Review: JD’s

Update: This restaurant has closed.

Atmosphere: 2/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  A Few   ♦   Will I Return?:  Likely
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JD'sJD’s can be found at 2837 Castro Valley Boulevard in (yep) Castro Valley, just next to the Chabot Theater. It’s true that we don’t have a large variety of good breakfast places around the mid-east Bay, but JD’s is as close as I’ve come to filling this niche.

Historically, I’ve always liked breakfast. In recent years, however, I find that a full egg, hash brown and toast meal makes me feel a bit queasy. Hence, I don’t patronize the breakfast foods, especially at restaurants, nearly as often as I used to. Regardless, if you’re looking for breakfast out on a lazy Sunday, JD’s isn’t a bad place to go…. 

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Review: Cafe Biere

Update: This restaurant has closed.

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Sure, if I’m in the neighborhood
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cafe biereCafe Biere is a great little place on Adeline Street in Emeryville. While a little out of the way for us Hayward-ites, it’s a fun little dinner and drinks place if you happen to be enjoying a night out at Ikea or…whatever else is in Emeryville.

Mostly a beer pub (that is pretty serious about their beer selection, mind you), this place also classes it up with home made sangria and a pretty substantial menu of fun foods. And by “fun”, I don’t mean typical “bar” foods. While they do offer a tantalizing variety of fried foods (beer battered mushrooms, fried calamari, sweet potato fries, regular fries, chicken fingers and fish ‘n chips), they also serve starters like mussels, spiced nuts, a cheese plate, roasted beet salad and potato cheese balls. … 

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Events: Foodbuzz Food Blogger’s Festival 2010

foodbuzzThe second annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival took place last weekend in San Francisco, where foodies from around the nation gathered to celebrate and eat together. There were three days of events including a Friday night reception and street food fair (or “fare” as they like to say); all-day events on Saturday including morning breakout sessions, afternoon tasting pavilion, and evening gala sit down dinner; and a farewell brunch Sunday morning…. 

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Broccoli and Chocolate Turns 1!

Happy Birthday B&C! Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the beginnings of broccoli and chocolate and I’m excited about it!!*

A Year in Food

Since my second love (next to food, of course) is analyzing data in exciting and pie-chartly ways, I will hereby take this opportunity to tally up some data from the past year. First of all, let’s talk raw numbers. Over the past 365 days, broccoli and chocolate has been home to:

  • 61 blog posts (not including this one, of course)
  • 55 restaurant reviews
  • 348 pictures
  • 1 recipe

For each of the 55 restaurant reviews, a rating system was applied including 5 possible points in each of four categories. Based on this system, each restaurant had the opportunity to achieve a maximum of 20 points and a minimum of 4 points. As a rating of 3 was to be called “average”, the rating for a theoretically “average” restaurant would be 12.

Let’s see how the year went:

chart

From this chart, you will notice that no restaurants were given a perfect 20, nor were any given below a 10. Also, the average rating of 14 (13.95, to be exact) is in fact higher than the theoretical average of 12 which basically means that I’m just too generous a food critic and I like every damn thing that I eat. There could be worse things to be though, right?

Over the past year I have instated a “category” system whereby each review is labeled as to the primary type or ethnicity of food reviewed. For the most part, each restaurant is filtered into a single category. Sometimes, however, the broad range of a restaurant’s menu requires it to be placed in more than one category. For 55 restaurant reviews and 61 posts, there have been 67 category labels applied over the past year. This means that 5 posts were put in 2 categories (or that fewer posts were put in more than 2 categories, but I think I only ever used 2 categories maximum for each post). Here’s the breakdown:

pie chart

Because this pie chart is a jumbled mess of colored slices, I’ll summarize: I reviewed mostly Japanese (10 posts) and Mexican food (10 posts) over the past year, followed next by American food (9 posts) and Pizza (7 posts). This is because Japanese is my total favorite ever and because I live in Hayward where Mexican food is ubiquitous. In total there are 19 categories currently in use.

Lastly, you’ll find that I also catalog the locations of each of the restaurants I review. Over the past year I’ve reviewed restaurants in 13 local cities and have logged locations on 59 of my posts (including “At Home” and “Greater Bay Area”). You can see in the chart below that I’m all about Hayward:

pie chart!

Almost half of my 59 post locations (28) were in Hayward, followed distantly by Castro Valley (7 posts) and Oakland (5 posts). I really had no idea I was so Hayward-centric. Interesting.

Favorites

Well, the rating system should discern my favorites, but it instead seems to group restaurants into large clumps of general preference. Data is no replacement for human tastes and articulation, unfortunately. If I had to choose, these would be some of my favorites of the past year:

Loard’s Ice Cream – dessert, Castro Valley, Rating of 19
Yanagi – Japanese, Dublin, Rating of 18
Chef’s Experience – Chinese, Hayward, Rating of 17
Genghix – Japanese, Castro Valley, Rating of 17
Astaria – American, San Mateo, Rating of 15

And that goes to show that ratings don’t mean everything. Nor are they necessarily consistent. I’m just a person here, ok, this isn’t an exact science. Anyway, those are some good places — go, eat and be merry!

Aspirations

What are my hopes and dreams for B&C over the next year? Here are a few:

  • Post more recipes and home cooking
  • Continue to post consistently (at least one per week!)
  • Network with other blogs more and exchange links
  • Utilize more interactive items such as polls, questions to readers or contests
  • Try to provide a few follow-up reviews on places already reviewed

Keeping this in mind, I hope you continue to enjoy B&C over the next year and I thank those who join me periodically to read about food and restaurant reviews in the Bay Area!

*Though, clearly not excited enough to post this on the actual anniversary date; please accept my apologies B&C**, I was away all day yesterday.

**Yes, I just apologized to my own blog.