La Tapatia market's deli counter was my favorite lunch spot when I worked at a nursery nearby. Fast, delicious and muy autentico.
Haven't worked nearbyin many years, nor had a reason to travel that section of Hiway 1 regularly; always in a hurry to get somewhere as I drive by.
This past weekend was Open Studio Tour weekend for South County. I planned a leisurely day stopping at new and old favorite artists' studios. The weather was balmy and beautiful.
After stopping at one studio on Los Berros Rd, I wound down to Valley Rd and turned left to join Hiway 1 just south of Oceano. Past Hyashi's veggie stand where the pumpkins are out in full force, I drove to the corner of Beach (Railroad) and 17th streets, just kitty corner from the packing sheds where the railroad tracks parralel 1.
Not much has changed at the deli, except now there are ladies behind the counter. I checked out the menu and noted they still have their daily specials-Friday is 79 cent tacos! Every day there is something cheap for a working person's lunch! I opted for a carnitas and a lengua taco. While mine were being made, a lady started hand patting corn tortillas and grilling them quickly, slicing them open while steaming hot. I asked how they were used, and she said for gorditos--stuffed with choice of meat, lettuce, onions, salsa etc. Next time. They were fat and fresh!
There are plenty of beer and soft drink selections, and there was some good flan in a case up by the checkout coiunter so I grabbed one on my way out. Just ourtide the market proper, in a sort of vestibule, there is a fellow at a taco-only counter with a glistening rod of pastor and the sign says he also has cabesa. Must try that next time. He also had freshly made churrros.
For 'dessert', I drove a short distance to the intersection of 13th and Farroll Rd in Grover to Panaderia Carmelita #2 for a slice of their heavenly Tres Leches cake. They also make some of the tastiest and freshest pan dulce around. The guys at work really like it when I bring some in to share. They tell me they are the best; I trust their judgement.
All in all a lovely day, and I made it through to dinner with that great lunch from La Tapatia. I highly rec a stop there--if you're traveling though on 101, take the Grand Ave exit in Arroyo Grande and head seaward along Grand to the Chevron station at 13th. Turn left, go to the 6th stop sign at Hiway 1, turn left to Beach and La Tapatia, just past the Melodrama. Que sabrosa!
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