So I decided I wanted a good burger for lunch today.
A random search of Chowhound suggested a few alternatives, but I was in a seaside mood (perhaps because the Excursion Society is, however slowly, inching off the ground). So I ended up at Quinn’s Lighthouse in Oakland, just off the Embarcadero.
And you know, it was a pretty damn good burger. Medium Niman Ranch beef, nicely seasoned, served on a garlic sourdough bun. (Think of a good garlic bread—toasted with fresh garlic and a bit of butter.) Two beers, looking out from the lighthouse’s second floor over a little secluded marina.
After that, I followed the Embarcadero over to Alameda, all but by accident, and came across the Alameda Marketplace. It’s a natural foods store, bakery, and coffee shop. I’m sitting here finishing an iced Vietnamese coffee and using their free wifi to check e-mail and not get writing done.
Most of the folks I know in the local area are in the South Bay or Peninsula, and there’s a tendency to cap on the East Bay a lot, but the more I explore, the more impressed with the area I am. From about Fremont—and the San Jose Mission district—on up all the way through Martinez, there’s just a lot of cool little nooks and crannies to explore. Yeah, there are stretches which are just industrial and decaying downtown, but even Oakland has a lot more there here than I think it seems from the other side of the Bay.
If I wanted to live in a real honest-to-God metro area, San Francisco proper would still be The Place locally, but if I had reason to move up to the Rockridge area in Oakland—or if there was an apartment within a few blocks of this marketplace and a job not too far away—I definitely wouldn’t turn it down.