Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Plain Good

One of the great pleasures in food is plain old unpretentious good food.  I could spend my whole life examining good down home cookin' and still be finding great new things as they're ordering my casket.  I am lucky enough to live in an area that seems to have a great appreciation for both the adventurous foodie extravagances as well as the simple pleasures.  Even in those areas where you won't find a hamburger on a menu without listing the variety of grass the cow ate, there are often simple pleasures in foods to be found in the back alleys.  

One of my favorite simple pleasures is a nice breakfast or brunch out.  There is something special about heading down to the local greasy spoon for way too much coffee and a denver omelette.  Certainly there is something divine about the food, but another key element of the experience is recovering from the previous night... or looking at the other people recovering from the previous night.

There is a whole other category of just plain good and that is the establishments that shoot very high and very directly for being just plain good.  One example of this is a bakery in Oakland, California called Bakesale Betty.  I have on numerous occasions described the baked items from this place as 'perfectly imperfect'.  In describing them as such, I am referring to the visual, not the flavor.  The tastes to be found at Bakesale Betty are consistently excellent.  The baked goods here are not about the thinly sliced intricate fruit tarts so many fancy bakeries sell, rather everything that comes out of this place is like that perfect item you made that one time...  There is something heartwarming about seeing the perfect imperfections in the scones, cookies and pies made at this place.  An example is that with the pies, you'll find some of the pie filling that bubbled over, but not in a messy way...  just in a way to show that they weren't made by a machine.  

Bakesale Betty also sells incredible sandwiches that also hit a home run in the 'just plain good' category.  The one to try first is certainly the fried chicken sandwich.  It comes on a nice roll with plenty of fried chicken (with plenty of chicken, not just fried batter) and a mountain of cole slaw.  The cole slaw itself is great, with a little jalapeno and marinated onions... and it's good that it stands on its own, because there's such a mountain of slaw in this sandwich that some of it inevitably falls out and begs to be 'cleaned up' after finishing off the sandwich.  

Now, being in Oakland, with the general availability of chicken and waffles for breakfast, the only problem is that this sandwich is only available for lunch! 

No comments:

Post a Comment