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Mexican en route from Oakland to Carmel

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Driving from Oakland to Carmel, we're looking for a delicious Mexican lunch a) not too far off our route and b) in the greater San Jose area.

(I've combed past posts re San Jose Mexican--and while there's a lot there, I got a bit lost in the weeds of lunch v. dinner, distance from the road, older posts that may/may not still be good, etc.--so posting, to narrow the query a bit)

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    1. re: wolfe

      Not a fan of Andale.Feel it is very average fare.Would not consider that in the posters request for"...looking for a delicious Mexican lunch".As not from the greater San Jose area,I wish had a better suggestion.

    2. There's a somewhat pricey taqueria in the San Pedro Square market in downtown SJ. I think it's called Loteria Taco. It's not the typical taqueria menu. It's a little more upscale than that. I've only been there one time, but what I had was good and what I saw looked worth trying. I'll go there again.

      Along similar lines is Zona Rosa on The Alameda, also in SJ, not too far from the airport. It's a restaurant, not a taqueria, and it's more high end. The food is good, not great, lacks a little character for what it costs.

      Tu Mero Mole off of Union a little north of 85 in South San Jose is more of a hole in the wall Mexican place, but a couple of cuts above most. Good food, good prices. Been there a bunch of times. I think they're owned by someone in the family of the owners of the aforementioned Andale.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maigre

        Tu Mero Mole is our regular spot within the zone south of the s.rafael-richmond bridge/north of salinas. they offer a bit more than the usual tacqueria fare, with fresher flavors than the average place.

      2. Having made that drive several hundred times, I would recommend El Michoacano in Gilroy if you feel up to waiting a little longer. It's right off of 101 (exit 10th St. / 152) in a little shopping center. I had the carne asada plate the last two visits. I've never found any great Mexican in the SJ area that was so easily accessible. Good luck!

        3 Replies
        1. re: TerriL

          Wow, I will keep your suggestion in mind - we only go down to Monterey/Carmel once or twice a year, but altho we love Teske's German food, no denying that traffic down there can snarl the best of plans! I'm always up for a good carne asada, LOL.

          1. re: TerriL

            We stopped @ El Michoacano in Gilroy--location was great (right off the freeway)--but we didn't love it. Maybe an off day? Chips were just OK, but the salsa was great, leaving me to think this is a kitchen w/ some good potential. That said, I had mixed fish cocktel, which was fine, but not as good a broth as I've had in Fruitvale. My husband had the carne asada plate, which I tasted--and the meat was kind of dry. A friend who was with us had a burrito which she also pronounced on the dry side. Service was fine. We'll give it another try, when we're driving the same route. And otherwise keep looking.

            1. re: sundeck sue

              Oh, bummer! The carne asada was definitely not dry either time I had it. I sure hope you went on an off day. I'll probably stop by in the next few weeks -- if so, I'll report back.