A morning excursion across the Bay Bridge provides many pleasures here are merely a couple of my favorite non-restaurant food stops in Oaktown:
5098 Telegraph Avenue (at 51st Street)
Oakland, CA 94609
Yes, we San Franciscans have a wealth of bakery options, including near legendary Tartine, which I am thrilled to frequent. But if I had my way, Id make Bakesale Betty my neighborhood bakery (for some lucky souls, it is!) The menu (there is none per se) changes but is simple: usually less than ten items, baked that day, each one flawless.
Their scones are the best Ive ever had. Scones are often dense and leaded, but these are flaky, melt-in-the-mouth as well as dense. Flavors change, including lemon-raisin, pear-ginger it doesnt matter. Its ALL good! Seasonal pies, cakes and cookies round out the buttery goodness.
Youll hear paeans of praise to their famed Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich, which even first thing in the morning are being assembled by the dozens: crispy, peppery fried chicken on a soft roll with a jalapeno slaw (not spicy, seedless). I could jump on the bandwagon but for one slight complaint: without mayo or sauce, it is a little dry. But that shouldnt stop you Id take one for breakfast or lunch anytime!
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907 Washington Street (between 9th and 10th Streets in the Housewives Market)
Oakland, CA 94607
When the Renaissance Man and I want to grill up our own sausages instead of visiting our beloved Rosamunde Sausage Grill in the Lower Haight, we head to Taylors, our cooler packed with ice (since we do have to cross the Bay to get them), to buy some of the best sausages in existence at Oaklands historic Housewives Market.
This place is hardcore just watch them grind up raw meat, as you pick out sausages to take home. Even freezing sausages to grill weeks later takes nothing away from their amazing flavor. We serve them in a soft roll topped with grilled onions and our favorite mustards from Healdsburgs Hop Kiln Winery. Paired with an ice-cold beer, we enter a higher level of food heaven.
I adore Taylors Boudin Blanc, a New Orleans specialty: white sausage with rice. Other greats include a spicy Cajun Chicken, Louisiana Hot Sausage and the Italian… you really cant go wrong.