2/11 Update: Harley’s is now known as JD’s Burgers & Mexican Food (though they’re keeping the old Harley’s sign). We went there today for lunch and it was horrible. Read Updated Review.
One of the many things I enjoy about living in San Leandro is visiting its prehistorian dining establishments – places that are so clearly from another era (one before I was born) but somehow manage to survive and even thrive in the modern day. Among these is the Fifth Wheel, a former truck-stop that has lost none of its charm, a bunch of coffeeshops that seem frozen on time (among them The Cherry Pit, Pelton Cafe and Nick’s), a couple of places that once upon a time served what then passed as “fine dining” and that now just seem anachronistic (Elio’s and Bancheros, and a bunch of drive-up hamburger joints. Harley’s Burgers fits squarely into the last category.
Harley’s no longer offers car-side service, you do have to get out of your car and go into the window to place your order. And as so many of the other restaurants and business in town, it’s now owned by Chinese people who’ve added Chinese entrees to its menu. Its main appeal seems to be to blue-collar workers and others who are in their cars around lunch time – the ample parking makes getting food quite easy. But it’s only a block or two from our house so from time to time we get a bite to eat there. Not very often, as the food is not that good. Its burgers are square shape but served in rectangular French buns, they are OK but they taste mostly of mustard. Its fries are also OK, but its crinkle shape reminds me of school cafeteria fries. Its Chinese offerings aren’t bad, but we prefer those from other nearby Chinese restaurants. The food is reasonably cheap, with sandwiches around $4 and Chinese entrees under $5.
The restaurant is usually opened between 10:30 AM and 7 pm (closed on Sundays), and it has a couple of tables outside where you can eat, or a modest dining room next to the kitchen.
2170 Washington Ave
San Leandro, CA