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May 5, 2011 12:25 PM

San Rafael: Picante or Taqueria San Jose?

Our regular place is Taqueria San Jose on 4th St., but one of my students swears by Picante in the Canal.

How's the salsa and guac?
Agua frescas?

Any strong opinions?

340 Bellam Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94901

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  1. Picante doesn't have a salsa bar and chips are extra, but the squeeze bottles of salsa at the table are excellent. Their verde and chipotle salsas are well made and very spicy. Their homemade pickled jalapenos are really spicy too.

    They roast their al pastor on the spit, which is what I always order and I believe it's superior to San Jose's. But San Jose's salsa bar (and low prices) are what keep me going back.

    Haven't tried their guac or agua frescas.

    If I want picante and don't need chips, I go to Picante.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DezzerSF

      How does Picante compare with its next store neighbor, Mi Pueblo?

      1. re: wolfe

        Mi Pueblo also has the al pastor on the spit, but I didn't find the flavors to be that great. Not as porky, and maybe more of a tomato flavor. They, too, do not have a salsa bar. I can't remember how their other taco meats were.

        The best of their steam table fare I've had was the lengua in salsa verde, very nice. The other stuff, just so so.

        I used to get their chicken burritos outside at the chicken grill, but the burrito assembly has gone downhill so I've stopped getting them. But the chicken had good flavor to it.

    2. Picante's quesadillas on flour tortillas are marvelous, especially if you get a side of guac. I like their agua frescas too.