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Apr 27, 2009 01:47 PM

El Taco de Oro: Fooled Again by the Suckiness of Alviso (Also, World’s Worst Bulletproof Device)

Alviso, I feel like the Tina to your Ike and I just keep coming back and then you bitchslap me with your suckiness once more. I really want to like you – your sultry historicalness, your quirky location bedroom eyes, that tight marsh ass – but then I eat your food and it’s two star quality all over again.

I thought eating in Alviso would be a good call this time (despite my best previous best meal in Alviso being the so-so at best, Maria Elena’s). After all, the El Taco de Oro taco truck had the highest rating on Yelp of any restaurant in the ENTIRE SOUTH BAY. In fact, the El Taco de Oro taco truck was so successful they’d taken over the restaurant next door. I’d been to that location a year ago when it was Andiamo’s and it was the suck. I should have known the location had the sucky food curse…

I got two tacos at El Taco de Oro – they’re $1.25 for a regular taco, $1.99 for a super taco (with guac, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese). This was the SADDEST guacamole I’ve ever seen. It’s offensive to other guacamole to even call this stuff guacamole. It was more like a vinaigrette than guacamole.

Despite the salad dressing-esque guac, the super taco was still better than the regular just for the addition of tomatoes. I got one pollo asado taco and one carnitas. The pollo asado consisted of seasoned chicken, but the seasoning didn’t taste good. The carnitas were a little better. The whole time I was there I kept wishing I was at Super Taqueria instead which I’d visited the previous week. I couldn’t believe I ordered tacos at a place renowned for its taco truck, and their tacos suck donkey balls.

The tacos are served in the traditional soft taco way with two tacos underneath a pile of meat that you fold up yourself. I distributed my meat to make four tacos. At the time I thought, “At least lunch is only $3.25 before tip and tax. At least it’s a total bargain.” But then I realized that I was still hungry (so bargain no longer) and I didn’t want any more of their sub-par tacos.

I debated on ordering anything else because other than seeing the server to order and to get my food she was AWOL. Thankfully another friendlier server came by so I ordered their basic cheese quesadilla ($3.50). So then my meal came to $8.50 after tip and tax for sub-par food. Oh wait, I’m jumping ahead because I haven’t described the quesadilla yet. (Spoiler alert: it’s sub-par.) It was definitely better than the tacos at least. It was still below average for a quesadilla though and was dribbled with more of the guacamole vinaigrette.

The whole time I was seated in the back room which is nice and sunny. However, it’s also Siberia in terms of getting any servers to come check on you after 1 p.m. since you’re not visible from the main restaurant. Even with the friendlier server I still gave up on getting my check and went ahead to the register to pay.

Oh yeah, for some reason there’s a big plastic shield that curves around the whole register counter. There’s a rectangle cut out of it at the place where you give them money. It’s like the WORLD’S WORST BULLETPROOF DEVICE. You know how when you go to some post offices or fast food restaurants in the hood sometimes there’s that thick plastic barrier and contraption to receive money so that at no time someone can hold up the employees with a gat? At El Taco de Oro they just used some thin bendable plastic and forgot that someone with a gun could just put it through the rectangular cut-out or point it at the employees from above the plastic shield, since the plastic shield lacked a plastic ceiling.

Next time I start talking about visiting a restaurant in Alviso again, please stop me. Friends don’t let friends eat in Alviso.

El Taco De Oro Restaurant
5220 N 1st St, San Jose, CA

Maria Elena's Restaurant
1450 Gold St, Alviso, CA

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  1. Sorry to hear about your experience.

    They also have a taco truck that parks on ECR in Sunnyvale. What they are known for is their lengua tacos, some of the best lengua I've had.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DezzerSF

      Old report: I had tacos from I believe a Taco de Oro truck on Wilson (at Grand Blvd) Alviso, next to the softball field. Two of us went here for lunch 6/22/06. It was my first time there, friend has been before. I ordered for us: 2 lengua (tongue) tacos, 2 pastor (pork), and 2 carnitas (pork), 1 Gatorade, and 1 Diet Coke (no Diet Pepsi). Total was $8.50.

      It was all ok, but my favorite had to be the lengua. Very tender with onions and kinda spicy. Comes with 2 corn tortillas and some radishes. Carnitas and pastor just ok, not the best.

      Tacos are $1 each; burritos $3.00; torta $2.50; Super Burrito $4.50; Taco w/ cheese $1.25.

      CASH ONLY.

      1. re: DezzerSF

        A group of us went there today (restaurant, not the truck).
        I had 4 regular tacos - cabeza (beef cheek) was the best, followed by the carnitas, then the lengua, and the carne asada was just ok.

        Very filling, and a great deal for $5.

        1. re: pter

          I was at the Sunnyvale truck recently as well, and also liked the cabeza best. Lengua wasn't as good as I've had, but I think it's due to the part of the tongue I was served.

      2. I don't know, the option of a super taco would send me running. So, was the super taco bomb served on soft tortillas also, or hard shells a la Taco Bell?

        Sometimes Mexican markets make this sort of thin guacamole salsa. Maybe that's what they were putting on the taco.

        Maybe the plastic was swine flu protection, so no one's breath invaded the others while handing you your carnitas taco.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          The Super Taco was served on soft tortillas - the only difference between it and a regular taco was the addition of "guac," sour cream (which I skipped), lettuce, and tomatoes, and cheese.

          By the way, I ate there two weeks ago before the swine flu news exploded.

        2. Katya, thanks for your contender to Funniest ....... Review ....... Ever.

          "El Taco de Oro taco truck had the highest rating on Yelp of any restaurant in the ENTIRE SOUTH BAY."
          "$1.99 for a super taco (with guac, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese)."

          That validates my suspicions about the Yelp demographic. Yeeesh. I'm 400 miles away and I felt that bitchslap :-\. What, you didn't rave about the chips and salsa?
          Time for a big hit of Pepto Bismol.

          1. To be fair to Yelp, the Taco de Oro restaurant gets a lower rating (3.5) than any of the trucks (4 and 4.5).

            3 Replies
              1. re: wolfe

                For some reason, the El Tonayense restaurant is worse than their trucks too.

                1. re: xanadude

                  No, I mean when did we have to be fair to Yelp.