After some refreshing tejuino at Town Burger, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852510 , we headed to the other end of Broadway to El Lugarcito for dinner. Surprising as it may seem, yesterday’s was my first visit to this King City pillar of Michoacan cooking.
We grabbed a table on the covered porch because the red upholstered chairs looked large, comfortable and cushy for my friend who’d spent two days in the saddle of a road bike. In this photo of the horseshoe salt & pepper and napkin holder, the chips and pretty good salsa roja, the backs of the armchairs can be seen.
My friend ordered the "Whole cut fish", $13.50. His eyes went wide when it came to the table. The fork jabbed in the middle of the plate, held in place by the pile of French fries (that also formed a bed under the fish), was not the only reason for that reaction. He had been expecting something like fish and chips. After a few bites, he nodded that this deep-fried tilapia was much better than f & c. Kudos to the kitchen for getting the skin crispy yet not drying out the flesh. I wish I had remembered to ask for some of the famous green salsa to go with it. But doused with a bit of lime and rolled up in corn tortillas with the ripe avocado, lardy refritos, pickled onions, and fries, the fish was plenty delicious salsa-less.
Before ordering, I’d asked our waitress to tell me what was in the burritos. She said the chile verde one was just the meat, while the others had rice and beans too. Sold! The small burro filled with tender pork chunks in mildy spicy green sauce was a taste from childhood. Until I went away to school, this is all that I knew of the world of burritos and continues to be the type I prefer. Nice chewy flour tortilla too and a deal at $3.50.
I also tried a Carnitas taco, $2.50, but not as sold on this one. The corn tortillas did not taste as if they’d been sweated on the plancha. The carnitas were the wet style with decent porky depth, but lacked the complexity that browning could have contributed.
As others have mentioned, the restrooms here are spotless. El Lugarcito has all the makings for a good rest stop on a long road trip.