Search Best Of Oakland Winners
2015 Food & Drink
Best Pre- or Post-Bowling Burger
Outfitted with 18 cutting-edge lanes, plank can proudly call itself Jack London Square’s only bowling alley. Given its other appurtenances, it could also call itself JLS’ bocce, beer, and arcade-game capital. What better way to start or end a game than with a juicy burger? “The whole idea was to create well-composed burgers with ingredients that complement, but don’t overpower, the meat,” explained Plank’s executive chef Brad Rishmany. The Classic burger’s pleasantly surprising ingredients include garlic aioli and watercress. “The Broadway burger is our take on a classic mushroom-Swiss sandwich with fun flavors that really enhance the meat,” he said. And the Jalapeño Burger’s house-pickled peppers “add nice heat to contrast the cool, soothing blue cheese.” Farm-sourced beef can be swapped for turkey patties.
2015 Goods & Services
Best Local Gardeners
Have you ever considered turning your lawn or yard into an edible garden? To replace your grass or concrete, Planting Justice will create an oasis of veggies, fruits, and herbs you can enjoy year-round. The group has built more than 250 edible urban gardens in the Bay Area, using permaculture-based designs that maximize the food you can grow. To accommodate drought conditions, Planting Justice can install gray-water and rain-water harvesting systems, too. Planting Justice uses the income from paying clients to create no-cost gardens for public schools and nonprofits, and the group also provides living-wage landscaping jobs for former prisoners. Planting Justice recently broke ground on a five-acre urban farming center to be built in El Sobrante.
2015 Goods & Services
Best Urban Farming/Homesteading Supplies
Want to raise chicks, grow tomatoes, or learn to make goat cheese? Stop in at Pollinate Farm & Garden, Oakland’s woman-owned store for farm and homesteading supplies. You’ll find all you need for growing fruits and veggies, along with friendly advice and guidance from co-owners Birgitt Evans and Yolanda Burrell. Along with basics like soil, plants, and seeds, Pollinate also stocks chicks, beekeeping supplies, livestock feed, and irrigation products. For those who are DIY-inclined, Pollinate offers all you need for canning, pickling, and fermenting as well as speakers and workshops that teach skills like backyard beekeeping, raising chickens, and maintaining garden tools. Pollinate was selected as one of 100 small U.S. businesses featured in the Small Business Revolution.