Damnit, I hardly cooked a thing this weekend. But man, did I do a lot of eating, some of which included some real bargains.
First, it was vietnamese sandwiches for lunch at Banh Mi Ba Le Vietnamese Sandwich Deli. You cannot beat the price, and the food was darn good. They don't have a web site that I know of, but next time you find yourself hungry and wandering the streets of El Cerrito, head on over to 10174 San Pablo Avenue, and bring your cash because that's the only kind of payment they accept. Sandwiches are like $2.50 each - can't be beat! I do believe that meat eaters could do quite well here, but we didn't do so bad either. I got the veggie/tofu sandwich, and my honey got the sardines. Both were packed full of pickled veggies and peppers, and we bought some of their house made kim chee and added it to our sandwiches - blasphemous, perhaps, but it was good! We also got an order of 3 shrimp rolls at $1 each, and although they weren't the best ever, they weren't bad for a buck.
Then for dinner, I finally, finally got to experience Shalimar, in all its Tenderloin glory. Where have I been, and how could I not have known about this place all these years? It's the real deal - authentic Indian and Pakistani food. We feasted to our hearts' content for a total of $17.00. True, the neighborhood is a little rough. And the restaurant itself, it's not much to look at. In fact, getting your food to take out might be a better option. But it's all about the food. Completely authentic, spicy, made from scratch, and just perfect. Plenty of great vegetarian options here, among them, the most excellent Palak Paneer, and the dreamy Bengen Bhujia (eggplant, roasted and stewed with "exotic" spices).
I've been trying to save my money cause I've got some serious eating to do when I go to Phoenix later this week. Hello, Bianco's Pizza! Finally going to get to eat there!