Mexican Food Top Picks!

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Bushie
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 18:08:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by olphart

Bushie, we went to a place in Georgetown on 29 at or near Austin St (I think) that I thought was pretty fair. If memory serves me it was in what used to be a drive-in restaurant at one time. Do you know the place?

I saw you mention Nuevo Leon before. Can I assume that is the same chain as the one in Bastrop? There is also an Amaya’s in Bastrop that I have grown fond of. Seems like I saw mention of them in Austin as well. I love the tacos at Amaya’s.

I am still learning my way around the eateries of Bastrop. Love to find a good seafood and pizza place there.

olphart, I'm REALLY sorry I didn't see this before!! (I'll be emailing you also.)

Yes, I know exactly where that place is in Georgetown. It's called Dos Salsas. Pretty good.

The Nuevo Leon in Austin is a single restaurant as far as I know. They may have opened another location in Bastrop that I don't know about, but I think they're probably different.

Amaya's Taco Village is great. I also really liked Jalisco's near the old HEB location.

In Bastrop, I loved Maxine's (downtown across the street from the Wells Fargo branch), and The Yacht Club (don't be fooled by the name) in "old town" between downtown and the river. No good pizza in Bastrop, and certainly no good seafood.

If you haven't already, you should also drive up 71 toward Austin and eat at Fitties, near where Hwy 21 intersects. It'll be on your right; it's a small red building. Started out as a small shack, and he's grown into a big shack. FANTASTIC BBQ and breakfast tacos. Run by a black man who looks like he could crush you with one hand if he wanted to, and he's got a heart of gold.

Also, drive over toward Smithville on 71 and turn north on Hwy 153. There's a place called Rocky Hill Ranch that serves great burgers and the best fries in Central Texas. I believe they are only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but I may be mistaken.

Happy Eating.
#61
QFan
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 19:12:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Wallyum

quote:
Originally posted by redtressed

My favorite Mexican place is Rio Grande as has been cited in several other threds and also ranked well by others. I love a good authentic chili rellenos and that they have. Carne Asada, Shredded Beef Tacos, Seafood Enchiladas, the simplistic cheese and green chiles Quesadillas, and tamales done in the husk are amongst my favorites.


I'm sure it's a common name for Mexican eateries, but Rio Grande is my favorite also. I generally order the Burrito Carne Asada and a side of three tamales. I finish off the burrito, take a taste of the tamales, then box them up for lunch the following day. I've learned to try the seafood dishes when traveling anywhere near the ocean. Nothing beats a fresh seafood burrito when it's done by someone who knows what they're doing.

Just to confuse things a little bit more on the Rio Grande piece of this thread. There is also a Rio Grande chain with several locations in the D.C. area. It has excellent Mexican specialities including stuff that's somewhat unique like barbequed goat. Their house made tortillas and salsa are my favorite of all the Mexican places I've ever tried. The chain also operates under the Uncle Julio's name in the Dallas/FW area. I think they are expanding into the Atlanta area as well. Well worth checking out for some definitely above average RF Mexican!
QFan
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#62
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 20:50:54 (permalink)
My standard order at any new Mexican place is chicken enchiladas verde. If they can do this right, I'll try something else next time. Here in Chicago we've got real live honest to goodness mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants on every block. I still don't understand how Taco Bell stays in business in this town. I guess there will always be some folks who just can't figure it out. My favorite carry-out place is Burrito House with numerous locations around town. If the wife and I want to sit down, we go to Tecalitlan (TECH-a-leetle-LAN), excellent food and great pico de gallo. They're over on Chicago Avenue, just west of Ashland.

If we're in the mood for a mini road trip, we head up to Milwaukee to the corner of 5th and National. There're three or four very good Mexican places all within tortilla flinging distance. Our current favorite is La Perla. Fantastic garlic shrimp tacos (obviously they passed the chicken enchilada verde test). The last time I was there, they had inexplicably remodeled the non-smoking side of the room into a strange and unnecessary post modern mess. The food was still good, and thankfully, they left the smokers' side of the building in it's original rustic state. There's also a really nice outdoor garden for the warm weather months.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 21:06:45 (permalink)
Forgot to mention, here in Chicago, burritos are locally called "stand-up" burritos: no sauce, and they're so big, you just stand them on end and eat your way down to the plate. They're rarely served with any sauce on top unless you order them that way.

