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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TACO TUESDAY: Searching for Mr. Rolled Taco

THE PLACE:  Los Charros Authentic Mexican and Seafood, 915 East Valley Parkway, Escondido, (760) 746-2416
THE VIBE: Looks scary on outside but nice and inviting on the inside.
THE COST:  So cheap it's stupid!

My search for the ultimate Rolled Tacos took me to Escondido the other day.  I have this theory that some of the the best Mexican food is found in the worst looking restaurants so I had high expectations as I pulled up to this run down ex-Round Table Pizza joint.  

The exterior of Los Charros isn't exactly pretty but inside the restaurant is clean and the staff friendly.  You order at the counter and they bring you a basket of chips and salsa as you wait for your food.  The chips were light and fresh, the salsa a bit odd though - sort of like it had some sort of peanut undertone.  Weird, but luckily the salsa bar was well stocked.

See what I mean?  Good stuff!

These guys have a ton of seafood options like a fried whole fish, but I opted for a classic shrimp taco.  The shrimps were nice and succulent, the salsa and the sauce a perfect compliment.  And look, two tortillas so you can even split it with someone - though it's so good you'll be sorry if you do.  Say, how does this stack up to a shrimp taco from Rubio's?  Are you kidding??  There's simply no comparison, this taco is the bomb!

When you do it right there's nothing better than a carnitas taco and Los Charros hit this one out of the park.  The pork was nicely cooked, tender and crispy on the outside.  The flavors literally burst in your mouth, a perfect combination of saltiness and spices.  They don't skimp on the fillings like some and look, that's real guacamole on top!  Delicious!

Now check this one out.  It's a carne asada quesadilla.  Looks fairly pedestrian but let's see what's inside.

Damn!  And like the carnitas, perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, you forget that this thing is probably 2,000 calories. And now, the big test.  Rolled tacos.

And like The Empire Strikes Back where everything was going great until the end, the rolled tacos at Los Charros struck out.  The tasteless iceberg lettuce did nothing to enhance the bland filling, the whole thing was as average as El Torito.  But maybe that's because the dishes leading up to it were so good. 

So while my search for the perfect rolled tacos continues, Los Charros has set the bar pretty high for some great Mexican food in San Diego county.  No whining the next time you find yourself stuck in Escondido, just head over to Los Charros.  You'll be glad you did.

Want more San Diego stuff?  Head over to Local Wally's Guide to San Diego for more restaurant reviews, honest hotel reviews, and the complete guide of the best hings to do!



Anonymous said...

I started going to Los Charros about 13 years ago and haven't found a better Mexican dive outside of Mexico. Once you've been to LC, going to expensive Mexican restaurants will be incomprehensible. We still feed my family of 5 here for around $20.

On A Lark said...

Mmmm. . .makes me hungry!