Jack's Bistro~: 1 Broadway at Jack London Square in Oakland
Cost: $11.25 (bacon cheeseburger, fries included)
~ Honorable Mention
Image Source: blogger's own
Jack's Bistro is at the heart of Jack London Square. There's a great outdoor patio that's usually packed for brunch on the weekends. There's also a great bar indoors with many beers on tap. It's part of the Waterfront Plaza Hotel, with a nice view of Oakland Inner Harbor and Alameda. Hey, I didn't say it was a spectacular view, but it's nice though.
I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with gruyere, "medium-rare", and a side of fries. The last time I ate at Jack's it was really an outstanding experience, the burger was just dripping with burger juices, and the 1/2 lb. ground chuck was bursting with flavor. Today, my burger was served well-done, and some of my fries were on the cold side.
However, I do want to note that Jack's Bistro has a bakery component that makes some pretty outstanding bread. There's even bread shaped like starfish as decoration at the bar! There's also pastries and bakery stuff for sale. Anyway, the bread is pretty spectacular at Jack's Bistro, and it holds its own in comparison to other burgers.
Verdict: If you're in the area, I would recommend Jack's Bistro for the outdoor patio ambiance and the unique bread. The ingredients are also high quality, the bacon is abundant and crunchy, and there's even a very special sauce which I cannot quite discern. Who knows, you might luck out and get a pretty outstanding burger, but they ought to improve their quality control because burger grilling selection is not very consistent.
Okay, so the view might not even be that nice. The view's "okay"...