Monday, August 17, 2009
The Location: Valencia's Carniceria Taqueria, Citrus Heights
The Taco: Carne Asada two taco plate
The Price: $5.99
The Verdict: If you want atmosphere, this is it. Valencia's Taqueria shares space with a Mexican grocery and carniceria where you can pick up any number of packaged food items or prepared meat from their counter. Overhead there is a continuous stream of upbeat mariachi music playing over the speakers and scarcely a word of English seemed to be spoken while we were there. My spanish being a tad rusty, I did run into a little communication breakdown with the young man working the register at the time we came in for lunch but that was soon resolved and didn't end up being a problem. What the restaurant has in character however, was somehow lost in translation to the plate. The tacos in my carne asada combo were small and mostly unremarkable. The doubled-up corn tortillas were overly greasy and while the small splash of red salsa had a good flavor, the meat itself wasn't especially flavorful. The included beans and rice arrived on a separate plate about 5 minutes after the tacos. While my dining partner and I both agreed that the salsa verde from the small salsa bar was very good, it seemed a bit too little too late to save my rating. If given a choice, the far superior El Forastero directly across the street would win out over this place even if it means I have to give up the mariachi music.
The Rating: ★★½ (out of 5)