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A Tale of two tacos al pastor: Taqueria San Francisco and Taqueria San Jose

Dave MP Oct 6, 2006 05:08 AM

As I mentioned in my post earlier today (see link below), I met up with two visiting chowhounds tonight at Mission and 24th....we enjoyed a walk down 24th Street....I pointed out several chow-worthy sights, and we stopped in for a quick peak at La Palma. After reaching Potrero Av, we eventually headed back toward Mission, making our first stop at Taqueria San Francisco.

I had never had tacos at Taqueria San Francisco before, and I thought that they were good but not super. We each had one taco al pastor (one of us had a super taco al pastor, which meant avocado, sour cream and cheese)...I thought the hot sauce was a bit overpowering, and the pork was a bit too mushy and sweet. I prefer crispier al pastor. I also noticed that the meat was not on the rotisserie (although the rotisserie was there).

We also tried two tacos with chorizo, which I liked. Same issue for me with the hot sauce, but the chorizo was very good. One DC also had a lengua taco...I only tasted a tiny bit, but he enjoyed it.

I had an excellent tamarind agua fresca...perfect balance of sweet and sour.

After the meal we walked back toward Mission St, determined to try some more tacos at Taqueria San Jose. I was a bit dismayed to find the place almost completely empty (at 7 PM), but I was happy to see the pork on the rotisserie. We each ordered one taco al pastor. The hot sauce at Taqueria San Francisco made me reluctant to order my taco with hot sauce, so I left it off. We didn't notice the salsa bar until halfway through our meal, but once we did we really enjoyed the salsa verde. We were trying to determine whether it contained avocado. Anyone know? It was mainly tomatillos, but also seemed slightly creamy. Unless I've totally missed it twice, Taqueria San Francisco doesn't have a salsa bar at all.

In my opinion, the tacos al pastor were significantly better at Taqueria San Jose. The meat was crispier, not as sweet. Even the hot sauce (I tasted one of the other tacos) was good and not overpowering. To top it all off, tacos are cheaper at Taqueria San Jose (by more than 50 cents I think). Thanks very much to the hounds who recommended this place...I'll definitely be back there.

Hopefully my dining companions will pipe in with their opinions later...that's all for now.

Dave M.P.


  1. rworange Oct 6, 2006 06:46 AM

    Nice report. Did you peek into Roosevelt Tamale Parlor at all?

    I can't answer your question exactly, but from a recent chorizo crawl of about a dozen Mexican markets (I'll finish writing that up someday), I came across that tomatillo-avocado dressing a lot. It confused me at first. Here's what is usually in them.


    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange
      Dave MP Oct 6, 2006 08:01 PM

      We walked by Roosevelt Tamale Parlor twice, but didn't really look inside. I walk by it all the time, but I've never entered. There are often lots of people in there, but recent chowhound reports are mixed. Tacos was a better way to go last night anyway. I will definitely check out RTP sometime soon as it is very close to my house.

      Thanks for the info on the tomatillo-avocado dressing...I'll try making it soon!

      Dave MP

      1. re: Dave MP
        Robert Lauriston Oct 6, 2006 08:23 PM

        Roosevelt topic:


    2. jupiter Oct 6, 2006 03:30 PM

      not to worry, my husband swears by and loves taqueria san jose...(he has specific taqueria's for specific items, and San Jose he goes for the pork)
      anyway, all the times i have been with him there i have never seen more than 3 or 4 other people eating, weird.
      but the food is always good, so go figure...

      San Jose : Pork burrito's
      Castillito : Veggie burrito's
      Cancun (at Valencia and Mission) : Carne Asada burrito's

      As you can see, he is a burrito man. he can eat one and a half in a sitting. pretty impressive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jupiter
        Robert Lauriston Oct 6, 2006 04:19 PM

        I've seen Taqueria San Jose pretty full around lunchtime.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          jupiter Oct 6, 2006 05:00 PM

          ah, well that would do it. i have only ever been for dinner.
          i figured it had to get busy at some point, since it is so large....

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