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Mar 7, 2014 11:03 AM

Crossburgers- Chef Eddie Blyden's return on Frank Ogawa Plaza [Oakland]

Earlier this week I noticed this place had opened, and resolved to visit as soon as I could when a quick search revealed that it is the work of Chef Eddie Blyden, last seen turning out excellent Southern cuisine at Miss Pearl's.

I ordered the Crossburger, not specifying doneness as is my usual practice when first trying a new burger. It came out well-done, but remained quite juicy. This burger features a mayo-based sauce, cheese, lettuce, a thin slice of tomato and a slightly spicy pepper relish tucked in to a challah-type bun made by Metropolis Baking. It was quite good.

The regular menu features a standard burger with add-ons including Hobbs bacon, egg and avocado; a Mary's fried chicken sandwich on the same bun with kale slaw and remoulade (which my companion ordered- it looked great and she loved it); a Cuban pork burger with Hobbs ham, pickles, Emmentaler and mustard; and a hot dog with black-eyed pea chili, onion and pickled jalapeno.

Fried catfish is slated for a special today.

The burgers alone fill a gaping hole in the downtown Oakland lunch scene, but Chef Eddie said he is going to be creative with the menu and see how it evolves, so I'm sure I'll be going often.

Lunch only for now.

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  1. Thanks for the alert. He made a superior burger when he was at Henry's. Menu here

    weekdays only, 10-4

    1. I've stopped by twice already.

      The first time I ordered the Crossburger. It was quite tasty. I very much liked the "secret" peppery relish which gives the burger a nice spiciness. I did not specify doneness, and it came out well, but not dry. Word of warning --it is a mess to eat.

      The second time I ordered the Crosscuban and was sadly disappointed. I was expecting a pulled pork type sandwich. Rather, it was a pork patty, which I have no problem with except that I found it quite dry. The emmenthaler was a nice addition. Nevertheless, all in all I found the sandwich rather bland. It is also a pricey $9.50 for just the sandwich, which is quite steep IMO.

      Both times I ordered the "naked" fries. The quality was quite good, and the serving sizes were generous.
      For my taste, both times they were a bit oversalted, however.

      It took a bit of time to get my order on both occassions, but that's ok --they need some time to get into the swing of things. Service was very friendly. Nice addition to the neighborhood, and it will be interesting to see how the menu develops.

      1. Stopped in for lunch today,and had the Cross-Cuban, which is the aforementioned pork burger with ham, pickles, cheese, etc. I thought it was quite good--flavorful, not greasy, and a good size for lunch. Didn't try the fries, but what I saw on other peoples plates looked tasty.

        They were doing a brisk business at lunch time for both take-out and eat-in.

        1. The food is all right but chef Eddie Blyden had a bad attitude. His staff made the place upbeat and friendly but his attitude made it not worthwhile to revisit. It is only "good" because there is nothing else in that Plaza. Many people have expressed not enjoying his poor hospitality habits. If he stays in the kitchen and lets his staff create the atmosphere, it would be a big plus.

          5 Replies
          1. re: TimoKC

            Well I'm sorry you had such a negative experience you felt compelled to make your first post here, but I've always found Blyden to be warm and welcoming, visiting tables etc. and have never heard a negative word about his hospitality. In fact, a large number of my colleagues have made Crossburgers a weekly part of their rotation.

            Care to name a "better" burger downtown at lunchtime?

            Back to the food- on subsequent visits, I haven't found the menu to vary much. The fried catfish sandwich is good, with expertly fried cornmeal-battered filets, but would be better with a cabbage slaw rather than the kale-based slaw he also puts on the fried chicken sandwich.

            The catfish has gone from a Friday special to a regular menu item.

            i still have to try the dog with blackeyed pea chili, cheese and pickled jalapeno.

            1. re: Pius Avocado III

              Like I have said, it is good because there is nothing else around the Plaza and Downtown Oakland is super small. I don't have to visit every place that serves burgers just to make a comment. Your colleagues may not my colleagues but I know a few of them resounded the same experience on Yelp and I will ask others to do it on this website if they know about Chowhound.

              1. re: TimoKC

                "Blyden is front and center at Crossburgers: expediting orders, bussing tables, and, more than anything, chatting it up with customers, at least half of whom he seems to know personally."


            2. re: TimoKC

              I agree with PA-III. I've never had a bad service experience there--the staff is friendly and helpful across the board; and on the one occasion when the chef left the kitchen to talk with customers, so was he.

              I keep getting that Cross-Cuban. It's not a true cubano, but a darn tasty burger nonetheless.

              BTW: who are the "many people [who] have expressed not enjoying his poor hospitality habits?" Don't see them here, and only saw a couple of negative comments on Yelp.

              1. re: Rapini

                Hearing anything negative about Blyden is news to me. As I recall, he was at 21st Amendment years ago, and I recall a big smile and great food.