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Proper Mexican Meal in Fruitvale / Oakland

I know there are some great Taco Trucks & Antojitos places in Fruitvale & Oakland... but I will be down there next Monday and was hoping to eat somewhere that can supply a proper comida... Soup, Salad, Guiso, Homemade Tortillas, Coffee or Hot Chocolate etc.,... I don't mind if its a downscale joint... I just want to be able to get a balanced meal (as opposed to Tacos with Rice & Beans).

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  1. El Taco Zamorano Restaurant - 4032 Foothill Ave. High Street exit.

    4 Replies
    1. re: adrienne156

      What type of guiso do you recommend at Zamarano?

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I have to admit that I don't know the full definition of a Mexican guiso. Do they usually contain veggies like those in Argentina?

        Although I usually order the steak ranchero which I'm not sure would be classified as a guiso (it does have a good amount of juices from the meat, but I wouldn't consider "stewed"), lately I've been getting the chile colorado and asking them to up the heat. I really like the smokiness.

        Just a fair warning - I'm not nearly as knowledgable about Mexican food as many on this board. That being said, I've had enough mediocre Mexican food to know what it looks like and purely based on taste, have recommended this place to a handful of people - including a food writer friend - and each person thoroughly enjoyed their meal. I hope you find something you like.

        1. re: adrienne156

          Maybe we can get EN to describe what he's looking for in guisos. I asked because it would seem to be the main component of his request and I wasn't sure that Zamorano offered those kind of dishes.

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          Otaez
          3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

          El Taco Zamorano Restaurant
          4032 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

          Santo Coyote
          4806 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

          1. re: adrienne156

            The Mexican definition of a Guiso is broad (relative to the Spanish / Latin American definition)... the composition/texture ranges from Chinese stir frys to juicy Braises.

            In Mexico we would consider anything from a say Shrimp & Zucchini seared on a comal... then sauced with a thick adobo for the last 30 seconds... to chicken that has been simmered, broth used to make a chile based thin sauce... then chicken is browned & added back to the sauce with vegetables... would be Guisos (at least in the contemporary lingo).

      2. Otaez -- except I haven't been there since they opened the branch in Alameda, so I don't know if they've gone downhill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Was there twice in the last two weeks. I actually prefer this location over Alameda (service seems more prompt, possibly because it's smaller and enjoyed people-watching during the short wait for food) even though I live closer to the Alameda branch. The International location has a small parking lot available around the corner on 39th Ave.

          We enjoyed the pescado ala diabla, tacos di birria, chili rellano. Horchata was huge (I'm not used to gigantic beverages). Good valued meals.

        2. Thanks for those recs.... I researched the threads... and at their best... they both sound like what I am looking for... so can I get a vote...

          Taco Zamorano or Otaez?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Well, I'm going to contradict myself and vote for Taco Zamorano -- mostly because I've never been myself and I'd like to read your take on it!

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              My husband prefered the fried whole fish at Taco Zamorano on Foothill vs. Otaez on International. Mainly, because Zamorano prices by size (small, medium, and large)and if they don't have a medium, he's been upgraded for for no additional charge. Otaez had one price.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Unfortunately my meeting let out too early for dinner, I was still stuffed from a Viet deli in downtown Oakland... and I ended up driving back home for dinner. Next time, Gadget... next time.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    First time in history I'm sorry a meeting ended early! You'll just have to come with us on a Fruitvale crawl soon.

              1. La Cenaduria de Ana Rosa

                4806 Int'l Blvd