Jeffrey Edalatpour

Hot Tamales: A holiday favorite at La Guerrera’s Kitchen and Picante

Reyna Maldonado’s mother Ofelia Barajas is making sweet tamales this year during the holiday season at La Guerrera’s Kitchen. “It’s really, really rare to find sweet tamales,” Maldonado says. For people who are used to spicy tamales, she likens their assortment of strawberry, pineapple and brown sugar ones to dessert. Starting on Nov. 1, both the sweet and the savory tamales will be available for pre-order. They’ve also added a vegan option—calabacitas—which contains squash, corn, tomatoes and peppers. Although La Guerrera’s Fruitvale storefront closed in March, they’ve been selling tamales on the weekends out of Ale Industries on nearby E. 10th Street. The pandemic has certainly cut down their sales, but it wasn’t Covid-19 that forced them out of the space now occupied by Ruby Q Smoke Fus...

Bette’s Oceanview Diner: Berkeley favorite keeps it coming

Manfred Kroening is the tall, silver-haired Austrian who regularly greets customers at the front door of Bette’s Oceanview Diner. He and his late wife Bette (along with Sue Conley who went on to co-found Cowgirl Creamery) opened the diner on Berkeley’s Fourth Street in 1982. Fourth Street in the early 1980s was an unlikely neighborhood to start a homey, welcoming place for brunch. The nearby warehouse tenants were glassblowers and metalworkers in what was then an industrial neighborhood.  Speaking by telephone Kroening recalled that, “Back then, to work on Fourth Street, it was a bad zone at that time. Roaming dogs and upside-down shopping carts.” He felt that they were really taking a chance starting a business there. But they all thought, “Let’s try to work together and make a livin...