What's your favorite underrated menu item at a restaurant whose popular dish is overrated? [Bay Area]

I’ve found at many, many popular places in the Bay Area, the main item that a restaurant is known for is just OK, or even bad, but there will also be something that they have that’s really great.

For example, the pho place at San Pablo and Gilman has serviceable pho, but their chicken wings are surprisingly great.

Jayna Gyro which just opened in Emeryville has gyros that are just OK (Elmy’s Egyptian food truck just a few blocks away is much better), but their “fries” which are closer to Gregoire’s potato puffs in shape and texture are terrific.

What’s your favorite over/under-rated find?


Anchor Oyster Bar

Popular Dish: Cioppino

Underrated Dish: Combo Ceasar Salad

Devil’s Teeth

Popular Dish: breakfast sandwich

Underrated Dish: Quiche (with ham and bacon)

Golden Gate Bakery

Popular Dish: Egg tart

Underrated Dish: White Sugar Sponge Cake

Popular dish: Fried chicken
Underrated dish: Red beans and rice


Miss Ollies, Oakland
Popular Dish: Fried chicken (this is excellent though, not overrated)
Underrated dish: dirty rice, loaded with chicken liver

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La Taqueria, SF
Popular dish: Skinny limp burrito
Underrated dish: Carne asada tacos dorado


Fun topic.

-Your friendly neighborhood Bostonian.

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You can (and should!) get the burritos dorado as well.

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That’s fair - but I still don’t think the burrito’s are worth the long lines. I’m more than happy with the burritos at my local La Coroneta instead.

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In my memory it does seem like potatoes always stand out, but the generously pork-laden potatoes at Wursthall definitely outshined Kenji’s beloved smashed burger, which was a fine burger, but not so much finer than a smashed burger from Smashburger.

re: La Taq, there’s a pupusa place near there that has yucca fries, which I think are underrated in general.

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Unfortunately Miss Ollie’s Chef/owner is shift away from her restaurant.

Oh! I forgot – the biscuits at Miss Ollie’s were amazing, to the point where the fried chicken was not enough to make up for their absence from the menu the last time I ate there. Was still thinking about those biscuits…

Augie’s Meats in Berkeley has apparently re-opened.
Their smoked meat is fine but not life-changing (you can also sometimes get them in a sandwich at the Berkeley Bowl for a few bucks less, and apparently you might see Augie’s meats in Costco soon if not already), and I’m just going to assume that poutine in general is not something whose charms are ever going to go beyond hangover goop on frenchfries for me, but…

Their pastrami burger is really interesting, even great in my opinion. I don’t know why this isn’t a thing other burger places do.

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I’ve only been to Augie’s once and was meh on the smoked meat, but loved their extremely crisp fries. Probably my 2nd or 3rd rated East Bay fry. (A+ Burger is 1st, Park Burger tied for second)

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A+ burger’s fries are indeed great – I wonder if they are lightly battered somehow to get that crispy.
Potatoes strike again!

My guess is A+ toss them in some sort of starch (perhaps potato) before frying. Whatever it is, a great combination of creamy inside, crispy out.

Bay Fung Tong might be the best Canto restaurant in the Oakland, can’t argue that for the whole Bay Area but they are very good. They use good ingredients and the chef really knows his stuff. Even after the ownership change (about 2 years ago), the chef was retained.

In any case, they’re known for their “Bay Fung Tong” crab or lobster prep…but it doesn’t really work with shellfish, IMO. It does however work with scallops. Bay Fung Tong scallops are very lightly breaded (corn starch?) and the seasoning mix works well because it’s not competing with a shell. Just enough heat from a jalapeño.


Apparently they’re closing again, at least temporarily.

I can assure you that the delis in NYC feel no such qualms about charging that amount of $$.

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