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Breads of India is an awful place that exists solely upon its reputation.

I have not eaten at the Berkeley location based on the reviews (mixed) and the inconvenience of getting there and parking. However, when they opened a location (after 3 years of promises and signs in the windows), it was a decent sounding option today for lunch while we were in the area.

First. It's expensive. Not a lot more than other restaurants on the gourmet side, but a tremendous increase over the Chinese side. The food is "gourmet" in that they don't give you very much of it and it's all been tweaked to make it fancy. Third, they have some of the worst service.

Pricing.Collapse )

Gourmet?Collapse )

Lack of effort.Collapse )

Now. Here's the real kicker. Their chai is terrible. It tastes like milk. There is almost no chai in it. But it's not sweetened and there is no sugar on the table and no one to ask.

The bread was OK, the garlic naan was made with actual garlic, the speciality naan (today's was onion) was okay. There were some greasy sections (which reeked of olives) and it's more expensive than other places. But the bread itself was tolerable. I ate a lot of it while avoiding my rice... the rice was honestly textured more like uncooked Minute Rice than anything else. I was stunned at how well a gourmet place managed to replicate the detriments to frozen ethnic dinners.

Verdict: lousy and overpriced with terrible service

Breads of India
gourmet ghetto
10th and Clay
Oakland.

Amazona's on Telegraph

Posted by shellyak on 2006.08.20 at 15:45
Current Mood: happyhappy
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Friday at lunch we went to Amazona's for monster slices. I had plain sausage. I really enjoy the crust on the monster slices; it's crispy, bit of corn meal. I really like their sauce; I don't know what it is about it though. They have nice toppings too.

$4 for a monster slice with one topping. It takes about 25 minutes to cook, so calling ahead at lunchtime is wise. There is usually metered street parking available. On Friday I was boxed in by several delivery trucks who made it hard to leave. Meters in Oakland are too expensive since they don't take dollar coins (which don't really exist anyway), but 30 minutes' worth wasn't too painful.

They have table service if you eat at Amazona's. So you call your order ahead, pay when you arrive, and someone brings real knives and forks to your table and your pizza arrives on non-disposable plates.

I had a few bites of a veggie slice and it had good toppings too, but wasn't as crispy as the meat-only version. I think the tomatoes were wet, but they were real tomatoes, not the supermarket-in-December kind.

Overall it's a really nice lunchtime pizza experience.

Monster slices are $3.50 for cheese and $.50 for each topping. Their regular pizzas aren't as crispy in the crust, though perhaps it could be requested.

Amazona's on Telegraph between downtown and Pill Hill.
2427 Telegraph
510-625-1233

udon

Sam's Chinese Restaurant

Posted by merle_food on 2006.08.20 at 12:00
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Sam's used to be a not terribly amazing steam table all-you-can-eat buffet. It was okay (I kind of enjoyed it last May), but it was not an exciting place. About two months ago their doors closed for a renovation. Reminded of the change in Binh Minh Quan when they renovated, I snagged a menu when they first reopened.

Most apparent was the lack of the buffet tables at the front of the restaurant. When picking up the menu, I asked, and was told there were new owners, and they were now a "cantonese, seafood" restaurant. The menu did have lunch specials, and I have been looking for a new source for broccoli beef, so I tried it out.

That day, though, I had a craving for something spicier, so I ordered the kung pao chicken to go. A classic gringo dish, but often a good judge of the restaurant, since most places make it slightly differently.

My first thought was "wow, this is heavy!". Indeed, the takeout box was crammed full of food, enough for almost two meals. And even stranger was the way the rice was placed on top of the ingredients, rather than the other way around.. so what looked like a huge heaping pile of rice with some food was actually just some rice with a whole lot of food. That's nice.

The kung pao was well executed, but the ingredients were not to my taste: chicken, peanuts, onion, and bell pepper. While that is probably traditional, I am not accustomed to the strong bell pepper taste, so it seemed overwhelming. I also missed the little additions that some places toss in (carrots, zucchini, scallions, mushrooms, celery, etc).

I returned later with a few friends and tried a couple more things. The chicken and taro clay pot was recommended, and it was indeed tasty, if heavy on the taro taste. We also tried the greens with preserved egg: basically your standard ong choi sort of greens (spinachy but with a lighter flavour and stalks are not removed), but with some egg mixed in. This was quite phenomenal. The fried rice was, well, fried rice: not much to say about it.

A fun change from the old restaurant. For the most part, it did not seem like a sensational place, but even if most dishes are average, that puts it a cut above Bay Fung Tong in my book. I'll have to return to try the broccoli beef.

Sam's Chinese Restaurant
419 15th St
839-9026


hypercube

Suggestions?

Posted by merle_ on 2006.08.18 at 15:00
Tags:
This posting is a placeholder for people to leave suggestions about improvements to the community, be they keywords, the group description, rules and policy changes, or whatever.

hypercube

Welcome!

Posted by merle_ on 2006.08.18 at 14:00
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Welcome to oakland_eats, a community for reviews of restaurant dining experiences in Oakland, California!


I am merle_, your friendly neighborhood moderator.

Group rules (also listed on the user info page) are:



Only post reviews of Oakland restaurants (or food carts, taco trucks -- places serving prepared food). If you have a wider bay-area place to review, you might consider sf_eats or one of the other groups. Tempting as it may be to include a restaurant just two blocks into Emeryville, this sort of creep eventually results in Walnut Creek posts, defeating the purpose of the group.

A post should give the name of the restaurant, the location, a price point, and a description of the dishes and the experience. The subject line should contain the name of the restaurant.

Feel free to comment with questions about the restaurant or the poster's experience, but do not create non-review posts.

Do not post advertisements. Plugging a restaurant is okay, but you must have eaten there recently, and post a decent review. "Come to X where a hot band is playing tonight" is just right out.

Posts and comments must be in English.. overall. Foreign words or phrases for particular dishes are fine, but the point of the community is communication and it deliberately excluding people will not help that goal.

Be responsible in your content and phrasing. We do allow and encourage negative reviews as much as positive ones, but posts should be reasonable in language and actionable phrases. It's fine to hate something, but do not accuse a restaurant of being unclean because your sandwich had too much mayo. You can have horrible service and describe it without comparing the server to an inbred donkey's offspring.

People may not like your favorite restaurant. Do not flame them. Having a rational discussion about your differences is fine, but ranting that the poster is a thick-headed mule is not.

There will be an occasional administrative post to announce policy changes and the moderators reserve the right to moderate but would prefer for posters to self-moderate.


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