1328 6th Street, Berkeley CA 94710
Monday - Friday 11am - 10pm
Saturday & Sunday + Holiday 10am - 10pm
HOLY SMOKES I’ve been out of commission for several days from goddamn TMJ pain. A few days last week I spent most of the day in bed sleeping. At one point Lucy jumped on the bed and began to whine. I think she was worried about me. Aw! And now the jaw pain appears to be complicated from a pinched nerve in my neck. FUN. Okay, enough about this bullshit, lets get on with the FOOD part of this entry.
First off, let me say that I love Picante. Okay, now with that out of the way, some basics: Picante is a Mexican restaurant in Berkeley, and though it is not a vegan restaurant, it has an entirely separate vegetarian menu with everything marked either vegetarian, vegan, or can be made vegan.
Check out their menus. Their corn tortillas are all homemade (you can even watch them being made), as are their thick and crispy chips. Their margaritas are made with good quality tequila (Arrette, Don Julio, El Tesoro and Herradura) and two of their three beans are vegetarian (order black or pinto, but skip the refried beans)
You can order online for pick-up, and you can also order large party platers for an event or just a family picnic or party. Otherwise, you walk in, grab a menu (green for veggie and yellow for omni), get in line and place your order. Instead of a number, you’ll get a beeper. Find a seat in the very large back dinning room, the front room, or one of the two outdoor patios, and wait for your food to arrive. When it’s warm, Cody and I will bring either Shoop or Lucy, sit outside and enjoy the weather (and feed chips to the dog). If it’s cold and/or wet like it was today, we will find a seat inside, usually a booth. And that large dining room in the back that I just mentioned is large enough to seat you and all twelve members of your extended family, plus seat many more couples and families. It’s seriously large and quite festive.
When my beloved sister is in town, we will often meet at Picante. My sister is much older than myself, but we both grew up in Palm Springs and Mexican food runs in our blood. My mother’s first husband—and my sister’s father—was Mexican. And oddly enough, my first husband was also Mexican….. Then my mother got a divorce and married a white dude. And so did I. WEIRD. Oh but I digress…..
Me & My Big Sissy
(We really are related—I swear!❤️)
Um, where was I…. the large dining room, feeding chips to the dog….Oh yes—the food! THE FOOD! It’s really delicious and very consistent. Obviously both Cody and I order off the green menu. Cody is vegetarian, and will usually get either a burrito, sandwich or a chile relleno. I’ll usually order a burrito; either beans and rice or the Rajas Con Papas burrito—which is delicious but can also be a bit spicy. Their tostadas are pretty damn good, too. Plus, there are even a couple of things on the brunch menu (the pink one) that can be made vegan.
So next time you are in the West Berkeley area, roll by Picante, grab a burrito, a vegan tamale, or just some guac, chips and a margarita. Bring your whole family; or just your dog. There is plenty of parking—they have not just one, but two (TWO!) parking lots a couple of doors south.