After my ramen dinner on Monday, I had no hope of making much progress on 101 southbound. Instead I took King Road south to the new shopping center on Story Road anchored by Target. Gallo Giro has opened here too, the first of this SoCal chain's branches in the Bay Area. It seems much cleaner than the Santa Ana original that I used to frequent, maybe that's the newness shining through. Also, the staff are more comfortable dealing in English here.
My first reaction to the Aguas Frescas counter was let-down. Who needs limon, tamarindo or naranja?!? Bring on guayaba, papaya, mango, and other exotica! I ordered a mamey licuado and so did everyone ahead of me in line. Hopefully the management figures this out and doesn't deprive us of what's served down south. Not that I'm that crazy enamored with mamey, I was just happy that another flavor was available. Btw, you can ask for a taste before choosing.
Image of aguas frescas counter -
There are a number of tables outside, as well as seating inside. With time to kill, I took a seat to enjoy my drink. I also made a trip to the salsa bar to taste the offerings. The sight of the pico de gallo made me smile, yes, I remember that deadly concoction with more than half of its proportion made up of chopped fresh jalapeños. And, it tasted just the same with red, ripe tomatoes and head-blowing-off heat. Likewise, the picosa (hotter still!), rojo, and verde.
I also watched the guy at the torta station making humongous sandwiches. More memories came flooding back, especially when I spotted his pile of braised onions and carrots, one of the unique add-ins here. No strawberry tamales here, and the dried-out looking piña tamales under the heat lamp didn't look too appealing. But I'll hit it up for something savory the next time I pass this way at meal time.
Anyone else tried it yet?
Heads up for Gallo Giro -
P.S. This is posted here because Gallo Giro is not a national or multi-state regional chain.