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ISO good chile rellenos, crab enchiladas, tortilla soup, huevos rancheros and decent fish tacos at restaurants with table service in SF, Santa Rosa and/or Sonoma

  • prima Apr 17, 2011 09:27 AM
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I would love to have a list of some places that serve good versions of chile rellenos, tortilla soup, crab enchiladas, and huevos rancheros (also open to breakfast burritos, breakfast tacos, etc). I realize fish tacos are more of a southern CA thing, but I'd also love recs for decent fish tacos. Even if the fish tacos in the Bay Area pale compared to those found in San Diego or Taco Temple, they're much, much better than what I can find in Canada!

I'd prefer recs for the kinds of places you would go for a particular dish, rather than recs for restaurants that generally do an ok version of everything on their menu.

My most recent order of crab enchiladas was a decent version served at the Vineyards Inn in Kenwood a few years ago, but I'm sure there must be a better version out there somewhere in Northern California ;-)

Ena's Huevos Rancheros and the Carneros Scramble at Schellville Grill sound like they are worth trying.
http://www.schellvillegrill.com/break...

Thanks for any of your feedback.

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Vineyards Inn
8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

Schellville Grill
22900 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476

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  1. in ssf, rancho de las trancas has really good crab enchiladas and in house made realllly yummy tortilla soup. their shredded beef tacos are heavenly. they stuff the tortilla with the shredded beef and some oniaons, seal it with a toothpic then fry it. their red sauce is tasty and has a really unique taste, i asked a waitress and she told me it is pumpkin pie spice.
    very simple old school place, with a great band on friday night.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikeylikesit

      http://www.chow.com/restaurants/55904...

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      Rancho Las Trancas
      792 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA 94080

      1. re: Cynsa

        Thanks, mikeylikesit and Cynsa ;-)

        Thanks also for recommending Rancho Las Trancas' shredded beef tacos. ;-) Happy to have a rec for old school Mexican American in SSF, fairly close to SFO!

        For decent, casual, economical Mexican dishes in Windsor, I've enjoyed Lupe's Diner. They have crab enchiladas, chile rellenos, fish tacos and tortilla soup on their menu, but I haven't tried their versions of those dishes yet.

        I also tried an old-school combo platter at Tropisueno last year. I ordered a decent veggie tamal and a chicken enchilada, but Il left wishing I had tried their cheese-filled chile relleno instead.

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        Tropisueno
        75 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103

        Lupe's Diner
        710 McClelland Dr, Windsor, CA 95492

    2. The best fish tacos I've had around here were at Flying Fish Grill in Half Moon Bay. They aren't Baja-style fried tacos with white sauce and cabbage; they're grilled and have options like mango salsa. But delicious.

      Chilango has decent tortilla soup and very good carnitas.

      I'd also recommend you stop in somewhere like Pastores. Irma's famous for her chilaquiles, but she makes a lot of good classic homestyle Mexican (not Mexican American) food. I believe there are huevos rancheros on the menu. She's open daytime most days, but call first if you're making a special trip.

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      Flying Fish Grill
      99 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

      Pastores Restaurant
      3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Chilango
      235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

      1 Reply
      1. re: Windy

        Thanks so much, Windy. I usually drive past Half Moon Bay at some point when I'm in CA, and haven't stopped to eat in the area in a long time. Sounds perfect.

        Thanks also for the recs for Chilango's tortilla soup and carnitas, and Pastore's chilaquiles. I like homestyle Mexican, homestyle Mexican American, restaurant-style Nuevo Mexican, as well as completely inauthentic but tasty food somehow influence by Mexican or Mexican American ingredients. :-)

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        Pastores Restaurant
        3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Chilango
        235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

      2. They do have crab enchiladas at Juan's Place in Berkeley, but I'd be hard pressed to recommend them. I was reminded of them last week when my plumbers said they were bound for there to have lunch, I went down before returning to the office.

        The enchiladas had plenty of crab, but not particularly fresh tasting or flavorful. For $17 you get 2 big ones plus a ton of rice and beans. Up until the time I made a dinner of the leftover tortillas, rice and beans, I was thinking it was not at all a good deal.

