Monthly Archives: April 2015

Flamin’ Rocket burger brings some heat at Hayward’s Red Rocket Char Grill

The Flamin' Rocket burger at Red Rocket Char Grill in Hayward.

The Flamin’ Rocket burger at Red Rocket Char Grill in Hayward.

If grilled food is your passion, you might be a fan of what Hayward’s Red Rocket Char Grill has to offer.

The new restaurant, which held its grand opening in July, is focused on its love of grilled food. “The highest quality beef, pork, chicken and sausage cooked the way we love, for people we love,” according to its Facebook page.

Red Rocket has the feel of an old-school diner with a modern twist and has a good variety of burgers and sandwiches to choose from.

The Dish of Choice

I ordered the Flamin’ Rocket burger, which is dressed with jalapenos, avocado and pepper jack cheese and is accompanied with all the fixings like tomatoes, lettuce and onions. All burgers are cooked medium well, unless otherwise specified.

I also ordered a side of fries and a small fountain drink. With tax, my bill came out to about $14.

The Flamin' Rocket burger at Red Rocket Char Grill in Hayward.

The Flamin’ Rocket burger at Red Rocket Char Grill in Hayward.

The Taste

I had to press down on the burger a bit to be able to fit it into my mouth. The burger had a generous amount of sliced avocado on top, and the cheese was melted just right, covering all sides of the burger. The jalapenos obviously added spice to the meal, but I think someone who prefers mild foods could handle it.

Although I prefer my beef cooked medium rare — I think it’s more juicy and flavorful this way — the burger did not lose its succulence. It had a nice char-grilled flavor, like a burger you would eat at an outdoor BBQ. Beware: you might get some condiment drippings on your shirt, like I did (I’m a messy eater, admittedly).

Red Rocket served a large portion of fries, which were fresh and cut close to steak-fry size. They easily could have been split with another person. I restrained myself to only eating half my meal and saving the other half for later.

Other Details

I had good customer service at Red Rocket. The staff was very attentive and made sure to come by my table and ask about my meal.

The diner has a modern feel, from the metallic-tiled backsplash on the walls and counter to the large flat-screen televisions that show a digital version of the menu and live programming.

Along with burgers, the restaurant also offers chicken, fish, steak and sausage sandwiches, as well as salads. It also serves up milkshakes, desserts, beer and wine.

Red Rocket is located at 1057 B St. in downtown Hayward. For hours and more information, visit or call (510) 885-8999.

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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in burgers, sandwiches


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Oyster lover’s dream: Extensive menu of happy hour seafood delights at Mountain View’s Shell Shock

The Crispy Oyster Nacho at Shell Shock Oyster Bar Grill in Mountain View.

The Crispy Oyster Nacho at Shell Shock Oyster Bar & Grill in Mountain View.

Oyster lovers should be impressed by the extensive list of oyster cocktails, offering a range of fresh, grilled and fried oysters, at Mountain View’s Shell Shock Oyster Bar & Grill. Some of the happy hour oyster specialties include the Killin’ Oysters, prepared fresh with garlic, green onions and hot sauces, and Shuck Me, grilled oysters made with Shell Shock BBQ sauce and bacon.

For those who are not huge fans of oysters – like me – Shell Shock has other seafood and non-seafood specialties that should satisfy your palate. One dish that will probably be on my plate next time is the Break An Egg: fries topped with a fried egg, chorizo and Serrano peppers. Yum!

Dish of Choice

I have to preface this section by saying my first time having oysters was not a pleasant one. The last time I had a fresh oyster, it did not get past my esophagus and it went back up into my napkin. The consistency and appearance of the oyster made me think of snot on a rock. Along with that, I feel that fresh oysters have a weird fishy aftertaste, like someone just plucked them out of the ocean and set them on my plate. I can’t get past that aftertaste.

Nevertheless, I wanted to give oysters another shot.

I ordered the Crispy Oyster Nacho, fried, bread oysters on top of wonton chips with pico de gallo and spicy aioli. I also ordered the Herb Butter Oysters, which came to two grilled oysters and prepared with lemon butter, sage, parsley and chives.

Under the happy hour menu, the Crispy Oyster Nacho was $7 and the Herb Butter Oysters were $5. Along with two glasses of house wine at $5 a piece, my bill came out to about $22 without tax.

The Herb Butter Oyster at Shell Shock Oyster Bar & Grill in Mountain View.

The Herb Butter Oyster at Shell Shock Oyster Bar & Grill in Mountain View.

The Taste

So I know just about anything that is fried tastes good, but I enjoyed these oysters on the Crispy Oyster Nacho. They were lightly breaded, and the meat was very tender. The wonton chips were crispy and not greasy, adding an interesting texture to the dish. The pico de gallo was flavorful, fresh and had a great helping of cilantro. The aioli gave the dish some bite and added vibrancy to the presentation.

As for the Herb Butter Oyster: I really wanted to like this dish. Although the menu said this oyster was grilled, it tasted more on the raw side. But maybe oysters are not supposed to be on the grill that long (I’m no expert in oyster cooking techniques). The lemon butter and seasonings helped, but I still got that “straight from the ocean” aftertaste. I stand firm in the belief that oysters are an acquired taste, so this is not the fault of the restaurant.

Other Details

Shell Shock prides itself in serving the shellfish aficionados in the area, according to its website. The restaurant has the finest products delivered daily from Bay Area and national oyster farms and personally selects the shellfish featured on the menu, the website says.

Shell Shock offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free small plates and entrees and hosts happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, with a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to close.

The restaurant is located in downtown Mountain View at 124 Castro St., along the town’s main strip of restaurants, bars and shops. For more information on Shell Shock, visit,, or call (650) 988-8880.

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in happy hour, oysters, seafood


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