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Richmond – Hacienda Grill – Thanks J T … Rosemary chicken enchiladas & flank steak w/chilaquiles

rworange Feb 1, 2007 10:07 AM

J T posted about the delicious GIANT burritos at Hacienda Grill in … uh … 2005 … it was on my list. Just sorry I didn’t get to it sooner.

No kidding about those burritos … they fill a large oval plate.

Taco Truck prices for a nice sit-down restaurant with quality WAY above any truck. This is on my Richmond area top three … up there with Pepito’s and El Tapatio.

Good thin chips and mildly spicy fresh salsa.

BEVERAGES

The best aqua frescas in the Bay Area
- Orange … jar filled with thin slices of fresh orange … great fresh orangeade flavor.
- Watermelon was almost like a non-frozen slushy … sweeter and truer flavor than any watermelon I bought this year.
- Horchata with a lovely touch of cinnamon was slightly on the sweet side

There are four jars with rotating flavors. I’m looking forward to the lemon

- House-made Sangria ($2.50) – pleasantly fruity & grapey with lots of chopped orange which was finished off with a spoon. Before ordering I asked if the sangria was fresh or bottled, the owner said emphatically “Oh no … we make it here”. For some reason a sip of sangria upped the flavor of the already good chips.

PLATES

The carne asada and steak are the best I’ve had in the bay area … tender, chewy and full of flavor. When I had the steak taco on my first visit it was so good that I knew I wanted to get the marinated flank steak breakfast

It was tasty flank steak with 2 eggs over easy … perfectly done eggs. There is a choice of chilaquiles or potatoes. Nice red sauce chilaquiles with a sprinkle of chopped red onion & tomato and a dollop of crema. The plate also includes refried beans with lots cheese and whole wheat toast deliciously grilled. It made for two very filling meals … especially with the basket of chips & bowl of salsa … just over $7.

There is an UNchanging specials white board and the rosemary chicken enchiladas with rich, chocolaty black beans oozing cheese on top … well, it is an inspired dish.

The tomato-y enchilada sauce combined with the wonderfully flavorful large pieces of chicken gloriously roasted with rosemary … oh my. It comes with green salad … nice quality greens but skip the dressing … it is straight from the bottle Italian and drenched. All this goodness for $5.50.

TACOS

- Fish Taco ($2) When I rolled the super fresh succulent fish, crunchy romaine lettuce, and crema that had a tarter sauce tang to it into the taco … it was sooo good.

I was a little put off by the fish taco at first. The tacos were a little too steamed, the chopped fish looked like it was grilled but there were the tiniest bits of batter. It was a messy taco that I was eating with a fork … and that was the mistake. Roll it in that tortilla. Let the crema flow and break out the napkins. This is an inter-active dish.

- Carne asada taco ($1.50) was one of the best I have ever had with lots of tender chopped steak and an occasional touch of fat. It was so good I wanted to get the flank steak for breakfast and, as mentioned, it didn’t disappoint.

- Hard shell (durado) carnitas – This was the only meat I wasn’t crazy about and the durado wasn’t what I was looking for. The shell is folded and pre-fried, then filled with lots and lots of meat and lots and lots … and lots of shredded iceberg with a bit of salsa. The big chunks of tender pork were a little too … porky … for my taste.

OTHER

They serve breakfast until 3 pm every day. There are banana soufflé pancakes with sour cream on the menu ($4.95) though they looked like regular pancakes to me.

There’s a slight Asian thing going on that I don’t understand other than there’s a big Thai population nearby.

The spicy scrambled eggs offers Thai spicy sausage as an alternate to crispy chopped bacon (mixed with hot chili peppers, tomatoes, cilantro & onions).

The carne de Puerco en salsa is described as ‘shaking pork’ simmered with fresh tomatillo and tomato salsa. There is a soy steak sandwich and calamari tempura

The tuna burger is served with minted chili & wasabi aioli, pickled ginger on a sesame bun.

On the weekend they have a special menu page with pozole, menudo and seafood dishes.

Other interesting-sounding dishes besides the standards

- Shrimp & spinach rosemary enchiladas
- Grilled liver cooked with grilled onions & fresh cactus salsa

Given the good beef I’ve had so far, I want to try the steak tampiqueno – grilled 8 oz choice NY beef strips served with cheese enchilada. The beef fajitas might be good.

This is simple food that gets served up deliciously. The cheese is plain old shredded cheese, the tomatoes of the supermarket variety, etc.

There are American dishes on the menu like a fresh fruit plate with yogurt, smoked turkey club, burgers and a vegetarian sandwich with grilled portobella mushrooms. In addition to a Ceasar salad they have a house salad with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, avocado, egg, gorgonzola cheese & tomatoes.

It is fun to sit at the counter and watch the guys grilling up various meats. The restaurant has booths and tables and is packed during the week with a big take out business also.

Red, green and white paper flags hang from the ceiling. The TVs are sometimes tuned to soccer games. There is a juke box and you do NOT want to sit near the speaker when someone selects one of the all-Spanish tunes. It is not a fancy place but pleasant.

It is across the street from Kaiser in downtown Richmond. Brunch is served till 3pm. During the work week it is packed at lunch time. On the weekend it wasn’t very full. There’s a parking lot and it is a great hassle-free breakfast. A warning on the less populated weekend hours there can be some street commerce going on nearby.

In the link below, I ask about the unusual desserts. They only have what is on the white board which so far has only been flan.

Again, muchas gratias, J T … a tip of the sombrero to you.

Great, Gi-normous Burritos @ Hacienda Grill in Richmond
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/37817

Hacienda Grill
Mexican-American Cuisine

1000 Nevin Ave on the corner of Harbour Way which is an exit on 580
Richmond, Ca 94801

510-233-0800

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am – 9pm
Sat-Sun: 9am – 9pm

  1. gatun Feb 1, 2007 01:57 PM

    Thanks again for a great report. I am always on the lookout for great machacha and chiliquiles. I have not been successful in the machacah departement. I look forward to a nice mexican breakfast when i return home.

    gatun in India ...very ...remote India

    1. RCK Feb 1, 2007 12:53 PM

      Very nice report, thanks. They must make Menudo on weekends, love to hear about it. I wish you had a camera, it would be a pleasure to see some of this as well.

      1. Ruth Lafler Feb 1, 2007 12:49 PM

        Great report. I didn't know it was possible for anything, let alone pork, to be too porky, though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          rworange Feb 1, 2007 09:55 PM

          I guess the better word would be gamey ... the flavor shouted "I am pig"

          1. re: rworange
            Eat_Nopal Feb 5, 2007 04:36 AM

            It was probably a male pig... and it probably was not killed successfully on the first try.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal
              rworange Feb 5, 2007 06:10 AM

              Interesting. Somehow reflecting on that it makes me feel worse.

              However, given the neighborhood it was more probably a pig one of the local carnecerias kept around too long ... after death. I suppose one of these days I'll try one of the other pork dishes and see if it was a one-time thing. The taste was more like a roast leg of lamb the next day ... but with pig rather than lamb gaminess. Don't know if that is intended.

              1. re: rworange
                Eat_Nopal Feb 5, 2007 09:13 AM

                Yeah it could be old pig. But, I am pretty sure I know the flavor you are talking about (unfortunately I've driven past the Farmer John processing plant in L.A. too many times)... and it is usually the result of a sloppy butchering attempt. (My paternal grandpa raised & slaughtered pigs in Jalisco before they moved to Mexico City in 1960... so I have heard my share of pig business stories).

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