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Restaurants & Bars

Fruitvale notes

Ruth Lafler | Apr 8, 2004 05:00 PM

The construction in and around the Fruitvale BART station is wrapping up; the new garage is open, and all the fencing is down, so you can walk directly from the station through the new Fruitvale Village and up the new pedestrian corridor to International.

Where the pedestrian corridor joins the sidewalk at the middle of the 3400 block of International there was a woman with a cart offering grilled hot dogs wrapped in bacon, with a selection of condiment, including the mayo traditional for this particular treat. Didn't try them, but they looked good.

Instead, I headed across the street to Taqueria Cinco de Mayo to try their pupusas. Sorry the report the pupusas were not great. Although I liked the fact the masa was quite thin and not doughy, the chiccarones con queso filling had very little flavor. Because they were thin enough to fold I put hot sauce and curtido on them and ate them like a gordita. I have yet to find good pupusas in Fruitvale -- the ones at the only Salvadoran restaurant I know of in the area I liked even less. The nuez raspado went a long way toward salvaging this meal.

I walked back toward BART on Fruitvale, wanting to check out what was happening at El Ojo de Agua. Apparently either I misunderstood or they changed their plans: they are not going to open a taqueria in the building on that site. Instead, they have apparently just leased the site and decorated the building as a new home for their taco truck (it even says "taco truck" on the building). This was necessitated by the fact that the add-on buildings of their old home at the International Market are slated to be a taqueria. Hours at this site are 8 am to 10 pm.

Finally, on the other side of Fruitvale (just up from E. 12th), new-to-me signage for the World Cup Coffee place caught my eye so I went in to investigate. Apparently the owner fixed up the place, which had always looked dreary and derelict to me, about a year ago. On first glance, it looks like a typical California coffee house (coffee drinks, pastries, soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, etc.), more Piedmont Ave. than Fruitvale. But then you notice the menu also includes fresh tamales (made by the owner herself), ceviche tostadas, and a few other housemade Mexican specialties (she was putting away some Mexican bread pudding that looked delicious). It has a patio in the back that looked very inviting. Definitely a place to check out if you're looking for a drink or a light meal on your way to or from the BART Station.

World Cup Coffee
1212 Fruitvale Ave. (a few doors up Fruitvale across from the BART station)
510-436-7455

I think she said the hours were 8-6.

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