Picante brief report
Went for lunch as it was convenient and time was short.
guacamole: excellent flavor but small portion, and what's up with serving it on shredded lettuce? tasty warm corn chips (strips, not triangles) but a lot of pieces were too narrow to dip
green (tomatillo-cilantro) salsa: much improved, really delicious, spicier than it used to be
red salsa: vinegary, vaguely a mild Tabasco, not very good
habanero salsa: sweet, weird
fish tacos: downhill, the nice red cabbage salad has been replace by sweet mango salsa, making the tacos way too sweet, would not order again
tamales norteños (pork): new dish? very dry masa, dried-out chewy pork, no sign of the promised "rich, dark anchos chile sauce," would not order again
refried beans: much improved, really delicious
rice: very good, better than I remembered
One of my favorate things at Picante is the refried beans - I assume there must be a good helping of lard. Very few other dishes consistently impress - sometimes the Manchamanteles, sometimes the carnitas. I feel bad saying it, but they seem to be drifting toward chain mexican quality. Would be very sad for Berkeley.
Eating here a lot lately. I'm settling on the Sopa Azteca as my favorite. The
burrito's ok but coming in at about seven bucks, it's a bit nuts. I completely agree
with the salsa assessment: the habanero is not what it used to be (in a bad way)
and neither is the green (but in a good way).