Inevitably, people’s eyes narrow with suspicion when they hear about Xingones, a permanent pop-up inside Old Oakland’s Fort Green Bar that specializes in tacos and chicken and waffles. At Xingones, Mayra A. Velasquez and Justino “Tino” Perez serve up their own brand of Mexican-American food based on their experiences as immigrants from Mexico. Chicken and waffles are a nod to Velasquez’s experience, leaving Jalisco at the age of five and growing up in Southern California, while the tacos contain subtle influences of Perez’s home region of Guerrero. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the tacos, whether it’s the carnitas taco made with cumin from Guerrero, the pollo a la brasa-inspired chicken taco, the citrus-rubbed steak taco, or the blackened shrimp taco based on Perez’s recipe for Guerrero-style langostinos. Don’t miss the exceptional, unparalleled orange habanero salsa or the slightly sweet, cinnamon and clove-spiced escabeche. The fried chicken, meanwhile, is greaseless and perfectly seasoned, while the Belgian waffles are crisp around the edges and fluffy as a cloud.

— Katherine Hamilton


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Price: $$

Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday noon-10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

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