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San Francisco Bay Area Taqueria

Taqueria Paraiso, Cloverdale

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Taqueria Paraiso, Cloverdale

Melanie Wong | Sep 24, 2001 01:23 AM

After last night’s wine and food indulgences, a soothing bowl of menudo to chase away the last vestiges of a hangover was an appealing idea this morning. I headed to the closest source, Taqueria Paraiso which has been open for about a year. But everyone else must have had the same idea, it was sold out by the time I rolled in.

Instead I ordered the Torta Cubana, $5.75, from the specials board. This was large and well-stuffed with roast pork, ham, velveeta, shredded lettuce, grilled onions, tomato slices, and guacamole. The pork seemed like the shoulder cut, roasted with garlic, then sliced thin and browned on the griddle. The velveeta was interesting for about two bites, then the sweetness became cloying, so I scraped it off. Otherwise, this was a decent sandwich, although I’d hoped for a fried egg and some sausage.

There was a sign indicating that on Saturdays and Sundays they have pork or chicken tamales and handmade tortillas available by special order. I bought a pork tamale, $1, to take home for dinner later. Steamed to reheat, I was surprised at how anemic looking it was when I unwrapped the husks. The masa was the stiff style that you can eat out of hand and essentially untouched by broth or chile flavorants with just some salt. The filling was fatty pork with some fiery green chiles. Again, this was the dry style with no sauce in the filling. Still haven’t found a satisfactory tamale…

Not worth a special trip, but if you’re in the neighborhood you can get an inexpensive meal here with some good stoneground chips and salsa fresca.

Taqueria Paraiso
796 S Cloverdale Blvd
Cloverdale, California 95425

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