Pancho Villa / bueno
- gordon wing
stopped by for lunch yesterday at Pancho Villa in downtown San Mateo ( B St. tween 3 & 4th St )
when is the last time you found a parking meter that still takes pennies? and I found a parking spot right in front - I managed to sneak in before the lunch rush. The menu board here is rather imposing - lots to read. I had a soft taco with lengua (tongue) and another one with al pastor. They serve their tacos with beans (your choice of black, pinto & refried, I think) There is a dazzling array of food on the line and much of it looked enticing. Have to go back. They offer 7 or 8 agua frescas - I had the pineapple and it was very good.
The salsa bar had pickled vegetables & jalapenos, and 6 different salsas - including a couple of green ones. The lengua was cooked in a nicely seasoned sauce/liquid so it had more flavor than many others I've had but was still tender & moist. Impossible to pick this one up by hand without drenching yourself but worth it. The al pastor filling was OK but didn't knock me out....the free chips were thin and greaseless. A good lunch, all in all. A sign mentioned that they are associated with Pancho Villa in SF ( El Toro, also)
I worked in San Mateo from 1997-99 and Pancho Villa was always one of my regular lunch stops. I can still picture some of the order takers and the young guy manning the flat top, sizzling prawns awaiting a flip from his spatula. Wonderfully fresh food and I love the salsa bar and accompanying vegetables. Always a winner for lunch. You're correct, they also own the one in the city. Thanks for helping me to relive some good memories.