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Feb 18, 2012 11:00 PM

A Week in King City

I'm going to be spending a week in King City setting up and then running the Monterey Wine Competition. I'd sure like an update on places worth a visit. Thanks!

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  1. Paso Robles is an hour away for lots of good choices. There is apparently one Mexican restaurant that is better than others if you check out prior posts here. But most of us passing through King City get gas, a Starbucks and maybe a Subway tuna sand. Sorry. Ask your local wine producers because food and wine would obviously be their speciality. If you find something, there will be a lot of happy Highway 101 travelers who will benefit from your discovery. Plus Subway makes a darn good tuna deli sandwich.

    10 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      " Plus Subway makes a darn good tuna deli sandwich" - I hope your are not serious. The tuna sandwich at Subway is just vile

      1. re: honkman

        Love it with all the fixings - the small deli size, with fresh baked bread and a nice glop of creamy tuna. Yum. But then I will go out of my way for IHOP's swedish pancakes too. And Julienne's in SB. Just call me eclectic I guess.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Completely agree on Julienne but IHOP and Subway are a waste of calories and just highly processed food/crap

          1. re: honkman

            Waste of calories, yes. But then so is butter and cream. Not much processed in either the Swedish pancakes or the deli-tuna sandwich. I'd treat you to both and then it would be a fairer playing field for discussion. Notice I am menu item specific, not chain generous. And some times when stuck in the King Cities or the Kettleman Cities of the world, these chain menu specific items are good alternatives.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              The bread (key part of every sandwich) at Subway is highly processed with a long list of ingredients which are normally not in bread, including HFCS. Their bread is some of the worst in ant restaurant or fast food chain. IHOP is also well known to work along the same lines with their ingredients.

              1. re: honkman

                HFCS is a very minor ingredient in bread and hasn't killed anyone. The "high" fructose is only a few measly metrics more than cane sugar. Alcohol is not normally found in grapes either. Nor caramelizing in carrots. Save your crusade for some other website, please. Thank you.

      2. re: glbtrtr

        That makes me really sad. King City has some terrific Mexican restaurants that are only a minute or two further away from the freeway than those chains.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Melanie Wong, thanks for steering me to downtown King never been off the freeway stops in King City but i was in the area and tried Lorena's, just down the block from El Lugarcito...great carnitas tacos...homemade corn tortillas, perfect carnitas...tacos

          1. re: lapizzamaven

            Hello, lapizzamaven, merry, merry! Thanks for the King City update. This might be the first time you and I have every talked about anything other than pizza. ;)

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              could be Melanie Wong, but im seriously grateful! i spent 2 days around Paso Robles and King City and i was amazed as soon as i turned up Broadway...i went into El Lugarcito first(i thiink you mentioned it) but they didnt have home made tortillas so they pointed me a few doors down to Lorena's...which was excellent...and there must be half a dozen restaurants within 3 blocks pretty amazing...thanks again...and merry merry happy happy to you

      3. You don't have to travel or be forced to endure chains in the area, there are many Mexican places in the downtown area. This list is from a few years back but will at least give you a starting point:

        Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco - sopes, carnitas, al pastor
        201 Broadway St
        (831) 385-7500

        El Lugarcito Restaurant
        128 Broadway St, - shrimp tostadas, whole fried fish, green salsa, shrimp tostada with lime-cilantro dressing, whole fried fish (avoid tacos exc. for carne asada) E end of Broadway on the corner

        4 Hermanos, 101 Bassett St. (also in Soledad and Paso Robles), supposedly the best chile verde in town. The Sunday special was tostada de ceviche

        Mercado La Mexicana, small grocery store at 327 Broadway had a special of two tacos for $1. I tried the chicharrones guisados and cachete. The cachete was beef cheek meat, and unlike the stewed versions I’ve had elsewhere, the crusty edges on the fine dice seemed like it was roasted or cooked by dry heat. The flavor was much more intense and beef-y. The chicharrones were stewed in a VERY spicy chili sauce.

        Taqueria across Broadway kitty corner from El Lugarcito, great Lengua, carnitas, buche etc

        Keefer's was popular but has closed and is now Margie's Diner at last report.

        Please report back with any updates or new finds.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          Had the best carnitas ever at El Lugarcito. Well worth a visit!

          1. re: PolarBear

            4 Hermanos has closed. Keefer's restaurant was replaced by Lawrence but I haven't heard anything good about it.

            El Lugarcito Restaurant
            128 Broadway St, King City, CA 93930

            Lawrence Restaurant
            611 Canal St, King City, CA 93930

          2. Bob, I used to judge that competition. King City, as you've surely discovered, has some excellent Mexican restaurants, even by the standards of someone like you who lives in the San Diego area. I would make a point to try one or two each year. I had no serious disappointments and overall enjoyed them tremendously. I recall sneaking away for breakfast at a birrieria with David S or the time I bought menudo at the Sunday flea market trucks to share with Marco C. Some good times there, and the fair's volunteers always greeted me warmly as a "local" returned home to the Salinas Valley.

            In June I was in King City and tried Huarache King. It is very good.

            Before that meal, we'd stopped at La Potranca de Jalisco to try some tacos. The tortillas were on the tough side and while the meats (carnitas and al pastor) were fine, they didn't seem that special to me. Luckily, that motivated us to move on to another place and we landed at Huarache King.

            Tacos La Potranca De Jalisco
            201 Broadway St, King City, CA 93930

            Huarache King
            322 Broadway St, King City, CA 93930

            4 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              thanks for sharing this find, mealnie. I was through town too early one morning and the only place open was dissapointing. Tough Lengua, who knew? Now I know about another place to try.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  it was very early, and I was so non-plussed by the tough, (nyang, nyang, nyang...) lengua I obliterated the experience from my memory. It was about 2 blocks south B'way from EL. same corner. Set up as a grab-n-go spot, not a full sitdown.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Not quite in King City, but I do have a recent Greenfield report. Two friends tried out Taqueria Las Fuentes, which is described by Melanie Wong here:

                Definitely worth checking out while in that area!

                Dave MP

              2. Randomly, I was also in King City the other day, and ate at El Lugarcito. It was good, but not that amazing, in my opinion. Shrimp tostada was fresh and nice, but it was a lot of lettuce and the dressing tasted like bottled Italian dressing (though it may not have been this).

                Carne asada was decent, served with good beans and rice and tortillas and salad.

                Friendly, nice atmosphere. But while the food was perfectly good, I didn't think it was that special.