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Oct 26, 2006 07:06 PM

Al Fresco Dining at Taqueria Santa Rosa in Healdsburg

With the thermometer still hovering above 80 degrees at 6pm last Friday, I stareted to think about spots where I could have a light, inexpensive dinner outdoors instead of going home. I ended up at one of the three outdoor tables at Taqueria Santa Rosa, which shares a parking lot with Safeway and Wells Fargo.

The thin, freshly made chips are still about the best around, served warm. But the self-serve salsa bar is gone, and the salsas themselves are not nearly as good as before. The fish taco was good enough, marred by too-watery lettuce. But the mild fish had a nice crispy crust without drying out, and I liked the way the fish was cooked in a larger slab then cut into bite-size pieces. The tostada with ceviche de camarones was just okay too. The piƱa aqua fresca was too dilute. I'm not running back here with the other choices in town, but this was reasonable value for my $8 and change, on a warm night.

Image of dinner at Taqueria Santa Rosa -

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  1. Melanie, have you tried Panaderia Sandoval or the Mexican joints in that little strip mall on the main route into Healdsburg from 101?

    I stopped by the panadria a few weeks back. It is pretty small and the only interesting thing was some large stacked plate-sized pastry shells. I was wilted from the heat by this time and didn't ask what they were or how they were used.

    As I pulled out of the lot though, the Mexican market on the corner of the strip mall caught my attention because it seemed to be doing a bit of business.

    I think there was some other Mexican joint in there too, but I could be wrong.

    1. I've stepped into that panaderia a couple times without finding anything of interest, but not in the last year. Likewise haven't been to the Mexican market there since its grand opening. At the time, it was a priced a bit higher than the long-established Los Mares on the north end of town. Los Mares has an advantage for me in being closer to the center of town and sharing a parking lot with Anstead's for a park-once grocery run.

      Taqueria Guadalajara in that same strip mall is excellent. Better than Taqueria Santa Rosa.
      That said, if I'm not at the taco trucks on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa for a quick bite, my Mexican dining dollars in Healdsburg tend to be spent at Los Mares. I'm still a sucker for taco stands attached to carnicerias, and the aircon there is better.