Friday, September 16, 2005

Eats Around Work

Here are a few notes on some restaurants near work.

35th Street Bistro is in Fremont, near work, and probably the best lunch in short walking distance that I've found. I've only been there for lunch, but I'm looking forward to trying dinner at some point.

The space is very pleasant, with a wall of windows on the front, wood floors, a big plant (a ficus tree I think), big wood bar in the back, and the usual rotating cafe art exhibit. The food is simply prepared, but executed well. I often get the burger, which is a nicely cooked slug of ground meat topped with Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese, with hand-cut fries, a nice slice of good, ripe tomato (at least in the summertime), some onions, and "curry ketchup." The curry ketchup is fine but I might ask for some regular ketchup next time. If you order it medium rare like I do, that's what you get. Nothing like a burger made by a competent chef, if you ask me. I've also gotten the steamed mussels (served with fries), which were very nice local mussels, but the trouble with that is that I can't bear to order it without a nice glass of white wine, and I'm kind of useless for the rest of the afternoon when I drink at lunchtime. Last time I went I had a salade nicoise, which had rare-grilled tuna, yuppie greens, little yellow tomatoes, some red onions, and a good vinaigrette.

Desserts are apparently not their forte. I had a raspberry napoleon which sounded good in print, but was disappointing in execution: puff pastry and raspberries and not enough pastry cream, so I felt like I was eating raspberries on crispbread.

I also went to Yak's Deli last week, and had the nastiest pork bun I've ever tasted. It was several rungs below the pork buns that the guy up the street from Berkeley High School sold out of a trailer. Maybe I should try the teriyaki sometime; it seems to be what people order at lunchtime.

Baja Fresh (N. 34th at Fremont) is a ubiquitous chain burrito shop, which makes a reasonable facsimilie to a San Diego carne asada burrito, for a little too much money if you're used to xBerto's.