Orange, CA 92867
Open 24 hours
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Gustavo Arellano, in the O.C. Weekly, referred to Taqueria de Anda as the Carl's Jr. of Mexican food but after pulling up in the parking lot of their Orange location I was thinking it was more like the McDonald's of Mexican food, especially with the playground out front. Then after stepping inside and seeing their rather abbreviated menu I started to think they were more like the In-N-Out of Mexican food. Here you've got tacos, burritos, rice, beans, and drinks. The variety comes from the different types of meat that can be stuffed into the tacos and burritos.
Taqueria de Anda has seven types of meat from which to choose: carne asada (steak), al pastor (barbecue pork), lengua (beef tongue), cabeza (beef head, but I believe it is mostly brain - somebody correct me if I'm wrong), pollo, carnitas, and buche (fried pork stomach). The tacos are very small and are made to order, or more like as you order them. I decided to try one out-of-the-ordinary meat and two "ordinary" ones ("ordinary" being relative to my own experience) so I ordered lengua, carne asada, and carnitas, and some rice. My friend Chris reversed the ratio by ordering carnitas, lengua, and buche, and some beans. Everything was acceptably fresh and we both agreed that the "unusual" meats didn't taste all that unusual.
Taqueria de Anda's tacos didn't quite fill me up but I should've known up front that they wouldn't when I saw how small they were. They've got a salsa bar with the requisite mild, medium, and spicy salsas, plus salsa verde, radishes, escabeche, and some citrus fruits that looked like a cross between lemons and limes. They weren't exactly chartreuse, but more of a yellow background with streaks of greens. Made me think of when Sprite used to advertise that it had the "Great Taste of Limon." And they have Horchata Ole! to drink, so that's a definite plus. And if you ever get the urge at 3 in the morning to load up on some tacos keep in mind that this location is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
I've been debating whether to give Taqueria de Anda three or three and a half Speedy Gonzaleses. Right now the angel on my shoulder is saying to go for the high end.