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"Authentic" inexpensive homestyle Mexican?

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East Coast friends are visiting on a budget and want "real" homestyle Mexican; ie. not fancy Cal-Mexican-fusion. Strongly prefer SF proper, unless there's somewhere absolutely destination worthy in the East Bay.

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  1. Poc Chuc for Mayan. The stews in particular are very homey. Best homemade tortillas in town.

    http://pocchuc.com/

    1. Taqueria San Jose on Mission near 24th for tacos al pastor and tacos de chorizo.

      Chava's used to be my go-to for caldo. Maybe there's a better place.

      Second on Poc-Chuc for Yucatecan.

      Nopalito, Mamacita, Nido (Oakland), Comal (Berkeley), El Molino Central (Sonoma), and Mateo's (Healdsburg) aren't fusion. They just use better ingredients, perhaps cook more carefully, and have better drinks. Nido's food tastes to me like I'm in Guadalajara.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thanks Robert and CB,

        What do you usually get at Poc-Chuc? I've been a couple of times and apart from their tacos, I've never had anything really enjoyable.

        I thought Nopalito was more gringo SF Cal-Mexican, no?

        Is Nido worth trekking to Oakland for in your opinion?

        1. re: OliverB

          The relleno blanco is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. Homey and earthy. It's the kind of soulful dish that I deliberately do not order very often just to make sure I never get tired of it.

          1. re: Civil Bear

            Thanks, I'll give it another shot and try that out next time!

          2. re: OliverB

            At Poc-Chuc, my favorites have been the panuchos, empanadas, chilmole, relleno blanco, pollo pibil, and mondongo.

            1. re: OliverB

              Nopalito isn't really Cal-Mexican despite the California focused ingredients, but it's also not the first place that came to mind for what you're after unless they want Tortas or a mole, specifically.

          3. What homestyle dishes are they looking for?

            A lot of Mexican places serve birria and menudo only on weekends. I'd recommend Gallardos for that.

            1. gallardo's or san jalisco. note that the word is out about both of them and now attract long brunch lines on weekends. gallardo's also has a new location.

              reaction restaurant for mexico city street food. vallarta for tacos.

              1. Of that kind of restaurant, Taqueria Campos in Oakland is the one I've most enjoyed in (Alta) California. Foothill near 37th.

                http://www.facebook.com/TaqueriaCampos