I took a little journey south of the border, well, south of Main St anyways. I had heard many good things about El Taco de Mexico. However, what they did not tell me was that there were like 5 of these places, all over Ventura County. Without knowing which one was the good one, I was hopeful that I might get lucky.
El Taco de Mexico – Ventura, Main St by the Pacific View Mall
The first thing I noticed about this joint was that it was like a sauna inside. The heat was horrible. I was only inside for 10 minutes so far and was sweating like I stole something. If they are not going to kick up the AC then they need to invest in some el fanos.
Wiping the sweat from my eyes I noticed that the menu was 20% Spanish and 80% pictures. Lucky for me I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, finally I’d get to use it for something.
I ordered the carne asada burrito with rice and beans. I was handed a tray of chips and waited as the lady helping me stared at the credit card machine like it was the Da Vinci Code. Was she discovering the darkest secrets of man? While proving that she could run a credit card I was able to grab me some salsa.
All of their salsas were very watery and not labeled. You didn’t know hot from mild. I went ahead and went with the dark red one and took a seat. I was sweating like a Kentucky derby race horse at this point. I looked like I had just got done running a marathon and apparently I should have brought a second shirt. As I sat there, I realized 2 things. The first was that the container they give you for the salsa is so small you have to break your chips to get some. The second was that the place was filthy. The floor, the walls, the benches, everything was dirty. Plus, I think the walls were sweating.
I was hoping the food would be better. Usually when a place is this dirty I won’t eat there but I had already lost 10lbs in sweat and needed to put some food in me to get enough strength to escape. They called my number, at least I think it was my number, they didn’t actually tell me what my number was. They looked at me when they said it though so I went for it.
First thoughts, the beans were as runny as the salsa. I guess that’s good because at least it will go through me quickly when I get sick. The burrito was good size and they gave me some sour cream and guac on the side. Both were cold, so that was a good sign. The burrito was actually pretty good. The carne asada was well seasoned and there was plenty of meat. In fact the burrito was all meat and cabbage. I slopped on some of the runny beans, rice, sour cream, and guac and it actually made for a good tasting burrito. I was a little shocked that it was so good. Its like meeting an ugly girl but then you find out she has a really sexy voice and likes the Sopranos.
The guac was not too memorable, it was just ok. The rice was rice and there was nothing too special about it. I was able to chow down by combining it all together and then washing it down with some Pepsi in the old school non biodegradable Styrofoam drink cups. I should take the cup to the forest where squirrels can use it to drink from.
All in all the food is good if you can get through the heat and the grime. I’d say your best bet is to order it to go. Bring cash I’m not sure they do too well with credit cards. I’m still checking my bill for the 19 swipes it took to figure it out.