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Diablo Dish: A-Plus Afghani Fare Comes to Walnut Creek

De Afghanan Kabob House debuts downtown; another burger option, too; stuffed bread anchors new Dublin sports bar; Santa and pancakes at Sideboard; the millionaire bacon empire keeps growing; and more Dish.


Bolanis / De Afganan Kabob House

Authentic Afghani Arrives in Walnut Creek

“Low prices. Good service. Huge portions. Delicious food. What’s not to like?” Diablo’s review of De Afghanan Kabob House in Livermore sums up quite nicely what Walnut Creek diners can expect now that the beloved mini Bay Area restaurant chain specializing in Afghan cuisine has opened its latest location, replacing Patron Mexican Grill on Locust Street.

Judging by the Livermore location, look for loaded kabobs (including “glorious” chicken versions), savory beef dumplings (called mantu), roasted borani, and stuffed flatbread bolani. The Walnut Creek outpost will also be serving Afghan desserts, including baklava.


Walnut Creek Adds Burger Loft to Downtown

The street work is finished, and Burger Loft is not only visible but also open for business on North Main Street.

Expect Niman Ranch beef but reasonable prices for burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and the usual suspects. 


Courtesy of Coach's Grille

The Coach’s Grille is Dublin’s Newest Sports Bar

It’s pretty clear from the name that The Coach’s Grille is a sports bar, but unlike some such establishments, this one is focused on being family friendly. Backing up that claim is the comfort-food-forward menu, heavy on items like wings, burgers, subs, pasta, and something a little more unusual: stuffed bread made with three pounds of meat (sausage or meatballs) and cheese. Sounds like a crowd pleaser…

The Coach’s Grille, on Regional Street just south of Amador Valley Boulevard, is open for lunch and dinner.


A Sideboard Sunday with Santa—Plus Pancakes

Lafayette’s Sideboard (near the intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Moraga Road) usually doesn’t serve pancakes, but given the restaurant’s reputation, expect them to be pretty darn good—and the 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. opportunity to try them out will also be for a good cause, with proceeds benefiting the Lafayette Historical Society.

On Sunday, December 15, Santa will be on hand for the second annual benefit breakfast, which is $29 for adults and $20 for seniors and kids 12 and under, and it’s all being organized by Local Food Adventures.


Hofssi Chocolates / Julia Lauer

Christmas Chocolates Pop Up in Lafayette

For the fourth straight year, Hofssi Chocolates will offer their fair trade chocolates (they specialize in caramel, toffee and nut-based) in La Fiesta Square in Lafayette. Between now and December 23, their products can be found behind the Fed Ex building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

And even the hardest-to-buy-for person on your list is probably going to be happy with chocolate.


Millionaire Bacon Empire to Expand in East Bay

Hoyul Steven Choi will up his Bay Area restaurant count from 9 to 12 by summer 2020, with two East Bay locations set to open before the snow melts in the Sierra Nevada.

Choi is also known for perfecting a candied, spiced bacon side dish called Millionaire’s Bacon, a name he has trademarked. Naturally, it will be available at Kitchen Story in Rockridge, which is set to open this month and will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


U :Dessert Story specializes, not surprisingly, in desserts, but we’re not talking apple pie and Fenton’s sundaes. The carefully constructed desserts primarily have an Asian twist and have developed a strong following at two San Francisco outlets. However, the Berkeley location won’t open until February.

The third new Choi restaurant will be Sweet Maple in Palo Alto, but that’s not expected to open until summer.


Wine or Beer? Wente Vineyards says, “Why not both?”

Wente wines and Drake’s Brewing Co. beers will accompany a four-course prix fixe dinner Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Golf Course Grill at Wente Vineyards.

And yes, that means you get wine and beer with each of the four courses.


Courtesy of Comal

Can You Say, “Oaxanukkah”? If Not, You Can Still Enjoy the Meal

Comal’s fifth annual Oaxanukkah is an unlikely, but wildly popular marriage of two very different kinds of cooking: modern Mexican and traditional Hanukkah. This year, the 6:30 p.m. seatings are Sunday, December 22 and Monday, December 23, and the cost is $80.

The family-style meal will be served in Comal’s private dining room, and though a menorah will be lit December 22, it’s much more a celebration than a religious event.


Ramen’s Reach Soon to Extend to Pleasant Hill

It seems like there’s a new ramen restaurant on every block, and far be it for Pleasant Hill to be behind the curve—so look for Haya Ramen to slide into the spot vacated by the Organic Coup in Crescent Plaza.

No firm opening date has been set, but what better time than winter to open a restaurant serving hot comfort food?


Eat, Drink, and be Murdered? The Dinner Detective Comes to Oakland

Every Saturday at 6 p.m., a mystery unfolds at Jack London Square’s Waterfront Hotel, as the Dinner Detective guides guests through clues, comedies, and a four-course meal, for $79.95.

It’s also possible to be part of the three-hour show, as for an extra $19.95, diners can become Prime Suspects and add a little ham to their menu.


Eager for Uyghur? Oakland’s Eden Silk Road Delivers Xinjiang Dining

Yes, “eager” and “Uyghur” rhyme (though “Uyghur” starts with a “w” sound), and though Xinjiang is part of China, the Muslim Turkic minority has had a major impact on the style of food. So expect lamb kebabs and other Turkish dishes along with regional specialties such as meat pies and stews.

Though there are only four locations in the United States, all in the Bay Area, Eden Silk Road’s parent company is based in Xinjiang.


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