Tacubaya extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

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BERKELEY Restaurants

Tacubaya 1788 Fourth St.  In this vibrant spot featuring a high tin ceiling and bright walls in shades of red, pink, and mango, diners step up to the counter to order Mexican-style fast food.  Among the delicious options:  a sope de chorizo y papas (a fat masa cake topped with spicy Mexican sausage and potatoes); a vegetarian tamal de verduras (a vegetarian tamale topped with tangy tomatillo sauce); a shredded pork tamale topped with a complex mole; a chile relleno stuffed with cheese; chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with chili, scrambled eggs, and cheese); a hearty sopa de tortilla; elote (grilled corn on the cob).  Conclude with a trio of churros (long, thin Mexican doughnuts).  Everything is made in house, including handmade corn tortillas, and Niman Ranch meats are used in beef and pork dishes.

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers