Dude. Family House of Fish & Poultry. Let’s not even begin to think this place has its own website. Or that you’ve ever heard of it, even if you’re a Hayward local. Since we went to FH a few weeks ago, I’ve been asking friends if they’ve ever been there. Not one of them even knew the place existed.
Family House is located centrally and prominently on Mission Boulevard in Hayward just south of Carlos Bee. Anyone who knows the least bit about Hayward could easily find it. Yet no one knows about it. It’s the quintessential example of an Overlooked Establishment.
Nothing stands out about the exterior. Actually, while I had noticed this place before I went (I do have a food blog, after all), the exterior only really discouraged me from ever setting foot in the place. It’s beat up, run down and the main signage consists of a bar of soap scribbled on the windows*.
Not my type of place.
I do, however, have a food blog (as mentioned) and therefore a duty to boldly go where no one has gone before. And so we went.
Because I could type about this forever, let’s quickly get to the main points of Family House:
- Order over the counter, to-go only.
- No decor on the walls or counters.
- Old, crummy, run down interior.
- Folding chairs in the tiny lobby area are placed for you to wait for your order.
They’re clearly not banking on atmosphere in any way, so how about the menu, food and service? Obviously something must appeal to someone since they’ve been in business quite a while.
The menu is mostly fish and some chicken, and includes lots of combos. The food is surprisingly expensive for the locale, patronage and decor. A 6-piece fish and/or chicken combo runs about $17, though it can feed 2 “normal” eaters. Combos include whatever meat you ordered (they offer fish, shrimp, oyster and chicken combos), 2 slices of bread (like, white Wonder bread), and 2 sides (fries, macaroni salad, potato salad, or cole slaw). It’s not freaking health food, ok?
The service is ok; the lady at the counter was nice enough. And as for the food: we have mixed reviews. I thought it was ok. The fish really tasted like chicken to me, which was sort of strange. The batter they use is totally not the English batter I’m used to (go to Jay’s for that), but was more like the spiced, dense batter on Burger King chicken nuggets.
The boyfriend loved it though.
The sides are fine: fries are the fat steak kind, salads come in tiny plastic ramekins and are probably from Costco. And I totally do not want Wonder bread with my dinner, that went to the birds.
All in all, Family House seemed like the kind of place that certain people absolutely love and the rest of us really have no reason to go to. Take your pick if you want to try it out.
Oh! Do note that they sell Sugar Mommie cupcakes at Family House, which are fabulous. It’s almost worth stopping in just for that.
*Or whatever they use to write on windows, but FH is all in crappy handwriting and not done nicely like you might see at a Walgreens or whatever.
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