I'm in the midst of my Bay area excursion now and I'm enjoying the many recommendations that you all made (as well as some I discovered on my own). A full report will be forthcoming late this week.
It's really rare that I stop mid-trip to post a report on a restaurant. But, I do feel obligated to do so today.
Around 11 am this morning, I pulled my car out of storage and headed across the Bay Bridge is search of the recently reviewed Nellie's Soul Food. Let me preface my comments by noting that, though I now live in Chicago, I was born and bred in the deep South and grew up eating what you know as "soul food" and what we simply knew as "food".
I had the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, candied yams and iced tea.
The chicken, honestly, is good enough to bring tears to the eyes of a son of the South like myself. The chicken is obviously brined (my best guess is in buttermilk-the same way Scott Peacock does it in Atlanta)and fried to crisp perfection with a hint of peppery cayene in the crust. It is, quite frankly, the best fried chicken that I have ever eaten in my life. I hope my poor grandmother isn't rolling in her grave right now.
The sides were wonderful. The yams had a complex flavor with hints of orange, the macaroni and cheese is served custard style with egg and just a bit of mild cheddar. The greens were trimmed and cooked neatly with just a hint of smoked meat in their flavor.
My only regret is that I didn't have room to try their banana pudding or 7 Up Cake.
The staff and owners are lovely people who I very much enjoyed talking to during my early visit.
Many of you have realized it already. But, for those who haven't, get the to Nellie's for some outrageously excellent soul food.