Lucy’s Taqueria

Before I get into the disappointment that is Lucy’s Taqueria, I’d like to discuss a matter of some import: namely, what is a “taqueria” exactly?  Many terms are tossed around when naming Mexican restaurants and Mexican businesses of all sorts, so I wanted to give you a quick reference guide that might help you navigate the Spanish language businesses in your area.  Oh, come on, no need to thank me, I’m just happy to be here.

Here’s a quick list of some of the more common nomenclature used in Spanish language businesses for your reference (NOTE:  if any native Spanish speakers wish to correct me or add some nuance to these definitions, please, please, please let me know.  Your help is appreciated.):

Mercado-  store, but esp. grocery store

Carniceria– meat market, typically selling raw meats and prepared foods

Taqueriaoriginally referred to street vendors who specialized in Mexican food like tacos or burritos, but now indicates a small, informal, short-order style restaurant serving a variety of Mexican fare

Cocinalit. kitchen, fig. used in the name of many restaurants to give that “homey” feel

Cantina– termed used liberally by white people who open Mexican restaurants chains who focus more on the margaritas than they do on the food

Ok, on to Lucy’s-I wanted to like Lucy’s, I really did.  From the moment I pulled into the shady parking lot (shared with a liquor store and a nail salon of course) I thought, “This is going to be something special.”  They had everything–crappy location, sparklingly clean floors, actual photos of the dishes (with the time/date stamp from the camera still on the photos) proudly mounted on the walls, sullen teenage counter help, obvious non-whitey food from the parts of animals that suburbanites don’t like to talk about, really good chips and freshly made salsas.  What could possibly be bad?  Oh, that’s right, the food.

I should have been tipped off the food when, after asking the sullen teenage counter help what was good, she responded, “I really like the nachos.” Anyway, the tacos were large and uninteresting, the meat chopped into tiny dried out bits that were somewhere between crunchy and chewy.  The ceviche was poorly seasoned and covered with–no, could it be?  really?–yes, mayonnaise.  What a total let down.  I was ready for this place to be my new favorite Mexican restaurant before I even took a bite.  Now, every time I pass it, I feel pain my corazon (heart).  Buenas noches, Lucy’s, you are muerte to me.

Luchy’s Taqueria- 2217 Marconi Ave, Sacramento

Food* Service* Atmosphere*

10 thoughts on “Lucy’s Taqueria”

  1. This review could’ve been cut and pasted and under the heading, “Taqueria-J St..used to be Sidewalk Pizza”. For me, that place had every opportunity to become an amazing restaurant, cafe (like we need more of those), taco hut, bar, whatever and instead it became a D- Mexican restaurant. I started speaking Spanish to the guy working behind the counter only to be informed he and the rest of the family who owned it were Lebanese! Oops! I mean really, it is a great location….resplendent with patio seating overlooking the hubbub of East Sac’s main thoroughfare! What went wrong there? Anyone know anything?


  2. The lebanese guy that owns it used to own sidewalk pizza. He felt the place needed a change so he flipped it. He wanted a “younger” feel. He employed some mexican cooks, etc. then it is a taqueria. It is not bad. better than sidewalk pizza.

    I don’t know if it matters to me if a taqueria is owned by a lebanese, does it really matter as long as the cooks are skilled in the type of food prepared. I am sure if you look closely in many more establishments around town the owners don’t have the correct ethnicity for the food.


  3. maybe not… but a lebanese restaurant would’ve at least been more interesting. there’s plenty of “okay” mexican joints.


  4. i think you’re right about the owners not having to be whatever ethnicity the food is, just thought the exchange was funny…maybe says more about my expectation that the owner was, indeed, Hispanic, you know?
    But I have to disagree with you on the food, it is gross. Call me a snob but I’m not a big fan of the unknown meats. For that matter Sidewalk Pizza was kinda gnarly too. However, with pizza there is only so much complaining one can do…greasy, crust too thick, you get the point. We were with 7 people when we ate at the-artist-formerly-known-as-Sidewalk and everybody hated their food. And yeah, why not a Middle Eastern place instead of crappy Mexican?


  5. In Mexico, a cantina is a bar that is frequented only by men, where women and children are forbidden.

    On Tatooine, the cantina has a rocking band.


  6. EAST SAC Represent!! We are snobs and going over the bridge is just not something we do..

    I joke of course. I however will not be going over the bridge to go to Lucy’s.


  7. a good reason to go over the bridge and into suburbia? El Palmar Restaurant on Mission Ave. Although their old place had much more character ( a former Dairy Queen), they’ve worked out most of the kinks and the food is solidly fantastic each time–not to mention one of the finest margaritas in town and plenty of limes to wedge into your beer bottle.


  8. yo Lucys is the shizl i love Lucy’s perfect chicken tacos and to die for pastor oh yeah not the nachos get some blls and try the carniasad fries hela bombski


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