Monday, May 17, 2010

Trader Joe's Pork Al Pastor

The Location: Anywhere with a stove

The Taco: Trader Joe's Pork Al Pastor

The Price: Varies

The Verdict: I spotted this at TJ's recently and decided to give it a try in the name of science. It comes in a handy frozen package that you can prepare in just a few minutes. The contents of the bag are pretty much just meat with some seasonings so to round it out I grabbed some ingredients that I already had in the fridge -- a handful of diced yellow onion sautéed briefly, tomatillo salsa and a dash of guacamole with some corn tortillas to hold it all together.

Overall I give this dish a few points for ease of use. It literally only takes a few minutes to heat up on the stove with a microwave option also available. On the other hand, the flavor left something to be desired. I wasn't expecting miracles from a frozen entrée, but I found the meat to be pretty bland and not a very good representation of what true spicy pork al pastor should be.

As frozen tacos go, if you're in a hurry you could do a lot worse but as a substitute for a good example of pastor? Not so much.

The Rating: ★★ ½ (out of 5)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Super Taco (Laguna West, Elk Grove)

The Location: Super Taco 4720 Laguna Blvd, Elk Grove

The Taco: 2 Taco Combo Dinner Plate (1 crispy chicken, 1 crispy carnitas)

The Price: $7.75

The Verdict: We've seen the "Coming Soon" sign for months and finally Super Taco in Laguna West has opened up. Once inside we come to find out they have two other locations in/near Elk Grove already.

When you first enter there is a counter to order at but we went for the full sit down dining experience. The paint on the lovely decorated chairs was so fresh you could still smell it. We were started off with an amazing array of salsas served with a piping hot basket of chips. The salsas included one house (chunky red with cilantro), one green (very thin and drippy), one red (spicy and thin) and the last was interesting. It was habanero peppers, onion and lime juice. If you like spice, you will like this combo!

My tacos were standard issue corn tortilla shells stuffed with the juicy meat I ordered, topped with lettuce and tomato. They come with cheese but I left the cheese off. The carnitas meat was perfectly shredded with a nice meat flavor but it definitely needed some salsas on top. It was also missing that pan fried crisp to it, but that didn't take away from the lovely flavor. The chicken was shredded with a nice marinade. I added salsa to this one as well. The side servings of rice and beans were plentiful. (Note: I always skip on the beans and order double rice because that's how I roll.)

Overall it was a pleasant dining experience with great food and excellent salsas minus the exceptionally long checkout time. We were done and we couldn't flag down our waiter for the check. I think the 3 waiters were overwhelmed on opening weekend. The place was surprisingly busy for its first Saturday!

The Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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