Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Taqueria Cazadores (Santa Clara, CA): Nachos with Chicken

Sometimes, to get good food, ya gotta go to the "wrong" side of the tracks.  Not that anywhere in the city of Santa Clara is nearly as "wrong" as the funky parts of some cities in California, but hopefully you get my drift.  This little taqueria with 90% comfy booth seating (Nice!) is located off of Lafayette near Monague Expressway in a somewhat hidden strip mall.  20 minutes from my office, but worth the trip (and risk?).  Sorry - I'm over-doing it.  For the most part, the folks at Cazadores (Spanish for hunters) didn't over-do it on the nachos.  Characteristics of this plate fall into 3 categories:

- Cheese microwaved with some unmelted shreds hanging out on one side of the plate
- Under-ripe avocado (althought I love "pure" guacamole, I would rather they'd mixed the slices up with something else to mask this)
- My friend had to mix  of their salsas together (pico de gallo and roasted salsa) to get something that was really tasty, although the creamy green salsa (tomatillo and avocado?) was pretty good, if not a bit too spicy)

Just right:

- Chicken in a sauce that tasted a lot like enchiladas (bonus!)
- Home-made fried tortilla chips.
- I Remembered to hold the beans
- Their Logo...
...awesome, eh?  Looks like a cross between a jackalope, a lion, and a deer!

- Come on - just because I used a Google Wallet voucher ($5 for $10 of food), you add a $1 gratuity?  And you didn't even walk our food over to our table?  Puh-leaze!
- $3 for a 16 ounce bottle of Coke?  Ouch.
- $10.93 total for nachos and a can of coke is seriously pricey - thank God I had the Google voucher!

Rating: 3½ out of 5
Rating Notes:  Above average chicken, built-in enchilada taste and home-fried chips will get me every time!  Could have done with some better avocado/guacamole and salsa.  Questionable neighborhood.
Map to Location: http://mapq.st/M0cY8f

Friday, June 8, 2012

Taqueria Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA - duh!): Super Nachos with Chicken

Wow - just when I thought I'd reached the pinnacle of shredded chicken (Pollo) goodness with Angel's Rock House and would never find anything even better, I come to this place and am blown away.  No contest, this is the best meat I've had on nachos anywhere (Rio Adobe's Adobado Pork is probably a close second if we're counting every type of meat).  No salsa on this batch, but the guacamole, sour cream, and jalapenos mixed in with the tasty chicken had the overall flavor of a delectable plate of chicken enchiladas, my next-favorite Mexican food.

Incidentally, I discovered this place while I was with my buddy, getting food for "Man Movie Night".  We were passing by on our way to Taqueria Vallarta and he said, "That place is pretty good." I said, "Really?  Should we go there?"  "Sure."  One fateful U-turn later, there we were, getting what would become my go-to chicken nachos in Santa Cruz.  Nice!

Rating: 4½ out of 5
Rating Notes: Also included home-made deep-fried tortilla chips like God intended!  Would have hit the magic 5 if it had pico de gallo and no beans.
Cautionary Note: You see that pinkish-red salsa on the right in the photo?  Stay away from it.  Tasted like a cross between pico-de-gallo, and sauerkraut and almost burned my face off.  Nasty stuff!
Map to Location: http://mapq.st/Khzz4j

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mariscos El Rincon Restaurant (San Jose): Supreme Nachos with Chicken

For this "Nacho Tuesday" excursion, I ventured almost 10 miles (gasp) from my workplace.  A Friend had recommended it to me, so I called him up, picked him up, and off we went.  How was it?  Lemme just say that the company was the best part of my lunch (and there was a waitress who was pretty easy on the eyes, too!)

These nachos reminded me of a Playboy model.  You look at the picture, drooling  because she looks so incredibly appetizing, so perfect, so put-together, but once you get to know her, there's a good chance that she won't be at all compatible with your tastes.  All the elements were there - shredded chicken, chips, sour cream, guacamole, real cheese - but upon taking a bite, I found bland chicken, mediocre chips, watered-down sour cream, and not enough guacamole (the guacamole was actually pretty darn good).

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rating Notes: I'll take the Playboy model instead.
Map to Location: http://mapq.st/LBWIKE