In the mood for a feisty, flavor-packed nosh? Here’s five local dishes to try:
Carne a la Mexicana
Hankering for meat? Tuck into Taqueria Davis’ fabulous, spicy Carne a la Mexicana, small-cubed beef sautéed with onions, strips of bell pepper and chiles. Load the tasty meat into a tortilla, and top it with the taqueria’s cheese-laden pinto beans and a big, indulgent dollop of guacamole.
Loaded with crispy deep-fried fish, lettuce, a smidgen of mayonnaise and a vibrant pico de gallo salsa, this toothsome treat is one of Cilantro’s best tacos. Note: Don’t miss Taco Tuesdays, when the taqueria offers its regular meat tacos for only $1.25 each.
8121 Madison Avenue, Suite G1, Fair Oaks; (916) 863-0535
Salvadorean Chicken Tamales
Pupuseria La Chicana
Like tamales? Make the trek out to Woodland’s bustling little Pupuseria La Chicana, which handcrafts Salvadorean-style tamales the whole family will love. Encased in a banana leaf, the tamales have an ethereally light, delicious corn exterior and are stuffed with moist chunks of meat (I particularly like the chicken), soft pieces of potato and bell peppers. Served up with a refreshing but (watch out!) spicy coleslaw, these tamales are well worth the drive to Woodland (and only cost $2.99 each).
25 Purity Plaza, Woodland; (530) 668-0270
La Fiesta’s hefty portion of fajitas is large enough to feed two people. A delectable tangle of meat, soft strips of colorful bell peppers and onions, soft chunks of tomato and mushrooms, the fajitas are accompanied by a generous pile of tortillas, beans, guacamole and sour cream. My advice? Share it with a friend.
El Paisano Taco Truck
I’m a big fan of carnitas, especially when they’re piled on a super-fresh corn tortilla. When I have the time, I head out to the humble El Paisano taco truck in Woodland, located in a gritty abandoned parking lot directly adjacent to the freeway onramp. The truck’s dazzling carnitas tacos ($1.25 each!) are drizzled with a fiery red salsa and flanked by a grilled onion, fresh radish chunks and picked jalapeno peppers.
1460 E Main Street, Woodland; (530) 661-1040