clay st, oakland
Top: Marco “Co” Pollard shows off a fully loaded pastrami link.
Next: The griddle that made Pollard famous in his East Oakland neighborhood.
Middle: Ramone Curtis sells some strawberry lemonade.
Bottom: Behold, the pastrami link. Photos by Bert Johnson.
East Oakland’s Grilled Link Kings
On a bright Saturday afternoon in August, the line was five deep at East Oakland’s most famous grilled links and hot dog stand, and an older African American woman was telling the proprietors that she thanks Jesus for them, and for all of their success. “Just look at this line!” she said. “I’m praying for you.”
I’d come to the corner of 69th Avenue and International Boulevard to check out a food cart I’d heard about through vague rumors and scattered Yelp reviews. In this stretch of East Oakland, however, it seemed like everybody knew about it. Everyone waiting in line seemed to be a regular, anyway.