Prings closed in early 2003. A new restaurant, Bella Italia has opened in its building.
Prings is our favorite diner in San Leandro and since Bif's, my college late-night hang out, closed many years ago, my favorite diner altogether. Unlike many others of the kind, it's not a chain (at least as far as I know), and it serves homey yet somewhat creative food.
The atmosphere is that of a diner. A little bit kitsch (though at least not pretend kitsch), but all in all pleasant. The booths are pretty comfy though a bit narrow, I fear that as I get further along in my pregnancy I will not be able to fit in the booths anymore. They don't do take out, so that will be sad.
Service is generally good, the waitresses seem to have worked there for many years, and after a while we feel like regulars (at least one of them knows us, even if she can't remember what we always order). Unless they are terribly busy, service is both efficient and quick, and there are seldom mistakes.
We really like the food as well. I have to admit that we haven't been adventurous lately. A while ago we decided that the San Francisco burger (a large burger topped with cheese and grilled onions in grilled sourdough bread) was our favorite and that's pretty much all we order one. We've also liked the other burgers we've had, as well as the chicken and steak sandwiches.
We never really had any of the entries, though they offer some meat dishes, fried chicken and even some pasta. They also tend to have "specials", featuring specific food items (like crab), which we also have not tried. We do love their strawberry shake (made with Dreyer's ice cream), though it's not consistently good.
We are usually too full for dessert (even when we split a burger, they are too big to eat by themselves), but the couple of times we've tried their pastries/cakes we were extremely disappointed. I had the worse mousse cake (I think it was) here than I've ever had in my life. Their ice cream is OK, but otherwise I'd recommend to avoid dessert.
Prings is a little bit pricy for a diner, burgers are about $7, entries generally over $10. However, the portions are very generous.
They also serve breakfast/brunch. We've only tried it once or twice, but we weren't terribly impressed. As in other local joints, they don't serve fresh juices or real maple syrup. Still, I found it better than the Pelton Café, but Mike prefers Pelton.
Prings Coffee Shop
15015 E. 14th St.