Note: This place has closed & re-opened since we last visited it in 2004.
We went to Manor Grill & Bar on a Saturday night in February 2004 after a botched visit to Paradiso. We weren't expecting much, but we were happily surprised. Manor Grill & Bar is a coffee-shop style family restaurant serving surprisingly good food in comfortable surroundings.
The menu features standard American fare at moderate-to-high-prices (for some reason restaurants in San Leandro tend to be a bit more expensive than restaurants of similar caliber in other parts of the bay). It offers a variety of egg, waffles and pancakes for breakfast (served all day), salads, sandwiches and burgers for lunch (in the $7-10 range) and a variety of chicken, steak and seafood dishes for dinner ($10-16), all of which come with soup or salad. A buy-one-get-1/2-off-a-second-entree coupon appears in the San Leandro Times every week.
The small restaurant is kind of cute. It has a low counter and one of those wide windows that looks into the kitchen. The dining room is decorated with fake flowers and pictures of flowers, and features both booths and tables. Most of the patrons that Saturday night (we got there around 8 PM) seemed to be older people and three-generational-families. The restaurant was only half-full, which made it pleasantly quiet. Service was very good, competent and polite.
I had eyed the cakes in the rotating dessert display counter so we decided to skip appetizers. Mike ordered the full-slab of BBQ ribs (that night's special) and I had the New York steak. We ordered the beef-vegetable and broccoli cream soup with them.
The soups were pretty good; no gourmet tastes here but they were satisfying. Mike's ribs were excellent, very tender with a great BBQ flavor; we both would certainly order them again. The accompanying curly fries were fine as well. My NY steak was a little bit small and thinner than I would like, but it tasted good. It came with very creamy and garlicky tasting mashed potatoes with gravy - also excellent. Michaela devoured the broccoli and some of the other veggies that also came with my dish. The food did have an artificial edge to it - I wouldn't be surprised if margarine, garlic powder and even liquid smoke found their place in the kitchen; still it was comforting and I didn't mind too much.
After all those ribs, Mike decided to skip dessert, but I would not give up on that piece of chocolate cake a la mode. The cake itself wasn't outstanding, but I really enjoyed the chocolate fudge frosting. The vanilla ice cream was low quality, but I could even forgive that.
In all we had a very nice experience. I would go back when I'm looking for a comforting dinner experience.
Manor Grill & Bar
526 Manor Blvd.
San Leandro, CA