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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Esther's Taco House - Review #1


Esther's Taco House
2001 E Orangethorpe Ave
Placentia, CA 92870
(714) 996-2397

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Is anyone interested in a restaurant review at this restaurant review blog? My records show me that it's been over two months since I've posted my own review of a restaurant I haven't been to before. I actually do get out and try new places still but I've also had a lot of other things to post in the last couple months. This review is actually dedicated to the the professional blog commenter known as "Diamond Dog" who demands a lot from the blogs he reads and keeps all us bloggers on our toes, never allowing us to rest on our laurels and sink into apathy.

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One of the things Diamond Dog likes to know about is where to find fresh-fried hard-shelled crispy tacos. It just so happens that faithful blog reader Eric H. invited me to meet his family at the Esther's Taco House in Yorba Linda specifically to try their hard-shelled tacos. My friends who live nearby and who have been mentioned here before, James & Lori & Thomas, also came along for the meal. It turns out I was the only one there who hadn't eaten at Esther's before.

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Before we get to the tacos I'll point out that the albondigas soup was very flavorful, rich, sinus-clearing, and corn-y . . . in a good way.

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The chips were a bit on the greasy side but as not much so as the really greasy chips they have at the Jalapeño's in Irvine with the salsa definitely on the chunky side.

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That's my carnitas enchilada with rice and beans above. The food here is very standard, neighborhood-joint-type Mexican food, but, hey, they snazzed things up a little with a pepper on the rice and a tortilla chip in the beans.

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That must be Lori's machaca. She always orders machaca. I learned recently that "machaca" originally meant "air-dried beef" but it has come to be known as "shredded beef with scrambled eggs."

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And seen above is the taco I ordered a la carte, with its shell freshly fried, stuffed with oddly non-crumbly ground beef (how do they make it like that?), a truckload of fresh lettuce, a couple tomato slices, and mounds of grated cheese.

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Nothing is too surprising at Esther's. Most of what they have on their menu is like what can be found elsewhere. If you are in the area it makes a good place to stop by for a bite. It does have Mexican family roots going back to at least 1957 so that's a good thing.

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Eric's family gave Esther's a three and a half Speedy Gonzales rating out of five which is also the rating I had in mind:

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13 comments:

DanGarion said...

I've been to Esther's a number of times, since it's about 2 miles from my office. It's one of my standby restaurants when I want some above average Mexican food. Beats the heck out of Acapulco or El Torito any day, but just about any place can do that! I tried to do reviews on 2 separate occasions failing to complete them both times! :)

Diamond Dog said...

I would go to this place. thanks for the review. Was the taco good? From your rating I would assume it was. I also judge a restaurant by the salsa they serve with the chips. How was that. I will let you know what I think of this place when I try it. Keep up reviews like this. I love them

ChristianZ said...

Dan, sounds like your familiar with this place but sometimes it's hard to know what to say about a restaurant, I guess.

DD, yeah, the taco was good. I think you'd like it. Do you have a system for evaluating and judging chips and salsa?

Eric said...

The Beef taco is the one item that keeps me coming back to Esther's.........I've never had another taco like it anywhere.......while everything else on the menu is very good.......it's all very similar to what you can find in hundreds of other Mexican restaurants.........except for the beef taco!

ChristianZ said...

Well put.

Anonymous said...

Around 1968 my husband and I went to an Esther's Taco House in Downey. As newlyweds, it was affordable and oh so yummy! We still recall the 'hole in the wall' with great Mexican food. Could this one in Placential be related?

ChristianZ said...

I think it's related. Their official site states: "In 1957, Esther and her mother, Amelia, opened the first Taco house in Downey, California."

Diamond Dog said...

I dont have a system nor do I think one exists beyond someone just describing it and saying what good/bad about it.

Now I am all curious as to what makes their beef taco unique and good at this place based on your reader comments. What is it? The spices in the meat? Is it filled with something different?

Diamond Dog said...

also, why did this place only get 3.5 out of 5 speedy gonzalez rating?

ChristianZ said...

It got a 3.5 because there is really nothing that unique about the menu there. It is still better than 2.5 and remember that the ratings are not super scientific.

Eric might have more to say about the taco. I had one. Eric has had dozens. I liked that it was loaded with stuff.

czelectric said...

I realy love this foods, i added your site to my twiter. love you

ChristianZ said...

Thank you.

Love messages said...

Great stuff. All curious as to what makes their beef taco unique and good.I feeling hungry now.Thanks for sharing with us...