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August 31, 2010 > Restaurant Review: Ernie's Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant Review: Ernie's Seafood Restaurant

By J.D. Wolfe
Photos By J.D. Wolfe

Today I went to San Leandro on East 14th Street, an area that is clearly going through a positive economic revitalization, and had lunch at Ernie's Seafood Restaurant. Of course, after dining I immediately realized the name of the restaurant is wrong. It should be called Ernie's "Fresh and Great" Seafood Restaurant. After my experience at this restaurant, I heartily recommend a quick trip to Ernie's.

Let's begin with when Ernie's began in 1953. San Leandro was a growing community with a pencil factory and other manufacturing facilities, including the famous DuraLog, created from waste materials from making the pencils. San Leandro was recycling before it was fashionable. Don't you just love American ingenuity?

Well, it is the Bay Area and fish are here. Therefore it seems natural that someone would start a seafood restaurant just a stone's throw from where workers lived and worked.

With knowledge of his local community, Ernie opened Ernie's Seafood Restaurant with a classic 1950's look. He later sold it and recently, it sold again to a young lady. Syna, who refurbished Ernie's to maintain the classic look of the 1950's. She retained the services of the existing team who knew Ernie's great recipes and retained the highest food quality. This is undeniable; diners will know this from the moment they walk in and throughout their meal.

Syna's parents help maintain Ernie's and make sure the restaurant is immaculate. The place is spotless - in and out. The parking area was recently repaved and outside walls are newly painted. Ernie's entry area is very clean and decorated with 1950's memorabilia. A beautifully furnished back room includes two rows of nice new booths and a side door leads to a really nice patio for comfortable alfresco dining.

Food preparation and cooking areas are exceptionally clean as well as the restroom. I am rarely this impressed!

I dined at Ernie's for lunch and got there just in time to enjoy a fresh bowl of clam chowder. On a scale of 1 to 10 this chowder ranks a "10." The Crab and Shrimp Louie salad with dressing on the side was very impressive; both the crab and shrimp were exceptionally fresh and flavorful. I added just a little dressing because I think it is a sin if you don't put Louie dressing on this salad. Having issued this disclaimer I have to tell you that this is the first time I have ever eaten a Crab and Shrimp Louie Salad with virtually NO dressing. It was that fresh!

The menu at Ernie's features breakfast for early risers ranging from pancakes to omelettes and more. Lunch and Dinner items include salads, appetizers, and of course, many fish dishes. You can order Oysters, Shrimp, Crab, Scallops, Cod, Catfish, Clams and Calamari. They also have grilled specials - Salmon, Snapper and Tilapia. Beef-wrapped Shrimp Skewers or just plain Beef Skewers are available as well.

Not interested in fish? Well, that's okay because Ernie's offers a wide variety of hamburgers, Patty Melts, turkey burgers (turkey burgers rock), Gyro's, and on and on. I am very impressed with the completeness of the menu. It is clear that it was created to accommodate seafood aficionados and friends who may prefer other entrees.

There is nothing fishy about Ernie's Seafood Restaurant...if you want fresh and great seafood, that is what you will get.

When you go to Ernie's, and you will, be sure and tell Rita and/or Sophia that you read about them here and that I said "hello." Watch their eyes light up and I just bet you will have a great meal!

Reviewed: August 11, 2010

Ernie's Seafood Restaurant
13775 East 14th St., San Leandro
(510) 357-2246

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