While stranded in Oakland with a friend, carless and with time on our hands between appointments, we took a stroll down Telgraph avenue. I was persuaded into the KFC/Pizza Hut on Telegraph near 30th (more on that below).
At 3421 Telegraph Avenue is Nordic House - Scandinavian Food Center. I was not expecting to find anything like this in Oakland or anywhere in the Bay Area. The medium-sized shop has a good selection of straight-from-Scandinavia treats (like cloudberries in syrup, not just cloudberry jam). Really good lingonberry preserves, Norwegian honey,etc. There is a good small delicatessan space, but I didn't sample any of the meats and cheeses on display. In the back there is a great selection of Scandinavian books and cookbooks -- even the Holiday Baking book by my own hometown's Finnish cooking expert, Beatrice Ojakangas. There are some Nordic-type textiles and holiday goods, and even clogs. This will be a regular stop for me, especially around holiday time.
3421 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
510 653 3882
Back to the KFC. My non-chowhound friend loves KFC and persuaded me to go in there for lunch. The surprise was the "2 apple pies for a dollar" which she bought and shared with me. These are like the ones Mcdonald's used to serve, before they switched to the "healthier" baked version. This was the real deal -- the envelope-shaped pastry filled with very cinnamony molten presevative-filled apple-pie filling, totally submerged and deep-fried in (I'm sure) some heart-stopping trans-fat. Surprisingly good junk food --reminded me of culinary sins of childhood.