Saturday, October 13, 2007

Review: La Taqueria, San Jose, CA

la taqueria san jose - exterior.jpg

Note: This also appears in my reviews over on Yelp.

La Taqueria felt like a family run place that takes pride in what they do, has a strong point of view on how to serve food and a staff that knows how to execute the vision. [Yes, I know I'm talking about a taqueria here, but good business is good business, whether you're serving burritos or running a country club.] I was glad to find this place as I wandered around downtown San Jose during a conference break.

La Taqueria Interior 5.jpg

Highlights / Lowlights:

What was great

- Food. The chorizo burrito was delicious, with the salsa verde available on the table providing some good flavor and kick when needed.

- Drink. Pineapple juice on the menu - nice. If you're a connoisseur of fresh Central / South American pineapple juice this won't quite match that caliber, but still it was refreshing and a great surprise to see it on the menu.

- Atmosphere & Attitude. Seemed like a no-nonsense lunch place for nearby office folks, but it was neither hurried nor frenzied. The staff were pros at turning around orders. Quick, yet applying some nice small touches. For example, the burrito itself was wrapped tightly and appropriately sized, unlike some of the loosely rolled, rice-filled Nerf football-esque monsters that collapse in your hands upon first bite. Plus, there was a hard to describe foil wrapping panache in the presentation of my burrito. Not a huge thing, but made me feel like my burrito was in good hands and well cared for before getting onto my tray. Not just a big ol' man-handled lump of beans in a tortilla.

- Music. The jukebox was playing some authentic Mexican music, as it was actually being used during a lunch rush on a Thursday. Not something I see during my semi-regular Quizno's runs back in Chicago.

La Taqueria interior mural.jpg

What wasn't so great

- Grease factor. My burrito was a little greasy, but even that was manageable.

- Price. Maybe a little steep for a burrito @ $5.75, but I'm nitpicking here - I really liked this place.


2 Critical Questions
- Would I eat here again? Yes, no question.
- Was it good value? I thought so.

Food - very good
Drink - very good
Price - Fair
Cleanliness - Good; tables were clean and during my 15 minute stay someone did multiple laps of the dining room tidying up.

Jukebox - Great; felt authentic - could easily have been in Mexico City
Bathrooms - Quite decent

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