I finally made it to the famous Vik's Chaat Corner in Berkeley. You can smell the welcoming aroma 1/2 block away! Since I arrived towards the end of lunch, around 1:15pm on a weekday, there was no line! I ordered a mango lassi and 2 huge samosas cholles with spicy garbanzo topping at the counter. I waited about 5 minutes several yards away, watching them roll chappatis, fry football size pooris, and arrange yogurt and crunchy snacks on the puris. A second person calls out your name on a microphone when your order is ready. This is as fresh as can be. The mango lassi was smooth, though a tad sweeter than I prefer. The potato and pea samosas seemed somewhat bland, but had to be because the garbanzo topping was spicy.
Vik's has a limited number of tables and a counter with bar stools. If you want a table, best to claim one before you place your order. Many people get take out or eat outside too. The process was orderly and the ambiance functional, pleasant, and tidy.
Vik's also has a wide assortment of desserts, including rasmalai and rasgulla (never seen rasgulla served in the bay area before). On the menu, they divide the desserts into 1. milk based (liquid type) 2. milk based (solid type) 3. flour based. You buy #2 and #3 by the pound.
Next door is Vik's grocery, if after your meal you are inspired to further delve into Indian chow.
Logistically, Vik's website indicates that you should turn right on 6th street from University Avenue. Next time, I'll get off at either 4th or 5th streets. I believe this is better because Vik's is between 4th and 5th Street and University Avenue often gets clogged.
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