There's a great place in St. Joseph, MO; Barbosa's that serves up burritos and enchiladas with real chile (chunks of meat, no beans in a red sauce)on top. Dang tasty.
#64
Shane
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 21:33:28 (permalink)
Oh man, do I miss Tecalitlan. I lived in the neighborhoods around that place for 10 years and it was always the default for great cheap food. Moved out to the western burbs 2 years ago and can't find anything that satisfies like that place. For a real trip go to their other place around the corner on Ashland after 10pm on a weekend - it's a party. Up the street La Pasadita (just south of Division) also has a great steak burrito.

Not really Roadfood, but the Frontera Grill (Rick Bayless) is awesome - though very different from Tecalitlan.
#65
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/06 23:10:34 (permalink)
Where are you in the western burbs Shane? I might have a suggestion or two.
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enginecapt
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 07:47:04 (permalink)
THose of you who plan on being on I-15 in the Fontana, CA area can find a true Roadfood hole-in-the-wall type local Mexican food place a mere 6 minutes off said freeway. In fact, it's walking distance from my property, and only a mile down the street from one of those Farmer Boys that our Mayor is so fond of.

Viva Villa is its name, and it's a take out/eat in/grocery that serves excellent Mexican fare. The menu is fairly typical for a Mexican eatery frequented by mainly speakers of mother tongue Spanish. This includes carne asada, carnitas, birria, pollo, barbacoa and lengua. I've tried everything on the menu, and haven't been disapointed yet. Their tacos are served in two soft corn tortillas, allowing one to utilize the first one to wrap the generous, overflowing filling, while using the second one to catch what falls out of the first taco. One taco is paid for, and two are eaten. That's my idea of a serving.

My favorite order is three lengua (beef tongue) tacos, and one of their huge meat quesadillas, which consists of a gigantic flour tortilla topped with a generous amount of tangy chedder and your choice of carne asada or carnitas meat. It is topped with another tortilla and fried on the griddle in a bit of manteca (lard).

They offer a self-serve salsa and condiments counter with two rich red salsas, a green tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo. All salsas are made fresh daily. Condiments include pickled peppers and carrots.

The drink selection includes whatever beer or cold soda (including Penafil) you find in the cooler, and fountain delivered Horchata, Tamarindo and soft drinks.

For dessert there is a self serve case of delicious Mexican panaderia dulces, which include cakes and cookies baked locally and delivered fresh.

As expected, prices are VERY reasonable. I consider myself lucky to have such a fine eatery so close, although no matter what I might infer, I never walk there, as I'm too lazy.

Viva Villa
15092 Slover Ave, Fontana, 92337 - (909) 356-9669
#67
Shane
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 09:35:31 (permalink)
BuddyRoadHouse

I'm in Wheaton. I have a feeling West Chicago might have a good place or two, but suggestions needed. I end up going to a Chipotle 'cause it's nearby. I used to be able to walk to Tecalilan!

Shane
#68
olphart
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 10:33:54 (permalink)
I appreciate your apology, Bushie, but it comes too late – the damage has already been done! Amaya’s Taco Village had become my favorite Mexican restaurant in Bastrop, but it is no more. It has closed down, and I totally blame you for its demise! Had your kudosaration for Amaya’s come last November when I posted, it would probably still be in business today!

Tell you what, I’ll let you make it up to me buy buying lunch at Dos Salsas. Deal?

I like Nuevo Leon OK, and, in fact, my girlfriend actually prefers it to Amaya’s. I like the food at Maxine’s, but it is their pie that I really love. We’ve been to the Yacht Club once and enjoyed it. Baxter’s has a great hamburger served on a bun made by a local bakery.

As you may know, Baxter’s moved across the street, and a place called Bahia Abragado is in its old location. Bahia serves some great food as well. They also have a guitarist who we befriended last month. He is John Beland who was with The Flying Burrito Brothers. He has quite a discography and has played with many big name stars. He’s a really nice guy as well.

I’ll check out your other recommendations. Thanks! All I need now is a good place for seafood and pizza.
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mudbug
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:03:53 (permalink)
Good thread.Hey Bushie,thanks for the recommendations.BTW is El Patio the spot I frequented about eight years ago on the Southside of Austin that used to feature Don Walser and his band?Now those were some good afternoons.
#70
dctourist
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:18:38 (permalink)
Renfrew, I feel your pain. The best I found in Boston was called Mexican Cuisine at the Forest Cafe on Mass. Ave. north of Harvard Square - very good fish and mole - but I haven't been in over 10 years.

