The dude who recommended this sandwich, my man Dave from baseball, promised “a fried-chicken sandwich you will think about for the rest of your life.” And he did so without even knowing about this blog or its commitment to life-altering sandwiches.
The sandwich: Fried chicken sandwich from Bakesale Betty’s in Oakland, California.
The construction: Breaded fried chicken breast and slaw on a “torpedo” roll.
Important background information: My trip to California a couple weeks ago was, I might have mentioned, my first. And for whatever reason I just assumed that as soon as I stepped into Oakland I’d be accosted by Hell’s Angels, completely terrifying Raiders fans and chair-throwing SABR-nerds coveting my manboobs. Not the case. I didn’t see much of the city, but the long, quick-moving line outside of Bakesale Betty’s wouldn’t have looked out of place in Brooklyn. Turns out hipsters queue up for sandwiches on both coasts. Very comforting, really.
Bakesale Betty’s menu is extremely limited. They serve fried-chicken sandwiches, a fried-tofu vegetarian option, and a bunch of (delicious) baked goods.
What it looks like:
How it tastes: Oh, lord. Like Dave said. Like a fried chicken sandwich I will think about for the rest of my life.
The most prominent flavor is the slaw. It’s vinegar-based — no mayo — and it’s made with cabbage, red onions and jalapeno, so it’s got spice to go with the tang from the vinegar. There’s tons of it, spilling out all sides of the sandwich, and there must be some sort of oil in there, serving both to keep the entire sandwich duly moist and to make it glisten in the California sun, a nice cosmetic bonus.
Don’t sleep on the fried chicken, either. The breading is delicious, and strong enough to maintain its crispiness throughout the sandwich-eating experience, even slathered with slaw. And there’s no shortage of meat.
My lone quibble with the sandwich is that at the thickest parts of the breast, the chicken might have been a touch dry. But I think that’s more a function of white-meat chicken breast in general and not necessarily the way it was prepared here. Plus, you’re talking maybe half a bite’s worth in the whole sandwich.
Oh and the bread is great. Soft, doughy, a touch sweet, and hearty enough to shoulder the weight of the sandwich’s contents without overpowering their flavors.
Just a really awesome sandwich.
What it’s worth: This ran me $7.25, plus, you know, the airfare to California, the rental car, hotel room and the toll on the Bay Bridge. Worth it.
How it rates: 94 out of 100. A Hall of Famer.