Lunch date #31: January 25, 2013
Another busy and day and we needed to grab a quick bite. Where could we meet and get a good sandwich? I know my mom likes roast beef, so I thought of Kinder's (4825 Hopyard Rd, www.kindersbbq.com). I have enjoyed their catering at a variety of events, so thought we'd give the Pleasanton location a try. It is a local chain, with many Bay Area locations, and they also report a restaurant in Reno. They even have a "food truck" you might see around!
Location 3.5 points: In the Gateway Shopping Center on Hopyard at Stoneridge (by Chili's). Usual feel to a shopping center location and this one is tucked in the back. Easy to find, but no frills to the locale. We are starting to gain some consistency in this evaluation and felt this location was similar to DeLaTorre's as regards a shopping center destination.
Ambiance 2 points: Typical deli type set up with more of a "take out" feel. Basic tables and cement floor. They do have old butcher prints on the walls as their décor! Definitely not as cute as The Habit. This is more of a place that you would go to get your sandwich, and then only stay to dine if it was convenient.
Menu Selection 3 points: Limited menu to beef, pork, chicken BBQ sandwiches—basically the reason you would choose to go to Kinder's, so the limited menu is expected. They do offer a few salads topped with the BBQ meats. We both chose the signature sandwich: the beef ball tip, and forked up the extra $1.95 for the side potato salad and BBQ beans.
Service 2.5 points: Really no service: order at the counter and get your own drinks, napkins, etc. Someone does bring your meal to your table, and they were fast to deliver. That is about it. We had to get up to ask for a knife and then the wrappings to take the left-overs "to go". They were friendly enough and did say we should try the signature ball tip sandwich since it was our first visit.
Food 4 points: "WOW! And you can quote me on that," Mom was smiling now. Huge sandwiches on nice soft rolls packed with BBQ beef. We could have easily split one—but then she wouldn't have her favorite part of the meal: the left-overs to take home! The roast ball tip beef was perfectly cooked: tender and juicy in a delicious sauce. Mom said, "I like the beans" as she finished off the last spoonful. We both agreed the potato salad was just fair.
Value 4 points: We felt that the price we paid for our sandwiches $8.50 for the size and quality was a very good deal. Not much for the ambiance, and you could definitely take your order to go, but it was clean and nice enough to grab a bite out on a Friday afternoon.
Overall score for Kinder's BBQ: 3.2 points. You might think Kinder's is similar to Togo's or Subway —but at a much higher price than those familiar chains. Considering that the quality was quite superior, as was the quantity, we felt the visit to Kinder's was much better than just picking up a routine sandwich. We did notice a few tables packed with teen-aged boys as it was the Friday afternoon after finals. They certainly seemed to know where to go! I'm sure Jordan and his buds would enjoy these sandwiches—we will have to remember to recommend this one to those hungry boys!