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Burrito King in Salinas

Melanie Wong | | May 13, 2013 02:09 AM

Feels a bit silly to post about a spot named Burrito King without trying what should be the house specialty, but here goes anyway. After my second of two visits, I discovered that it should probably be called Molcajete King instead.

A friend and I shared the molcajete, $18.99, for lunch recently, and were startled and amazed when an outsized platter of food was brought to the table. I mean, both of us were well-familiar with molcajete, a jumble of grilled meats, cactus, and cheese sauced and served in a volcanic rock mortar. But we’d never seen anything like this curtain of nopales, seemingly alive in its swaying movement. The grilled cactus was perfectly cooked, still crisp and not slimy.

The big plate included wonderfully porky refritos flecked with bacon and topped with sweet grilled onions and melted cheese, some wilted green salad, and very spicy red chile salsa.

Some freshly handmade corn tortillas on top of the whole shebang were folded over melted cheese. These added to the over-the-topness of the molcajete.

After eating our fill of grilled chorizo, boneless chicken thighs, delectable carne asada, onions, and cactus folded in those tortilla quesadilla-like thingies, we had barely scratched the surface of the pile of food. The mountain of leftovers overflowed an entire styro box. We agreed that we probably needed at least two other people to give this dish its due.

On my prior visit, I’d tried the huarache al pastor. The fresh masa “sandal” is quite thin here but is made to order. Generously meated, the marinated pork on top of a layer of refritos was garnished with onions, cilantro, sour cream, and cotija, as well as red salsa.

Mom had a taco de pescado, served on a handmade tortilla, and pronounced it “good”.

One curious thing about Burrito King is the flag of Israel on the wall. I asked the manager about it and he said that he respects the nation and hopes that good relations between our countries will continue.

Actually there’s another curious thing that should be mentioned. On both visits I ordered fresh orange juice. Each time what was served me tasted like ice-cold Tropicana, not fresh OJ. When I pointed this out, the offending juice was taken away, oranges were put through the electric juicer, and genuine room temperature fresh-squeezed orange juice was then served to me.

Burrito King
8 Midtown Lane
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 424-0159