berkeley food #2: smart alec’s

2355 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704-1615
(510) 704-4000

Well, I’m here today for my first official day of grad-studentness (for real, this time). Morning was your fairly standard miscellaneous information dispersal exercise: get this account here, that one there, here’s how to get paid, here’s how to register, whatever. After it let out I hit “The Missing Link” bicycle coop for more grocery-toting equipment–hopefully it will be put to good use. Then I set out to find what would be notch 2/100 in my Berkeley eatery belt. I was going to go to Intermezzo Cafe (as suggested by Nicole), but it was swamped for lunch with a line out the door, and I realized I’d been there before with Leslie and Clare. So I hit up a self professed “Health Food Fast Food” place also on Telegraph called “Smart Alec’s.” I got the basil chicken burger combo, which consisted of basil spiced baked chicken, basil mayo, tomato, lettuce, and red onions (I skipped those). It was middling… everything was fresh, but kind of bland and not really remarkable. The fries that came with it were the best part of the meal. “Air baked,” whatever that means, but presumably it would mean that no boiling in oil was involved. The little paper tray liner claimed that someone had voted them Berkeley’s best fries–I don’t think I’d go that far. Maybe the best “air-baked” fries. Anyway, you couldn’t argue with the price: under $6 for the entire combo (sandwich, fries, drink), and that wasn’t the cheapest there. I did walk away with a full stomach but I didn’t feel gross like I’d had a load of fast food, so they did at least succeed there. I’ll keep it in mind for times I’m in the area and short on cash.

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