I haven't been to El Huarache in a really long time, so with RLauriston and other chowhounders' solid gold recommendations, I borrowed my husband's truck and a girlfriend and headed down to 38th and International in Oakland.
The place looks the same: the glorious Aztec murals with the story of Cortez and Montezuema emblazoned on the walls. A very homey interior with a dozen or so tables, six of which were occupied by families or workers.
Kristan and I plunked ourself down ordered two Modelos (Negro for me) and started planning: she wanted the Huarache Especial with carne asada. I followed Mr. Lauriston's recommendations and went with the Tinga (spicy chicken), although I ordered the Torta con Tinga.
We started off with an order of Guacamole--too much sour cream or mayonaisse for me. But, the two salsas that came along with it--a bright tomatillo and a more spicy but rich red salsa--were wonderful. The chips, though, were store bought and a bit stale.
But, OMG, the huarache--a thick corn tortilla the size of my foot (and that's big!) with wonderful nutty flavors and wrapped around a frijole mixture was unbelieveable. I didn't need any of the toppings--jalapenos, lettuce, cheese and crema. Just give me the tortilla, it was that good.
The carne asada was a thin strip of beef, very flavorful and tender. But once again, just give me that amazing corn tortilla.
The torta was even better. A very fresh bocadillo held together a smathering of beans, lettuce, jalapenso and cheese and the wonderful chicken tinga. Ultimately, Kristan and I almost came to blows over who got the greater share of the torta.
The service was very sweet with an older gentleman (maybe the owner) coming up, asking how the meal was, and encouraging us to please come again.
A large order of guacomole, an El Huarache Especial with Carne Asada, a Torta with Tinga and two Modelos: 23.00, including tip and tax.
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