The Kitchen Sink 

Kitchen Sink Hole

Kitchen Sink Hole: "I have discovered a place with mediocre food, great service and a certain ambiance that I enjoy," one reader wrote in for the Express's Hole in the Wall month. At Ploughman's on the corner of Parrot and Washington in San Leandro, "the clientele are mostly 'alter cockers,' regulars, and Tracy, one of the world's greatest waitresses, knows what they order. If someone is missing, she asks about them, and will even order for you, if you aren't sure what you want or she thinks you're making a culinary error."

Her e-mail was typical of the funny, insightful messages I received passing along tips for Hole in the Wall month. I learned of taquerias in Danville, Thai restaurants in downtown Berkeley, enough brunch places to make my cholesterol count soar, and of course, hamburger joints. One reader even wrote me an epic telling me how he had favorites but wouldn't share them with me.

Now we turn our focus to the east. The East Bay Express is expanding its coverage into Contra Costa County, and so the food section is expanding with it. If you live along the Lamorinda corridor out to Walnut Creek and Concord, I'd appreciate it if you could send us tips on your favorite restaurants, big or small.

You Snooze, You Lose Booze. If you procrastinated before heading out to Oakland's Grocery Outlet to take advantage of the spectacular wine bargains mentioned on television, you're too late. The store made the news in mid-January when it snapped up some 49,000 cases of wine on the cheap from the defunct Web site Wine.com and passed the savings onto its customers. Three weeks later, when I called the store to check on the sale, only 200 to 300 cases were left.

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