Not being Mexican myself, or even Spanish, I have no idea what this title means. Like JFK in Berlin, I’m probably saying something akin to “I am a doughnut.” That being said, it’s always important to embrace the language, culture and food of our hosts, the people of Mexico; for,as FauxPaws pointed out last week, all of the land that we call home was once part of the great country of Mexico. So, in order to be one “of the people,” I have foregone my traditional Pellegrino and finger sandwiches for horchata and tortas, menudo and cabeza (which I think is Spanish for potatoes.)
Due to our recent relocationÂ to Del Paso Manor (literally translated “Manor of Paste”), a new world of restauranting has opened up to Mrs. Eats and me. So, if you find yourself on El Camino Ave (“Avenue of Cuddles”) and catch yourself hankering for Mexican food, here’s where you can go to get it.
Betos Mexican Grill– 2234 El Camino Ave (at Howe)
Betos may not be the best Mexican restaurant in town, but it very well might be the best 24-hour Mexican restaurant in town. The prices are ridiculously low and the accommodations are spartan. Menu listings are very, very literal. A “pollo burrito” is made with pollo and a large tortilla, that’s it. No rice, no beans, no fuss, no muss. That being said, the chicken is tasty and seemingly high-quality all white meat. Another type of burrito, “pollo azado,” was filled with all kinds of things, chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, sauce. The whole thing tasted like a tortilla-wrapped chicken cheesesteak, which, while not being really “Mexican” is just fine with me since I love a good cheesesteak no matter where it comes from. The chips and salsa are a little weak, but for the low price and convenience of a 24 hour restaurant, you can’t go wrong.
Betos Mexican Grill
Food ** Atmosphere* Service***
La Pupusas-1901 El Camino Ave (at Capital City Freeway)
What is a “pupusas”? Is it what my 4 year old nephew refers to diarrhea as? Is it yet another Spanish word that means “shoes”? No. Pupusas are Salvadorian fritters, saucer sized, golden-fried masa discs filled with cheese, meats, veggies or whatever else you can think of. They’re a fine little street food that fills you up and never lets you down.Â If you’re not in the mood to experiment, La Pupusas also serves up fine traditional Mexican fare.Â On my several trips, I’ve found that their beans are perhaps the finest I’ve even had.Â So, go for the food, but don’t get distracted by their 60″ projection TV that’s on the fritz so that everthing looks like you’re watching it through 3D glasses.Â Ummmmmm, pupusas.
Food*** Atmosphere** Service***
El Palmar– 4717 El Camino Ave (at Mission)
El Palmar is, without a doubt, the finest Mexican restaurant to be housed in a building that used to be an Arby’s.Â Packed 6 nights a week (closed Sundays), this local favorite doesn’t diappoint.Â Every dish is hearty and fresh and wonderful.Â This is one of those local places worth leaving your ‘hood for.Â Try the flavorful soups and enormous salads.Â Go for the perfectly crafted traditional plates.Â Feel good about yourself when you notice that El Palmar hires the developmentally disabled.Â Have a bueno meal and tell them sac-eats sent you. Â Actually don’t tell them that, I just found out that “sacetas” is a Spanish word for “sock-puppet.”Â Best not to let on that you make all your dining decisions based on the recommedations of animated footwear.
Food**** Atmosphere*** Service****