Tag Archive for dinner

Burger Joints of Hayward #4: Cecil’s Famous Burgers

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The next stop on my Burger Joints of Hayward tour is Cecil’s Famous Burgers, found due to its Yelp rivalry with Val’s Burgers, the most iconic Hayward burger joint I can think of. Being as I’m not that enthused with Val’s (still planning a return visit for a review), I was rather intrigued by this supposed challenger. Its nondescript exterior with only a window to order from and a few outdoor tables to use struck me as just right for a potential dark horse in this race.

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Would the burger also hit the mark? You can order Cecil’s burgers in sizes ranging up to the 1/2 lb. Biggie. I opted for the 1/3 lb. Super.

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Patty: Two thin patties that tasted adequate but would have benefitted from more char from the griddle. The novelty of serving cheese between them may be inspired. Or maybe I just don’t eat enough doubles.

Cheese: American slice added on for 35 cents. The melt was nicely done, on the verge of drippy. Is that why y’all order doubles all the time? For cheese between the patties?

Bun: Giant-sized sesame bun that was needed to contain all that delicious sloppiness and held up through the whole sandwich.

Toppings: The cashier told me it comes with a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise for condiments, but what she meant was that ketchup comes on the top bun and mayonnaise on the bottom. Also included is pickles, a thin slice of hothouse tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce, and thickly chopped onion sliced in wedges rather than rings or diced. Fresher produce would have been nice, especially to replace the limp lettuce.

Fries: I was ordering for myself and my husband this time, so I got us one each of the fries and onion rings. Both were moderately portioned and moderately priced at $2.

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The onion rings were of uniform size, crispness, and coloring and pleasing if not memorable. The shoestring fries were classic McDonald’s style with the right amount of salt, but too many were limp and in tiny bits.

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Shake: Cecil’s stands out for its ice cream selection for a burger joint. They have a whole menu devoted to sundaes, scoops, and shakes.

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We shared a banana shake, which you can get real banana added to for an upcharge of 45 cents—Cecil’s is fond of all those upcharges. The banana flavor was present in both the ice cream itself and in the small chunks of banana, which impressed me—I hate when a flavored shake tastes mostly of vanilla. I could drink it through the straw without too much sucking power.

Price: Even with the cheese and fresh banana, Cecil’s comes in at only $12 for a burger, fries, and a shake. That’s right in line with the other burger joints I’ve tried.

Cecil’s Famous Burgers gets bonus points for the shake selection, the value, and the great burger overall. More meat flavor and crisper fries and lettuce would have put them over the edge into my best ranking. As is, Cecil’s offers a solid burger worth repeating.

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Cecil’s Famous Burgers
547 Tennyson Rd
Hayward

Cecil's Famouse Burgers on Urbanspoon

Cecil's Famouse Burgers & Sandwiches Take Out on Foodio54

Reviewed 10.29.14.

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Mac and Cheese Night #6: Paragon

For my sixth Mac and Cheese Night, the husband and I went a little upscale, heading to Paragon right outside AT&T Park.

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That picture reminds me that I wish we’d sat outside, but I had suspected it would get chilly so outside seemed the less desirable option. But it never did get chilly, and inside, the paraffin-oil fueled candles did not provide a pleasing smell. Despite that small annoyance, I liked the interior lighting and the simple, earthy décor of reclaimed barn wood and ceramic tiles on the walls.

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Paragon_007The mac and cheese is considered a side dish at Paragon, which is probably its biggest plus for me as I wasn’t overwhelmed by massive quantities to consume.

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Mac & Cheese Night #5: American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

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Fifth macaroni and cheese night already? And I’m not even sick of the stuff yet. I must say, though, that all this mac and cheese analysis has affected my standards. Let’s just say that a recent order from a fast food chain was NOT up to snuff. Bright orange sauce lacking flavor and overcooked noodles doesn’t do it for me as easily as it used to.

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen does commit the atrocity of overcooked noodles, but in their case, it’s no crime. We went to the Mission location (2400 Harrison St.), a spot that’s steadily busy even at 2 on a Saturday afternoon.

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That menu is composed of sandwiches made of locally sourced ingredients, which results in quality that you can taste. The drinks illustrated that for me most clearly.

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My lemon-thyme soda hit the spot. The thyme wasn’t any bit player; it was a refreshing counterpoint to commanding citrus with just enough sugar to make it palatable. Husband’s pomegranate-rosemary soda was also tasty, but it didn’t hold a candle to the lemon-thyme for me. Obviously, I was not in a berry mood.

And both Husband and Friend #1 were not in mac & cheese moods, opting instead for the club turkey and cubano, respectively.

Club with cheddar, havarti, smoked turkey, roasted tomatoes, bacon, stout mustard, and arugula on sourdough.

Club with cheddar, havarti, smoked turkey, roasted tomatoes, bacon, stout mustard, and arugula on sourdough.

Cubano with monterey and garlic-herb jack cheeses, coffee-rubbed pulled pork, ham, stout mustard, pickles, pickled red onions, and chipotle butter on levain bread.

Cubano with monterey and garlic-herb jack cheeses, coffee-rubbed pulled pork, ham, stout mustard, pickles, pickled red onions, and chipotle butter on levain bread.

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