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Fremont - 3 days with a vegetarian in tow

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I'll be in Fremont next week with and we have one in our party who's vegetarian (eggs/milk products are okay.) We often find common ground in Asian food, so I'm sure nobody will starve. I'm wondering if there are any good Dim Sum options that have more than 2-3 vegetarian dishes? Three is typically the max you'll find at a Dim Sum place in the Dallas area.

Will drive to SF or wherever.

Any non Asian suggestions where vegetarians and carnivores can enjoy a meal together would be welcome too.

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  1. Yank Sing's the only dim sum place I'd be comfortable sending a vegetarian, except for the vegetarian places, which I think are all pretty bad.

    If you're in Fremont, maybe Chaat Bhavan. It's vegetarian but lots of meat eaters like it.

    Relevant topics:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/818120
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/799722

    1. Salang Pass (Afghani)

      Not exactly 5* ambience but food prevails...
      De Afghanan Kabob House
      Pizza & Curry
      Shalimar (great tandoori items & biriyani- others range from okay to good; can be oily)

      1. QQ NOODLE

        Went there last night. The only reason I drive to fremont. Strip mall. Great, great noodles. Plenty of veg and non-veg options. Second visit we better than first because the kid on duty recognized us as "those white people who show up on the late side and slurp their noodles correctly" and I think we got Chinese Food Chinese Style, a decided step up.

        Agree that I would _never_ send a veg to dim sum. You just don't know what you're getting unless you order off the menu - and even then.

        Y*lp lists a lot of felafel choices, and a lot of veg indian choices. I haven't been to any of them, though. Dosa Hut, Mr Kebab, Krishna, Woodlands, Dosa Place, the list goes on.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bbulkow

          What were the differences in the food the second time at QQ Noodle?

          1. re: hyperbowler

            The first time, I got the "spicy beef noodle soup", and there was almost no spice or ma la. The second time, I got preserved greens pork, and there was a healthy dollop of spice and some ma la. Not enough spice to be overwhelming, but enough to mix well with the salty taste. I liked the noodles better the first time, though - the type of noodle in the spicy beef noodle is the rounder chewier noodle, instead of the flatter noodle.

        2. Oh - "will drive to SF or wherever" - Fremont to SF is a _slog_. It's about the worst drive in the entire bay area - if you eat around 6pm, it could easily take an hour and a half to get to SF.

          Your best eating destinations are in Oakland (like Enquentro, a veg-only place I really like and I'm a certified meat-lover; like Piazziolo, which has the area's best thin crust neopolitan pizza; do some research), Alameda (like Burma Superstar), and Palo Alto/Menlo Park, which is right over the Dumbarton Bridge and thus about 20 minutes each way. Good indian eats at Amber India, Burmese at Rangoon Ruby's, veg-heavy californian at Flea Street Cafe.

          And, how can I forget, the McCarthy Ranch Shopping Center (barber lane shopping center?). It's right at the corner of the 237 and 880 freeways, and it's a very authentic spread of "ethnic" food. My favorite place is the Chettinad Indian place - Anjappar. The chances that you've had good chettinad is unlikely. ABC Seafood has dim sum, Mayflower is reputable, but there are easily 100 restaurants in that cluster.

          Search those areas on the board, see if you see anything you like.

          I would really skip almost all the asian places, like the viet places, unless you really do think "ox pizzle soup with extra blood" is a compromise [ bun bo hue an nam ], Korean places (7 kinds of beef), Chinese places ("vegetarian, you eat pork, ok?"), with maybe the exception of Japanese places (always some good noodles on the menu).

          If you really want dim sum, I think a good option would be Tai Pan in Palo Alto or East Ocean in Alameda. You can look at Tai Pan's menu online and see if you like how much veg. I find the place a little tame and staid but it does have good food. They will make sure your veg is really veg.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bbulkow

            Completely missed the SF part as well...

            Second RL's suggestion of Yank Sing. It's a destination restaurant for anyone and hard to beat their veg. selection. Validated parking too.

            http://www.yanksing.com/locations/ind...

          2. Chat-Patta Corner. So good, and all vegetarian. Very casual.

            http://www.yelp.com/biz/chat-patta-co...

            1. Thanks for all the input, hounds!

              I'm not intimidated by the commute/traffic. I drive an hour or more each way to work here in DFW. Driving should be on my job description. However, I don't think $60 for dim sum is going to fly with my posse unless I offer to pay and, well, no.

              Believe it or not, we do have really good Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese here as well, but there's nothing to brag about in the way of Chettinad and I don't think there's a single Afghani place here. I'm intrigued!

              And bbulkow, you are so right about "you eat pork!" That cracked me up. There's a running joke with my veg buddy about that. For some reason the Thai places are the same way with fish. They are always surprised when he sends back a dish that's doused in fish sauce when he asked them to hold it.

              QQ Noodle is definitely on the list. So much for low carbing it.

              I bookmarked all these places on my yelp app. Will let you all know how it turns out. Thanks!

              12 Replies
              1. re: evilgodmom

                Yank Sing should be more like $20 if you order right. The vegetarian dishes are among the cheapest they have.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7321...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Thanks for that link. Those sure are a lot of rules to follow for one meal. :D

                  It's still a strong contender. There's only one place here for good soup dumplings and the yelpers sure rave about YS for that.

