Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Taqueria El Jefe -- 2880 N Garey Ave., Ste C, Pomona, CA 91767

My Meal Cost: $10.24, including $.75 credit card fee. Health Rating A. Yelp 4 stars

This place is hidden behind Jiffy Lube on Garey just across the street from Casa Colina at Harrison. In preparing to go there I looked on Yelp and read more 5 star reviews than I've seen on any other restaurant I've visited. Maybe a good sign? But among them were also some 1 and 2 star offerings which questioned the cleanliness and some of the food. Even the good ones were critical of the carne asada.

First off, sorry for the bad photography. Not sure what I did with my phone/camera but nothing turned out very good. The above image was snagged from Yelp as my photo of the outside seemed to have disappeared.

This is a place where you go to the counter of the open kitchen and order. The counter woman was very gracious and patient. The menu has a variety of Mexican dishes including $1 street tacos in all of the different meats (tripas, buche, cabeza, lengua, asada, carnitas, and al pastor), as well as tortas, burritos, and other items. They also have a selection of aguas frescas including horchata.

Also at the entry is a counter with a variety of snack food, candy and bottled sodas. In the corner is a video slot machine (10 cent per play) which promises the chance to win a 72" TV. Not sure that the "for amusement only" designation makes it legal, but I'll leave that up to others to determine.

Inside was clean with 7 tables for dining in, with the walls featuring mural paintings of life in a Mexican village. A TV in the corner was playing cartoon network (a bow to the fact that this is a family owned place?), fortunately, not so loud that it couldn't be "tuned out" as I read a novel on my tablet.

After having read the Yelp reviews and looking over the menu, I decided to try the super nachos. You get a choice of meat in this version and I chose the Al Pastor (pork). I also decided to chance not getting a diet drink and go with the large jamaica (hibiscus) agua fesca for my beverage. I was a little taken aback to see on my receipt that I had been charged 75 cents for using my credit card. As we're quickly becoming a "cashless" society it is jarring to see this kind of charge. Just a minor complaint.

I got the beverage at the counter and they fairly quickly brought my order to the table in a styrofoam take-out container. The nachos were a bed of tortilla chips covered in beans, nacho cheese sauce (from a can?), the al pastor (a decent quantity), shredded white cheese, a generous amount of both cilantro and jalapeno slices. I added some chopped onion from the condiments/salsa bar. There were three salsas, one medium and two marked as spicy (a red one and a green one). I took some of the red spicy which when tasted was quite spicy but ended up not really using it because the dish itself had a fair amount of fire. This is not a dish I would recommend to the Lovely Mrs. C, but I enjoyed it.

This was definitely a "nachos" that you would eat with a fork, not with your hands. Between the runny nacho cheese sauce and the beans which were on the runny side, the tortilla chips quickly became limp and did not hold up. I had to take about three forks full before I even found the tortilla chips.

Not a bad option if you're having your oil changed or visiting someone at Casa Colina.

UP NEXT:  Pescaderia Mr. Fish

As this is Christmas week, I want to wish anyone who is reading this the happiest of holidays. I've got about 8 more places to visit and should be wrapping up in February. I hope that 2017 turns into a good year for everyone and that it continues to be good eating.

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