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10:00 a.m. Friday: Best Meat Counter 

Joe Scalise Jr. & Sons

If you agree that parts of Alameda look like the Leave It to Beaver set, then Scalise's is where Mrs. Cleaver would have gotten her meat cleaved. Occupying one end of the midcentury modern Encinal Market, the family-run meat counter has been an Alameda institution since 1935. The fifty-foot-long case is packed with USDA choice cuts of beef, lamb, natural chicken, seafood, and deli products, plus harder-to-find items such as quail, rabbit, and duckling. The "Papa Scalise" brand sausage and pasta sauce are made on the premises using family recipes from the homeland of Calabria, Italy. Other popular delicacies are the marinated tri-tips, stuffed chicken, and steak cordon bleu. Weekday mornings are the best time to shop. These are men who know their meat, and over-the-counter advice flows freely. Scalise's also offers catering -- keeping many demanding customers coming back for seconds, including most of the East Bay's Italian-American organizations. Other notable carnivores, the Oakland Raiders, are well represented with signed autographs on the wall. Says Joe Scalise: "They are hearty eaters, and they like good food."

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