Found myself on University ave in Berkeley yesterday, hungry and across the street from Chaat Cafe. Curiosity and the recent thread about how lousy Breads of India is piqued my interest, so I went in for a bite. Got the Aloo Tikki and a side of dal, total five bucks. Turned out I didn't need the dal, since the aloo tikki came with a ladleful of incredibly delicious chickpeas. So I could have had a small late lunch for $3.00.
The tikki were divine, little spicy curry mashed-potato fritters. The aforementioned chickpeas were gently spiced and topped with some finely chopped raw onion and cilantro.
The dal was OK, seemed like leftover legumes-soup to me, but good all the same.
Delicious and cheap. I'll be back. It's on University at McGee or so.
yeah, i work across from there and yesterday i went to try it and i loved it! i had the chicken wrap with a side of spicy potato salad and everything was delicious, filling, and cheap (plus if you are a student you get a discount). the chicken was well spiced and tender and the naan it was wrapped in was warm and tasted fresh. the spicy potato salad was perfect. curious as to how the cucumber salad is...
Thanks for the report, fatz. It seems that this place doesn't get mentioned much, maybe because the other near-by places get more attention. The only other report was another 2001 report.
Hope you will clue us in about other restaurants you like near where you work. That area gets under-reported. Great to get recent 'insiders' opinions.
Seems like you are new to the board, so welcome. Unlike other forums, it's ok to add a new topic. Some places encourage adding to old topics some don't. Either way is fine, just wanted to pass along there's no rule about that here.
Looking forward to more of your posts.
The cucumber salad was good. If I was making a special trip, I'd go to Vik's instead.
I don't think the food at Chaat Cafe is as good as Udupi Palace's, but there's not a whole lot of overlap in the menus.
re: Robert Lauriston
I was going to say that maybe that's why I haven't seen any recent posts, but with the one fairly recent post on the General Board (which would not be Chains) Jim said it wasn't really necessary to post there since it was so Bay specific at this point ... maybe like putting Balut Eggspress under Chains ... still giggling about that.
Well, there IS a 2005 post
One poster wrote in that ...
" ... they all have the same menu but that there is a different head chef at each one who puts his/her signature on each dish w/ addition of regional specialties. Who knows what's really true and what's marketing, but seems like they're not touting a rigid formula like other chains."
If I liked Indian food more, I'd give the different shops a try, but might give the University Avenue place a try ... sometime.
For some reason I never connected the dumpy looking Berkely location with the more modern 3rd street cafe. There's even one in Crocker Galeria now.
Allegedly the best Chaat Cafe in the system is in Fremont, the one by the BART station which is older of the two branches in that town.
Here's my post on the newer one.
According to the website, the Crocker Galleria location in SF won't open until October 2006.