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Scotts Valley burrito update

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We tried two other taqueria's in Scotts Valley last weekend. Los Gallos on SV Drive in the Starbucks/SV Market strip mall, and Taco Del Mar on La Madrona Drive next to the Mt Hermon exit.

I had the carnitas burrito ($5-something) at Los Gallos and the meat was overly salty, even after I tried to neutralize with extra squirts of lime. Also it's not the fried to crispiness dark style of carnitas, it seemed more like poached shredded pork. Actually kind of like Tacos Morenos' carnitas, so not bad.

The salsa bar is good, but they cleaned up right after we got our food so I only tried the pico de gallo (which was standard) and the darker of the 2 salsas with roasted blackened bits which was pretty good.

Taco Del Mar is a Bay-Area chain so I don't know if I should be posting on the Bay Area Board for this, but since I've only eaten at the SV location I hope this is ok. I was hesitant going here since I've read Matt's report:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

But we needed to pick up a quick dinner to go and it's the last of the taco places we haven't tried in this town. So in we went. It just screamed chain inside, but it's kind of pleasant with the lively dark colors and thankfully cool A/C (Los Gallos and Tucson have no A/C).

For burrito assembly, as you and the server move along the assembly line, you specify your tortilla, choice of meat, and choice of toppings. Just like Subway. Or rather, like an Americanized La Costena if you've been there in Mountain View. I really like these assembly-line type of taquerias, I like choosing the toppings as my burrito is made, plus I like having the extra choices and being able to see my choices (is the meat dry looking? is the chile verde saucy or chunky? are the beans refritos or pintos?

)

Anyway at Taco Del Mar I like the assembly style set up. White or wheat tortilla? (steamed by the way). Black or regular refried beans? (both looked more like smashed/mashed beans than classic refried). Meat choices up on the board are pretty standard: chicken, ground beef, shredded beef and pork mole. I looked down and saw a pile of finely shredded, dark, dry, almost crispy looking pork and asked if it was carnitas. No, that's pork mole. Really? Where's the mole? It's kind of missing the mole today. Okayyy...Well I'll have that anyway. I also added cabbage, pico de gallo (which he called "tomatoes"), and a few squirts of hot salsa (choice of hot medium or mild). Then I asked for a bit more salsa on the side, and he gives me more "tomatoes". Go figure. The burritos are also $5-something here.

Anyway it's a good thing he didn't give me more hot salsa on the side, my mouth was burning so bad by the time I finished I had to drink some milk. Whodda thunk that a chain would make salsa hotter than Los Gallos darkest looking salsa? And that pork "mole"/carnitas-looking meat was pretty tasty: salty (not overly salty) and savory in a kind of umami way. Dry and loose but in a slightly oily way if that makes any sense. And a lot closer to carnitas than Tucson Taqueria's diced pork "carnitas".

But avoid the fish burrito. Hubby made the same mistake Matt did (I didn't feel like telling him what not to eat so I let him). The "fried" battered cod looked limp and cold and he said it was fishy tasting. Dang, missed a good "told you so" opportunity. Anyway I think I'll try the San Jose Almaden location and will post on the Bay Area Board later.

My previous burrito reports (Tucson Taqueria and Tacos Morenos):
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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  1. Would you go back to Taco Del Mar?

    I'm more of a taco person, and would only go back if I was in the mood for a fast foodish hard-shell ground beef taco.

    1. Your report on Taco Del Mar intrigues me. esp. the pork mole. I'm a mole lover. and is Los gallos the one by Wendy's? thanks for the report Alice

      1. At least in San Diego Taco Del Mar made the worst Burrito I ever had. If I would have a choice between a Taco Del Mar burrito and a Taco Bell Burrito I would pick the Taco Bell one because it has more flavor and better ingredients. (And I normally hate Taco Bell).

        1. I'm not sure if we'd go back to Taco Del Mar. Maybe with a BOGO coupon I've seen in the local paper. Hubby didn't like his and I thought my burrito was decent but I don't know if my 2nd time will be ok. I don't think I'd like any of the other meat choices except maybe the shredded beef. Please note, the pork mole had no mole sauce or mole flavor at all.

          I was just surprised that it was not horrid. I had a wheat tortilla, but I saw the regular tortilla looks just like the ones used by Los Gallos or Tucson. Compare this to Taco Bell's rubbery bright white plasticky tortilla. And the beans & veggies sitting in the assembly line looked relatively fresh, not all limp and gross like Subway sometimes can be.

          I'll check out the one by my work to see if locations differ in quality.

          Oh and yes, Los Gallos is in the same strip mall as Wendys.

          1. Taco Del Mar discussion continued on the Chains Board (sorry, I didn't know it was a nationwide chain until today; I thought it was a CA wide chain). Go here:
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            (edited because it's now on the more correct Chains Board)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alice Patis

              Huh, wouldn't it be ok to discuss a nationwide chain here as long as we're talking about our experience at a location in California?