Really good homestyle Mexican in ORANGE COUNTY area (or nearby)
For a reception party with approx. 40 guests.
Traditional catering would be ideal but not necessary.
Requisites are: 1) inexpensive! 2) authentic Mexican homestyle cooking 3) delicious, fresh, flavorful, etc!
It could be a restaurant, canteen or taqueria (though not limited strictly to street style food!), the contact of a person or persons whether independent or through a highly recommended catering company. As long as the ingredients are fresh, the flavors are authentic, the price is reasonable, and it could be arranged to accommodate a party of approx. 40 people near Orange County.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
Again, I'm willing to reach out to restaurants or small family owned and run establishments to inquire about catering if anyone has any recommendations to offer.
It's a very big county, whereabouts would the event take place ?
In central OC, there are bazillions of "homestyle" (authentic") places in Santa Ana, for example. Personally I love a taqueria called Taqueria Two Guys (http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-2-guys-santa-ana), the food is awesome and the owners and staff couldn't be more accomodating and friendly, you should check it out and talk with them, I'd bet they'd be happy to meet your needs.
You might also want to check out a great truck called Tacos Ruben Y Mulitas: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tacos-ruben-y-mulitas-santa-ana
And, in the Huntington Beach area there's a wonderful place called Taqueria Don Victor, they do many things well but the specialty is barbacoa using lamb, and of course the tortillas are handmade (like the two places above as well). It's fantastic stuff !
+1 on El Farolito. It is family run (one of the owners' sons is on my son's soccer team) and definitely fits your requirement food-wise. The carnitas are my go to dish. Also in Placentia is El Sabroso Grill. They have a great selection of tacos (asada, carnitas, lengua, tripas, cabeza, al pastor, etc.), all of which are great.
+1 on Taqueria Two Guys. I would add Taqueria Zamora in Santa Ana. House-made corn tortillas and really solid food. Their space is divided into two rooms, but it could easily accommodate your group. Not sure if they will shut down the whole space for you, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
+2 on El Farolito and the carnitas.
I just came back from Taqueria 2 Guys and loved it. First time there and it's as authentic as you can get. Family owned small store in SA. Great pastor, chorizo and chicken tacos. $1.29 per taco. I enjoyed T2G much more than Zamora. I felt like the tacos at Zamora were big but the meats didn't have the same quality. The beans and that hot salsa at Zamora are excellent as well as the home made tortillas. For the actual fillings inside the taco I would go with T2G.
Good points on Zamora. Now that I think about it, I usually go for breakfast and/or don't order tacos. The tacos are bigger than I like, and I don't love their carnitas, but just about everything else I've tried there has been great (asada, chicken enchiladas, sopes are a few of the dishes I've enjoyed). The breakfast items are hard to beat, too. I love their chilaquiles (red or green), huevos rancheros, machaca and chorizo plates.
Thank you so much for all of the great advice and suggestions!
I should have mentioned that the party is going to be hosted at the Astoria Clubhouse Central Park W. in Irvine.
I'm happy with just tacos but I'm sure my wife probably wants a few more options - tamales pollo and chilli verde with rice and refried beans, handmade tortillas with great salsas, possibly a pozole or sopa azteca/tortilla, etc. But of course, excellent tacos as well!
I think this is more the direction that she's leaning, though I am going to suggest that we explore all of the recommendations above too! It seems as though Farolito and Two Guys are the most popular on the forum.
I should also mention that while the majority of guests will be really happy with carnitas and carne asada tacos, we'll have a small handful of vegetarians and a few who only eat chicken so ideally a really well rounded plaqce would work best!
Thank you all again for these recommendations; it's a huge help!!
We have had El Farolito cater parties. Well, not exactly cater. We picked the food up ourselves, so I don't know if they will do delivery and setup for you, but I think I remember hearing that they will. We had big trays of carnitas, asada, beans, rice and tortillas. All very good.
Not sure about T2G. If T2G will cater, it's definitely closer to you, and I think the food is better.
This probably comes too late, but if you are looking for good catered food that you pick up yourself, El Toro Bravo in Costa Mesa is fantastic. I've done that a few times. Big plus with them is the quality of the food, and the freshness of the tortillas/masa (it's a tortilleria, and they grind all their masa). Good stuff.
They have lots of options for catered meals, however, you have to pick up and serve yourself, I believe. I don't think they offer on-site catering. But worth a call to find out.