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Bakesale Betty :: Oakland, California

Since the Bay area brings such a diverse group of people into one location, the options of food and drink are endless.  Our stay in Oakland brought us the opportunity to “taste test” a multitude of cocktails, beers, sandwiches, appetizers, and entrees.  Our host, William, who is a sound engineer for Lucusfilm Ltd., is well-versed in the fine points of good eats and drinks in the Bay area.  One of my favorite restaurants we visited is my top recommendation to grab lunch.

Bakesale Betty
Famous fried chicken sandwiches and baked goods

As we approached Bakesale Betty, the line already wrapped out and around the door.  Ironing boards lined the sidewalk, serving as tables for the hoards of people grinning as they ate their sandwiches. Bakesale Betty may be extremely casual, but the fried chicken sandwiches are sought out by fans from all over the area.  Large pieces of paper labeled with cursive handwriting displayed the menu options taped in the window.  The lunch entrees include a fried chicken sandwich, fried chicken salad, or chicken pot pie.

The options seem limited, but given the deliciousness of the fried chicken, the options are plenty.

One aspect I truly respect about Bakesale Betty’s owner, Alison Barakat, is that she doesn’t forget dessert.  Strawberry shortcake, blackberry pie, ginger cookies, and a whole line of other baked goods greet every customer as they walk in the door.

The line that snaked out on the sidewalk moved quickly, and we grabbed our paper bags and headed to an ironing board.

Fortunately, Nick and I decided to split a sandwich, which was a good move.  The portions are huge, and, of course, you should always leave room for dessert.  The sandwich was simple, but delicious.  The chicken was moist and tender, with the perfect amount of breading.  But the secret to this special sandwich was the cole slaw.  Each sandwich is loaded with an oil and vinegar coleslaw, which is fresh, crisp, and bright.  The fried chicken and fresh chopped slaw is a wonderful combination – and, apparently, all that is needed.  These are the only ingredients in between two bun slices.

Order a ginger cookie for dessert – you will be sure to be impressed.  They are thick and moist, and each bite is a burst of ginger in your mouth.  In fact, they are so good, Josh, a friend of William’s,  carried a container of fresh ginger cookies around for the rest of the night.  Share the cookies with strangers, and you’ll be sure to make new friends.

Check out this short video of the Bakesale Betty.  William, our host in Oakland, introduces the video.

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