Mendoza Taqueria, San Jose Report
Bustling with large families, roving musicians, some dude selling cd's outside, and platters of great homestyle michoacano cooking, Mendoza Taqueria epitomizes what a good neigborhood Mexican restaurant should be. On my many visits here i have had the following items:
Enchiladas con Güilotes: corn tortillas dipped in a chile sauce and folded in half, served with finely shredded cabbage, a pickled jalapeño, fried potato rounds, a romaine lettuce leaf, avocado, and two whole fried quails, and topped with cotija cheese. This is one of my favorite things i've had here, and by the looks of it, one of the most popular with customers. The quail is tender with browned crispy skin. The combination of the soft, flavorful enchiladas, the crunchy vegetables, and the savory potatoes and quail make for a satisfying meal.
Birria de Chivo: Another one of the more popular dishes there, it is a steaming bowl of tender boneless goat in an herbal chile-flavored broth. It comes with homemade corn tortillas, lime, cilantro, and onions. The tortillas here are very good, soft and pillowy. The combination is pretty good overall. My only complaint is that the bowl is a little small.
Morisqueta: Pork ribs hacked into small cubes stewed in a tomato and chile sauce until and served over peruano beans and white rice. The stew is tangy, and not very piquant, but had a great flavor. The rice is just regular white rice (morisqueta means plain boiled rice in mexico). The combination of the layers of pork, beans, and rice was wonderful.
Uchepos: The popular fresh corn tamal from Michoacan. Here it is superb. The first time that i went here there was a big pickup unloading crates of field corn for the uchepos. Slighly sweet and tender, it goes well with the squeeze bottles of crema and salsa roja y verde on the table.
Huarache regular: a sandal shaped tortilla with the edges pinched up, topped with refried peruano beans, cotija cheese, onion, and cilantro, it is different from the central mexican style huaraches found in most other places. it is different, but just as good. there is also a meat option. The sope, which is a different shape is much the same
Gorditas: This is not on the printed menu, but on poster board on a wall at the back. The fillings include aporradilla (dried beef stew), chicharron, pollo, chorizo, and many others. I had the gordita con pollo and it was very satisfying. It is the same as most gorditas, with a fat corn tortilla split open and fried filled with chicken seasoned with chile.
Horchata: Homemade, not too starchy or sweet, and with specks of canela floating around, this was the best horchata that i've had for a while
At the table there is an assortment of salsas and condiments including salsa verde, salsa roja, salsa de aguacate, crema, salsa macha (dried chile ground with oil), oregano, onion, and cilantro to have with your meal. It is usually very crowded on saturdays and sundays. around 1 or 2 when families go out for their weekend comida
2100 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122
I thought I'd bump this up
I was trying to get to Texas Smokehouse. Google said it was open - how wrong they were. Going home hungry, I thought I"d be ending up at in n out, given the hour, but there were a lot of taquerias along story rd - mostly closed.
One was bright and lively, so I popped open Y*lp and saw a quick 4 stars - worth a try. Inside was bright and mexican, decidedly low rent, but with a band occasionally striking up a tune. Most of the people were almost lounging, it's the kind of place where you can buy a soda and linger for hours.
The star of the show is that they make their tacos by hand (hecho el mano right on the sign out front), and instantly recognizable from Los Gemelos with that same chewy style.
The meat I had that day was one the pathetic side, though. I have to expect that closer to the middle of their meal service, they have fresher meat that's less dried and stringy.
This is a great place - assuming the meat is better than I sampled .
re: Ruth Lafler
re: Ruth Lafler
I'm always surprised by the lack of reports on Mexican food in SJ given the large Latino population. I know there's places and I've been to some good old school mom and pop places in SJ when I hung out there but I never remembered the names because I wasn't living there and it's been a long while.