My Meal Cost: $9.10. Health Rating A. Yelp 4.5 stars
This week's restaurant is a taqueria located in the corner of the shopping center at the southwest corner of Garey and Grand. It is literally "in the corner" of the center. It is very unassuming and hidden, but I was able to find it fairly quickly.
When I got there I wasn't sure if this was a take-out place or a sit down restaurant. There was no real order counter, so I approached the cash register area and asked the young man there how it worked. He indicated that it could be either order out or if I wanted to take a seat it would be sit-down. So I took a seat at one of the tables and was quickly provided with a menu. All menu items also appear on a board behind the cash register. The dining room had a television showing a telenovela, with the volume up so it could be heard (if not understood by me--I pretty much could follow the action though).
After studying the menu, and there were a number of good sounding dishes including burritos, sopas, tostadas, and others such as huevos al gusto, birria de chivo, and fajitas, as well as seafood options. I chose one of my standbys (sorry, not feeling particularly adventuresome today) and ordered the chili relleno platillo. It came with a chili relleno drenched in a red tomato sauce, refried beans, and rice, as well as corn tortillas. I also orderd a diet Coke, although there were aguas frescas available as well as a number of bottled soft drinks including Mexican Coke.
My meal was delivered to my table in a fairly short period of time. This was an interesting version of a chili relleno. First the cheese in the filling was a little bit tough, not melty and smooth, but it had a "bite" to it, not awful, but not what I expected. The sauce actually tasted like someone poured a jar of marinara sauce on top and added some lightly grilled onions and bell peppers. It had that sweet tomato style taste more than the flavor that I would associate with a tomatillo sauce on a chili relleno. The rice was cooked perfectly and tasted good, although nothing special. The beans on the other hand had a "fishy" taste to them. I'm not sure if they were warmed up in a pan that had been used to cook fish or ???? but it was definitely a different flavor profile for refried beans.
I wanted a little salsa for my rice, and looked around and the waitress noticed and asked what I needed. She then brought me two squeeze bottles one with a red sauce and the other with a green sauce. This worked out fine.
While I was there, there were only two others who came in. One single person ordered take-out and one other single diner at in.
At the end of my meal, no one came to the table with the check so I approached the cash register. I started to pay with my debit card (who carries cash these days) but the waitress informed me that if I used a card it would cost an additional dollar. I checked my wallet and, wonder of wonders, I actually had a $20 in there. I paid and added the dollar that I would have used to pay a card fee, along with some other change, and dropped it in the tip jar. To be honest, if they had taken the card the tip would have been larger.
Although I cleared my plate, mom would have been proud, it was not a place that I was impressed with and I doubt I'll be back unless someone tells me that I just have to try their ??????. They have 4.5 stars on Yelp so I really must have missed something. I always accept that I might not have chosen the right food at an unknown restaurant. Your mileage may vary.
Next week I'll be moving from the south Pomona portion of Garey to the downtown portion. Let's see if things change.