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Vic's Chaat--land of dough and potatoes?

dixieday | Jan 28, 200212:44 PM

Finally made it to Vic's Chaat in Berkeley, on the way to a matinee play at the Julia Morgan Center. For those who don't know, Vic's is a big warehouse-sized space next to an Indian grocery, serving "chaat"--small plates of Indian snacks--for $3-$4 a plate. Their walls are covered with kudos from the local press, and the crowd is very mixed, everything from local Cal students to Indian families (and often combinations of the two). Still, I was underwhelmed by the offerings, because almost all of the 20 or so offerings are made of some combination of dough and potatoes. What we tried: heavy-shelled fried Samosas stuffed with potatoes (in an awesome spicy sauce full of chick-peas), flatbread stuffed with the same potatoes (smushed flat this time) served with raita; another heavy, doughy flatbread stuffed with a yellow, curd-like mixture with bits of minced vegetables in there somewhere, served with a mint dipping sauce. Lots of people were getting the impressive foot-long dosa (rice crepe), but as it was also stuffed with potatoes, it seemed redundant. I really did scan the menu to try to get some variety, but it seems like Vic's is going the cheap and easy route, and just using teh cheapest ingredients around. Is this a recent development, or has this always been Vic's House of Potato Chaat?

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