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May 10, 2006 01:12 AM

Delicious Thai at the Berkeley Farmers' Market

  • m

This was the best $20 dinner for two I've had in a long time.

Some of you probably remember the Vanni stand that used to come to the Farmers' Market but has been on hiatus. The nice couple who ran it branched off and started their own booth: Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine.

The stars on the menu are the chicken satay ($2/piece when you order an entree) and the vegetable spring rolls ($6 for two large ones). The satay is tender and juicy, with a beautiful char and delicious peanut sauce. The springs rolls are bursting with sprouts, carrots, and jicama and are very refreshing. The steamed red snapper ($5 a la carte) is also excellent.

The menu is similar to the old Vanni booth but more flexible: you can order everything a la carte, which is great because the sides are so-so. They've also added chicken and vegetable egg rolls to the menu but they were sold out today. You know it's a good sign when the chef says they keep trying to make enough but sell out every week.

They use organic produce from the Farmers' Market, organic tofu and rice and Fulton Valley chicken. All the prices are very reasonable considering the quality and portion size. No wonder they had a constant line the entire time we were there.

Finished the meal with half price end of market risotto pastries (incredible!) from Frog Hollow and a basket of perfectly ripe Swanson strawberries.

Delicious, balanced, satisfying, organic and well priced. I'll be back next week.

Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine is at the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers' Market every Tuesday from 2-7 on Derby between MLK and Milvia. They may also sell at other markets, any sightings?

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  1. We must have been on that long line together. sometime after the
    egg rolls sold out. We each got the $6 chicken curry, which made for
    a $12 dinner for two. A very mild yellow curry, tons of chicken on
    yellow rice. This was what I used to get from Vanni's and if my friend
    hadn't pointed out the new name on the sign I don't think I would
    have noticed the change. Which is a good thing.

    I continue to be curious about the vegan mexican stand next door.
    Something is keeping me away. Any experiences?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jef

      I am a carnivore, but I *love* the vegan taquitos from Flaco's! They come with a spicy avocado sauce and the combination is heavenly. They really do them well.

      I was leary at first too, but I would highly recommend you try them.

    2. c

      When I last spoke with Andy and Cindy about a month ago, they had no other regular gigs. However, I did suggest to them the summer street fair circuit and they are trying to get into the Alameda Point Antique and Collectibles Market. If you happen to know Allan Michaan or attend the Grand Lake Theater, give them a plug.

      I don't like Thai food, but I love street food and I always looked forward to A & C's red snapper steamed in banana leaves with asparagus or green beans at the Saturday Berkeley market. Regrettably I can't usually get to the Tuesday market.

      For dessert, I love the fruit crisp at Frog Hollow. The fruit varies, but it makes no difference to me. The crisp's the thing! Lots of it, nutty, crunchy.

      1. Andy and Cindy are also at Oakland's Grand Lake Farmers Market every Saturday just across the street from the Grand Lake Theatre. The Chicken Satay is my favorite, but the grated carrot salad that accompanies it is a close second.

        1. They are at Temescal on Sundays. The fish in banana leaf is incredible. Can't recall the price but I remember it was a great value

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmarek

            I agree. The fish is what caught my eye the first time I went there and its what keeps me going back. I think its ~$8.00, and it comes with rice and the carrot salad. Really delicious, especially when I ask them for a side of their wonderful peanut sauce!