Have A First, But Don’t Make It Your Last

In my time, I’ve had my fair share of drinks and I’ve been to a good number of bars. With each outing I would visit a different bar, trying out new beers and taking in the atmosphere, but I’d yet to find a place close to the type of bar I’d always dreamed of as a child. These days, bars are adorned with 15 flat screen plasma televisions that play every ESPN channel in every language. I would have my fun, but I always hoped that I’d someday find a bar with charm and a little grit. Somewhere that had old-timers drinking their whiskeys straight up, telling tales of their time on the seas, singing drinking songs and getting into the occasional bar fight. So another night came where drinks were expected to flow, but this time I decided to find somewhere new to enjoy. After some searching of the downtown area of Oakland, I found Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. I gathered some friends and set out for the night.

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I’ve Always Wanted to Be Part of the Mafia.

Food trucks are a thing of beauty. They really are. They’re even more beautiful when they’re all gathered in one place for your gluttonous enjoyment. Can something so glorious truly exist? Yes, and it’s happening right in your own back yard.

Let me introduce you to a collective that calls themselves the Food Truck Mafia, a group of local food vendors that travel all around the bay all day, just to come together almost every night for one of the Bay Area’s best kept secrets. Though the trucks vary every week, the chance of eating something delicious is constant, so we headed to Union City last Thursday night to revel in these mobile menus.

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These Wings Weren’t Made For Flying

Let’s make one thing certain from the get-go: I love buffalo wings. If you were to cut me open right now, you might find the blood in my veins pretty spicy with a bit of a tangy-vinegary taste. That being said, nothing gets me more pumped than when I hear about a new wing restaurant, especially one that has a four star rating on Yelp, like the new Wing Fiesta, located in downtown Hayward, CA. So am I writing this to tell you about the new wing spot that might dethrone the commerically-booming Wingstop, or challenge the legendary San Jose-based (and nationally infamousSmoke Eaters? Not exactly.

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

This meal is more than meets the eye. I'll give you a hint: it's booze.

Breakfast rules. But how often do you really have time to make some? Well, only if something sounds delicious enough, do you actually make a conscious effort to make time for it. If you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve probably noticed the Epic Meal Time videos, specifically, their breakfast video. Getting drunk off pancakes? Yes, please. You get the gist of how to make stuff from the video, but here’s some detailed instructions on how to achieve that level of morning glory. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting whiskey’d and beer’d at 9 in the morning?

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Get Dirty. Get Ike’s.

Ike's Place - San Francisco

A sandwich is easily the most versatile food. Nearly any ingredient can be eaten on or properly paired with a sandwich, but how often is a sandwich so good it makes you feel like you can see God? With only 3 locations, not often enough.

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Long Live The Englander!

We here at Wrecked frequent many establishments. Sometimes we get bored with those locations, especially me. I have the attention span of a kindergartener. So, I venture out and find new places that are awesome. Since that’s what this blog is about, let me introduce you all to: The Englander Sports Pub & Restaurant. How awesome is this place? Well, I have returned to The Englander solely to write this review…and enjoy a delicious brew, of course.

Located in San Leandro, a place I sometimes refer to as “Oakland, Jr.”, The Englander is in an oddly nice part of town. The area has several bars, restaurants, and businesses. Next door is a place called The Vine: Wine & Tapas. This area already looks promising! If you’re driving, park in the first spot you see because you probably will not find another one.

I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the nicest spots in San Leandro. Arriving at 8pm on a Friday night, the place was packed. We were immediately greeted by a wall of beer and spirits. If any of us had a house and tons of money, this is what our bar would contain. There was a makeshift casino in a few of the rooms for a corporate event. Yes, the place is huge.

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Top Dog: Put This Wiener In Your Mouth

“I heard these hot dogs are made out of chupacabra meat and unicorn tears.”

I’ve been going to Top Dog (the one on Durant Avenue in Berkeley) for years and I still get treated like shit god dammit! Not treated like shit in a bad way, but in the fun, semi-asshole, sarcastic kind of way. When you walk in and it’s busy, you’ll usually get the guy working the counter who will yell over everyone “WHAT ARE YOU HAVIN’?!”, and if your next words aren’t your order, you’ll usually hear “NEXT!” and be promptly skipped, regardless if you want to argue that they’re being rude or have bad customer service. You’ll almost feel guilty, like you fucked up and somehow wronged these people. I think that’s what makes their hot dogs and sausages taste so good.

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TACO OVERLOAD: Acapulco Taqueria Bar & Grill

I love tacos. Anyone that knows me knows that I love tacos, so much that one year, everyone wanted to buy me gift cards for Taco Bell for my birthday. They settled on gift cards for In-N-Out, which I have to say was a much better investment.

Living in the Bay Area, we have a ton of diversity which leads to a variety of food and restaurants readily available during waking hours. My hometown, Hayward, has a large population of people from south of the border. This leads to choices. Important choices. Like, where to get some of the best tacos for cheap. At the top of my list of choices? Acapulco Taqueria Bar & Grill on West A Street in Hayward.

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Unwrap the Secret Menu of In-n-Out

I came across this article late in the evening thanks to my buddy JC. The boys at SeriousEats.com have single-handedly uncovered (and ordered) every single item off the In-n-Out secret menu. Oh man, the things i have seen. Still not sure if any of them top Fernando’s Monstrosity he mentioned last week, but there are still some damn crazy things that you HAVE to check out if you live on the west coast:

http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/03/the-in-n-out-survival-guide-we-ate-every-single-item-on-the-secret-menu.html

-ivan.

Take on The Monstrosity

When my brother got out of Marine’s boot camp, there was only one thing on his mind. He had been obsessing about getting a 6×6 from In n Out Burger. Believe me when I say this, he needed it. Desperately. He was at his skinniest and lightest. It was like they worked him half to death or something.

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Five Guys’ Hot Meat

Curiosity for me was piqued sometime in the summer after Five Guys started popping up all over the place. Their name was easily turned into a joke. Things like, “I just love shoving Five Guys meat in my mouth,” and, “Five Guys: good in my mouth, bad in my tummy,” were posted all over the internet. Friends started mentioning how great the burgers were to me, but I didn’t really care to make the trip out to Fremont at Pacific Commons to try it.
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