Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Papa Tacos / Krazy J's Express -- 341 S Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91766

My Meal Cost: $8.94. Health Rating B. Yelp 3 stars

This is not your fathers tacos. As Spanish speakers know, papa is the Spanish word for potato. I was looking forward to this one (although I had gone there once in the past) because I LOVE potatoes. Boiled, fried, mashed, hash browned, scallop, baked, in soup, chipped, Pringled, in almost any way that they are prepared, they are a favorite, so a potato taco sounded just like the right thing for a good early dinner.

A little on why I had a problem last week with this spot. It seems that Papa Tacos is in the midst of rebranding itself. They have knocked down the wall that separated the small taco stand type place with the sports bar next door and have, kind of, combined the two spaces. Papa Tacos is now to be called Krazy J's Express and will offer a quick meal alternative to the sports bar table service.

And, the hours will coincide with those of the sports bar so while it would seem a natural for lunch it now doesn't open until 4:00 pm. However, the closing time on some nights is 10:00 pm while on weekends and other nights it's 4:00 am!! A good alternative for those who have a taco (or potato) craving after a show at the Fox or just the late night munchies. Yelp doesn't have updated hours so it still says that they are open at 11:00 am. Don't expect them to be open then as I found out last week.

In the 1931 Pomona Fox building along Garey Avenue, Papa Tacos is in one of the original historic storefronts that were part of the Fox in its heyday. The space has a walk-up order area with a lot of menu signage and table and counter seating as well as outside seating, although it is also a great take-out option. The menu is a lot more than potato tacos. They have burritos, sopes, quesadillas, loaded nachos (or fries), and a number of specialty chicken dishes. They also serve beer or fountain soft drinks.

Most items you can get with your choice of meat, but unlike most of the taquerias visited on this blog, Papas doesn't have the lenguica, buche, tripa, and other ethnic meats but sticks with asada, pollo, carnitas, and pastor. 

Note that I forgot to take the photo before I had almost finished one taco and had taken a bite from the sope.

Since this was to be an early dinner before a 6pm meeting across the street, I decided to make it somewhat light. Of course, I had to order papa, so I ordered two papa tacos ($1.25 each), a carne asada sope, and a diet Coke.

The tacos were crispy shell tacos with mashed potato, lettuce, and cheese and were exactly what I had hoped they would be. The crunch of the taco with the soft, creamy potato had a terrific mouth feel. The sope was loaded with carne asada, lettuce, and a dusting of cheese on a thick corn patty. It was both delicious and filling enough to get me through my two meetings until I got home around 9:00 pm. These particular items were not at all spicy and I believe that the Lovely Mrs C could have eaten them without any trepidation.

A good experience once I could find it open and figure out what was going on.

UP NEXT: Krazy J's Cantina and Grill

Since Krazy J's doesn't open until 4:00 pm, this one will end up being a dinner review, and probably a little later than normal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Juan Pollo -- 300 S Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91766

First an apology and explanation. Last week I was out of town at a family event (nephew's wedding) so didn't get to Papa Tacos as I had indicated. While I knew I would be out of town, I don't like to put that out here so that people will know I'm not around and the bad guys can come and ransack my dwelling (not paranoia, just caution).

I was home by the middle of last week and thought I'd "catch up" by going to Papa Tacos, which I did at about 1:00 pm on Wednesday. Unfortunately, they were not open (Yelp said they open at 11:00 am) and as far as I could tell, it appears that they may not be there anymore despite the sign still being there. I will investigate and report back my findings.

So I've moved on down Garey and this week had lunch at Juan Pollo, which follows.

My Meal Cost: $7.62. Health Rating A. Yelp 3.5 stars

Juan Pollo in downtown Pomona is in the historic building which once housed the Pomona Women's Community Club, built in 1923 by Mark Potter. The women's club began in 1922 as an auxiliary to the YMCA. The brick facade is pretty much unchanged since 1923 with the original upstairs ballroom currently housing an event space. Unlike my previous sites, this one has a Garey address, but the entrance is actually on Third Street.

Juan Pollo has rotisserie chicken, that is chicken which is slowly cooked on a revolving spit. My personal preference is for either fried chicken (KFC or Donahoos), or grilled chicken (Pollo Loco), but rotisserie chicken does a much better job at getting a nice golden crisp skin, while maintaining moisture in the chicken meat itself.

The interior of the restaurant has lots of seating at booths and tables and is festooned with colorful murals. A very pleasant place to spend a lunch hour. Service is walk up and pickup when your number is called. I decided to try the lunch special which included two pieces of chicken, salsa, tortillas (they asked me if I wanted flour or corn, I responded corn, but ended up with flour, I'll live), a cup of potato salad, a cup of rice, and a medium beverage. They have several agua frescas including horchata and jamaica, as well as the regular fountain drinks and tea (I had diet Pepsi).

The potato salad was good with green onions and other small veggie items inside. As a lover of anything potato, this was a good addition to my lunch. The rice was not a Mexican or Spanish style rice but was a sticky white rice with a few caraway seeds and some carrot pieces and green onion. Since I'm not a fan of plain white rice, I added some of the salsa, which made it a little more palatable but still not something that I'm going to be craving.

Again, the chicken was good and juicy, with a wonderful crispy skin. The ambiance was very pleasant. The lunch crowd was steady but the large dining room was not at all crowded. The TV set was playing an old black and white TV show from the 50s or 60s, volume turned down (at time of writing I can't recall what it was because I was not sitting facing the TV).

I know I'll get another chance at Juan Pollo when I get further north on Garey so if you have a favorite item, let me know.

UP NEXT: Papa Tacos

Since it doesn't open until 4:00 pm, this one will end up being a dinner review, and probably a little later than normal.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Flame Broiler -- 101 W Mission Blvd Pomona, CA 91766

My Meal Cost: $18.45 (for 2). Health Rating A. Yelp 2.5 stars

Due to the Independence Day holiday on Monday, I didn't make it out to Flame Broiler until lunch on Tuesday. I guess better late than never.

This photo shows what one sees from Garey Avenue. Again, the address and front entrance of this site are not actually ON Garey, but it's one of those that seems to fit here.

To actually enter the restaurant you need to go into the parking lot behind Garey (enter from Mission or Fourth/Thomas) and it's in a row of businesses, next to the UPS Store. It is a counter-order place with ample seating, clean and pleasant.

Flame Broiler does bowls. And there are only three kinds, chicken, angus beef, or the new tofu. However you can get combinations of these such as the works which is the beef, chicken, and veggies, or chicken and veggies, tofu and veggies, and beef or veggies. Each bowl includes your protein of choice and either white or brown rice and veggies (or not if you don't eat them).

I went with the Lovely Mrs. C this week and I had the chicken and veggies over brown rice and she had the angus beef and veggies over brown rice. We each had a beverage, mine being the usual diet coke and hers being lemonade. They also had energy water drinks as well as the usual fountain drink options.

Service was friendly and fairly quick. At lunchtime on a Tuesday it was fairly busy and most of the tables were full. 

Left photo is the chicken bowl (I like onions so it is fairly brimming with green onion). To the right is the Lovely Mrs. C's angus beef, no onions.

UP NEXT: Papa Tacos