East Somerville Salvadoran/Mexican places
Which is[are] your favorite[s], and why? Do you find any differences between Luis Morales's various establishments? I continue to boggle, a little, that he owns three* restaurants on that strip.
* Unless I have my facts wrong, which I may.
My favorite so far is Taco Loco - I love the tacos, the veg burrito and the chicken-veggie pocket-things (I'm sorry I don't know what they're called). Also, the people who work there could not be nicer (okay, maybe they could but then it would be ridiculous).
I am not a fan of Gaucho - bust mostly b/c I live around the corner and they are not 'good neighbors' in my experience - the food is also so-so at best in my experiences.
I've not tried Tapatio since it's reopening, but it's on my list for the near-term.
Gauchao is Brazilian, no?
Had lunch at Montecristo today, which is on the south side of Bwy just a couple blocks east of 28. Excellent food, very good experience. Probably not a destination spot, but if you are nearby it is certainly worth going. Though they mention Mexican on the sign and menu, it is really a Salvadorean place. The other diners seemed to be exclusively members of the local Salvadorean community. I doubt the staff speak much if any English, but if hounds are pressed pointing at the menu will certainly work. We had a tamale, pupusa, adobada (pork) taco, beef enchilada Salvadoreña, and two fresh drinks. Tamale: delicious and remarkable - soft, moist, flavorful, and packed with huge chunks of dark meat chicken (with bones). Pupusa: freshly assembled and cooked, crispy on the outside. Taco: adobado pork was reddish and had a little kick and some sweetness, reminiscent of al pastor but with firmer meat, topped with lettuce and tomato instead of cilantro and onion, not especially exciting but tasty nonetheless. Enchilada: nothing like a Mexican enchilada, more like a tostada, smoky refried beans and tender slightly crispy bits of beef, possibly sauced with something mildly smoky (chipotle?) after cooking, served atop a fried tortilla, then slathered in crema and topped liberally with white cheese. The horchata was pretty standard but good, and the other juice, marañon, while a little too sweet, had a refreshing slightly astringent flavor that is addicting (this is the 'cashew apple' juice also available at some Brazilian restaurants, and rumored to be good for the memory - had to google the name so I will not swear to that feature of the fruit). The tamale was the clear winner, but also excellent were the enchilada, pupusa, and of course jogo de marañon. Very cheap lunch as well, at $15 before tax.
Luis Morales does own three restaurants on that stretch of Broadway. I'm not sure what the logic is there, but it seems to be working.
The food at Maya Sol and Taco Loco is pretty much the same, so if I'm on my own I choose based on which end of the street I happen to be on. Maya Sol has more seating and ambiance, so it's better for sit-down dining. I go to those two more often than the other places on Broadway. The food is good, the service is friendly even if you don't speak Spanish, and you can watch soccer on TV while you wait for your takeout. Maya Sol also has a larger menu that includes things like enchiladas and taco salad, which you may not be able to get at Taco Loco or some of the other restaurants in the neighborhood.