Cali Alley


1012 Grayson St, Berkeley
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Cali Alley is a takeout window in West Berkeley from a team who runs a local catering company. They focus on dishes that hit the Lenny Kravitz-in-an-oversized-scarf level of comfort, like mac ’n cheese, tofu rice bowls, and barbacoa plates. But their sandwiches are what make me feel like someone dropped a 90-pound blanket fresh out of the dryer on me and quelled my anxieties with a gentle whisper: “Hush, everything will be OK.” Take their basketball-size fried chicken sandwich. It’s one of the best fried chicken sandwiches with a crispy buttermilk chicken breast, sweet marinated peppers, and fried shallots. And the Cali Alley Burger - a juicy, ground brisket and short rib patty with garlic aioli and all the fixings - keeps me coming back whenever I need something better than therapy.

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