This is an overdue report owed to Ms. rworange on my favorite chaat place. Ironically, she had pointed it out to me earlier in a discussion of Perry Farms in Fremont -
But fixated on South Indian food at the time, I didn't check it out until a few months later. Unfortunately, my time in Fremont was up before I'd had a chance to cover the whole menu. Everything I've tried has been top notch, and the ladies who run the two locations of Chat Patta Corner have been unbelievably sweet to me. The food is made to order and has an uncommon freshness.
The pani puri, made one at a time and to your spec, is like no other I've had in the Bay Area. The delicate puri shells are housemade, so thin that you can see through them, yet manage to retain the pani-water with an unseen fragile strength. And, they're absolutely fresh and don't have the too-long-on-the-shelf stale taste and texture of the prefabbed ones used elsewhere.
Ordering them is a trip in itself, described well here in Amanda Berne's article in the Chron -
My first experience with the pani puri (6/$3.50) was at the location within Dana Bazar (sic) where you stand to eat them because there's no where to sit. The stacks of rice bags and other dry food goods have warning signs to not even think about plopping down on them. For the first taste, the lady behind the counter started at medium spicy, medium sweet. From there I tried various combinations and ended up at hot spicy and more sweet, finding that the extremes of both gave a bigger thrill in my mouth yet balanced each other well.
At the location in Ardenwood, you order and pick up at the counter, then choose your seat. For the photo below, I asked for the last three together. When you've had your puri allotment, then you can ask for another ladleful of the pani to sip as a cooling yet spicy hot chaser. The spicing and prices are the same as Dana Bazar, and soon I shifted my business here for the longer hours and more comfortable surroundings.
Chat Patta Corner
34751 Ardenwood Blvd
Fremont, CA 94555
Chatpatta Corner (located within Dana Bazar
5113 Mowry Ave
Fremont, CA 94538