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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

El Tarasco - Review #1

Date of Visit: May 26, 2008
El Tarasco
2931 Nutwood Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 996-6260

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Appetizer: Chips and Salsa
Entree: Enchilada/Tamale Combo
Drink: Root Beer
Cost: $12

El Tarasco - Exterior

I found El Tarasco late in the afternoon on Memorial Day when I went out attempting to follow up on a recommendation that had been made to me recently. After having woken up early to participate in a Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast I was pretty tired later on but wanted to use my day off to try to get a region that's normally hard for me to get to. So I went out to the North County area to go to eat with James and Lori. Lori was asleep but James and Thomas and I piled into the car to chase down my lead but when we got to that restaurant we found it closed for the day so we drove around looking for another place to go but every place was closed.

El Tarasco - Patio
Nice Patio Area

Finally we stumbled on El Tarasco in Fullerton and I remembered that it had been recommended to me before. The place seemed almost abandoned but it didn't have the CLOSED sign that all the other places had so we stepped inside and actually found a waitress. We picked a table that had nice long benches and Thomas sprawled out on one and was out like a light for the remainder of the meal (sleepiness being the sub-theme of this writeup).

El Tarasco - Interior Shot #1

I'd heard of El Tarasco before and there are some in LA County but I think there are two or three separate chains and that some are good and some not so good. I don't know which one is the original, or if it matters, but if you have any information please leave a comment.

El Tarasco - Interior Shot #2

El Tarasco - Interior Shot #3

One inescapable facet of this El Tarasco is the many colorful and comical paintings on its walls. They even have a painting of this familiar character:

El Tarasco - Speedy Gonzales

Their chips and salsa are much like Super Mex's: fried corn tortillas served whole and that you chip apart yourself (it's no accident that the term "chip" is used here) and dip into the salsa.

El Tarasco - Chips and Salsa

James ordered the Monday special: the Jr. Super Deluxe Burrito with chicken. I'm not sure if the terms "Jr." and "Super Deluxe" describing the same item constitutes an oxymoron but James said the burrito was good apart from the fact that some of the chicken in it looked gray.

El Tarasco - Jr. Super Deluxe Burrito

I ordered the #33 combo: an enchilada and a tamale. No choice of meat was specified for either but I saw elsewhere on their menu that they served potato tacos and potato enchiladas so I asked if my enchilada could be a potato one. The waitress didn't have a problem with that. I was so sleepy I can't even remember if my tamale was stuffed with beef or pork but I do remember the tamale being the best part of the meal. The potato enchilada made a nice change from the norm and the rice was decent but the beans were kind of thinned out. The sauce covering both main items was rather bland so I kept mixing in some of the salsa intended for the chips.

El Tarasco - Enchilada/Tamale Combo

To further the "sleepy" theme, one of the paintings was of a Mexican hiding under his sombrero taking what appeared to be a very long nap:

El Tarasco - Interior Shot #4

The food here was not bad but didn't really inspire. It was more from the "Take a tortilla, put some meat in it, and put some sauce on it" school of thought. A tad better than neutral El Tarasco earns a three Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

El Tarasco - Bill Clinton
Umm . . . no comment

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