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Ideas for an Airplane Meal- Oakland or Alameda

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Taking off from Oakland airport on a Monday morning, need some ideas on places to pick up breakfast and lunch, including things that will hold up well if picked up on Sunday. What would YOU bring?

Here are the criteria:
- Alameda or Oakland area
- Must be open by 8AM on Monday morning
- Breakfast and/or lunch- both would be ideal!
- Holds up well if purchased the day before
- Pick up, not eat in

My first thought was Bakesale Betty, but she's not open on Monday. The only other thing I can come up with are Chinatown bakeries or maybe a banh mi.

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  1. You can pick up Bakesale Betty scones and cookies at the Temescal farmers market on Sunday. Her scones are moist enough that they are still tasty on day two.

    For lunch you could grab a couple of half pints of yuppie salads at the Pasta Shop on Sunday. Or you could hit the Berkeley farmers market on Saturday and grab a few petit sec from Fatted Calf. Supplement this with some decent cheese, nice fruit, crackers, and you're in business.

    1. The Feel Good Bakery in Alameda is open Monday morning. I think they open at 7 a.m. The Natural Grocery next door is also now open at 8 a.m. so you could pick up things like yogurt, fruit, cold juice, cheese and cold cuts. I think they may have some deli salads (the kind you find in tubs in the refrigerated cases) as well. What I bring depends on how long the flight (or transit) time is. For longer flights I bring things like fruit, cheese, crackers, peanut butter, etc. that is fine at room temp.

      Another option is to stop at the El Ojo de Agua taco truck on Fruitvale at E. 12th and get a breakfast burrito. One of those will hold you all day (I usually eat half for breakfast and the other half for lunch)!

      Ruby King bakery on Franklin between 7th and 8th is a good place for a selection of sweet and savory pastries.

      1. In Oakland's Chinatown, there are a lot of places that open by 7am. Banh mi is an obvious choice (although messy on an airplane), but there are many places offering buns and rolls. I like the Cam Huong bakery (11th and Webster? somewhere around there) for their curry or pork buns, but they also have the hot dog buns and many other savoury and sweet buns. Lots of carbs, but very sustaining. Many people swear by the ABC bakery, but they skimp on the fillings in comparison.

        There are also dim sum options, but those can be quite messy. Imagine eating sticky rice out of a banana leaf on an airplane!

        1. The day before Thanksgiving, I swung by Cam Huong in Chinatown around 7:30ish to grab food for a flight around noon. I also went next door for bbq pork buns for breakfast. Actually, I grabbed enough breakfast and lunch for the whole family. 3 orders of #1 pork (ham?) and 3 orders of grilled pork (25 cents more) banh mi from CH. And a bakery box full of bbq pork, cocktail, and hot dog buns. After getting the brood across the bay on BART and getting check-in baggage off our hands, we settled down to breakfast on the bao items. Although no longer warm, they still hit the spot. Usually I try to also get stuff like the curry pastry and maybe dim sum, but with the whole brood clamoring for their faves it was just easier to get stuff everyone will eat. Not to mention the flakey pastries make a mess, and certain items just aren't as good when cold.

          After we had boarded and settled into the flight, we broke out our little banh mi picnic. Several of the other passengers eyed us with envy as we munched happily on the banh mi. Although I was concerned the bread might become soggy or tough and chewy, it still managed to shine. IMHO I think the grilled pork held up better, although they were both still pretty good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: S U

            I know someone who always packs a few extra banh mi every time he flies (he's a business road warrior), as there are invariably a few people who are willing to pay upwards of $5 for one on the flight. Even if no one's interested, he's always glad to have them available for a snack or quick meal at his destination (especially if he's in a more homogenized part of the US).

            1. re: S U

              by the way, there is a new bakery that just opened across the street from Cam Huong (other side of Webster), I think called the "Happy Bakery" or "Sunshine Bakery" or something equally cheeful. I haven't had much chance to check out their stuff, but they have some good looking fruit tarts and pastries and egg custard tarts are three for a dollar, if you want dessert with your sandwich.

              Will try and do some research and report back on the tarts. just as a public service of course.

            2. I went to Ratto's on Washington, a blk off 9th/Broadway, during the weekend to get sandwiches for a long day out. I asked them for a bread that would hold up all day and they suggest ciabatta. It held up very well. Picked them up at 11 a.m. and had a half at 7 p.m. and it was fine. Other then that, dim sum works pretty well on airplanes from my experience.

              1. My best airline food story was out of NOLA. I had an afternoon flight and grabbed a po'boy somewhere - Central? I opened it on the plane, and you could immediately tell how fast the smell was propagating. 10 seconds, one row, another 10 seconds, another row, and a small commotion. Wifes elbowing their husbands.

                Sigh.

                No great recommendations. I usually find myself at the Max's counter in the airport, getting a pastrami.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bbulkow

                  Mine too. Last time out of NO, I brought on a muffaletta from Streetcar Sandwiches. I still had room for my low sodium meal little filet too.

                2. I'll be taking off from OAK mid-day Saturday. Will need food to keep me for the next 10 hours. Looking for sandwiches and snacks. In the past I've enjoyed carry-on food from Pike Place Market in Seattle and Central Grocery in NoLA.

                  Any suggestions - what's Max's Counter like at the airport? Is Ratto open before 10?

                  Thanks

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lydia R

                    Finally, there is one decent take-on-board option in the airport itself. In the new terminal area (the part with the highest gate numbers -- the only part of OAK that looks like an modern first-world airport), there is a stand that has AG Ferrari sandwiches and salads. They are very good, not great. But easier than other non-airport options and far better than 360, Round Table, and the other sketchy options

                    1. re: Lydia R

                      Here's a link to a recent story regarding food concessions in the Oakland airport:

                      http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/c...

                      Have a good trip!