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Restaurants & Bars 1

El Burrito Gordo, mid-town Oakland, and new Lakeside Cafe

susancinsf | Jul 8, 200403:54 PM

Always on the search for new lunch possibilities near my office in the Kaiser Center, I headed out intending to eat at a Thai Place on Webster and 22nd that I often pass on the way to work. Never made it, because first I passed El Burrito Gordo, and remembered that I used to like the place five or so years ago, but since had forgotten it was 11:45 it was already packed, so time for another try!

I couldn't remember Marc W. having reported on this place in his search for the perfect burrito spot downtown, and I guess my memory is accurate, since a search of the archives revealed nothing. (?)

Pluses: Jarritos in the soda case, tables indoors and out if you don't want take-out (but every table was taken by noon!), very reasonable prices, choice of five different salsas, one avocado, and one each of 'hot' and 'very hot' of both a pico de gallo style and a 'sauce' style... in big bowls so you can serve yourself as much as you want (at that point I was thinking: Marc would like this part :-), AND they have caldos...though not listed on the menu, I noticed a Hispanic gentleman tucked into a big bowl of soup, so asked and was told they have both Caldo de Pollo and Caldo de Camarones.

Being a caldo sucker, I ordered the chicken version, along with a small taco de carne asada a la carte. Tacos come in crispy and soft versions, I got the soft version. Can't say I liked the taco: tortilla was steamed, and the beef was downright dry.

The soup was not outstanding, but better. Again, corn tortillas that came with it were steamed and not terribly fresh. Broth was tomato based and good, especially after doctored with the jalapeno studded salsa. vegetables were frozen, except for onion. However, the chunks of chicken were tasty.

There are lots of other items on the menu as well. I would like to try the al pastor, I saw it going out to nearby tables and it looked like a much better choice....I also saw someone eating a lovely looking plate of camarones rancheros.

Thus, I am sure I will go back, to see if I just ordered wrong...Perhaps someone who likes burritos could try them, as I am not a burrito person myself. Total bill, with tax and a Jarritos de Tamarindo, was only $6.35, for a LOT of food, so the price is right.

By the way, The New Lakeside Cafe next door (Chinese) has some interesting looking specials ... might be a candidate for a future Tuesday workday lunch Chowdown..has anyone tried it?

El Burrito Gordo and New Lakeside Cafe
Both on 22nd Street between Webster and Valdez (one block North of Grand).

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