Serendipity in San Jose
- Jeremy Osner
Wow, whatta find! We were headed north from Santa Cruz
to the San Francisco airport, a bit fed up from 2 days
of bad food in Santa Cruz (it appears to be the only
type available). Accidentally turned onto rte. 280
south into San Jose instead of north; we thought "well,
it's lunchtime anyway -- let's stop for a bite!"
Driving at random into a completely unknown city, the
first place we stopped at turned out to be an amazing
taqueria. Maybe that just happens in San Jose...
The place is El Arriero Taqueria, on First and Keyes; I
can't really tell you how to get there because, as I
say, we were navigating on autopilot. (But I think the
exit we took was named Seventh Avenue.) We ate burritos
(I barbacoa, Ellen pollo), and they were just fabulous
-- the tortillas were fresh, the beans were tasty, the
salsa had just the right ratio of pepper/cilantro and
pepper/chunks of tomato. And they didn't have all that
extra stuff in them like the NY "California-style"
burrito bars put in them, lettuce, sour cream, cheese,
etc. -- just rice, beans, meat and salsa.
This place is definitely worth a pilgrimage -- not a
transcoastal one; but if you happen to be in the Bay
Area, or the Central Valley, or god forbid Santa Cruz,
check it out!