        I did like the melted cheese on top and the flour tortilla chips. Maybe better with a pitcher and a bunch of rowdy friends.

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        Juan's Place
        941 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA 94710

        6 Replies
        1. re: chocolatetartguy

          Thanks, chocolatetartguy. Sounds like I probably shouldn't bother with the crab enchiladas if I end up at Juan's Place!

          What dishes does Juan's Place do well? Noticed one CH recommended the fish tacos at Juan's in a thread from 2009. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6543... Has anyone ordered them lately? How are they?

          1. re: prima

            My one meal at Juan's was so bad I can't imagine going back unless I start hearing that they've changed, but from recent reports if anything they've gotten worse:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7765...

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks for your comments, as well as the link, Robert.

              1. re: prima

                I would not recommend Juan's for anything except maybe the chips. I live very close to Juan's and it is never an option, I'd rather hit up jack 'n the box down the street than Juan's. I cant understand the good reviews it gets, I have given it 3 tries, all of them left me wishing I hadn't.

                1. re: dunehole

                  good to know....thanks!

                  1. re: dunehole

                    just went to juan's for the first time last week. had the crab enchilada. i wish i read this post before doing so...i think that stuff was the canned kind. and the price? my goodness.

                    and i didnt like the chips...super greasy.

          2. Not sure if this is enough table service for you, but Taqueria el Sombrero #2, on Piner Road, in Santa Rosa, makes awesome chile rellenos. (So does the original Taqueria el Sombrero in Healdsburg.) You order at the counter and they bring the food to the table, so this may not be what you are looking for. But oh my gosh those are good chile rellenos!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kathleen M

              Thanks so much, Kathleen M! That's enough table service for us. Sounds great.

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              Taqueria El Sombrero
              810 Piner Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

            2. El Delfin should probably be on this list. I haven't ventured too far from the garlic prawns, but they do serve breakfast.

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              El Delfin
              3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              2 Replies
              1. re: Windy

                We love breakfast and pozole at El Delfin
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7698...

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                El Delfin
                3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: Cynsa

                  Thanks for the rec & the link, Windy & Cynsa! Hope to try it out.

              2. Alas I havent had noteworthy mexican food anywhere in Sonoma apart from El Molino Central - opposite the Sonoma Mission Inn. You order at he counter and they bring it to your table. I've had some great enchiladas there - though not seafood. They vary the offerings a couple of times a week I think rather than having a very set menu
                We had the crab enchiladas at the Vineyard Inn about 18mths ago - ok but not spectacular

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                El Molino Central
                11 Central Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95476

                1 Reply
                1. re: sonomajom

                  Thanks, sonomajom ;-) Good to know that El Molino Central has served you some great enchiladas. Hope to give it a try, while I'm in the area ;-)

                  Not sure I've ever had a spectacular crab enchilada yet, so I'll be happy enough with an ok/decent/fair/good version. I won't set the bar too high. ;-) Hope to find a spectacular version one of these days.

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                  El Molino Central
                  11 Central Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95476

                2. Do any of the following places serve good homestyle agua frescas, refrescos or horchata? Seems like most end up being made from powders or mixes. I'd love to hear about any places you'd recommend for agua frescas made from fresh fruit.

                  Chilango
                  235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                  El Delfin
                  3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  El Molino Central
                  17999 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma, CA 95476

                  Pastores Restaurant
                  3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Rancho Las Trancas
                  792 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA 94080

                  Taqueria El Sombrero
                  810 Piner Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                  Also, is the menu at Taqueria El Sombrero #2 in Santa Rosa the same as the menu at Taqueria El Sombrero #1 in Healdsburg? I found an online menu for the Healdsburg location Taqueria El Sombrero: http://www.healdsburgmenus.com/html/d... , but couldn't find an online menu for the SR location.

                  Thanks for any comments you have.

