Seafood Sauté, Onion Rings, Coconut Shrimp
Occupation: Retired School Principal
Favorite Restaurant: Crogan's Montclair
Reviewed Crogan's Montclair: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Crogan's is the equivalent of “Cheers” for people who have lived in Montclair, Oakland for years. The place is warm and welcoming for everyone, but for me it is a place where “everyone knows my name.” Today was my restaurant review day.
There were two of us for an early dinner. Crogan's had the usual welcoming buzz in the bar area where we were greeted with warm hellos, as people moved over to make generous room for us. We’re both regulars. We declined the warm offers in favor of the quiet dining room where we could talk and order a full dinner.
We started with drinks and an appetizer of onion rings. Crogan's does a magnificent job with everything fried: french fries, calamari, and in this case, onion rings. They were perfect, and came with catsup and ranch sauce for dipping. The bread and butter were already on the table. The butter was wrapped in little squares -- I have always disliked the unwrapping, and prefer butter in a more accessible format!!!
We moved on to “the special salad,” which was listed on the specials for the day. It was absolutely wonderful: fresh vegetables, shrimp, and avocado with a spectacular herb-vinaigrette dressing. The main courses were good and very filling. My pasta came in a huge portion with lots of cheese on top. The side order of garlic bread was crispy with great seasoning.
As we left the dinning room and walked through the bar, I was struck by the warmth of Crogan's, the welcoming feeling and the always good and plentiful food!!!!
Occupation: Opera Star
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: COCO500
Reviewed Crogan's Montclair: Friday, November 28, 2008
Portion size: The soup is so little for a bowl for $6.95, everything else is OK-sized.
Quality of food: Nothing special about the food, the hamburger is very dry, and also scallops had no taste, the salad is very average. The only worthy thing is the soup, other items are simply not good.
Service: The waiter was nice, but only came by the table with food; not attentive.
Décor and atmosphere: It's very simple, old fashioned decor.
Bang for buck: Not good.
Comfort: It's OK.
Noise level: Good
Wait for table: No wait at that time.
Food arrival speed: It’s good speed.
Parking: Parking on the street, it's pretty hard to find a spot, the area is beautiful though. But I wouldn't recommend this very average restaurant to my friends.
Occupation: African High Priest, Musician, MUNI Driver
Location: San Pablo
Favorite Restaurant: Red Jade
Reviewed Crogan's Montclair: Friday, November 21, 2008
Upon my making of reservations, I was told by the concierge representative that there was a parking garage, so one would not have search in an overcrowded area. I WAS NOT told it closed the same time as my reservation (7:30pm). The garage is NOT easily accessible by those with mobility limitations.
The portion size was very generous. As a matter of fact, my family accompanied me, and my daughter ordered a "kid's pizza." The pizza was the size of an adult large! The seafood sauté was very tasty, just enough cream with butter, and all the shrimps burst with flavor. The scallops weren't over, nor under-cooked, just right for consumption. The lobster had just enough zing not to be too rubbery or too soft.
The service was FAIR. Our server seemed to be preoccupied elsewhere -- maybe her coverage area was too large. The decor was fair, I couldn't fathom why an Irish restaurant with a full bar had so many posters/pictures in French and Spanish themes.
The noise level is medium -- it seems the sitcom lyrics and music comes to mind when I was in this restaurant. Everyone seemed to know everyone, and the restaurant staff seemed to know most of their patrons by name. "...We want to go where everyone knows your name..." I was waiting for someone to enter and for everyone to yell out his name like in the sitcom Cheers. I found this to be a plus and not a hindrance.
This restaurant is DEFINITELY "kid-friendly." The food is an EXCELLENT value for taste, porportion, and cost. The wine list consists of various white, red, sparkling, and house from $5-10. Overall, I give this restaurant a strong "B" letter grade, and I would return and recommend it to friends.