Best Cheap Eats

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  • 4.0 Sterne
    14.11.2011

    This isn't "fancy" Italian food. But it's honest and satisfying. My favorite is their lasagna, an unpretentious mix of noodles, rich tomato sauce, goopy mozzeralla cheese, and ground beef. Salty, fatty, meaty goodness. Sometimes, when I'm elsewhere eating fancy lasagna, I wish it were this.

    The space is small and cozy and has nice views of the nearby church and park. It's a great place to read a book and sip some wine.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    24.11.2011

    This is my absolute favorite place for brunch, purely on the basis of deliciousness.

    I haven't been steered wrong with any dish, but my absolute favorite is the Chef's Mess. Potatoes, avocado, bacon, chives, cheese...I mean, what's not to like? The biscuits here are also fantastic - fluffy and buttery with just a touch of whole grain nuttiness.

    The portions are huge. Expect a doggy bag, or share.

    The coffee is "damn good for diner coffee". Which means, it doesn't displace my morning cappuccino, but it goes down well with the meal.  

    There'll inevitably be a wait, but at least it's a good spot for people watching on a lazy weekend morning?

  • 2955 Telegraph Ave
    Berkeley, CA 94705
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    27.11.2011

    This is our favorite Ethiopian Restaurant in the East Bay (Finfine comes a close second). Here is why Ethiopian Restaurant wins our top honors:

    1. The food is delicious. Their options are many, but our favorites are the collard greens, the cabbage and potato, the split peas, the green beans and carrots, the beef kitfo, the lamb stew, or the beef t'ibs. Got all that? If you can't decide, you can get a vegetarian or a meat combo, which will hook you up with 3 to 5 items and unlimited fluffy injera (an aside: ER's injera is the BEST - no dry, crumbly injera to be found here! just fresh springy goodness). Their samboussa (lamb or lentil filled samosa-like pastry) served with tangy sauce is absolutely wonderful, as is the tej (honey wine) and the telba (toasted flax drink - it's surprisingly great).

    2. It's a screaming good deal. All Ethiopian food is pretty affordable, but given how delicious their items are (and how liberally they pile on the fresh injera), this place is exceptionally cheap. I always leave with at least one meal worth of leftovers in a to-go bag. For a cheap lunch, their all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet weighs in at under $7 for unlimited access to some of their best meatless dishes and injera.

    3. The folks who work here are so dang nice!

    Although it does look like a hole in the wall from the outside, the space inside is comfortable and lovely. There are lots of tables tucked away in cozy spaces if you want a more "private" feel, and the outside porch area is nice on a warmer day.

    Current and future fans of Ethiopian cuisine owe Ethiopia Restaurant a visit.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    14.11.2011

    Wow, how do they fit a taco/burrito assembly line into this tiny cigarettes-and-gum convenience store?

    You know what, I don't need to know. All that matters is that "John's" fed me one of the best korean tacos I've ever had, surpassing those hipster food truck tacos in deliciousness and affordability (though who am I kidding, I love those too).

    Definitely worth a trip!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    11.11.2011

    These folks sell Indian food, regular pizza, and Indian pizza. Don't be thrown off by the distractors: it's the Indian pizza you want here.

    Why hasn't this concept been copied elsewhere? It's all the goodness of Indian food on a naan-like crust, with a garlicky curried sauce base and the added deliciousness of cheese. I mean, duh. It's the best ever. And they deliver! The vegetarian version has amazing curried cauliflower florets, and the meaty version adds lamb and/or curried shrimp. I think my favorite incarnation is either the vegetarian or just lamb.

    The chutneys that come with the pizza (tamarind and mint-cilantro) are excellent dipping sauces for crust.

    I understand their vegan Indian pizza is also incredible.

  • 5098 Telegraph Ave
    Oakland, CA 94609
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    11.11.2011

    Fried chicken sandwich and/or salad. Duh! I agree with other reviews, that while the fried chicken is juicy and wonderful, it's the olive oil jalapeño slaw that really makes these dishes stand out.

    Their baked good are pretty damn delicious too, particularly the strawberry shortcake (fresh, not too sweet).

    Yes, there's a line, yes, you need to factor in a long wait and risk the sandwiches running out if you show up after 1pm. Whatever, it's Betty's, and it's worth it.

  • 2390 4th St
    Berkeley, CA 94710
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    11.11.2011

    This is the best place for Indian street food and mishtis (sweets) in Berkeley. Many options, all of them good, so really you should just grab a few friends and come hungry.

    It is tucked away in a low-foot-traffic part of Berkeley, which is my only complaint, but it's worth questing for. If you like what you get and want to try your hand at cooking Indian food at home, they have a decent Indian supermarket attached to the cafeteria.

  • 200 Hamilton Ave
    Palo Alto, CA 94301
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    1.11.2011

    Watch out: Fraiche will ruin all other frozen yogurts for you. When I first sampled their fresh frozen yogurt, tart and creamy and just sweet enough, my taste buds had a revelation. Their frozen yogurt is made from actual fresh yogurt cultured in the back of the store. Their delicacies actually look and taste like they are made from food.

    Now the jig is up: the powder-based citric-acid candy bombs served at all those "designer froyo" shops are exposed as the artificial-crap-in-a-cup that they are.

    Fraiche plain frozen yogurt is delicious on its own, but they offer a bevy of toppings to make it festive: fresh (not syruped) fruit, raspberry coulis, nuts, granola, handmade brownie bites and mochi, and shaved dark chocolate. They also serve chocolate frozen yogurt, soy frozen yogurt, and usually a seasonal flavor (like fruit-sweetened pomegranate).

