Tips Included: New restaurants built for family dining


Contra Costa Times
June 2008
By Chrissa Ventrelle

WHETHER your kids are sporting baby bibs or ear buds this summer, here is a roundup of some new East Bay spots that will tickle the family's taste buds.

WHAT'S KICKIN' AT KINDER'S: If you have a hankering for rattlesnake, lion or alligator meat, Kinder's Meats can procure it in a few days. If these delicacies aren't up your alley, stick with the standard menu. Kinder's Famous Ball Tip Steak Sandwich or BBQ Beef Sandwich will scratch your itch. Kinder's is the big man of barbecue, with a combination of 14 franchised and familyowned stores, most located in the East Bay. A Walnut Creek location opened last week on Ygnacio Valley Road. A lease was just signed in Martinez, and Dublin and Livermore are in their sights. The specialty at Kinder's is the marinated ball tip. This lean, tender cut from the center of the sirloin is tri-tip's quiet cousin. Served as a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayo and Kinder's mild BBQ sauce, this sandwich is the 3-to-1 customer favorite over anything else on the menu. It's a good deal for $7.25. Other options include big burgers, hot link sandwiches and deli sandwiches. (With beloved Sweet Affair just a stone's throw away, Ygnacio Valley Plaza is now awash in lunch options.) For portion control, steer kids to the mini sandwich with a choice of salami or turkey with American cheese. At $4.95, it's priced similarly to fast food without the high-fructose corn syrup.

Owner Justin Kinder calls their mild barbecue sauce "pretty versatile," even winning the 2007 Best Sauce Award at the granddaddy of rib cookoffs in Reno. The sauce is sweet with just a hint of kick. They also sell a line of house marinades and rubs, including a popular tequila lime rub. All stores, except Pleasanton, offer an old-school meat market where a butcher will custom-cut meat to a customer's specifications. They'll even slather on a marinade or rub at no charge. Also free at Kinder's is a side of local history. John Kinder opened the first location in Richmond in 1946. These days, you can catch the octogenarian cutting meat at the Concord store. "Grandpa loves to work, face down, all day long," says Justin, his grandson, who learned the business from the master himself.