I think my favorite Mex dish is tostadas loaded with frijoles, cheese, guacamole and lots of lettuce, tomato, and salsa. Chicken optional. Actually, I could probably live on on frijoles, tortillas, and guac and be a pretty happy peasant...

Here in Washington most of the Mexican restaurants are actually run by Salvadorans, so we get the occasional pupusa and plantains sneaking onto the menus. Some of them, though, have quite passable salsa and guac - to me, those are the mark of a decent restaurant. Very few of these restaurants are strictly salvadoran, though I tried one last week that was quite good and full of Spanish-speakers: Costa del Sol on Fairmont Ave. in Bethesda.
#71
mayor al
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:47:56 (permalink)
Capt.Fire--
Across the Mountains from you on the High Desert is the "Casa Delicious" a set of two (or three?) Mexican hole in the walls in the Victorville-Hesperia area. The best of the bunch is on Hesperia Road Underneath the Main St. Bridge....next to the BNSF tracks. I have talked of them before, but they are worth mentioning again. The Hesperia store makes all the tortillas for the others. You can watch the makers cranking out an endless chain of the round disks each morning.
I love the Carnitas, Big chunks of roasted Pork you can order in a variety of Burrito combinations or in Taco's of various sizes and shells. The carnitas are also available "plain" ... a pile of them on a plate with various salsa's to put on top if you want. That reminds me of an order of Pulled Pork and the BBQ sauces we see around here. Prices are cheap, and the bonus comes about every 5-10 minutes when the busy Rail line supplies a train with all the noise and thunder shaking that it can muster as it passes. The Victorville store is in a strip mall on 7th street without all the rail extras !
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Bushie
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:50:05 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by olphart


Tell you what, I’ll let you make it up to me buy buying lunch at Dos Salsas. Deal?


That'll work. There's also a place on up 71 towards Austin that I've never stopped at, Casa Ramirez. Maybe we should check that place out.

Do you ever stop at the Sugar Shack for chocolates?


(Edited for screw-up. )
#73
enginecapt
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:54:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Capt.Fire--
Across the Mountains from you on the High Desert is the "Casa Delicious" a set of two (or three?) Mexican hole in the walls in the Victorville-Hesperia area. The best of the bunch is on Hesperia Road Underneath the Main St. Bridge....next to the BNSF tracks. I have talked of them before, but they are worth mentioning again. The Hesperia store makes all the tortillas for the others. You can watch the makers cranking out an endless chain of the round disks each morning.
I love the Carnitas, Big chunks of roasted Pork you can order in a variety of Burrito combinations or in Taco's of various sizes and shells. The carnitas are also available "plain" ... a pile of them on a plate with various salsa's to put on top if you want. That reminds me of an order of Pulled Pork and the BBQ sauces we see around here. Prices are cheap, and the bonus comes about every 5-10 minutes when the busy Rail line supplies a train with all the noise and thunder shaking that it can muster as it passes. The Victorville store is in a strip mall on 7th street without all the rail extras !


Consider me there, Mayor Al. I have family in Lucerne Valley, and I'm due a visit. I'll dutifully file a report.

Fire Capt out.
#74
Bushie
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 11:56:36 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by mudbug

BTW is El Patio the spot I frequented about eight years ago on the Southside of Austin that used to feature Don Walser and his band?

mudbug, El Patio is located on Guadalupe at about 30th. Small place that's been open since 1952. Don Walser no doubt ate there, but no room for him to play.

There's lots of possibilities of where you're thinking of, but my guess is that it was probably someplace on South Lamar, Congress, or 1st.

I sure love El Patio.
#75
chezkatie
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 12:04:06 (permalink)
Most of you know a lot more about Mexican food than I do so I have a question. Is Queso Fundido an authenic Mexican dish? Everytime we eat at the San Angel restaurant at Epcot, I order this and love it.
#76
1bbqboy
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 12:22:05 (permalink)
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=973
I say sure it is.
#77
enginecapt
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 12:42:04 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by chezkatie

Most of you know a lot more about Mexican food than I do so I have a question. Is Queso Fundido an authenic Mexican dish? Everytime we eat at the San Angel restaurant at Epcot, I order this and love it.