    Bring your own spoon and bowl, and they'll knock some of the cost off! I also find that the servings are more generous when I bring my own gear...

  • 5.0 Sterne
    30.10.2011

    I used to come here on my lunch break while teaching at a school nearby. Among the faculty, this small sandwich shop was a legend.  

    I highly recommend "The Realness," one of the best sandwiches I've eaten in the Bay Area. It's huge, so I recommend splitting it it with a friend or saving half for a snack. But really, most of the time I'd eat the whole thing on my own, and just deal with the stuffed belly and inevitable food coma that followed.

    There are something like 60 different sandwiches listed on the board - along with daily specials...and a frequent eater card (10th sandwich free!) to help you on your quest of trying them all.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    30.10.2011

    I have hit up all three of the Bay Area Udupis on a semi-regular basis. These are some of the best dosas around, served with sour-sweet chutneys, cooling raita, and tangy dal. If you're in SF, pass on Dosa and head here instead...costs less and tastes better (however, the plates at Dosa are fancier, so if that's worth paying ~$5 extra then be my guest).

    Special Rava Masala dosa is my favorite, although I like the Paneer Peas Utthappam and Chana Bhatura. All of the appetizers are delicious, variations on the theme of vegetables dipped in lentil flour batter and fried.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    30.10.2011

    Four stars for taste, one extra for character.

    The sushi here is great. The fish is fresh, and though the offerings are pretty standard, there are a few unusual (and spectacular) items. We will cross the Bay Bridge to order their Ankimo (monkfish liver appetizer), and though a standout seaweed salad sounds impossible, Amasia somehow pulls it off. Their green tea cheesecake is also a nice treat.

    The reason Amasia wins my heart is that it is so delightfully quirky. There are origami instructions and paper on your table, as well as a cat's cradle (and if you can beat your waitress at cat's cradle, you win free food). Sake is 50% off when it rains, which was great back when I lived across the street. And if you bring your own chopsticks, you get free edamame.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    15.1.2012 Aktualisierter Beitrag
    Hat einen Yelp Deal gekauft

    We've been back to Zaki's a couple dozen times now, and that alone merits an update. It's fair to say that by now Zaki's has ruined me for other Mediterranean restaurants. I used to be easily satisfied with the fairly uniform menus of shawerma, hummus, and falafel, good enough while rarely being exceptionally good. However, since discovering Zaki's, my whole attitude towards this genre of food has changed.  

    In all fairness, some of the items on the Zaki's menu are pretty typical in quality: the hummus, the falafel, and the walnut baklava are not particularly different from what you'd find elsewhere.

    However, the rest of the menu is what pulls Zakis high above the pack. The meats (carefully sourced, as described in their menu), are exceptionally tender and seasoned. The chicken shawerma and the rotisserie chicken are both incredible. I crave their rich saffron-flavored almond rice that is served with most entrees. Even their spinach and feta salad is notable, dressed with fresh lemon and a delicious imported olive oil that makes this otherwise simple dish quite special.

    Their diverse menu supplements the usual "Middle Eastern Restaurant Staples" with several authentic and uncommon dishes, including a daily rotating special. I highly suggest giving these dishes a try - we've ordered nearly everything at this point, and there isn't a bad dish in the bunch. My favorites: Molokhia, a lamb dish cooked in Middle Eastern greens similar to spinach; Maklouba, a flavorful chicken rice casserole; and Mensef, a spiced lamb yogurt dish served atop the incredible almond rice.

    Tonight, on a whim, we tried halvah here. My previous experiences with halvah led me to imagine the dish as a sickly sweet log of stale sesame paste; Zaki's halvah, in contrast, was light and airy like a fresh macaron, just sweet enough and with a lingering, pronounced flavor of toasted sesame. It was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

    If the food itself weren't enough of a draw, the family that runs this restaurant is lovely, and their character comes through in their menu and their warm interactions with their guests. I also love the free live traditional music played here on Saturdays.

    Zaki's is a truly special place. If you're willing to have your Middle Eastern food standards raised, you owe yourself a visit.

    5.0 Sterne
    30.1.2011 Vorheriger Beitrag
    Let me start this way: it's hard to justify an exceptional rating for Mediterranean food. In most… Weiterlesen
  • 368 Castro St
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    11.1.2014

    I used to work nearby, and how I long for the days where a cheap, fast bowl of fresh ramen in Kuro broth could be snagged on my daily lunch break!

    Maru Ichi is one of the better ramen spots in the Bay Area, and easily the best spot around this part of the Peninsula. I don't think you will have the best bowl of ramen in your life here, but you can certainly get a bowl that is consistently good among Maru Ichis options.


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"Good taste is the excuse I have given for leading such a bad life. - Oscar Wilde"

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Standort

Redwood City, CA, Vereinigte Staaten

Yelper seit

Januar 2011

Dinge, die ich mag

Bahn Mi, Beer, Bibimbap, Bookstores, Carnitas, Coffee, Croissants, Farms, Fermentation, Foraging, Gin, Geekery, Kitfo, Kouign Amann, Novelty, Sashimi, Sauerkraut, Whisky, Wikipedia, Wilderness

Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen

Sneakers, an apron, and broken spectacles.

Heimatort

Former midwesterner, but I claim the Bay Area as my spirt home.

Mein Blog oder meine Website

gastromonica.com

Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...

I am out making geekiness look good.

Meine Henkersmahlzeit

Tacos or Sushi. Maybe tako sushi?

Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...

I stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

Meine neueste Entdeckung

Fish Sauce is good on everything.

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