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Coffee & Tea 40

El Cerrito: Jac's Asian Bistro (9am-2am) – Oh my goodness (really!!!) … I finally 'get' Hong Kong-style coffee shops

rworange | May 6, 200802:31 PM

Thank you guy at the tobacco shop next door who clued me in about the glories of the baked pork chop cutlets with spaghetti.

It was the gleam in his eye when he talked about it that compelled me to order it.

The huge plate of spaghetti came bubbling from the oven covered with two large breaded pork chops. I can’t remember when I’ve eaten so much food in one sitting.

But there are times you need to submit to hot, primal, cheesy bubbly goodness and enjoy every last bite.

There is a choice of red or white sauce. I chose the red which is similar to the type in a Chef Boyardee can. The cheese is the yellow longhorn variety lovingly browned in spots like a finely blistered pizza. .

There is an art … a true skill … to turn such ungourmet ingredients into a wildly delicious and satisfying dish. It is comfort food in the highest form. I salute you Jac.

The $8.88 meal comes with Russian borsch, garlic bread and a choice of coffee or milk tea.

The borsch is a thin tomato based vegetable soup that has a touch of sweetness with a little bit of cabbage, a few carrots and some celery. It is a generous serving.

The garlic bread is sort of the texture of a hot dog bun with a spread of butter and garlic. The milk tea is strong and served in a shiny metal mug.

If I hadn’t had the tip about the cutlets I never would have known that Jac’s served Hong Kong food in addition to dim sum, seafood (lobster tank in the corner) and almost usual Chinese food … you can get moo goo gai pan.

There are three menus and it wasn’t till I asked about the cutlets that they handed me the Hong Kong menu.

I like the slight wackiness of the joint … I was going to get an order of salmon and avocado egg rolls when the pleasant server pointed to the Chinese characters on the side … and when it finally became obvious I didn’t read Chinese, she explained it was only served Sunday.

They bring big lunch plates to the workers in other shops in the strip mall. There are three small sidewalk tables. The interior is no frills but pleasant.

Since they are new I’m not sure how solid those hours are, but the menu says Sun-Thu 9am - midnight Fri-Sat 9am - 2am

I’ll list a few of the dishes I thought were interesting from the nine page menu in the first reply.

I did force myself to order some egg custard tarts. Three warm flaky half-dollar sized tarts with nice custard were $1.88. Next time the sesame balls.

It is located in the same strip mall as Ba Le.

Welcome Jac …the best restaurant to open near me this year.

P.S. My source for the cutlet said the sui mai is good.

Mac's Wok
10558 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

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