The Blue Dish

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A Caveat

Note: there is a more current review.

The Blue Dish is a small restaurant that has grown out of a catering business. I think it started serving lunches and recently has expanded its hours into the evening (it closes at 8pm Mondays through Wednesdays and at 8:30pm on Thursdays and Fridays). It's closed on weekends. I heard about it only a few weeks ago from other mothers in the San Leandro Parents Network and, of course, I had to try it. My verdict is that it's a good place to stop by for a bite (or something different) when you are hungry, but not necessarily worth a special trip.

The little restaurant is quite informal. It has the look of a deli, or one of those take-out counters near college campuses. There are five or six bare tables, no decorations to speak of (save for the busy menus on the wall and a refrigerator from which to chose your drinks) and a counter where you can get silverware, paper napkins, ketchup and salt. High chairs are available for little ones.

The menu is salad and sandwich-based and features American, Middle Eastern and Mexican specialties. This is the place to come when you want a Mediterranean salad, your husband wants a patty melt and your kid will only eat a quesadilla. Menu items average around $7.

It takes a while to read over all the choices (seven salads and more than 30 sandwiches, burgers and burritos) but Mike finally settled on the lamb burger (char broiled spiced lamb with cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles with a side of french fries, $6.50) while I went for the lamb shawerma (sandwich wrapped in pita bread with lamb, a diced-tomato-cucumber salad, hummus, grilled onions and tahini sauce, $6.50). Mike liked the burger, the lamb patty was juicy and flavorful and he'd order it again. I liked the thin, crispy fries, but he and Mika ate most of them. I wasn't as thrilled with my shawerma. The flavors of the lamb and the veggies all intermingled so that you couldn't quite tell them apart and in any case they were overwhelmed by the tahini sauce. Now, I like tahini sauce in my shawerma, but I also like being able to taste the meat. In any case, the meat needed more seasoning. I wouldn't order that dish again (unless I had a big craving for tahini sauce, which has been known to happen).

They have a few choices for dessert (baklava, carrot cake, etc.) but we were in a hurry to get back home so we didn't get any.

In all, we'll probably go to Blue Dish again. Just the day before we were talking about how San Leandro needed more choices for dinner under $20 (for two) and the Blue Dish fits right in.

Blue Dish
585 Victoria Court
San Leandro, CA