Kabob Express is, apparently, a food stand at Bayfair Mall in San Leandro. I say apparently because I’ve never actually been – I’ve just ordered take out a couple times. The most recent one was a couple of nights ago, and I was very satisfied with my order.
My order this time was just for my vegan daughter and I. She got a felafel wrap ($11.50), which comes with hummus, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, grilled onions and tahini sauce. You can specify for it to be vegan and it comes with a side of vegan tahini sauce. My daughter was very pleased with this wrap, and particularly liked the tahini. She’d order it again.
I had the mantu ($8), an Afghani dish of dumplings with a meat sauce. While this is listed as an appetizer, the dish is large and heavy enough that it can qualify as an entree. It is also absolutely delicious. The steamed pasta is very soft and has a consistency that I just loved, and the beef is intensely spiced. My only complaint is that it didn’t have enough yogurt sauce to balance the richness of the beef. I made up for it by adding some sour cream.
I also ordered a lamb gyro wrap ($12), which I ended up eating the next day. Once again, I was very happy with it. It had thick lamb cubes, tender and perfectly seasoned (in the past, it was a bit too salty). It was a little bit on the small side, however, and given the price I’d been happier if it came with a side.
I also ordered a mint lassi, but got a mango lassi instead. It was good, thick and very sweet. The mint lassi I’ve had in the past was a bit thin, but also tasty.
In the past, I’ve also ordered the samosas, which were very crisp and had a slightly spicy potato filling. They were very small, maybe half the size of a regular one. They didn’t taste like regular Indian samosas but were good.
I’ve also had the lentil soup, which was chunky and tasty. It did seem to contain meat, but it’s now listed as vegetarian, so they may have changed the recipe.
I didn’t order the hummus this time (which, beware, comes without pita bread, you must order that separately) because last time around it had a very mild flavor, more tahini than chickpeas. Beware that as with the other items, they might have changed how they make it.
Finally, I was disappointed to not find the bolani in the menu any more. This is an Afghani flatbread stuffed with potatoes, onions and herbs. I really liked it when they had it.
Prices at Kabob Express have gone up pretty radically since last year. The mantu, which was just $6 a year ago, is now $8 while the lamb gyro has gone up a full $4.50, from $7 to $11.50. Still, their prices seem in line with other local restaurants.
You can order Kabob Express through Grubhub ($5 delivery fee) or Doordash (free deliver if over $35, but a $4-5 fee). Doordash prices are slightly higher on some items. Delivery took a little over an hour, apparently because my order wasn’t ready in time (or so said the driver).
When my kids were younger, I used to take them to Yerba Buena Gardens and we’d often had lunch at the Buckhorn Grill in the Metreon. I wasn’t super fond of that restaurant, but it served food they would eat. So when my husband suggested that we had lunch at the Buckhorn Grill at Stoneridge Mall, after a visit to the Apple store, I wasn’t extremely enthusiastic. But food options were limited and it was Father’s Day, so he had the right to pick the place. I have to give him credit, he picked right. Not only was the food at this Buckhorn Grill excellent, but it was reasonably priced.
I had the “bacon cheddar buck” ($8.50) and it was pretty much the perfect sandwich. The roast beef itself was delicious, and the bacon and cheese complimented rather than competed with the meat. Mike liked his “big buck” ($9), which came with caramelized onions and he also thought it was great, at least until he tried my sandwich.
My daughters had the burgers, and while the old one was pleased with hers (at least until she tried my sandwich), the younger one didn’t like it at all. It was a plain burger, so my husband, who finished it, didn’t find it particularly exciting.
In addition to sandwiches, Buckhorn Grill offers platters of their BBQ meats. A whole take home tri tip (feeds 5 to 6) is $25. You can even order online.
Buckhorn has ten restaurants in the Bay Area/Northern California. I think they would do great if they came to San Leandro, and if our business development unit at City Hall wasn’t so lame, they would be trying to entice them to come to town.
2245 Stoneridge Mall Rd.