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Apr 15, 2014 01:37 PM

El Cabrito

I happened upon this Oaxacan-flavored truck on Rainier Avenue today. It sat in the former Stan's Drive-in lot (now Altercare MMJ) just north of San Fernando Roasted Chicken. As the truck photo depicts, a new visitor gets the sense there is a higher-level artistic vision behind Cabrito than prevails at the average mobile taqueria. The photo-menu here displays the Oaxacan specialties, including tlayudas, barbacoa, enfrijoladas and large square-shaped mole-infused tamales. More conventional tacos and burritos are also sold. Black bean paste/sauce seems to feature prominently, as one might expect from this regional cuisine. Said paste formed the base for the tlayuda I enjoyed (pictured) which also had slices of an unusually tender adobada-style pork, queso Oaxaca, tomatoes, shredded cabbage and a smoky red chile salsa. The tortilla was wider, lighter and more crispy than prior versions of tlayudas I have had; the cook offered me an alternative folded style, but I trusted her judgment favoring the flat. Quite nice. I will return for other specialty items mentioned here.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up, I will have to try this soon, looks delicious.

    On a side note, since you mentioned it, is San Fernando chicken worth trying? I always drive by but I have yet to stop in to try it.

    6 Replies
    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

      San Fernando is a favorite for sure. The chicken is very tasty, especially when fresh off the rotisserie. But I've been there enough to look beyond to the other more traditional Peruvian items, and I think everything I've tried is at least decent. I like the mixed seafood soup and rice dishes quite a bit. The green salsa they serve on the side is terribly addictive. San Fernando has no website or take-out menu, which keeps alot of this under the radar, I suspect.

      1. re: equinoise

        Concur on San Fernando... one of my 3 regular chicken take-aways (along with Toshio's teriyaki, and Ezell's fried) in the Rainier Valley area.

        (Also, Equinoise, we're clearly in the same general neighborhood... interested in teaming up to try some of the less visible ethnic places in the valley / Columbia City?)

        1. re: Booklegger451

          I've only been to the one in Lynnwood/Mountlake Terrace but I third the rec. The green rice that comes with the arroz con pollo! And the green sauce. So good.

          1. re: Booklegger451

            Why not? I've got a few I've been meaning to try.

      2. I returned to El Cabrito and tried the Oaxaca-style enchiladas and a single barbacoa taco. The enchiladas were rather flatly folded rather than cylindrical, filled with a modest amount of Oaxacan cheese, and covered with a slightly sweet mole sauce, crema, crumbled cheese, and slices of the adobada-style pork, as above. Black beans on the side. Very nice, fresh-tasting flavors. The barbacoa was extremely tender, light in color, and juicy, served with a dollop of salsa verde. I assume it was the eponymous cabrito (goat), but with the spice and salsa, it could have possibly been lamb. Either way, I would recommend a full order of these tacos.

        2 Replies
        1. re: equinoise

          From the signage, I think the barbacoa is lamb. Husband got the enchiladas, I got the carnitas plate. I think "fresh-tasting" is a good description. Looking forward to trying the tamale and other menu items.

          1. re: Jeri L

            Yes, I've confirmed the lamb from speaking with them more recently. It's a bit surprising given the name El Cabrito.