Dining Out While You’re Home for the Holidays in the East Bay
With kids returning from college, parents, grandparents or grandchildren visiting, you can’t cook every night. Here are a handful of family-friendly places diners of all ages will enjoy.
LAFAYETTE – From hotcakes at breakfast to blackened salmon at dinner, Lafayette’s Hideout Kitchen dishes up favorites that will please even the pickiest friends and family members.
An order of mussels and clams is a perfect start to dinner. A word of warning: you’re going to need extra bread to soak up the garlic, onion, white wine and lemon broth.
The menu features several favorite comfort food entrées. I opted for the honey fried chicken served with smashed potatoes and sautéed kale. The chicken was moist and the honey glazed breading was perfectly crunchy.
Stay on the lighter side with shrimp and grits. Topped with a roasted tomato and garlic sauce, this dish was decidedly more Mediterranean than most shrimp and grits I’ve tasted.
Entrées start at $13. Beer and wine only. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 5pm. Also open for breakfast and lunch. 406 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Ste. 4, Lafayette. HideoutKitchen.com
ALAMO – There wasn’t a ton of fanfare when it opened. Some would even say the owners were hoping to sneak in unnoticed, but Alamo residents have taken well to Maguey Mexican Restaurant, which took over the spot Don Jose’s inhabited for decades.
Pair a hand-shaken margarita with an order of guacamole and chips. This guac is a little lumpy—just the way I like it. It’s on the mild side though, so if you prefer spicy, ask for extra fire-roasted salsa to go along with it.
Tacos, burritos and fajitas are all available, but the dinner plates are worth checking out. Thinly sliced well-seasoned beef, onions and bell peppers filled the steak ranchero plate.
The carnitas plate is also a great choice. Crispy on the outside, it too was tender and full of flavor. Plates come with sides of rice and beans.
Entrées start at $14. Full bar. Open Monday-Saturday from 11am and Sunday from 3pm. 3168 Danville Blvd in Alamo. 925.743.8997.
PLEASANTON – Brought to you by Ed Westmoreland of Eddie Papa’s fame, I was excited to try The Clubhouse, the first of three new restaurants to open in the Pleasanton Hotel.
We started our evening with an autumn vegetable trio featuring sweet heirloom beets, savory roasted cauliflower and crispy sesame ginger broccoli. It was perfect for sharing.
Mongolian beef tacos piqued my curiosity. With thinly sliced beef, red bell peppers, cucumbers and bean sprouts in a corn tortilla, the tacos were better than I could have imagined. They came with jasmine rice and Asian-inspired black beans.
We also sampled the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich served on house-made garlic focaccia. If you like fried chicken, this is a winner.
Entrées start at $14. Full bar. Open Monday-Friday from 11:30am and Saturday-Sunday from 11am. 855 Main St., Pleasanton.
LIVERMORE – Whether you prefer mild, medium, hot or Thai hot, Livermore’s Lanna Thai delivers a great dining experience.
Wanting a little of this and a little of that, we started with crispy spring rolls stuffed with veggies. They were the perfect warm-up for a bowl of tom kha soup. A small serving of the coconut milk soup with mushroom, chicken and Thai spices was perfect for two.
For entrées, we savored the Thai Basil with chicken. You can’t go wrong with this aromatic dish filled with tender chicken and minced garlic.
We rounded out the evening with pork pumpkin curry.
Entrées start at $12.75. Beer and wine only. Open Monday-Saturday from 11am and Sunday from 11:30am. 2270 Las Positas Rd., Livermore. LannaThaiLivermore.com.
Janet Fazio writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature on East Bay dining in the print editions of Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in December 2018 editions.
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