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Chili and cupcake - Bette's To Go (Berkeley Fourth Street)

Melanie Wong | Jun 7, 200511:01 PM

After their fasting lab work in the morning, I shuttled my parents over to Oakland for the Friday farmers market. I picked this one because they hadn't been to the East Bay for a long while, and Dad had said he wanted "ribs" whereas Mom wanted "yum cha", and there was a chance I'd find spots nearby to please both of them. Also I knew my mother would find something she wanted to buy here to take home the next day, and with smaller crowds, it would be easier to navigate with two mobility-challenged seniors.

At the market, my parents enjoyed tasting the fruits from several booths and bought what they felt were the best-tasting strawberries, cherries, and stone fruits of the day. The batch of organic strawberries from Santa Maria were better than any of the locals that day. Dad spotted the sausage cart and ordered a bratwurst with sauerkraut. Mom had a tamale from All Star. I was relieved that I didn't have to shuttle between ribs and dim sum to make them both happy.

For their ice cream of the day, we headed over to Sketch in Berkeley. Rose geranium and Costa Rican pineapple were the two flavors of the day. I was surprised when Dad ordered rose geranium, as he's a coffee, chocolate or vanilla kind of guy. I insisted that he taste it first. He did and then wanted only rose geranium and no second flavor in the cup. Guess that's a ringing endorsement. The pineapple was fine, a touch low in acidity.

On the way back to the car, we made a pass through Bette's to Go for them to pick out afternoon snacks for later. Dad spotted chili, his craving of the previous day, on the board. Topped with chopped red onion and some cheddar cheese, it stayed warm enough in its styro for them to enjoy back at the hotel. Medium spicy with nubbins of ground beef and also diced stewed meat with some beans, Dad pronounced it, "good-flavored". I felt it would be a good chili for topping a hot dog (also sold at Bette's).

I picked up a girly pink frosted vanilla cupcake. The cake itself was dry and stale. The grainy frosting made with shortening, not butter, wasn't much better. Strike this one off your cupcake list.


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