Tag Archive for dinner

Mac & Cheese Night #3: The Tipsy Pig

It’s only a few days until Mac & Cheese Night #4, and I’m just now getting the write-up done for Night #3—it’s been that sort of month, y’all. You’d think I’d be tiring of all that pasta, cheese, and sauce by now, but frankly, I want more comfort food bliss.

Night #3 was our biggest group yet, and it took place at the Inner Marina’s local gastropub, the Tipsy Pig.

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This is definitely an in-demand spot, but unlike so many others of its ilk, the Tipsy Pig actually takes reservations and has thus earned my gratitude. I’m so much happier when I can be assured I’ll get a table before I go to a restaurant, especially when that involves trekking across the Bay, as it often does.

The overall feel of the place is kitschy English pub…with a backyard full of frat boys.

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The crowd around the bar.

The crowd around the bar.

Front of the house.

Front of the house.

I found it cozy, and of course, the company was good. Menu focus is subtly playful takes on standard menu items at most American pubs these days: tartare, ribs, sliders, risotto, burgers, and of course, mac & cheese. Some of my companions found those takes too subtle, but that does not apply to the mac & cheese.

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Let’s start there, shall we? The Tipsy Pig’s mac & cheese revels in the complement of bacon, from the crumbles mixed in to the cheese sauce cooked in bacon fat.

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Mirchi

One of my friends is a police officer in Fremont, and thus he knows all the awesome hole-in-the-wall spots to grab a bite in his precinct. Mirchi is one of those, and I’ve joined him twice for lunch there now. It’s located at the end of a small strip of shops, so you may pass it by without knowing it’s the treasure you seek.

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Especially as it’s all the way at the far end of that row.

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I made a special trip this time just to try their chicken and waffles, which my friend loves and they did not have available the first time I went. Chicken and waffles is a peculiar combination for some diners, and Mirchi adds another element to it, upping the novelty factor. That element is their house blend of Pakistani spices, which makes this a Southern-Pakistani fusion plate that waves a red flag in front of this stomach-charging bull.

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See, my metaphor isn’t that belabored. The fried chicken coating is red! $9.49 buys you the meal, which includes a freshly cooked Belgian waffle and steaming fried pieces of chicken—a wing, a drumstick, and a giant round ball that I’m going to call a thigh but has way more meat than any thigh I’m used to. Expect the chicken and waffles to take a bit of time—you want it served fresh off the iron and griddle, right?–and you can call ahead if you’re in a rush. Like I said, my friend’s a police officer, so he’s always in a rush and knows the tricks.

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Burger Joints of Hayward #2: Best Burger

I am conquering the burger joints of Hayward…slowly. A girl can only eat so many patties, shakes, and fries at a time. You can find out what I think makes a great burger by reading the first post in this series, right here. The second joint I’ve hit is…

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Best Burger
251 A Street

An adept, multitasking staff and a nondescript exterior with plenty of seating are housed inside this restaurant about a mile from downtown Hayward. The standard greasy spoon options are available as well as teriyaki and spicy pork platters. Burger types are many, including Hawaiian burgers with grilled pineapple and the popular Best Burger itself, topped off with pastrami.

I don’t like pastrami, so I ordered a simple cheeseburger.

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Patty: It was a giant disc, bigger than the bun! The patty was thin—1/3 lb. only flattens so far—and after an initial hit of salt, it didn’t serve up much by way of juice or seasoning.

Bun: Warm sesame bun. As you can see in that picture, the bottom was definitely smaller than the top. Thus, I diagnose it with Disappearing Bottom Bun disease and recommend flipping about 2/3rds of the way through.

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