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“Tasty But.......”
Review of Picante

Picante
Ranked #26 of 800 Restaurants in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 6 - USD 16
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating
Description: Now you can go on a culinary tour of the seven regions of Mexico one delicious bite at a time. Picante is an expression of our love for Mexico. A celebration of real Mexican cuisine—not those imposters poured out of cans. Love is why we grind organic corn daily for our tortillas, import Mexican herbs, spices and chiles, and have local artisans craft cheeses that replicate fresh Mexican queso. Love also explains everything from the naturally raised meats we grill to the Mexican folk art we sleuth out for our walls. Now, the traditional food coming out of Picante may not be from some grandmother’s kitchen in Mexico; but judging from the reactions we get, it’s pretty close. Whether you are dining solo, with your family, or a large group, come to Picante and explore the seven regions of Mexico one delicious bite at a time.
Reviewed 3 November 2018 via mobile

Nice vegerarian options at this pleasant restaurant. What I found odd was the pricing. A very large black bean burrito was $5.95 with chips but a glass of iced tea was $4.40! A not particularly large guacamole appetizer with chips was $9.00. Hmmm—I guess reasonable pricing did not extend beyond entrees.
It was good food but $52 for three people for lunch was sticker shock particularly since it is a walk up ordering place without wait service.

Date of visit: November 2018
Thank offtheclock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James M, Owner at Picante, responded to this reviewResponded 27 November 2018

Hi, Offtheclock,

Thanks for checking out Picante and then taking the time to leave such a specific review on Trip Advisor. It sounds like the food hit the spot on your visit, so thanks for the 4 stars. We like taking care of our vegetarian and vegan guests with more than token options.

I appreciate you pointing out your curiosity about our pricing. I do try and keep the simple rice and bean burrito affordable, but in no way are the other items carrying that cost. I have a specific formula I use for all menu items and in the last 3-5 years our food costs have skyrocketed (I won't compromise the quality or portions); labor costs have jumped 150% (living wage is something I support and hope you do, too) and so it's been a tightrope act to maintain my commitment to quality, keep my restaurant adequately staffed and not price people out. It sounds like we are dancing that fine line with you.

The fast casual style of service is a way I can use high-end restaurant ingredients like my non-gmo corn masa, along with slow-food cooking techniques, like our handmade tortillas, without having the accompanying prices of a sit down restaurant. My staff is always happy to bring endless ice tea refills to you, once you are seated, along with anything else you want. On evenings and weekends you can enjoy a full-service experience by sitting at the bar. The bartender will take your drink and beverage order and it will be brought to you right there.

As with all reviews, yours was discussed at our weekly manager meeting and gave us a lot of food for thought. Both positive and negative feedback has helped me stay in business for 24 years.

Gratefully,

Jim Maser

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6 - 10 of 160 reviews

Reviewed 19 September 2018

I was looking for a lunch to go and discovered Picante. They have a terrific set up/line for ordering and I was in and out in 10 minutes. Tacos were DELISH. Easy parking too. Highly recommend!

Date of visit: August 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank misopiso88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James M, Owner at Picante, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2018

Hi, MisoPiso88,

So glad you discovered us and that your first experience was a winner. It's reviews like your I enjoy sharing with my staff at our weekly meetings, especially the kitchen. National Taco Day is October 4th, and we'll surely run some sort of special that day which we'll announce on social media.

If we ever do fall short on a visit, please reach out to one of my friendly managers who will do what it takes to keep our high rating with you.

Gratefully,

Jim Maser, owner

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Reviewed 17 August 2018 via mobile

Food is not up to par. Probably the worst Mexican food I’ve had in the state of California. Food has absolutely no taste. Will not return.

Date of visit: August 2018
Thank N1204BKandresa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James M, Owner at Picante, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2018

Hi, Andres,

Thanks for coming to Picante during your trip and sharing feedback with me on Trip Advisor. I can't tell from your review what you ordered but am disappointed to hear we missed the target with you. I only regret we didn't know while you were in the restaurant as we'd have replaced your meal or refunded your money, even if you ate every bite. That's how we roll.

Best to you on your future travels and food adventures.

Jim Maser, owner

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Reviewed 16 August 2018

This is a friendly, large and walk-in restaurant (no reservation necessary). There is outside seating and large booths. The service is always good, the food is great. A neighborhood gem.

Date of visit: July 2018
Thank Vishishtaom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James M, Owner at Picante, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2018

Vishishtaom,

Thanks for being a regular at Picante and then taking the time to leave such a stellar review on Trip Advisor. I enjoyed sharing your review with my staff at our weekly meeting.You do know that if we ever do fall short on a visit, just let a manager know so we can keep our stellar rating with you.

Gratefully,

Jim Maser, owner

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Reviewed 12 July 2018

On a recent trip to Berkeley I had a hankering for Mexican food and my friend suggested Picante... and she said they have house-made tortillas. Sold! I ordered my favorite dish, Chile Relleno, as well as guacamole and chips. Everything was delicious!!! Would go there again. Generous helpings, so go hungry.

Date of visit: July 2018
Thank susiparisienne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James M, Owner at Picante, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2018

Dear Susi,

Thank your friend for the recommendation to Picante and I am so glad to hear we delivered on your visit. I just got back from a long culinary tour in Mexico and was delighted to be greeted with a review that will be fun to share with my staff. Please know that if we ever miss the mark on a visit, we'd love to hear about it while you are in the restaurant so we can bend over backwards to keep our 4-star rating with you.

Gratefully,

Jim Maser, owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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