What Cafe Gabriela does with pork adobo and a toasted baguette is indecently good. The homey, Filipino-style pulled pork is subtly perfumed with bay leaf and the tang of vinegar, says Pius Avocado III. "A note of soy occasionally steps forward from the background to add a slightly salty note to the tender yet toothsome, porky meat. A hint of braising liquid just begins to flirt with the baguette's interior, coyly seeping in to provide counterpoint to the not-quite crusty crust." And by not-quite crusty, Pius means the "perfect balance between resistant yet crunchy crust and pillowy dense interior."
10foot5 seconds the recommendation, saying, "I'll definitely get this sandwich again—and soon." Incidentally, 10foot5 adds, the reliably excellent Cafe 15 has a pulled pork sandwich that's "similar in its porkliciousness." Also at Cafe 15, the salmon salad with "huge chunks of lovely salmon, equally large chunks of perfectly ripe tomatoes," plus fava beans, cucumber, and mesclun in a dressing "bristling with fresh dill and the tang of sour cream," has become a favorite for 10foot5. "I’ve been working in SF and Oakland for over 20 years now and I can’t think of any other lunch place in all that time that offers/has offered so many consistently good options."
Cafe Gabriela [East Bay]
988 Broadway, Oakland
Cafe 15 [East Bay]
597 15th Street, Oakland