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Apr 9, 2013 09:15 PM

The Starry Plough Pub, Berkeley - how's the food there?

I'm going to see some bands on Th 4/11 at The Starry Plough Pub, Berkeley. Is there food worth trying there or should I eat elsewhere? It's near Ashby Bart - will be Barting over.

Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

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  1. No better than average for pub grub. Smokey J's, Simply Greek, and Taqueria La Familia are good. Emilia's Pizza if you're with a group (whole pies only). More:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      RL is correct (as always) but somewhat kind. I've played at the starry plough a dozen times, and it's a great neighborhood haunt. Much beloved, you want to like their food. It's only worth eating there early, before the bands start, when you can actually sit down. The food is edible but according to CH standards I would say terrible. I think I usually get a non-memorable burger and wish I had gotten some pizza. I would go out of my way to avoid it. Their beer selection is quite good.

      If you have time (want to make time), your best bet is to go early one BART stop further to Berkeley and eat at a number of places there, I like Revival a lot. Revival is RIGHT at the bart station, and hop the BART back down a stop. Or, get off at 18th street and eat at Plum or Pican, then hop back on for Ashby.

      I don't know simply greek but Smokey J's always looked good passing by. Kirala is also not that far (minor hike). Kirala is a neighborhood favorite who was doing robata grill before izakaya was as fashionable as today. Solid. Often the wait is too long and there's no good fallback for walkers, so it's hard to recommend, although I've been very pleased with every meal I've eaten there.

      I've always wanted to eat at Cafe Valparaiso (attached to the Plough) but for some reason never have.

      1. re: bbulkow

        Cafe Valparaiso is attached to Le Pena...and should be avoided more so than Starry Plough. I've never heard anything good about it and even from people who frequent Le Pena. It's a real shame because that place could use decent eats, as that area.

        +1 on eating at another BART stop. Downtown Berkeley has many options

    2. or a few blocks south is Nick's Pizza.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escargot3

        Oh yeah, Nick's is good and has slices. Seven blocks / 0.3 mile. I keep forgetting it replaced the vegan place.

        Until 8pm there's also the food court or whatever you call it at Berkeley Bowl.

      2. Thanks everyone, we went for a light dinner at Simply Greek before a show at the Starry Plough Pub. It's only 0.4 mi, 10 min. walk from Ashby Bart so it's walking distance.

        It's a casual spot, order at the Register, they give you a number & bring the food out to you.

        We got:

        Spinach salad - it's a small bowl of spinach, lots of feta cheese, some slices of no taste tomatoes, & lots of walnuts. It was pretty good for what it was.

        dolmas - 7 dolmas come in an order with a small container of tzaki sauce on the sauce. I liked them fine.

        feta, tomatoes, olives - I didn't know the feta & tomatoes came with the salad, this was lots of non-tasty tomatoes, big slices of feta, & 8 olives with pit.

        One pita was $1.50 before tax - it tasted fine, I think they added butter & warmed it up.

        It was an ok meal since we were that hungry anyways.

        They take credit cards.

        Bathroom: gotta get a key, walk out the back, turn right, unlock main door & unlock bathroom door if locked.

        Closed Sun
        M-Th 11-8
        Fri & Sat 11-9

        Had a cafe latte $3 at Jump N Java near Starry Plough, it was fine, huge glass cup, no latte art. Nice artwork in windows & other art inside.

        Starry Plough Pub - hubby got fried calamari he said was crispy outside, didn't taste like calamari. Not worth getting, $6. He had 2 glasses of wine - he enjoyed them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hhc

          The best stuff I had at Simply Greek were the meat dishes and tzatziki.