I have recently found out that Ernie’s hasn’t given any of the proceeds from the Eat Our for Education program to the San Leandro Education Foundation as promised. Therefore I will no longer eat at this restaurant. You may want to dine at more honorable restaurants as well.
January 2010 Review
Yesterday was the first Wednesday of the month, so we went out to eat for the San Leandro Education Foundation Eat out for Education program. Basically, on the first Wednesday of the month, participating restaurants donate 10% of the bill to San Leandro schools. You do need to bring up a coupon, though – so make sure that you print one next month!
Anyway, even though Ernie’s Seafood Original Restaurant (open since 1953) is only a few blocks away from my house, we hadn’t been there in many years. I’m not sure why, as we both love fish and chips, I guess it just doesn’t come to mind. That’s too bad because we had quite a satisfying meal there last night.
Ernie’s is not much to look at. The small dining room features formica tables and metal/leatherette chairs. It looks like a diner and the walls are only decorated with 50’s like posters and a big wooden fish. Don’t come here for the atmosphere.
The menu is quite limited and includes basic seafood (prawns, scallops, cod, clams & calamari) as well as burgers, seafood and chicken sandwiches. For some reason they also have a NY steak sandwich and gyros. Prices are moderate, with most sandwiches in the $7-10 ratio and combination seafood platters in the low teens.
We all shared onion rings ($4.25) and a shrimp cocktail ($6.25) appetizer. The onion rings were just fine, I didn’t care for the overly salty but not very flavorful breading. They were not oily, however. The tartar sauce wasn’t that great either. The shrimp cocktail was, in the words of my husband, “awesome”. There were plenty of small tasty shrimp and cocktail sauce. My 8-year old also liked it a lot. She was also very pleased with the clam chowder she had for dinner ($3.75 for a quite large “small” bowl). Nobody else tasted it, so I can’t give you the adult review of it, but she was happy to take the leftovers for lunch at school today. Camila, my 5 year-old, had the chicken strips from the kids menu ($5.25). The portion was a good size and the strips were OK, good enough for a kid.
Mike and I shared the large fish & chips platter ($12.75) which comes with 8 sections of fish (cod). I found the fish and the breading to be quite tasteless – I don’t think they were at all seasoned, and I didn’t like the tartar sauce either, I think it lacked acidity. BUT, the fish was actually quite good when salted. The pieces were warm and plump, nicely cooked and not at all oily, and very satisfying. I’d definitely would order it again.
The fries, on the other hand, were quite mediocre.
Service was probably the low point of the evening. Despite the few people at the restaurant, the waitress seemed distracted and she forgot to bring Mika’s clam chowder until we asked for it. She also never brought us the vinegar we asked for. But she was otherwise competent.
In all, it was a good meal and I’d return – probably on the first Wednesday of some month.
On a final note, according to their menu Ernie’s has a banquet room for up to 40 people.
Ernie’s Seafood Original Restaurant
13775 East 14th St.
San Leandro, CA
M-Th 11 AM – 8:30 PM
F 11 AM – 9 PM