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Talavera Taqueria (New), Berkeley

I doubt they had been open an hour when I arrived. The place looked cleaner and more appealing. There are lunch menus out, which have a nice selection of traditional-looking dishes (no paper to-go menus yet, so I'm unable to give much detail). The menus are more like for a sit-down order at the table restaurant, but it is stand up/pay, sit down with a number service.

I had a carnitas plate lunch. The carnitas were very good - a tad too salty for my taste, but probably just perfect for most people. These were served with beans (standard, nothing special - I had whole beans), tortillas (choice of flour or corn - I had corn - standard, nothing special), and salad/pickled vegetables. Hot fried chips are offered when you pay. The salsa bar only had one very mild but tasty salsa out - I asked if there was anything hotter, and I received a nice spicy green salsa. They were still setting up a lot of things, and there was room for several salsas/condiments on the salsa bar.

The staff was nice - a little nervous, but nice. I don't know if it is cash only or not. I noticed the register said "Montero's Cafe" on the screen, so I wonder if it owned by the same folks, or just a "borrowed or used" register.

I'll go back again, as I am in that block every day, and they had tamales and mole on the menu.

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  1. It is now owned by the same guy that owns Montrero's. I would anticipate the food will be really similar as I have found little variation in each of his ventures.

    1. did you happen to take note of the hours of operation?

        1. re: chemchef

          on solano, cross street peralta (i think).

        2. The pork pilbil at old-owner Talavera was very, very good. It's a shame all my previous experiences there were poisoned by the presence of the nasty female owner. I'm hoping that this new incarnation will rise above the level of "local burrito and tamale joint" and give some fresh and tasty offerings different from Montero's. After all, that's only a short distance away and has better seating.

          1. I ate there too last night. They say you should never eat in a place the first night. It was confirmed. Because of your complaint that there was only one salsa the industrial blender was running, making salsa nearly the entire time we ate. The layout of the place with a grill in front and oven in back means you are surrounded with industrial exhaust hood fans. Even with only 5 diners it was too noisy to hear. Everything was way too salty, and I like things too salty. The portion of guacamole and chips we ordered had to be 3 or 4 avocados worth, but too salty. The staff was very nice. I hope they can get it together and I will try it again in a month or two.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Curmudgeon

              Well, at least there was salsa for everyone! I'm the wrong one to ask about "too salty" but maybe someone should say something. The layout is bad for ordering at the register and then sitting down the way things are set up. I laughed when I read your post because I've never been blamed for causing a near-kitchen-shutdown to make sure that there was enough salsa to satiate all of Solano Ave.