Preeti Mistry & Juhu Beach Club (179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA)
Vada pav, a street food common in Mumbai, struck a match and the tang of the ghost pepper chutney became allies with the smooth potato pav. A fan of spicy food, our first stop on our tour of the Oakland temescal neighborhood ignited a fire that was only extinguished by refreshingly spicy lemonade. Cilantro water clung to the top like a cool chemistry concoction, the toasted cumin and black salt becomes a savory kick matched evenly with another bite of the slider sized vada pav.
Jena Davidson Hood & The Sacred Cheese Wheel (51st and Shattuck Ave, Oakland, Ca)
The sacred cheese wheel, a cheese shop and eatery managed to capture childhood nostalgia with an adult spin. The sweet honey drizzle provided an edgy contrast between the tart Pabst Blue Ribbon laced tomato soup. The crow of the rooster labeled sriracha present in a spicy after note. A Virginia native, owner Jena Davidson Hood has a fun and enthusiastic approach to comfort food. A menu full of edgy cheesy comfort dishes, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be making an effort to take a crack at a deliciously friendly grilled cheese or two.
A chicken sandwich that causes lines nearly three shop fronts in length, with a quirky dinning area made up of vintage ironing boards. The beauty of this sandwich is juicy chicken breast, slices of jalapeño hidden in the slaw, a surprising kick waiting like a snake in the grass. I left wishing for more simply because it was a fried chicken sandwich. Personally I prefer my fried chicken doused with hot sauce on every bite or with a mix of spicy seasoning filtering through the lifeless skin. If the Brass Knuckles food truck was parked across the street unfortunately I would have to show my allegiance to their spicy chicken Iron Maiden sandwich paired with a apple slaw. My decision is purely made on my love of spicy chicken; Bake Sale Betty is still a place worth the wait.