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Jack London Food Hall featured eatery: Winner, winner – keto chicken cutlet dinner from Belcampo!

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Oakland Observer
Oakland Observer
Belcampo's BBQ Old Fashioned garnished with beef jerky(Refugio Garcia/News Break)

By Refugio Garcia

(OAKLAND, Calif.) Let’s cut to the chase, we’ve all spent the last year clumsily chopping and scraping away with plastic cutlery at our meals confined and delivered in cardboard togo boxes but pandemic-era restrictions have been dropped recently, allowing Oaklanders to get out and enjoy a relaxing dining experience.

But before you head out for a night on the Town, there’s a few things to consider when deciding on the best spot to settle on and strap on the old feedbag. And let us not forget, other businesses, such as gyms, have also been closed for the majority of the pandemic giving many who have been cooped up the inclination to go out while doing their best to be health conscious.

This is where Belcampo’s got you covered.

Belcampo Restaurant and Butcher Shop

If one thing’s clear about Belcampo, it’s their focus on high quality ingredients, for both food and drink, so much so that the restaurant purchased 27,000 acres of farmland in 2012 to ensure top quality from farm to table.

From salads to burgers, and to the more robust entrées, it’s hard to go wrong at Belcampo. The chicken sateé salad features chicken breast strips lightly marinated in a sauce reminiscent of curry, atop a bed of veggies with a peanut dressing.

One of the most succulent, yet health-forward dishes prepared at Belcampo is the keto chicken cutlet served with a light celery salad that creates a refreshing and light juxtaposition with the large culet, tenderized and parmesan-crusted.

The Belcampo burger is heavily drenched in humility considering the quality and flavor when compared to those offered at other restaurants. This is probably the best item on the Belcampo menu. Calling beef “organic” or “grass-fed” sounds great, but biting into a juicy Belcampo burger gives one a true appreciation of how these efforts truly make a difference. The burger is served with a house dressing, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions on a brioche bun.

And what better to go with your burger than a greasy pile of fries? While Belcampo is very concerned with maintaining a high bar for the quality of their products, they never pull their punches where it counts. The basic DNA of french fries is fairly consistent, making most cardiologists cringe, submerge potatoes in grease, cover with salt and mua! But it gets better. Belcampo gives diners the option of all-natural fries cooked in safflower oil or cooked in a house blend of beef tallow and bacon fat. So call it a “cheat day.”

But you can always substitute fries for a side salad and even swap out that fresh brioche bun for a lettuce wrap – no judgement.

And you’ll probably need something to help wash all that down. The mixologists and bartenders at Belcampo have stirred up a cocktail menu that could summon the ghost of Jack London for last call.

You can’t go wrong with the “Up Spritz Creek”, made with Wheatley Vodka, Strawberry infused St. Germain, honey, Lemon, Sparkling Wine, a perfect cocktail on a hot day.

If whiskey’s your poison, the "BBQ Old Fashioned" might sound suspect at first and it’s probably the most repeated menu item said aloud by the uninitiated as they peruse the menu, but it’s by far one of the best cocktails on the menu.

Belcampo’s take on this ancient cocktail features Mitcher’s bourbon, smoked bbq bitters and beef jerky. Yes, beef jerky. The smoky sweetness of the bbq bitters creates a sweet and almost umami highlight to the dusky classic.

The beer and wine offered at Belcampo rotates with the exception of a few staples such as the Almanac True Kolsch, an excellent take on the light, full-bodied beer originally found in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state, locally brewed in Alameda.

And sadly, one of the best pinot noirs I’ve tasted will go unnamed due to its difficult-to-pronounce moniker, “Domaine De la Monette Terroir de Mellecy,” produced in Burgundy, France.

Belcampo is also kid and pet-friendly, offering specialty menus for both.

Check here for a full list of Belcampo restaurants and butcher shops.

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