Real Mexican Home-cooking in the East Bay.
My mom's visiting and I want to take her out for some real Homestyle Mexican food comparable of that in Mexico where she lived for 3 years of her life. I'm also looking for a great homestyle mexican place to eat at. C'mon, show me that the Bay Area can compete with LA or San Diego in mexican food.
Well, it depends on where in the East Bay. I worked in Mexico City a year and as others have said, International Blvd is very similar to the vibe. Ortiz is good and there is a newer, nicer version in Alameda according to the boards.
The closest I've found to San Diego style is El Tapatio on 23rd in Richmond which has a good molcajete. Very nice goat stew too.
If you are in that area on a Sunday at about noon, you can get one of the finest churros in the area for dessert from the churro guy who sells in front of the church on MacDonald.
I wouldn't drive to Vallejo for the food, but I would (did) for the paletas, a great new paleteria and bakery just opened and, IMO, it is worth a ride from anywhere.
Across the street is a market that has a small restaurant in the back where an order is placed and there are some tables to the side. Probably a little less than you are looking for, but I was impressed with my one little forray there and worth a stop if going to the paleta place.
There are a lot of markets, some restaurants & delis, but I still haven't really found any place really like Mexico City where, for example, you could get a plate of rice an egg on top of it. Actualy, though the food in San Diego is better, nothing like that there either.
Fruitvale / International Blvd. on a weekend afternoon is as close to Mexico as you're going to get without going there.