Best of Alameda 2006 - Fall
Best Setting to Raise a Stein: Oktoberfest at Speisekammer
Can't make it to Munich? Well, the best celebration of the 1810 wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, also known as Oktoberfest, may take place in Alameda. Join beer fans from all over the bay as they take over Speisekammer and neighboring Lincoln Avenue for one of the most colorful of fall celebrations. The restaurant was opened in 2002 by Peter and Cindy Kahl, the people respectively behind San Francisco's Suppenküche and Café DuNord, and features traditional German food and beer and a large biergarten. "It's a German take on Alameda," says special event coordinator Kate Meade. To get the complete experience, visit the restaurant on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, when Spiesekammer celebrates Oktoberfest in style, complete with waitstaff in authentic dress, an oompah band and, of course, lots and lots of beer. 2424 Lincoln Ave., (510) 522-1300, www.speisekammer.com.
Best Excuse to Unleash your Inner Outlaw: Oakland Raiders
Every fall brings a new season. And every season, it's the same drill: The Raider Nation suits up in its finest outlaw attire and storms the Coliseum with swords, axes and any and all Medieval torture tools in tow to cheer and/or maim for their beloved team. And the on-field Raiders respond accordingly: Since Al Davis took over the organization in 1963, the Silver and Black have won three Super Bowls, four AFC Championships and 17 division titles, posting the best overall record in professional football. Though they've struggled in recent years, the Raiders-with Alameda-based headquarters on Harbor Bay Parkway, by the way-remain committed to excellence, looking to get back to greatness in 2006 with a new head coach and a revamped squad of Oakland outlaws. 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, (510) 864-5000, (800) RAIDERS, www.raiders.com.
Best Chance to Spread your Enthusiasm: Peanut Butter Jam
In honor of Skippy Peanut Butter's Alameda birthplace and original production center, upward of 20,000 people pack Webster Street each year for the Peanut Butter Jam, a celebration of Skippy's star-studded history-including one-time ads by Norman Rockwell and shilling from the likes of Derek Jeter and Bonnie Blair. Look for peanut butter-themed snacks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mini Skippy jars and a peanut butter recipe bake-off. Peanut butter aside, West End restaurants sell delicious cuisine in street-side booths. The jam aspect means music-swing, Caribbean, blues, zydeco, oldies, jazz and acoustic rock bands-on one stage, and there's a second stage where the nimble-footed teach dance moves smoother than Skippy's creamy spread. So head west to celebrate Alameda's claim to sandwich-spread fame. (510) 523-5955, westalamedabusiness.com.