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Berkeley - Talavera Café & Bakery – work in progress & canneles

rworange | Dec 31, 200512:48 AM

It turns out that the cook wasn’t meeting the expectations of the owners at Talavera Café, so they closed down a few days and regrouped. The family is now doing the cooking and still in the process of refining some items based on feedback.

I noticed the chips were different and one of the salsas that came with them changed.

Gone are the pastel tamales. Bobbie’s daughter makes them now using fresh masa and they are fresh made and removed from a large pot on the stove. They have tentatively moved up to fourth place in my tamale crawl. Tentatively because as the subject says, the restaurant is a work in progress.

I will say that unlike T-Rex refining their food at the customer’s expense, Talavera has been generous in its free samples. The tamale was gratis because it was Bobbi’s opinion that if I tried one, I’d buy more in the future. She’s right. These were moist and fresh, so I’ll probably try one of the other varieties.

I also scored four free canneles, Bobbi’s first practice batch while she fine tunes the baking and oven. There’s still a little tweaking that needs to be done, but even now I prefer these to the canneles at Bay Bread. After all the raves on the board about the Bay Bread canneles, I bought one and thought “That’s nice enough. Next”. I never felt the need to buy another. While the exterior of the Bay Bread cannele is nice, the interior is a little dry for my tastes.

However Talavera’s version using Mexican vanilla, is a lovely thing. The inside is so much more custardy and delicious. The only thing than needs to happen is to have the exterior crisp up a bit, but even then, that delicious caramel exterior … two of the four didn’t make it home.

Hope hounds in the area will report back on their Talavera experiences.

My current tamale list:

RINCON LATINO - chicken verde - Richomond
TACUBAYA – Tamal de Veduras - Berkeley
CAFÉ EURO – Chicken – Richmond
TALAVARA CAFE – mole negro - Berkeley
CASA LATINO - Chicken Verde - Berkeley
TACUBAYA – Pork Tamal - Berkeley
TRES HERMANAS – Pork - Richmond
RINCON LATION - Elote - Richomond
EL TAZAMEL – Chicken - Richmond
VALLEY PRODUCE – chicken - Pinole
MI TIERRA FOODS – chicken - Berkeley
FONDA – chicken - Albany
PUP HUT – chicken - Richmond
ANGELO's DELI - chicken - Richmond
HACIENDA – beef – Richmond

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