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Kwik Way – Rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, apple pie, coffee shake and secret menu [Oakland]

rworange | Feb 23, 2012 08:54 PM

Before I go on and on, I want to note the apple pie is excellent. The little personal size pie has one of the few crusts without butter that I like.

It isn’t too delicate. It isn’t flakey. It holds the filling without falling apart without being tough. It is a great texture.

It is packed with sliced apples with buttery, brown sugar, cinnamon personality. Like the crust, the apple texture is perfect, not mushy not under done. Just right.

Other noteworthy things are that gluten-free buns are available and the veggie burger can be made vegan on request

Anyway, I’ve been thinking all afternoon about Kwik Way … maybe over thinking.

They have added some new things to the menu like a breakfast burrito, soup, the chicken, mac and cheese with mushrooms. I’ve never been so don’t know if they had babyback ribs, mango shakes, or a Rueben in the past.

I may be wrong, but I think the secret menu is the stuff nobody orders because Kwik Way leads you to think that it is about classic burger food and going in with that expectation will lead to disappointment.

I think Kwik Way marches to its own drummer and if you dig the beat, the food is easier to appreciate.

At first I thought KW didn’t understand upscaling. Thinking about it, I think KW has invented its own category … a level between upscale and regular chow.

It doesn’t do the precious upscale thing with the name vendors and meat that requires a curtsy.

While i enjoy it, I can't eat a lot of upscale food. There is a boring sameness about it. Everybody is doing their own twist on the latest au courant ingredients. i remember the year of skate and the huckleberry which fortunately passed like most does ... huckleberries hung in quite a while tho. They were almost as persistant as the earlier trend of blackened stuff and raspberry vinagrette. it is just everybody does the same thing at the same time.

Kwik Way does different. Not different in a self-promotional way, but slightly, quietly, modestly re-thought.

After sitting and waiting for my order and watching the Latino chef and mainly latino staff … without having tried a single bite of this part of them menu, I suspect the Mexican-inspired items might be the way to go.

No one orders them because they think it is an everyday burger joint.

So maybe the things to order are

-breakfast burrito

-Mexican coffee

-Mango shake

-Pineapple coconut aqua fresca

-Strawberry ginger aqua fresca

-Grilled corn on the cob

-Baja burger

-Corn salad

That corn salad is what I mean by different. It is the classic Mexican corn but with a bit of a change … queso fresco, poblanos, red onion, tomato, chips, chipotle dressing.

Initially I thought this might be a Latino-owned business and they just weren’t getting what people expect for upscale, that they didn’t understand the culture. However, maybe they are just doing their own thing.

I got the cheeseburger with white cheddar and my first thought was … what the hell? Immediately I thought … oh no … the new Flipside around the corner is way, way better


What was that garlic taste? The bun was odd. Then I started to dig it, as long as I put classic burger out of my mind. It was almost like good meatloaf.

Ditto on the mac and cheese. It had curly noodles. It wasn’t creamy or overtly cheesy. Then I got into it and the mushrooms were a nice taste addition.

The chicken isn’t expensive but it is small and scrawny looking. The white meat of one breast barely made a chicken sandwich. It is simply sprinkled with salt and pepper.

There is not one interesting thing about it. However, again … the taste was nice, the breast not dry and almost as flavorful as the dark meat.

The coffee shake was good. It was evident real coffee was involved and not just coffee flavored ice cream. I read there were coffee nibs, but this one didn’t have any. It was a little more robust than I like a coffee shake. I’ll probably try the mango one of these days.

Anyway, I didn’t want to post elsewhere because I’m hoping there can be some discussion about the place. Also, this isn’t a totally positive review and I didn’t want to post where there was a larger audience.

This will just disappear in the archives. The last Kwik Way post was when it first opened. It was mainly a memory lane thread about the old joint with only a few actual reports about the food. So like that post, this one will soon disappear without calling any negative attention to what might be an interesting restaurant if viewed in a different way.

This guy sums up what i think

'There's something weird about Kwik Way.

Maybe it's the unique flavor of the beef (shawarma comes to mind), their peculiar insistence on using white cheddar on their cheeseburgers (it's good, just trust them) ...

I'm just not sure, but I keep coming back to try other things, and I'm never disappointed, just never wowed'

Does a place need to wow if it keeps you interested and coming back?

PS: Anyone tried the house-made potato chips?

Address and website


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