Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...
Well, I am relocating from Fremont to Antioch/Brentwood for work. I love the food options in Fremont (dozens of restaurants within blocks of me). But it's unavoidable. I've looked at other CoCo threads on here and there's not much, but I'm hopeful that someone's run across something decent in the meantime.
Here are places that I have tried and liked to one degree or another:
What the Fork (Filipino, Antioch)
Dad's (BBQ, Pittsburg)
Steeltown Coffee (outstanding coffee place, Pittsburg)
Sassy Sweets and Eats (very good cupcakes, tasty Cubano sandwich - Pittsburg)
Dulce's Antojitos (Pittsburg)
Las Panchitas (Mexican, killer green salsa - Pittsburg)
Mehran (Indian, Antioch -- not up to Fremont standards, but OK)
El Taco Factory (Mexican, good salsa - Antioch)
Kinder's (BBQ, Brentwood -- maybe better than the Fremont one)
Places I have tried and am iffy on so far:
Lumpy's Diner (Pittsburg)
New Mecca Cafe (Pittsburg -- I think, like China Chili and Massimo's in Fremont, this is a nostalgic favorite for locals but not unusually appealing for anyone else)
Okawa ("Japanese," Pittsburg)
Samurai X ("Japanese," Pittsburg)
Pacific Market (Filipino, Pittsburg -- unfortunately nowhere near as broad a selection as a Chinese grocery store)
Trader Joe's (Brentwood -- and thank goodness it's there)
I have spotted two teensy Indian grocery stores and one Caribbean store, but haven't tried either yet.
As far as I know, I will have to go to Concord for Korean and for 99 Ranch Market...and I'm not sure where the closest Japanese-Japanese (sushi, homestyle, ramen) or dim sum places are. And the closest Whole Foods is in Walnut Creek, I guess. Surely there's a decent Italian(-American) place or diner in the area, though...
I anticipate a post in which I ask for favorite BARTable spots (or perhaps there's one already). In some ways, I think it'll be good to have to get out and try a wider variety of things in Oakland and SF. Right now it's too easy to just never leave Fremont.
If you have anything to add to my list, please let me know! I'm dreading this move and would love something to look forward to. Thanks!
Mac's Old House (Antioch) has a prime rib lunch for $10.95, which gets you a decent-sized slab of prime rib, a bowl of soup, a serving of steamed vegetables, and a serving of pasta. They don't do much to it, but that's fine with me, and the meal is a great bargain. (The same meal is only a dollar more at dinner time, says their website; that would still be worth it.) It's not somewhere you want to bring a snooty foodie (both the food and the ambience remind me of Tommy's Joynt), but it's definitely worth visiting if you are hungry and in the area. I'd probably still go there if it were located in SF.
CreAsian (Brentwood), which is mentioned above, seems to have become the eatery of choice among my coworkers. I put it in the "okay for the area" category.
I have only ever tried the Kinder's in Brentwood, and I have to say I did not enjoy it. I would not bother with it.
Update to my own list:
Melo's pizza & pasta (good-enough American Italian food, Brentwood): Actually, the mushroom and gorgonzola risotto was delicious. I don't think the rice was quite right, but I don't know much about European rice dishes. The main point is that it had lots of mushrooms and was very tasty.
CreAsian (Vietnamese, Brentwood): Well, I miss My Tho and La Sen already, but it was fine. Large portions and reasonable prices, though not enough pork blood in the bun bo hue. Noticed cafe sua da on the menu after I ordered, along with some smoothies (avocado yes, durian no) and salted lemonade. It's convenient and I'm sure we'll return.
Kanpai Sushi (?Japanese?, Antioch): It's one of those places where you're shocked when your server is actually Japanese. I am fairly sure that the owners and cooks are not. The menu is mostly your standard teriyaki-udon-and-complicated-rolls thing. There were a couple of interesting items, like a smoked salmon/avocado/balsamic appetizer. (Not on the online menu.)
Let us have a moment of silence while I weep for having 5 good ramen places within a 15-minute drive and decent dim sum a block away, though...
What about going south to Livermore? There is a good coffee place called Red Panama. I have friends in Livermore so I would be happy to name a few places if you are interested.
For Oakland or Berkeley:
Ramen Shop Oakland (Rockridge Bart)
Ippuku (Downtown Berkeley Bart)
-There is plenty of information on Berkeley and Oakland but these are some of my favorites.
I like Birrieria El Puente on Railroad Ave in Pittsburg:
Just down the street from them is Taqueria Carnitas Tijuana, which makes excellent carnitas. And if you need dessert, the original Guanato's Paleteria is in Bay Point at 2474 Willow Pass Rd.