December 16, 2008

San Diego Part Dos: Salva Las Trocas!

After some careful perusing on Yelp, I chose to check out Tacos El Paisa with a few friends. If you're a UCSD student reading this, let me share with you my two cents. The popular hangouts a.k.a. The Big Three: Rigobertos(formerly Robertos II), Sergios and Cotis are always good because they're close, open 24 hour, and got some bomb pollo asada fries. But if you're looking for some flavorful meat and so good you-want-to-kick-someone-in-the-face tacos, you gotta go elsewhere mang...(I hate the word "mang" and would never say it, but for some reason, I like how it looks when written out/said in my head).

When we arrived, we were a bit confused because there was an inside seating area, as well as a truck. We went inside, and there was a kitchen with a counter, so we tried to order there, but we were told to order outside. I felt everyone was staring at us because we were the only Asians in there. When we went out, the man in the taco truck must have sensed how lost we were and beckoned us towards him. He was a very friendly guy and expertly cut some adobada on a plate for us to sample. (I wish I could think of the proper word I want to use to describe him. He was a very efficient fast working man who bobbed his head and bounced his body along with the music while he made the food. Anyhow back to the post) The adobada was GOOD and had a slight spiciness to it. I wasted no time in telling him what I wanted, but he pointed me to the stand next to the truck. You order there and give your receipt to the man in the truck, who then proceeds to make your order real quick. So I ordered four tacos: asada, birria(shredded beef), cabeza, and adobada.

The menu. Unfortunately, no lengua that night. Fresh made to order tortillas, as you can see the lady making them.

I was also excited about this trip because I read that they had some good aguas frescas, and I had never had them before. The drinks they had were strawberry, cantaloupe, jamaica, egg nog, and horchata. I got the strawberry, and it was muthaf****** delicious (if my language offends you, I'm sorry, but I only use the word to demonstrate the extremity of how tasty this was). It tasted a bit like a milkshake, but more strawberry flavor than milk and without the thickness. I also got the try everything else but the jamaica and found that the cantaloupe one was really good too. (They'll give you samples if you ask for it.)

While we were waiting, I noticed someone cooking up the asada over coals. What was in that pot though?

A closeup of the meat being grilled, along with some chilis and onions.

The young man working the grill soon came over carrying out a plate of some veggies, salsas, and guacamole, as well as those grilled onions and chilis for all of us. I particularly liked the green salsa.

When this came out, we were all smiling from head to toe. I mean, I've seen pictures of this on other blogs, but to finally experience this myself was awesome. Maybe you're thinking, what the hell is this guy raving about. It's just a plate of some stuff, so what. I guess I was just happy because this was something new for me. It just kept getting better and better, and the food hadn't even come out yet! The service was so friendly and accomodating. I LOVED it!

They also had red chilis too.

Inside the pot were beans! Everyone got a cup of that as well, and they were good. (If you're wondering why some pictures were outside, they originally thought we were gonna sit outside, but with the cold weather, there was just no way and we brought everything in.)

These were some big tacos with generous portions of meat. I particularly liked the asada because you could really appreciate it being grilled on the coals. The birria was also good, and I thought the cabeza was okay.

Being the big eater (I prefer this term over glutton or fatty) that I am, I went out again and ordered a buche(cow stomach) taco and a pollo quesadilla. It was my first time having buche, and I thought it was a bit oily/salty, but was still good with the salsa. The pollo had a bit of citrusy flavor to it and went great with the mexican cheese.

Inside look of the quesadilla.

Overall, I loved everything here and would definitely come back here again. I've read on Yelp that they have some other locations around Daygo as well. Not only is the food delicious, but the workers are all friendly and make you feel welcome. Fresa aguas frescas ftw.

Tacos El Paisa
3069 National Ave
(between 30th St & 31st St)
San Diego, CA 92113

2 rah rah rahs:

Unknown said...

DAMN SON! I really need to check this spot out.

dcfoodie said...

Okay, this is the first entry where I thought to myself, I gotta go there too. Good job.

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