The quality of restaurants participating in Restaurant.com has gone up in the past few months, probably because of the weakened economy. Restaurant.com is a discount site where you purchase gift certificates for bargain prices. Usually a $25 card will cost $10, but the constant promo codes slash up to 80%, making it $2. The most recent code is COOK, good until April 1. Enter it during checkout to see the 80% applied to your order. If you use Fatwallet, you can also get 24% cash back on your order.
Over 50 restaurants participate in the East Bay, and even more in San Francisco. During a recent search, I found a few restaurants I had always wanted to try: classic American dishes at Digs Bistro, pub fare at Meridian International Sport Cafe and fondue at Fondue Fred in Berkeley, and the hundred or so beers at Cafe Biere in Emeryville. I would also return to a few eateries with the discount, such as the flavorful Ethiopian food at Cafe Colucci in Berkeley and late night eats at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville.
Despite the increase in standouts, I still recommend checking Yelp or other review sites to make sure you're not going to a dud.