My dad got a coupon to Tacos de Mexicali and so I copied him and got the same coupon for myself thanks to Google Offers. The promise of handmade tortillas is a serious draw and one recent evening Jake, T and I went over to check it out. It’s not too far from where Jake lives making it easily accessible to us. Always a plus.
Their menu is fairly simple. They have a variety of grilled meats available in taco, burrito or mulita (melted cheese on two tortillas with meat stuffed in the middle) form.
Our coupon was for $5 for $10. That didn’t get us a lot so we did go over, but it did help us to try out a few more things on the menu.
[queso fundido with chorizo, jalapeno and 3 hand made tortialls - $4.50]
Hmm, a bowl full of cheese you say? Yes, I think I must have that. I wasn’t too sure about the chorizo and jalapeno but I actually didn’t really taste the jalapeno and the chorizo was a nice touch to this super bowl of melted cheese.
[omg, so cheesy!]
Here’s Jake pulling out a bit of cheese… which seems to stretch on forever.
I really loved the flavor of the cheese and how the texture felt in my mouth. It was very smooth and creamy with a nice, intense cheese flavor. We got this with flour tortillas and it was sort of like a DIY free form quesadilla. Incredibly delicious!
I also noted that we didn’t get any plates. Our server brought us some pieces of wax paper to serve as our “plates”. I mean I guess we didn’t really need plates. I just thought it was funny.
[grilled potato with cheese and carne asada (your choice of meat) - $4.35]
The joy of cheese didn’t stop there, either. We also got a grilled potato that was filled with carne asada and that same cheesy goodness we saw in the queso fundido all piled on top.
The carne asada was very tender and flavorful and paired with the creamy, luscious cheese just knocked it out of the park. The potato itself could have handled a little seasoning which we remedied with some sour cream and a bit of salt and pepper. Most places don’t season whole potatoes anyway so I won’t knock them for it. But if you order it, then you’ll know – needs salt!
[tacos (from l-r): al pastor (on corn - $2.70), longaniza (on corn - $2.95), chorizo (on flour - $2.70)]
The three of us shared each of the tacos, too. As you can see, they come with no toppings. There is a topping/salsa bar in the back of the restaurant where you can add what you like to your tacos and other foods.
The al pastor (marinated pork) was a bit spicy for my tastes – though really, most al pastor is kind of spicy to me. Jake and T loved this one and the flavor from the pork.
The longaniza (pork sausage) taco was my favorite of the bunch. Much milder pork flavor with a hint of sweetness from the sausage. Very juicy with some nice fatty bits tucked away.
The chorizo was super strong in flavor when eaten alone. I liked it much better paired with the cheese. By itself it was really intense with flavor. It wasn’t very salty though, a complaint I have for a lot of chorizo. While the flavor wasn’t for me, I did appreciate that it was a good quality chorizo. Jake and I thought this one was the best of the bunch.
[diy salsa & toppings bar]
The topping bar has just about everything you could want for your tacos – guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, salsas, cilantro, onions, etc. This allows you to fully customize your tacos just the way you like them.
The tortillas here are really outstanding. You can tell that they are freshly made and it makes such a difference in the quality of the food. You don’t need to add a lot to this tacos, if anything at all. They really stand on their own with just the grilled meats and hand made tortillas.
[inside the restaurant]
It’s a small little shop that only does a few things – but they do them really well. It’s a little pricer than other taco shops in the area, but still very cheap eats for the quality that you receive here. I have a feeling this place will start popping up into our regular rotation.
Tacos de Mexicali
3450 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92104
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- mary: Hi Kirbie – Thanks for the explanation about the buns – I feel like I asked for pineapple and then couldn’t remember. All I remember...
- Kirbie: I love those little footballs. Hehe. You can find them at most dim sum places which is nice. Hmm, I think the bun you got in the last picture is the...
- mary: Hi CC – Um. Yeah, I *think* I’m gonna have to pass on the pig rectum for all subsequent visits…
- caninecologne: Yum, pig rectum. Not. At least you guys tried this place out and liked a few things!
- mary: Hi Faye – I was excited that it was so cheap! I wasn’t really that grossed out by the windows/panels, either, it was like… it made it...
- Faye: Oh man you made out like a bandit! I’m not sure why I’m not grossed out by the yucky window food panel thingies. I think I’m just...
- mary: Hi Teresa – Oh, that’s a good way to describe them, they were sort of football shaped haha!