Blanquita's Mexican Restaurant
1619 Goliad Road
I wonder: would it be worth driving all the way over to Goliad Road for tacos? It's a tough call. From where I live, it's about a 15-minute trip to Blanquita's. And for me, as for most north-siders, there's a mental obstacle involved in crossing Durango Boulevard, even on the freeway. But the machacado tacos I had there this morning make me think that, yes, from time to time, it would be worth the trip.
It's an unassuming little place, a block north of where Hot Wells Boulevard ends, surrounded by small mom-&-pop businesses. A photocopied sign on the walls advises customers that tips for good service would be greatly appreciated, as if that is not already the custom among Blanquita's regular patrons. The interior is unimpressively furnished with unexceptional tables and chairs, but very clean; and except for the television showing "Dog: The Bounty Hunter," a so-called reality show about some of the sleaziest people you could ever hope not to meet, it's a comfortable place to have a meal.
|Last city inspection: January 31|
The service was prompt and efficient, though I admit to having had a little difficulty understanding one of the three waitresses we dealt with, because she mumbled. I just finally had to guess at what she might be saying, and apparently guessed right.
The coffee here was good. I've had better, but it's definitely in the top 25% for restaurants of this type. As for the food, my friend Rick, who almost always goes for the beef fajita tacos, and when he doesn't goes for the picadillo tacos, decided this morning to hedge his bets, and got one of each. The picadillo, he said, was good, but messy, even for piccadillo. (Which puts me in mind of the old rule of thumb, that a sandwich is good in direct proportion to how messy it is, and the best ones must be eaten over the sink. It seems the rule for tacos, too.) The beef fajita taco, though lacking the pepper and onion accoutrements that I would have hoped for, was perfectly season and cooked. If it's not quite as good as the same dish at Potosino #2 on San Pedro, it's because Blanquita's uses the (authentic) cheaper cut of meat. (Fajitas were, after all, poor-people food until they became fashionable back in the late 1980s.) The home-made tortillas at Blanquita's seem to be a little larger than at similar restaurants; as a result, the portions are a little larger than you get in most similar places. And although those larger tortillas are stuffed to the point where stress fractures are a consideration, both the corn and flour tortillas hold together admirably.
But the star of the show was the machacado con huevo. The large tortillas were absolutely stuffed with a mixture that was mostly meat, and wonderfully seasoned, with just enough of the other ingredients to give it a full, rich taste. The salsa rojo on the table was piquant enough to make a mouth tingle, but not so hot as to make an eye water. Excellent. Really.