Bakesale Betty, Oakland CA
Posted by augustandzach
Both of us had heard of Bakesale Betty before, Zach just in passing while August had seen her at a Walnut Creek farmers’ market years ago when it was by the library. August’s mom and her boyfriend were in town visiting for the day, and she told us that Bakesale Betty had been featured in Bon Appetit. The blue-haired Aussie expanded and she has a storefront open for only three hours a day, five days a week. All she serves is her array of baked goods and a fried chicken sandwich, but that’s enough to draw in a steady line of customers that waits outside the door.
Oatmeal walnut raisin, chocolate chip walnut, and walnut shortbread were the only pastry varieties left by the time we arrived and waited through the long (but swiftly moving) line. Because they all had walnuts, though, unfortunately Zach could not try any of them. Occasionally there are specialty desserts like strawberry shortcake and lemon ice, Bakesale Betty’s version of a slushy, and we imagine those sell quickly.
The half chicken breast was crispy but very moist and tender. Fresh, crunchy, vinegar-based coleslaw with red onions, cilantro, and jalapeños provided just enough zing and heat to make this sandwich really interesting. The french roll was crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside, the perfect bread for this kind of texture-laden sandwich.
We enjoyed our meal. However, we have to be honest now. Considering that the only products were pastries, one type of sandwich, and a few canned sodas, you might think that costs would be lower than they were, especially since none of the ingredients are labeled as organic, local, or sustainably sourced. Additionally, there was no service: order at a counter, then take your food outside to the street and sit at a repurposed ironing board as your table. Two chicken sandwiches alone came to just over $21. Yes, it was a good sandwich, and please don’t think we’re complaining about prices because Zach doesn’t mind spending $60 for a cheeseburger. That cheeseburger, though, would be made with rare quality ingredients and served by a waiter. Price should match ingredient quality and ambiance.