There's more to the Executive Inn than meets the eye
The Executive Inn Oakland is a sleeper in every sense of the word.
Located on busy Embarcadero off I-880, just a few miles from downtown Oakland, the independently owned Inn looks like a basic motor lodge from the outside. But check in, and the surprises just keep on coming.
Ignore the blah parking lot views, and focus on the waterfront side of the property. There’s a swimming pool and hot tub, many rooms offer views of the waterfront and marina and a walking path along the shore is perfect for early morning exercise.
Free hotel shuttles take guests anywhere within three miles, including a nearby Bart station, Jack London Square for the ferry to San Francisco and waterfront dining, and dinner at downtown hotspots like Pican and Mua (so have another glass of wine – you’re not driving!). Internet access is free, as is the airport shuttle and parking. There’s a hot breakfast, fruit and coffee in the lobby and access to a complimentary business center.
The rooms are spacious, with one wing newly renovated, and the original rooms off the lobby just as comfy at bargain rates. Super clean, lots of extras (granite countertops in the bathroom, fridge, flat screens!), friendly staff – this place is a winner.
Bottom line? Corporate rates start at around $75 a night, with most rooms in the $100-$149 range. Now that’s a great value.
VIew from a waterfront Executive Inn room
In a town full of taqueiras, Tacos Sinaloa rides alone.
The East Oakland taco truck, usually parked at 2138 International, literally on the other side of the tracks from downtown, delivers downhome Mexican street food right across the street from Van’s Tire & Auto Service.
Ok, so it’s not in a fancy ‘hood. But taste one of owner Lupe Bueno’s veggie tacos, piled high with beans, pickled jalapenos, radishes, lime, cilantro and hot sauce, and you’ll be back for more. Priced at a bargain $1.75, tacos also come in asada (beef) and pollo (chicken), marinated tongue (lengua), crispy tripe (tripas) and cow’s cheek (cabeza). Definitely worth a stop.
Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland
Showing off some gorgeous hams and salamis at Parma
At Parma Sausage in Pittsburgh’s wonderfully gritty Strip District, local pigs have been ground into amazing Italian sausage since Alessio Spinabelli gave up shoemaking for sausage making in his Corsican village.
In 1954, his sons, Luigi and Lodovico Spinabelli came to Pittsburgh and followed in their father’s footsteps. The result is some of the best sausage you’ve ever tasted, from spicy Sicilian to flavorful dry cured salami and a Coppa Secca, made from aged pork shoulder butt, that is absolutely to die for. Parma is just one example of the kind of authentic foodie experience that the Strip District is famous for.
Visit Pittsburgh soon, and bring a cooler.