A few weeks ago, a friend brought over sticky date pudding from Bakesale Betty and it was absolutely fabulous. We loved it so much we tried Betty's pumpkin and pecan pies a few days later on Thanksgiving. Both pies were excellent, particularly the pecan pie.
After all the great desserts, we had to check out the bakery for lunch to try their popular fried chicken sandwich. The shop is located in North Oakland's Temescal District. When we arrived at the small, unassuming corner bakery, the line was just out the door. It was a little chaotic as we tried to figure out what to order in the fast moving line. We quickly decided to order...
- Fried Chicken Sandwich ($7.25)
- Egg Salad Sandwich ($5.50)
- Lemon Raisin Scone ($1.95)
- Ginger Pear Scone ($1.95)
- Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce (price unknown)
Our order was taken by Michael Camp, who is an owner and married to Alison Barakat, a.k.a. Betty, a former cook at Chez Panisse Cafe. At the time, I had no idea who Michael was. He began putting our order together on a metal tray and asked for $16.00. Obviously, I thought he made a mistake and asked him for the total again, he said, "16 dollars." I asked if he included the sticky date pudding in the order because it wasn't on the tray. He replied, "it's on the house." Alrighty then! We ended up getting...
- Fried Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Salad Sandwich
- Lemon Raisin Scone
- Ginger Pear Scone
- Apricot Almond Scone (complimentary)
- Sticky Date Pudding (complimentary)
- Two Frozen Lemonades (complimentary)
Michael told us that he would bring out the sticky date pudding cake to us. We found a table, an old ironing board, in a sunny spot on the sidewalk and started digging into our bounty. The fried chicken sandwich was fantastic. The buttermilk-battered chicken breast was nice and crispy with cole slaw piled high on top of it. We really liked the lightly dressed, vinaigrette based cole slaw. The absence of mayonnaise in the sandwich and slaw was a big positive for us. Serving thigh meat instead of breast meat is the only thing that would make it better, since we prefer dark meat.
The chunky egg salad sandwich was equally as good. It was topped with peppery arugula, which was a nice addition. Both sandwiches were served on good Acme torpedo rolls. The egg salad sandwich was a decent size, but the chicken sandwich was a very generous portion.
The scones were light and flaky with interesting flavor combinations. Our favorite scone was the lemon raisin with plump and juicy raisins. The scones would be great for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Hungry Bear enjoyed the frozen lemonade because of the balance between sweet and tart. It was too tart for me, but I have odd taste buds.
As we were finishing our sandwiches, Michael came outside and told us the sticky date pudding was sold out. He apologized and gave us a voucher for a free pudding cake along with two shortbread cookies. It was completely unexpected and unnecessary, but talk about a great way to build customer loyalty.
The line grew longer during the lunch hour and we saw Michael on several occasions giving away cookies to everyone in line. I was sold on the food itself, but the extremely friendly service has me completely hooked. It's now my favorite bakery in the Bay Area!
I'm excited about going back for the sticky date pudding and trying out the banana bread. Hungry Bear wants to sample the lemon bars. I also want to figure out which sandwich I like more, fried chicken or egg salad? It's a toss up right now. I can't guarantee you'll get the same amount of complimentary food as we did, but the quality of the sandwiches and baked goods alone will make you come back for more!
Tip: Go early for sandwiches or they'll sell out and you'll be sad.
[tags]chicken, fried chicken, cole slaw, scones, egg salad, sandwich, bakery, pies, oakland[/tags]