I live in Richmond and have been keeping an eye out for promising spots in Richmond, San Pablo and beyond. The SP Market (in San Pablo right by the huge arch) is a large Asian supermarket similar to but not quite on par with Ranch 99. The produce dept is not as well tended and the fish counter is showing more wear than Ranch 99 - although SP is newer by a year? But they do have some great prices on their meats and fish - and a good selection of live fish. The dry goods selection is quite broad. They recently opened a take out food area with very good deals on BBQ / roasted meats - pork, duck, chicken..... unfortunately, the few pieces of dim sum I saw looked a bit forelorn. The market is worth a visit in any event....they also carry products with a nod to some of the non Asian locals - chittlins (sp?) and Mexican spices, etc....
The shopping center ( International Marketplace, I think ) used to house a vegetartian /Asian restaurant but it has closed and been replaced by a coffee house. There is also a bakery that has Portugese and /or Hawaiian breads if my memory serves me well. Nearby is the Bay Area's first branch of L&L -Hawaiian BBQ /plate lunch - 14621 San Pablo Ave. San Pablo 94806 (510) 215-2888
Reviews have been OK - portions are generous. There is also a newish looking BBQ place called Big Tree BBQ and Fish Fry - 14559 San Pablo Ave. San Pablo, 94806 (510)620-0189 Meats are pit smoked for 8-12 hrs. according to their menu. Further out in Pinole there is mid range Chinese place with aspirations called Hunan Villa on 632-A San Pablo Ave (in the Del Monte Center) They have live jazz on Friday & Saturday evenings - also with Sunday brunch and the decor is a step above formica/flourescent. Back in Richmond on San Pablo Avenue ( a block South of the Casino San Pablo) there is a new Pollo Loco about to open. Also in Richmond on Cuttling Blvd. I tried People's Choice BBQ but was disappointed with their candy sweet sauce (mild) Maybe their hot sauce is less sweet? The other Richmond BBQ is Bobby's Backdoor Cajun ( San Pablo Ave & McBryde) which is OK - good but I prefer Doug's or Flint's. The ribs were my favorite here - I wasn't impressed with their boudin (too dry&crumbly) - go to Taylor Sausage in Housewives Market for great boudin.
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