There are many things that West Sacramento is known for: river views, the port…westness. Now you can add one more thing to that list. West Sac is a haven for great, unpretentious Mexican fare. On almost every street corner there is a family run taco shop or burrito barn just waiting to treat you to cross-border delicacies with minimal flair.Â Here’s a quick rundown of some joints you can try:
Emma’s Taco House- 1617 Sacramento Ave
There are few things that can rescue a poor meal like a good tortilla. Â This is good news for Emma’s, since their meals start out pretty poorly. Â
Emma’s greets the new diner with a fairly limp handshake in the form of bland chips and salsa, cafeteria style soup and salad, and a stale, permeating aroma akin to a nursing home funk. Â Then, your main course comes (in my case, chile colorado, yours might be different), ridiculously oversized, smelling pungently of powdered oregano and chiles, and served with an innocuous tortilla on the side. Â The meat is tender and well simmered in the sauce, the rice and beans are decent, and the tortilla–oh God, that tortilla. Â Like giving a penitent man last rights, that tortilla wipes away all past sins and delivers the meal straight to heaven. Â It leaves you feeling special, pampered, even, dare I say, exceptional. Â That is until you ask the waitress if the tortillas are freshly made and she says tha no, they’re ordered from a distributor in Vallejo, and then you feel like a schmuck for getting so excited.
Food** Service*** Atmosphere*
Taqueria Ay Jalisco 2- 905 Park Blvd, at Jefferson
AY AY AY thought this place was pretty average. Â The salsas were not bad, the chips not bad, the enchiladas not bad, the tacos above average, the rice plain and the beans ok. Â None of the food reached up and pimp slapped me with its goodness, but nothing really disappointed either. Â This is not a place Ay would go out of my way for. Â It’s equivalent to Taqueria Guadalajara or any of the other places of that ilk. Â Good for the neighborhood, but not worth leaving your neighborhood for. Â Ay give it two stars.
Food** Service** Atmosphere*
Salsas Taco- 2901 West Capitol Ave, at the corner of Harbor
Salsas Tacos offers everything that you want a dirty Mexican restaurant to offer– cracked vinyl booths, chips under a heatlamp, and very little actual dirt. Â One step up from a dive, Salsas delivers with good meats, insanely good tortillas (same supplier as Emma’s?) and rather slow, ineffectual yet smiling service. Â This is not a place you go for atmosphere or white linens, but it is a place you go to for quality grub.
Food*** Service* Atmosphere**
Sal’s Taco- 400 C St
Why do I love this place?Â Could it be the mosaics of pop icons all over the walls?Â Could it be the rocket hot salsas (maybe a dozen of them) at the salsa bar?Â Could it be that I was pretty damn drunk when I ate there?Â These are all contributing reasons.Â But, the number one reason I love this place is that they actually have a unique recipe for the traditional dish I ordered, chile colorado.Â The sauce, instead of being bright red and drowning all the meat, is smoky, brown, and lightly applied–spicy, sweet and unique.Â The meat was tender, without being the consistency or pot roast, and well spiced.Â I appreciate a unique point of view, and it’s getting harder and harder to find in Mexican restaurants, which is why Sal’s Tacos is my favorite Mexican joint in West Sacramento.Â From the crazy mosaics to the stupid hot salsas, from the somewhat odd location to the unique recipes, Sal’s makes for unique dining.
Food**** Service** Atmosphere****