Clove and Hoof, Oakland

There was a discussion of Kronnerburger on CH and people either seemed to love it or hate it. The haters suggested Clove and Hoof as better alternative, so when I learned that KB was closed Mondays, my immediate thought was to check out Clove and Hoof.

To summarize, the meal was kinda average and expensive for what it was. There are lots of other reports that are really positive, so my opinion is definitely in the minority. It’s possible I caught them on an off day, but these are the reasons the meal was average and not great:

  • ordered my burger medium and it was well done, no pink
  • burger and cheesesteak took 25 minutes during lunch
  • could smell raw meat from the butcher area sitting at the bar seats that are facing Broadway
  • burger was $13, one of the more expensive ones considering it’s not full service

On a positive note:

  • side salad was fine and not wilted, essentially mixed greens with oil and vinegar dressing
  • I really liked the homemade pickles in the burger
  • husband’s cheesesteak was better than the burger, even though there were some stylistic decisions I disagree with

I’m going to avoid comparing with KB and instead think about this place relative to Stag’s Lunchette, which many people really like. I think Stags has a similar quality side salad, a rotating menu of often meaty sandwiches, and all the ones I’ve tried (10+) have been great or stellar. Stags has been increasing their prices, and are charging about $12-$15 for their sandwiches.

The other strange thing is that they sell a quart of chili for $10 in their refrigerated case, yet a quart of pork or beef broth is $12. That seems strange to me since broth is a component of a meal made with bones whereas chili could be a complete meal with simply reheating.

I posted a generally positive report of Clove and Hoof shortly after they opened, but my experiences were similar to yours. For me, the wait on a weekend lunch was a bit too long and the staff seemed a bit disorganized and not great at communicating with each other. I did enjoy my fried chicken sandwich, though it wasn’t inexpensive. Looking at the meat counter, it seemed like their prices were more out of line with general Bay Area prices than the prepared food, which probably tricked me into thinking the sandwiches were priced decently.

I’m going next week…report to follow.

I thought we were going to pick up some meat to cook for dinner, but it was pricy. Unless the product is far superior, I hesitate to pay more than Whole Foods prices. I used to go to Oliviers Butchery (SF, Dogpatch) frequently when I worked nearby, they are about the same price as WF but higher quality. I was thinking that Clove and Hoof could serve as the East Bay equivalent, but it’ll have to be special occasion butcher shop.

I went last week exactly at noon, and my cheese steak was out in 15 minutes at most. I loved it – the two different mushroom preps, the boozy (with beer, but tasted more wine-like) cheese sauce and the bread. I am not a sandwich lover, but this was up there with Wood Tavern pastrami as the best sandwich. The quality was worth the price, but I wouldn’t do it very often because of that price (both money and calories).