Yes, specifically Sonoran, although due to popularity, it can be seen in
Mexico City and the coastal resorts. Almost non existant in Yucatan.
#78
Scarlett
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 13:15:23 (permalink)
The first Mexican food I had was at Mission Bell in Colorado Springs.
That has been years ago but I still remember the goodness of the chile relleno and guacamole. I guess I've used that restaurant to 'grade' all the other Mexican restaurants I've tried.

Does any one know if the Mission Bell is still open?

#79
enginecapt
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 13:19:46 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scarlett

The first Mexican food I had was at Mission Bell in Colorado Springs.
That has been years ago but I still remember the goodness of the chile relleno and guacamole. I guess I've used that restaurant to 'grade' all the other Mexican restaurants I've tried.

Does any one know if the Mission Bell is still open?



Here's a yes answer and a link.

http://www.missionbellinn.com/
#80
emsmom
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 14:00:07 (permalink)
My favorite Mexican Restaurant is Los Arcos-although the wait persons and I have a hard time understanding each other. My favorite combination is
burritos and chimichangas with spanish rice and refried beans. With the salsa and chips, I also like to order the cheese dip to eat with my warm chips. We make quesadillas at home so much that I don't usually order them out. Also, I usually order my burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas with shredded chicken because in this area, all othe the Mexican places use ground beef instead of shredded beef in their beef dishes.
#81
sugarlander
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 14:59:17 (permalink)
I had an interesting experience recently in Eagle Pass, TX, right on the Rio Grande (Bravo)
We ate Mexican food at two restaurants recommended to us and it was terrible, cold tasteless refried beans, bland migas, watery hot sauce, cold enchiladas with a very thin tasteless sauce, etc. Several of us, usually non-complainers, hardly ate any food.
This was very surprising, as we expected good Mex-Mex or Tex-Mex in a border town.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 20:01:17 (permalink)
Howdy Shane. Sorry it took me so long to reply. Been busy with little time for playing on the net. I'm gonna need some research time to dig up good Mexican out your way. Are you looking for the same ambience as Tecalitlan or just good food?
#83
olphart
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/07 23:33:42 (permalink)
Bushie, I have heard of Casa Ramirez but I’ve never been there.

There is a Mexican place on Chestnut (Loop 150) just before you cross Main heading west. It’s a nice looking place, but we have never seen it open. There is a taco stand around the corner from there that seems decently popular from the cars I see parked there. There is another Mexican place on Main (Maria’s? Anita's?) just north of Chestnut that’s not bad.

Jalisco was just OK, but I only ate there once. Guadalajara wasn’t bad, but I just had the buffet there. I kinda quit checking other places out after I found Amaya’s. I guess I need to start looking again, huh?

Naturally, I pass by Sugar Shack all the time. I wasn’t sure if it was a sweets place or a notions shop. Either way I wasn’t interested. That’s all I need is another place that serves fattening food!
#84
rwarn17588
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/08 00:34:22 (permalink)
Are the Tamale Houses still going in Austin? I ate there about six years ago, and I thought it tasted great for as dirt-cheap as it was.
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mr chips
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/08 01:42:33 (permalink)
Here in Portland there are a number of hole in the walls which pass my test(My wife and I should be about the only Anglo customers. I like Burrito Loco( three locations in the Portland area) , Taco Rico in Gresham and innumerable places in Cornelius, Oregon that serve incredibly good stufff
#86
Shane
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/08 10:03:07 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse,
just good food. Ambience is nice, but I rarely actually ate at Tecalitlan, usually never got past the take out counter... That back room was a little wierd with the flourecent lighting! Nice mural on the ceiling though.
#87
Bushie
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/08 23:13:44 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by rwarn17588

Are the Tamale Houses still going in Austin? I ate there about six years ago, and I thought it tasted great for as dirt-cheap as it was.

If it's those on Guadalupe, right off South Congress, and on Airport, yes, they're there. They are great. Other local "chains" could claim that name, though (such as Rosie's), so you may be talking about something else.
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Richard Brooks Alba
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/11 19:03:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lone Star

Hi Richared, have not seen you post in a while!

Why is Sonoran cooking looked down upon by other areas?

There is a truck vendor near my neighborhood who has started selling pollo asada and roasted corn. What I love about the corn is it is seasoned with chile and lime, and I believe it has mayonnaise of some type and butter, but I am not sure. The vendors don't speak English and I don't speak Spanish well enough to find out. They roast the corn in this huge drum like roaster that resembles a minature cement mixer.


