Monday, March 8, 2010

Luis Jr.'s

The Location: Luis Jr.'s, 2901 K St.

The Taco: Carnitas Taco Dinner

The Price: $10.95

The Verdict: After spying Luis Jr.'s while driving through midtown looking for a different restaurant we decided to change our plans and stop in. Despite having no obvious parking the restaurant was doing swift Friday night business (there are a couple of meters across the street, and a gas station — I honestly have no idea where you are supposed to park. We got lucky at the meter). Even so we were able to sit down right away and got to work inspecting the menu. I opted for the carnitas dinner plate which comes with two crispy tacos, guacamole, pico de gallo, rice and beans.

No complaints about the portion size — the tacos were loaded up with meat and while the sides appeared small they were dense and very filling. I found the taco shells to be a little greasy for my liking. I can assume they were freshly made, so maybe a little more time to allow the grease to drop off would have been warranted. The carnitas itself was nicely shredded and had that pan-roasted crust that seems so difficult to get right, BUT overall it was too dry. A little more of the carnitas' natural juices and a little less flavorless grease on the taco shell would have gone a long way towards earning this one an extra star. In summary, this one probably has the potential to be very good but, at least on this trip, it just missed the mark.

The Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

Luis Jr.'s on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 1, 2010

Taqueria El Festival

The Location: El Festival8345 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento

The Taco:  Taco plate - two tacos, rice and beans.

The Price: $5.99

The Verdict: Having found myself nearby, I acted on a recommendation from reader David and headed down Folsom Blvd. to check out El Festival.  The restaurant was nearly empty when I walked in just before noon although the jukebox was going strong blaring out some spanish-language tunes.

I ordered the taco plate with two carnitas tacos.  The food arrived quickly and was hot but not scalding - perfect.  The carnitas was juicy and flavorful with just a hint of chewy pan-roasted crust.  The toppings were minimal and traditional — salsa, onions and cilantro.  There's not really much to say about these, they tasted good and were exactly as described on the menu.  All taquerias should be so lucky!  The sides of beans and rice were nothing remarkable (the rice was oddly neon), but they were a fine complement to the meal and certainly nothing to complain about.

Overall, my feelings about this restaurant can probably be summed up in a couple of sentences:  I liked the taste of the food so much that by the time I finished my meal I wanted to go back and order some more items just to sample them.  Unfortunately, by then there was a line out the door!  Clearly I'm not the only one that thinks the food here is worth stopping for.

The Rating: ★★★★  (out of 5)

Taqueria El Festival on Urbanspoon