The Aperol Brunch Society

Thursday, July 17, 2014 3 , 0

I have a friend, Nathan. He is a genius with cocktails, has a super impressive beard, and always knows how to throw a good party. Well, the fine people over at Aperol decided to make him one of their Chief Brunch Officers for the summer. Yes, that is a real thing and I think it might be the best job EVER. Each weekend he and Aperol host a brunch on Saturday AND Sunday at a different restaurant in Los Angeles. The star of the show? The Aperol Spritz, perhaps one of my favorite beverages.

The perfect Aperol Spritz

I was lucky enough to be invited to one of these boozy brunches! The location was Venice’s Scopa Italian Roots. Quite fitting. Upon sitting, I was promptly given a Spritz, bright orange straw and all. Then we got to the food. I ordered a perfectly brunch-appropriate frittata and we all shared the squid ink calamari, which was delicious. For whatever reason, one of my favorite snacks while at a bar or for appetizers over the years has become fried calamari with lemon and…an Aperol Spritz. So there ya go! And here we are.

The squid ink fried calamari at Scopa Italian Roots in Venice

Frittat with arugula and parmesan at Scopa Italian Roots

The official Aperol Spritz recipe is super simple and you can remember it by saying 3-2-1. Three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, one part club soda. Garnish with an orange slice over ice and your golden. Er, orange and sparkly.

Cheers with Aperol Spritz at Aperol Brunch Society

I love this picture so much.

A Glass at Ordinaire, Oakland

Monday, July 14, 2014 2 No tags 2

After I devoured a fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty, I had one more destination before I hit the road – Ordinaire. I’ve been working in wine retail for the past 4.5 years, so I’m always curious to check out new shops, and I was definitely excited to visit this spot.

Shopping at Ordinaire Wine in Oakland

Owner Bradford Taylor opened Ordinaire last year. It’s wine retail meets wine bar meets bistro. It’s basically everything you’d want in a neighborhood wine shop. I arrived just as he opened and regulars started to stream in soon after. Two employees from Camino were shopping for an upcoming party and a chef and his daughter decided to stop in for a glass of wine, a little board of charcuterie and cheese, and some World Cup watching. I thought this was a genius idea, so I joined.

Ordinaire wine, everyday wine

Bradford Taylor, owner of Ordinaire in Oakland

There are a handful of wines by the glass as well as 6 wines on tap in rotation. You can also buy a bottle off the shelf (for a slightly higher price) and drink that at the shop. Bradford has put together a stellar little line-up of wines, mainly from small(er) production California wineries, with a strong well-edited selection of wines from Europe. The focus is on wines of place, wines made with minimal intervention, wines that have a point of view and a lot of personality.

I love anything the Matthiasson‘s do and have been enjoying their more affordable liter wines under the Tendu label all summer. Bradford said the aglianico he had on tap was actually the aglianico that goes into the Tendu red blend. So I said, “Pour me a glass!”

A glass of Tendu Aglianico on tap at Ordinaire in Oakland

And he did. And it was great.

Ordinaire Wine Shop  & Wine Bar

3354 Grand Avenue

Oakland, CA 94610

Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bakesale Betty, Oakland

Thursday, June 26, 2014 0 No tags 0

I’ve been hearing about the fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty for YEARS, but I’m an idiot and never stopped in during my visits to the Bay Area. Well, enough was enough! Idiot no more.

Waiting in line at Bakesale Betty

I approached the scene about 15 minutes after they opened for business and there was already a line out the door. This is to be expected. There will always be a line at Bakesale Betty, but you stand in it, because it’s worth it. The menu is written on brown paper and taped to the wall outside, so you can stare at it while you try not to drool in feverish anticipation.

There are just a few options, but it’s almost always true that if a spot only offers one or two things they probably do them exceptionally well. They have the famous buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, of course, and a buttermilk fried tofu option for the vegetarians out there, an assortment of fresh baked cookies, as well as some mighty fine strawberry shortcakes. I did not indulge in the shortcake that day, but I now thoroughly regret that decision.

Buttermilk fried chicken at Bakesale Betty

But on to the main event – the eating of the fried chicken sandwich! I found an open stool at a narrow table out front (the sidewalk is their dining room) and opened the paper to-go box like there was some kind of precious jewel inside. And there was! Inside was the most perfectly moist friend chicken breast covered in a crunchy jalapeno slaw and sandwiched between two fluffy buns. I mean, come on!  I must have looked like an animal to all of the people in line. I can’t remember the last time I ate something with such passion and lightning speed.

Seating at Bakesale Betty

Who is Betty and why has she not been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize??

PS- Can somebody get a girl some hand lotion.

Bakesale Betty

5098 Telegraph Avenue

Oakland, CA 94609