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Excellent pozole at La Palmita (Berkeley)

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This little family-run tacqueria on San Pablo has been a favorite for a long time, with excellent chile verde and pollo verde burritos and tacos, home made chips and salsa and aguas frescas. Yesterday they were cooking up a big pot of pozole and gave me a taste, and I stopped back for a full bowl today.

It's an excellent rendition, stew-thick with corn kernels and sliced pork, assertively spiced with New Mexico chilis, subtly seasoned with garlic, oregano and a hint of lime, and served with a handful of shredded cabbage on top and a wedge of lime on the side. A "small" bowl ($4.95) was plenty for lunch; the mammoth "large" ($6.95) might even be too much for dinner. They have it today and for the next few days as a special, so it's not clear when it will be available in the future--unless of course lots of Chowhounds visit and they put it on the main menu, hint-hint.

Nice, sunny patio area in back, easy metered parking and more difficult free parking on side streets. It's hard to understand why people line up at Chipotle across the street, instead of here.

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La Palmita Cafe
1335 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

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  1. I don't get the line at Chipotle when you can get food like my mom would have made had she been a Mexican mom, right across the street. I also generally note that their portion size is usually decent (the size we should be eating) but not overly large - maybe that is why people line up across the street.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lmnopm

      I think you're right about the portions. People have come to expect a burrito as big as their head. But here they're just the right size, and a regular is only $3.95.

    2. Yes it's good grub, and since I live nearby I get there whenever I want. But often enough, what I want is tacos, and Chipotle does an adequate job on those.

      That said, ernie's description of the posole is alluring, bet I get by there tomorrow.

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      Chipotle
      34893 Newark Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

      1. i've been here a couple of times and i've been pleased every time. However, their hours are a little funky. ive come by during times when i thought they were open only to find out that they're closed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: majordanby

          OK, I did get by on Saturday, and let's just say I had posole 3 times, the weekend. It's the red version, spicy but not thermal, and came with a plate of chopped cabbage, chopped onion, lime quarters, & oregano. O mama.
          They have also added tacos to the menu since my last visit, and I had one with carnitas, just to see. Very tasty, and 2 could make a lunch.
          The guy taking orders said they will be offering various caldos as often as possible.
          Thanks again, ernie.

        2. Pozole's back today, probably for the rest of the week.