Berkel Berkel is now Cho Korean B.B.Q. The Berkel Berkel sign is still outside, the wooden door is still there, the paper lanterns are still there. But the old man is not. The familiar homey vibe is lost, drown in the blasting music and the attentive service of the hosts. I appreciate the smiles and the banchan and drinks brought to the table and the frequent check-ins for refills, but I miss getting my own kimchi and pouring my own tea from the kettle. I miss the old man behind the counter with his strong accent.
The kimchi selection is still the same: baechu, cucumber, and kongjaban (콩자반). Mudpie got bulgogi ddukbaegi (불고기 뚝배기 beef stew clay pot) with green onion, mushroom, and potato noodle in sweet broth. I got ramyeon (ramen) with dumplings. Being a tad spicy, once again my choice was less savory than Mudpie’s choice. Objectively, the food is still good for its price, but I wonder how my feelings for Cho would be different if I had not been to Berkel Berkel before. I do hope that Cho will flourish, just like our favorite Bánh Cuốn Tây Hồ in Oakland has changed for the better.
Things change. Feelings change. I change. I just wish that the things I hold dear will change with me so that together, we remain the same.
Dinner for two: ddukbul ($6.95) + ramyeon ($5.25) + tax = $13.00
They do take out orders, and open daily 10:30am-10:00pm, whereas Berkel Berkel closed on Sunday. 🙂
Address: Cho Korean B.B.Q. (former Berkel Berkel)
2428 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704