About Sonoran food - imagine, if you would, that everywhere you went looking for "American" food outside the country you found some variation of 'California cuisine' instead. If you had a hankering for a boatload of something that wasn't low-cal, whole wheat, organic, etc. - AND you already suspected that California folks were a bunch of godless Commies - wouldn't you have a tough time even seeing straight when you found yet another place serving up poached tofu dumplings in a 9-grain bun? (Especially if all the locals thought that this was just ambrosia?) Might you not blame California a little for this culinary mistruth?

So, when folks elsewhere in Mexico think of Sonora [& other northern bits of the country], here might be some of the things they might consider, or prejudices they might have:

- unsophisticated country folks that listen to polka [nortena] music;
- political conservatives who aren't patriotic/loyal enough to stick to the revolutionary principles of the Mexican Republic (the region is a stronghold for the PAN party that currently occupies the presidential palace);
- possibly traitorous for their aid to gringos in the Mexican War, and/or to the monarchists/peninsulares in the Mexican revolution;
- responsible for a resource-intensive approach to farming/land management [beef & wheat: great for owners, not for poor folk] - & flour tortillas!;
(- and, as a result, responsible for gringos now driving the locals crazy throughout the republic looking for 'burritos'[which could just as easily be called 'Gringo-Chow' if Purina marketted them] or even flour-tortilla-wrapped 'flautas'...)

I don't know that Sonorans are exactly hated or vilified...but maybe the expectations aren't very high of them neither....
Buen provecho,
Richard
Berkeley/SF, CA
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Richard Brooks Alba
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RE: Mexican Food Top Picks! 2005/01/11 19:29:10 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by enginecapt

THose of you who plan on being on I-15 in the Fontana, CA area can find a true Roadfood hole-in-the-wall type local Mexican food place a mere 6 minutes off said freeway. In fact, it's walking distance from my property, and only a mile down the street from one of those Farmer Boys that our Mayor is so fond of.

Viva Villa is its name, and it's a take out/eat in/grocery that serves excellent Mexican fare. The menu is fairly typical for a Mexican eatery frequented by mainly speakers of mother tongue Spanish. This includes carne asada, carnitas, birria, pollo, barbacoa and lengua. I've tried everything on the menu, and haven't been disapointed yet. Their tacos are served in two soft corn tortillas, allowing one to utilize the first one to wrap the generous, overflowing filling, while using the second one to catch what falls out of the first taco. One taco is paid for, and two are eaten. That's my idea of a serving.

My favorite order is three lengua (beef tongue) tacos, and one of their huge meat quesadillas, which consists of a gigantic flour tortilla topped with a generous amount of tangy chedder and your choice of carne asada or carnitas meat. It is topped with another tortilla and fried on the griddle in a bit of manteca (lard).

They offer a self-serve salsa and condiments counter with two rich red salsas, a green tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo. All salsas are made fresh daily. Condiments include pickled peppers and carrots.

The drink selection includes whatever beer or cold soda (including Penafil) you find in the cooler, and fountain delivered Horchata, Tamarindo and soft drinks.

For dessert there is a self serve case of delicious Mexican panaderia dulces, which include cakes and cookies baked locally and delivered fresh.

As expected, prices are VERY reasonable. I consider myself lucky to have such a fine eatery so close, although no matter what I might infer, I never walk there, as I'm too lazy.

Viva Villa
15092 Slover Ave, Fontana, 92337 - (909) 356-9669


I'll have to come check this stuff out - I know there are many more Mexicanos in this part of the Inland Empire since I moved outta Bloomington in 1979. Back then, the only thing that I ever thought was safe for a self-respecting Mexican was an order of taquitos - even if the green sauce was already some sort of ersatz guacamole by then. One of my favorite fusion foodstuffs as a teen was the roast beef [w/ sliced American cheese!] burrito at this joint (whose name escapes me) somewhere on Baseline or Highland, not far from where Kaiser Steel used to be [off of Cherry?]. It was a bit of detour for us Bloomington folks [as was Mazzulli's {on Valley}- the only pizza I ever liked more that Chicago deep-dish], but it was such a tasty orgy of artery-clogging stuff that we would brave foreign (Fontana High) turf for some serious fressing.
Buen provecho,
Richard
Berkeley/SF, CA
#90
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