The Shil-Shul Diaries

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bakesale Betty







From Best Sandwich in America and Sandwich Paradise

5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

What they say: "Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich (fried chicken bathed in buttermilk, coated in peppery-seasoned flour and deep-fried topped spicy slaw featuring green cabbage, seed-in jalapenos, apple cider vinegar-soaked red onions tossed in a vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard, sea salt and high-quality olive oil and fresh parsley on a fresh homemade round bun)"

I love many things when it comes to food.  A good burger.  A good steak.  A good bbq rib or pulled pork sandwich.  A good lobster roll.  A good fajita. A good oyster or shrimp with cocktail sauce.  Like I said, many things.  And I LOVE a good chicken sandwich.  BBQ, fried, grilled, sliced, pulled, whole.  I love a good chicken sandwich, and Bakesale Betty is supposed to have the best in the country.  This place is plain and simple.  A bakery inside a corner shop.  The menu written on the wall daily on butcher paper.  They have no more than 10 items on the menu.  Chicken sandwich, scones, strawberry shortcake.  That's pretty much it.  Take-out only.  You sit out on the street at chairs pulled up to old ironing boards.  You order at a card table and they hand you everything in a brown bag.  The man behind the counter is making the sandwiches just trying to keep up with the demand.

The line around the corner is the dead give away of the legitimacy to the claim of best chicken sandwich in America.  And a totally, 100% hands down, no questions asked legitimate claim.  Plain and simple and perfect.  Great bun, giant piece of perfectly fried buttermilk fried chicken breast with a slaw.  Great great great great. Awesome awesome awesome.  Incredible incredible incredible. With a ice cold can of Coca-cola, its a perfect lunch or snack.  As a lover and obsesser of Heinz Ketchup, I would have loved to add ketchup to this monstrosity of awesome, but I will know to bring my own.  This sandwich belongs on the chicken sandwich Mt. Rushmore with the Chik-fil-A sandwich, Wendy's spicy chicken, and the Portillo's chicken sandwich.

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