JD's Restaurant & Pies

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We first went to JD's Restaurant in Castro Valley for breakfast a couple of years ago. It was a positive, but not overwhelming experience. I remember the place being very busy on a weekend morning and that my french toast with fresh strawberries was good, but would have been helped by either some strawberry syrup or some sugar on the strawberries. We returned last Saturday morning (October 2003) and had a similar experience.

Don't get me wrong, JD's is a perfectly acceptable place to have breakfast or weekend brunch. The restaurant is small and has the character of a small-town coffee shop. You can eat inside or on a small patio (there are heaters for cold days). While a bit crowded, the place is quite child friendly.

The breakfast menu (they also serve lunch, which we haven't tried) is pretty extensive. As usual, there are a number of omelettes and egg combinations. They also have pancakes, several french toast choices and pies (the latter ones seem to be one of their specialties). In all, a pretty typical coffee shop menu at typical for the area coffee shop prices.

My mother-in-law, who was in town for only a few hours, had a basic pancake/eggs/sourdough toast combo. She said it hit the absolute right note and was very happy with it. Mike had the Cajun sausage omelette. He found it tasty, but would have preferred if the sausage had been chopped, rather than sliced, and scrambled in the omelette. He'd order it again, however.

I wasn't very hungry after a large dinner the night before so I decided on just a slice of pie and some orange juice. Unfortunately I didn't look too carefully at the menu and didn't realized that it said "fresh orange juice" instead of "fresh-squeezed orange juice". The stuff they brought me definitely came from a bottle - and maybe even from a can. I sent it back and got a strawberry shake instead. The waitress offered both a syrup and a fresh strawberry version and I of course went with the fresh strawberry; it was very good, very thick, with nice, large pieces of strawberries. Michaela really liked it too. The shake was HUGE (I think the menu said something like 30 oz.), and I was glad that the waitress gave me a container to bring half of it back with me. It was still very good when I had it for dinner that night. I was able to secure a slice of their walnut fudge pie and it was a great choice. The pie was rich and chocolatey without being overwhelmingly sweet. It had a similar texture (though not taste) to cheesecake, being considerably denser than regular chocolate pie. In all, I loved it. The slice was a good size. I couldn't finish it but Mike was happy to eat the rest.

In all, we had a good eating experience there. I'm eager to go back and try their other pies.

JD's Restaurant
2837 Castro Valley Blvd.
Castro Valley , CA