Diablo Dish: Prepare for Oakland Restaurant “Week”
12 days of dining deals in Oakland; $25 lobster at Walnut Creek Yacht Club; Neapolitan pizza at La Veranda; ethnic eats in Dublin; free bagels; and more Dish.
Jack's Restaurant and Bar / Marc Fiorito
Oakland Restaurant Week Starts Thursday
So Oakland has stretched the idea of a week from seven days to 12, but before we come down too hard on this violation of calendric norms, remember that those 12 days contain two weekends—and I think we’re all in favor of a week with two weekends.
On top of that, this January 9 through 20 event features lower-cost prix fixe offerings for brunch, lunch, and dinner from 120 restaurants of all shapes and sizes all over Oakland. This is the tenth year of Oakland Restaurant Week, and given the explosion of quality restaurants in the city, it’s a great chance to check out some of those you may have missed.
Jack’s Restaurant and Bar Expands Menu
Though Eleni Marcovici—known as Mama Eleni—immigrated from Cyprus, and her children combine their talents to run the four Jack’s Restaurant and Bar Bay Area restaurants, the latest additions to the menu focus on chicken, waffles, and churros. After all, Jack’s mac and cheese is already a house specialty, so why not dig deeper into everyone’s favorites?
The Pleasant Hill location is the original Jack’s, now ten years old, but Mama Eleni got her start in Clayton with Eleni’s, where her children learned the business. And they also learned that pleasing the customers is crucial, which is why the Jack’s menu is full of comfort food from all over the world.
Loyalists Line for Lobster at Walnut Creek Yacht Club
Lobster for $25? That’s right, and that’s the cost at the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, but note that the deal is only available for Loyalty Members—and will only be happening in January
WCYC will grill or boil your lobster and serve it with drawn butter, lemon, fries, and coleslaw. And just because it’s hard to believe, let me repeat the price: $25.
The Veranda Soon to Add an Italian Option
Doppio Zero, which has three other locations (Mountain View, Cupertino, and San Francisco) is expanding to the East Bay and will bring its Neapolitan pizza and Southern Italian cuisine to the Veranda in Concord.
The signage is up, but the first slice may not be served until spring—the wheels of the restaurant gods grind very slowly.
Yum Squared Will Do the Math at Todos Santos Plaza
Actually, there’s only one Yum Squared (on Lone Tree Way in Brentwood), so squaring one, as all of us vaguely remember from high school math, equals one. So maybe the new location on Todos Santos Plaza in Concord should be “Yum Squared Doubled”?
Regardless, expect a Thai-based menu with the usual assortment of soups, noodles, and curries, all at a reasonable cost (no exponents are used in setting the prices).
Philz Coffee Will Fill a Spot at San Ramon’s City Center Bishop Ranch
Patience will be a necessity, not a virtue, for those waiting for Philz Coffee to open its outlet at City Center Bishop Ranch, because the single-cup brewing specialist is coming, but likely not until fall.
Philz is known not only for grinding beans fresh for each cup, but also for its customized blends—and now with more than 50 locations, it’s become more than just a San Francisco phenomenon.
Two New Ethnic Eateries Debut in Dublin; One More Coming Soon
Falafel Flame can now be found in the Fallon Gateway, and those looking for wraps, kabobs, burgers, gyros, and even pizza will find themselves fulfilled.
The second casual option to open recently is Gordito’s (replacing Freebirds on Amador Plaza). Anticipate family recipes, vegan options, and al pastor in the family-run operation.
And in mid-February, plans call for Yafa Hummus to open, also on Amador Plaza Road, and it will come as no surprise that the menu will be Mediterranean and Greek.
Plan Ahead for National Bagel Day at Noah’s—and Think “Free”
Put it on your calendar: January 15 is National Bagel Day, and in honor of the event, Noah’s New York Bagels will be giving away a free bagel and schmear with any purchase from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Yes, the operative word here is “free,” though of course you do have to buy something. Still, “zero” is not a number usually associated with the cost of a bagel and schmear.