Sancho's Taqueria, RWC report (w/ pics) It's true: Carnitas Super Burrito is AWESOME!
- hhc Sep 17, 2006 06:38 AM
We went to Sancho's Taqueria based on the SF Chronicle's write-up on tacos and burritos http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
and I have to agree that the Carnitas (roasted pork) super burrito $6.55 is AWESOME!! Super carnitas burrito has carnitas, rice, beans & salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cheese & pico de gallo. Usually at other places the carnitas is dry, but this place makes it juicy.
The two regular tacos we tried: carne asada and al pastor are small, smaller than other taquerias I've been and not very good. $1.25 each.
This place has a maximum seating of 16 ppl inside, some outdoor tables. Free chips and salsa given. Small salsa bar off on the side.
Our meal for two ppl (we shared the above items) was $10.
No bathrooms for the public it seems. Parking area in back is being redone, so park along the street. Service can be slow here, call in your order if in a hurry.
They serve breakfast items on the weekends: breakfast burrito, chiliquiles, etc.-check the side board.
Recommended for carnitas super burrito!!
3205 Oak Knoll Dr (@ Canyon Rd, next to Canyon Coffee Roastery and Cielo Salon
)Redwood City, CA 94062
With dozens upon dozens of perfectly serviceable taquerias within a 3-wood of wherever one wakes up in the morning, they had all started to seem the same to me. One place used more cumin, one place cut more of the gratuitous fat off the pork for chile verde, one place had the best salsa bar, one place seemed to specialize in deep-frying whole, reeking Tilapia at lunchtime. One place had a mirror in the shape of a vaquero. Arguing over which place had the "best burrito" became meaningless; there were many best burritos. There were hundreds of best burritos. Where to go from there?
Sancho's, which is deeply hidden in the residential hills of Redwood City, is a literal hole in the wall, and it answers this question boldly. It's ugly, small, and hard to get through the damn door when it's crowded. The shopping center it exists in seems to have been hit with an atom bomb and there is virtually no parking. Outdoor seating is on a windblown intersection, and fairly limited. Construction vehicles grind and whistle past. People from all walks are lined up far out the door, people who have driven for twenty miles to get what they know will be an unfailingly fresh, balanced, thought-out Mexican food experience.
The burritos are fantastic, of course. Texture and flavor have been carefully matched to produce something soft and hearty, never dry, which is the most common failing of a burrito. They alone are worth the drive. But to focus on those would be to miss what makes this place the best in the bay.
The red snapper for the fish tacos is carefully cubed and trimmed of any of that oily gray flesh before light breading and deep-frying. It has been fresh on three visits. The shrimp for the shrimp tacos are grilled and both are dressed with a well-paired, spicy cream dressing. The chile verde has a far more refined and less salty sauce than usual, and the chicken mole is the same. It's good proof of the owner's trip through the California Culinary Academy. He's serving restaurant food at a taqueria, for taqueria prices. You soon forget any inconveniences.
as this place is 15 seconds from my house i must say i have tried it many times, i think the quality of the meat is good but i find that the salsa is a real letdown. they also do not griddle the taco torillas in lard like they do in many other places i frequent. i prefer griddling the torillas in lard for a slight bit of crunch. also has anyone noticed the salsa verde almost tastes canned? places like tacos el grulense e and e have a real fresh, spicy tasting salsa. sanchos is rather bland and almost ruins a good meal.
re: Robert Lauriston
how do you define a crunchy taco? i am talking about a tortilla that is slightly fried with lard so that the rim is just crisp but the rest of the tortilla is soft like a steamed tortilla. many places do griddle torillas in lard as a standard practice. i would like to hear your definition of "Americanized" in relation to taqurias.
re: Robert Lauriston
Do you mean you've never tried a taco dorado or you have never heard of them? They are actually popular in Mexico and you'll see them in the Bay Area occasionally. El Tapatio in Richmond at one time made an outstanding version, but lately, not so much. I'm always looking.
Here's a discussion about that. Christine in this thread lives in Mexico and has been a great source of information of all things Mexican on Chowhound.
That doesn't seem to be what poster is talking about though since it just is a matter of grilling the tortilla a little longer. There are lots of styles of tacos other than those heated on a dry comal, that is just the most common. Also depend on where you are in Mexico. The link above has a great source of info about different tacos in Mexico. As the article says ...
"The large majority of tacos are made with soft tortillas, the exception being tacos dorados, which are fried until crispy."
I had some auto maintenance done in RWC today and after dropping five bills for that, there wasn't much left for dinner. I dropped in at Sancho's which was very quiet at 6PM. One mother and dauther (in partial Halloween mode) were eating inside. I tried a fish taco and a chorizo taco. The fish was a surprise. Unlike "Baja style" filets with a significant layer of batter, the fish cubes were light, almost fluffy, and the outer layer was more like a dusting of potato starch than a batter. While normally I do not go for sour cream sauces, this one was applied judiciously and it made a good combination. The chorizo taco was a bit underdressed (perhaps one needs to ask for onions and cilantro here?), but the meat was good. It also was very "juicy" (fatty) so beware if you are wearing long sleeves. ;-)
For fans, be advised that next month Sancho's will be expanding into the space next door currently occupied by a liquor store. It's not clear how quickly the build-out will be completed, but it should be well before the onslaught of the rainy season.