Look, we'd all like to browse the tomato aisle at Berkeley Bowl every week. But burning oil and time to get there isn't always feasible. Which is why we're eternally grateful for Dan's Fresh Produce, an Alameda institution that has rock-bottom prices but beautiful, widely varied fruits and vegetables, most of them so local they've barely spent any time on a truck. Dan's covers all the bases, from the old standards — the season's first and best bing cherries, fava beans fresh from fields in Eastern Contra Costa County — to the more obscure, like that odd variety of dried pepper you just have to have for that one particular Mexican chicken dish. The allure continues with Dan himself, a strapping man with an old-style handlebar moustache right out of a children's story. He's quick with a smile, recommendations, and displays of generosity: If his herbs don't pass muster at the end of a long day, he's likely to toss them in your bag for free.