And the fresh lumpia is the only fresh lumpia I have ever liked ... the size of three lumpia in diameter, chock full of cubed chicken, a gentle bit of garlic, diced peanuts, and fresh veggies like green beans, lettuce, garbanzos,carrots...even sweet crunchy jicama ... that jicama really works.
There's a nice garlic/soy dipping sauce with it. The lumpia is carefully wrapped in white paper to keep the edible lumpia wrapper from drying out.
A standard styrofoam dinner tray is filled up with tasty garlic rice two EXCELLENT plump, course-grind garlic sausages (longsilog), tomatoes and an egg cooked as you would like it.
When I said fried, I was asked “soft, medium or hard?” I don't think I've EVER been asked that in a restaurant and certainly not in a little mini-market.
The other choice of breakfast meat in the $2.95 breakfast was tosilog – sweetened, cured pork slices. Think thick-sliced glazed bacon without the fat. Eva might think this is better than the sausage. She pointed to it first, hesitated and said she was going to give me a piece just to try. She was just that nice. The tosilog was just that good. It is a toss-up which I like best longsilog or tosilog.
There’s the deluxe $3.95 breakfast where instead of meat, there is fish – tinapalog, tuyolog/jefrox, or boneless bansilos. I hope I copied that down correctly.
There's a 14 item steam tray. Lunch prices are the same - $2.95 and $3.95. There’s also halo-halo, turon, veggie lumpia, and lumpia Shanghay (sic). A tray of bright pink balut was on the counter.
Coffee is available and there is a cooler of drinks – tropical and regular. A small Filipino market takes up half the space with a few fresh veggie bins on the back wall.
There are a few tables, but this is mainly take-out ... and Eva does a brisk business even at 9 am on a Sunday morning. The place has a certain, lets say casualness. Things are stuffed here and there and Eva was taking care of customers leaving a few tables unbussed. The smiling cook would stick his head out from the kitchen every now and then and talk to customers in Filipino, probably answering questions.
Eva is SUPER helpful to non-Filipinos (me). She points out what the items are, explaining how to eat them. When I asked if she had a business card, Eva said she was out but gave me a swell pen with the name and address of the restaurant. She is such a nice woman.
Business cards seem to be the new matchbook as a sovenir for me. I have quite a little collection at this time.
You know, sometimes even when someone says not to go to a place, it is worth it just to step in the door. I was told this place was awful on the board by someone I didn’t know. Maybe that poster was there on a wrong day. The place I wanted to go was closed, so I thought the least I could do was walk in the door once. I’ll be in Eva’s more than once.
I really like the place and the breakfast just might turn into a personal craving. That was the same thing with one of my favorite restaurants, Old Port Lobster Shack. A bad opening day got it a bad post. Yet the lure of the lobster roll made me step in that door and see for myself. It never hurts to look and for you it might be the gem someone else didn’t want.
This is an excellent value for both the quality and quantity. Eva's is relatively new in Pinole. Check out this mini-mart/restaurant and see for yourself. You might like it like me or not. Either way I hope you'll report back on your thoughts.
Eva’s Meal Stop and Mini Mart
2511 San Pablo Avenue
Pinole, Ca 94564
Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm
Sat-Sun: 8am – 7pm
Very cool pen. I would have spent at least three bucks for a pen like this.
*** NOTE: Edited extensively about 1pm the day this was posted. Breakfast got better with each bite and I left out some things.