offers pizza and drinks in the theater. We all appreciate a good meal, so I wanted to see if there were any other options. Any places within walking distance that might work for us? One person in the group doesn't eat Asian or Indian. Should we try someplace in Albany and hope we get finished in time to get there?

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  1. No Asian eliminates a lot of choices.

    Elevation 66 Brewing Co is right next to the theater -- haven't tried the food though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kc72

      The food was quite good the night we went, the fish and chips were excellent, my only criticism is that it can be quite loud.

      Great beer and right next door to the theater makes this a no brainer.

    2. The food at the Cerrito is "okay" but nothing special. The popcorn and snacks are better. I'd call it good concession food but that's not saying a lot.

      Here's a recent review of Elevation 66: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841475

      1. It's a little less than a mile to Nizza la Bella and Rendez-Vous.

        5 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          Had a terrible dinner at Rendez-vous about one month ago. It was very crowded on a Wednesday night-WHY?

          1. re: wolfe

            Nizza la Bella is the place you should go! When I lived in El Cerrito it was our regular haunt. They open at 5:30.

            1. re: Missmoo

              I've enjoyed Nizza la Bella any time I've been there. I haven't tried the food at the Cerrito, but I was pleasantly surprised with the beer choices when I went to a movie there recently. They also have wine and easily obtainable free water. That bumped it up several notches in my theaters of choice.

              1. re: ...tm...

                I agree with the suggestion of Nizza La Bella. The food at the Cerrito is plain "not good" and pales in comparison to the food at the old Parkway; we no longer eat food at the Cerrito. It does have a decent wine list by the glass or bottle, but it's ridiculously expensive. Another off-the-wall suggestion would be Romano's Macaroni Grill in El Cerrito Plaza. It's a national chain Italian restaurant, but the food (especially the pastas) is really pretty good and the wine and drinks are cheap. They also have a small cafe menu which is available after 3PM and is dirt cheap (though hardly "gourmet") if you buy a drink--and MUCH cheaper than similar food at the Cerrito.

          2. In Albany about a mile away are Zaki Kebab House and Potala Organic Restaurant.
            Both have parking lots.

            1. KFC is only a block away!

              1. In addition to what's already been mentioned, there's Fatapple's at Fairmount and Colusa. They serve pretty good comfort food.

                Al's Big Burger in Albany on San Pablo at Brighton is a pretty good for what it is - they grill their burgers over mesquite. No atmosphere, though - it's a joint.

                I agree with the assessment of Elevation 66 - very good food but noisy.

                1. I second the recs for Elevation 6 and Zaki's Kabab. Both have very good options. No Alcohol at Zaki's though.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nicedragonboy

                    Zaki's is more like 1&1/2 mile from the Cerrito Theater. For closeness, Elevation 66 can't be beat. But slightly closer than Zaki's ('bout 1.3 mi, so dubious without car and more obscure/uphill in direction, is another great suggestion: go straight up Fairmount by car to Colusa and turn right to the Kensington Circus Pub--opens for dinner at 5:30 I believe--beer! fish and chips! shepherd's pie! burgers! Or go to Tacqueria Talavera for great mole and fish tacos and beer. Open all day so gearing up to get out for a movie isn't hard. Can also go to Barney's. Meh. Or Pasta Pomodoro.

                  2. Nations is across the street and you can go afterwards for banana cream pie.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nicedragonboy

                      Thanks for the recommendations!! The cerrito theater has great potential as a theater with a kitchen staff... great idea.

                    2. Thanks to everyone for the great discussion and suggestions. I did make reservations originally at Nizza La Bella, but after reading some reviews was worried that the service would be a problem.
                      So we ended up at Elevation 66, which is next to the theater. Very convenient to only park once.

                      We got a table by the window, which was less noisy, and started off well with some of their beers and a glass of wine. Then we put on order in, and waited......and waited....and. The food when it came was good for a brewpub. We sat down at 5:30, and ordered around 5:40, but the appetizers didn't come until a half hour later. The market salad was great; the grilled calamari with rice fritters
                      was plated nicely, but limp. The restaurant is very creative on presentation......two of us ordered the diver scallops with couscous, which were beautifully plated with sauce on the side, and the person who ordered the Kalua pork tacos was really pleased with her dinner. The two meat eaters ordered the Wagyu burger and the ribeye, and both were happy with their choices. So the food was good, but we didn't get our mains served until 50 minutes after we sat down, which made
                      for some fast eating in order to get to the theater. In fairness to the place, it was a Monday night, and they may not have expected the extra crowd that was going to the movie afterwards, but it made for some nail biting moments. So I recommend Elevation 66 as long as you're not in a hurry.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Barb S

                        Thanks for the report. The food sounds good but the service info is really is helpful. Do you think if you told them you had a movie in X amount of time it would have helped?

                        1. I shall have to check and see what Yelpers are saying about Nizza's service. We have gone for lunch and dinner several times and never had a problem, but it's been two months since our last visit.

                          Rendez-Vous made one single thing that was exceptional the night my family dined there - the seafood in puff pastry. It was exceptional, but everything else was completely ordinary, especially compared to Nizza.