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                  El Delfin
                  3066 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Pastores Restaurant
                  3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Taqueria El Sombrero
                  810 Piner Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                  Rancho Las Trancas
                  792 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA 94080

                  Chilango
                  235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                  El Molino Central
                  11 Central Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95476

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: prima

                    I like the agua fresca at Cancun in Berkeley, although they are a little on the sweet side. They once had one made with spinach! It was kind of lemony.

                    1. re: prima

                      I'll 2nd the Berkeley Cancun recommendation. And add La Tacqueria in SF as my other favorite.

                      1. re: BernalKC

                        Thanks, BernalKC!

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                        La Taqueria
                        2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                      2. re: prima

                        Since you'll be in Sonoma County, I would highly suggest that you get yourself over to the Sunday morning farmers market in Sebastopol and check out the cooking of Mateo Granados. He does his biggest set up at that market and you won't find better huevos rancheros. But you will be distracted by the many other things on his menu, all made with local ingredients and farm fresh. He features one agua fresca a day, a blend of fruits (and sometimes herbs) from the market, much tastier and less sweet than you'll find at taquerias, This link shows some of the reports in the archive.
                        http://www.chow.com/search?query=Mate...

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                        Mateo Granados
                        399 Business Park Dr, Windsor, CA

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Thanks so much, Melanie. Hope it works out I can check out the Sebastopol Farmer's Market. Thanks for the link to the reports!

                          -----
                          Mateo Granados
                          399 Business Park Dr, Windsor, CA

                      3. favorite fish tacos are from cholita linda, a vendor at farmers markets. they do the jack london square market in oakland on sundays, but they also hit the SF upper haight farmers market on Wednesdays. I like the fact that they dont inundate the tacos with cabbage and sauce...you really get to taste the crisp of the fish. they're trying to get a truck soon...and so they've been testing new tacos recently, including a asian style carnitas taco.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: majordanby

                          Thanks for the rec!

                        2. My favorite chili relleno to date was at Chilango. My one visit to Lupe in Windsor was uninspired, but I would gladly give them another shot.

                          -----
                          Chilango
                          235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: tj442x

                            Thanks tj442x, I'm hoping to try Chilango.

                            Bear in mind that I live in Canada, so my bar for Mexican food is probably quite low. Quite possible that I've enjoyed Mexican food in the Bay Area that native Californians find uninspired and/or ordinary. ;-) I will try to find out what Lupe's does best from my friends who live in Windsor. I seem to remember that they liked the chicken burrito. On my last visit, I ordered some sort of old school combo platter.

                            -----
                            Chilango
                            235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                            1. re: prima

                              If you're staying in Windsor, you'll be close to Healdsburg and can check out Agave Mexican Restaurant. Last year I had some lovely strawberry (fresa) agua frescas there made with local fruit, and the local season has started. Also, the horchata is made in-house starting with grains of rice, not powder.

                              -----
                              Agave Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar
                              1063 Vine St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Love strawberry agua frescas and from scratch horchata. Thanks again!

                          2. Thanks again for all your recommendations. I didn't end up having an opportunity to order any agua frescas, from scratch horchata, chile rellenos, crab enchiladas or tortilla soup while I was in the Bay area. All 3 of my home-cooked meals in CA ended up being chicken enchiladas, so I didn't end up being in the mood for more enchiladas, in any event. ;-) Did pass by El Molino Central on Hwy 12, and hope to visit on another visit.

                            Ordered huevos rancheros at Hank's Creekside in Santa Rosa, which were decent, and a version at Amilia's in Sunnyvale, which were so-so. The El Dorado omelette at Amilia's looked like it was a better choice.

                            Tried the Shrimp Tacos at Gott's (formerly Taylor's Automatic Refresher) in St. Helena, which I enjoyed. My only other seafood taco was a fish taco made with superfresh pacific cod, from Tognazzini's Too fish market in Morro Bay, outside the Bay Area. http://www.chow.com/restaurants/21203...

                            -----
                            Gott's Roadside
                            933 Main St, Saint Helena, CA 94574

                            Hank's Creekside Restaurant & Emile's French Bistro
                            2800 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

                            Cafe Amilia
                            3590 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051