                  1. re: evilgodmom

                    Yank Sing's XLB are usually perfect and if they're not they won't fuss if you send them back. Probably the only place that uses Niman pork.

                    I'd bet there are first-rate XLB in Milpitas.

                2. re: evilgodmom

                  I appreciate being willing to drive that long. I often am, and I know traffic can get bad in texas too. It's just --- why bother? I hate sitting on the freeway for an hour or two when I'm driving _past_ really good restaurants. Thus the idea of recommending the clusters of good restaurants in each direction - Oakland/Alameda to the north (30 ish minutes), Milpetas (20-ish), PA/MP (20ish).

                  It's always hard to say, when travelling in different regions, the differences in quality. BBQ has become more popular in the bay area - but I've got a friend who travels to Texas a few times a year just to eat BBQ, and no one on CH would reasonably say the bay area has any BBQ places worth eating at. I look forward to your comments on the relative tastes and benefits between your home region and ours.

                  I can't compare your chinese, indian, or viet places. DFW, like the south bay, has been home to similar immigrant waves.

                  Which chinese regions are strong in DFW? We've had more northern style recently, and a slow spread of better sichuan places.

                  With all that, you should seriously consider italian. I know it sounds crazy, but places like http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com/ in oakland are in a significantly different category than elsewhere. Local food, very neighborhood atmosphere.

                  And if you go to QQ, be firm with them about making it for chinese, otherwise you'll be a bit disappointed in the taste - although you'll get the same great noodles as everyone else.

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    I'm not saying I look for ways to extend my time behind the wheel but in this case San Francisco is on the other end of the trip and I really love the city, so we might make a night of it.

                    I haven't spent any time in Oakland except getting on and off a plane. My impression is that it's kind of a dangerous place? A place where you wouldn't want to stop and ask for directions? Is that way off the mark?

                    On the subject of Italian, I had a lot of fun and a good meal at the Gold Spike probably a dozen years ago and I just found out that it closed after forty-something years. Bummer.

                    BBQ wouldn't cross my mind in CA, but I'm happy to hear that you folks are getting around to adding that to your major food groups. It's a damn shame everybody can't have good BBQ all the time.

                    I'd say we have tended to be heavily populated with Hunan and Sichuan options, a lot of which are very Americanized, but not having a lot to compare it to, people think it's Chinese. This has changed over the last ten years and while you can still get Chinese food for people who don't like Chinese food, you can get some real Canton/Hunan/Sichuan food without going too far. There's only one place I'll go for dumplings and fortunately it's about 10 minutes from my office.

                    1. re: evilgodmom

                      For food like the Gold Spike, go to Capp's Corner.

                      Some of the best Chinese food in the Bay Area is in Milpitas (maybe 50% of the population is Chinese immigrants), but good luck for vegetarians.

                      Oakland's huge and has a wide variety of neighborhoods. Most of the good restaurants are in areas that are as safe as any city and very few are anywhere near the gang violence that gives the city its bad reputation.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        It's not that the food at the Gold Spike was greatness, it was really good, reasonably priced and we were definitely not hungry when we left, but I liked the old style vibe.

                        Capps's looks like a similar vibe. Not a lot of veg options, but it could work. Or maybe I'll ditch my vegetarian co-worker and go to Incanto. :D

                        I know, I need less uptight friends/co-workers.

                        Will poke around on Yelp for Milpitas options.

                        1. re: evilgodmom

                          Yelp is problematic in that area, and chowhound has thin coverage. There's a few dependable posters.

                      2. re: evilgodmom

                        Oakland - There are some very rough neighborhoods, there are some very nice neighborhoods. Areas with restaurants - like Jack London Square, Temescal, Lake Merrit, Grand Lake, Uptown, Chinatown, are as safe as any American major metropolitan area, certainly as safe as similar areas in SF (mission, tenderloin, etc).

                        The Italian that's most popular now - like at Pizzaiolo - is nothing like Gold Spike. Northern Italian, very fresh, handmade, goes well with nor-cal sentiment. Plenty for veg and non-veg alike. You should try it.

                        1. re: bbulkow

                          I wouldn't characterize what Pizzaiolo does as northern or southern. It's Cal-Italian with no specific regional focus. The same goes for Barbacco, Cotogna, Dopo, Incanto, and Oliveto.

                          There are some places that have a regional focus:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787758

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            While you are correct, that doesn't describe for a texan what the food is like. I aim for positive descriptive identification - and "Cal/Ital" likely sounds like some froofy thing with too much arugula. Even though you're right and I know what you mean, what about evilgodmom and her compatriots?

                            1. re: bbulkow

                              I'd say Cal-Italian as it's practiced around here means drawing on the Italian tradition loosely and creatively, taking inspiration from the best local, seasonal ingredients, rather than trying to duplicate dishes you'd find in any particular part of Italy.

                              Pizzaiolo's menu from last night has dishes that are more or less Roman (puntarelle), Moroccan (citrus salad with fennel, charmoula, and black olives), French (salmon with Belgian endive, crème fraîche, and chervil), and Lombard (polenta with Gorgonzola), plus a total international mashup (saffron tagliolini with Georgia white shrimp, green garlic, and Marash pepper).