A recent article in San Francisco magazine dubbed a stretch of Middlefield Road in Redwood City “Little Michoacán,” reports Robert Lauriston, who asks other Chowhounds for their opinions. Sushi Monster knows the area well, and isn’t too impressed with the magazine’s information. He offers his own advice for this outstanding stretch of taquerias.

Although Rincon Tarasco does plenty of trade in tacos and tortas, “the real draw here is the big plates, such as lengua, camarones and guilotas (quail),” says Sushi Monster. “The machaca con huevos—the Norteño equivalent of the very traditional Michoacán specialty aporreadillo—is a hearty, deeply satisfying plate of shredded, dried beef over scrambled eggs, swimming in a sweet, tangy red sauce.” And the place also scores high “on two major tests: handmade tortillas to order, and serious red sauce.”

The best place for birria is Taqueria Apatzingan, says Sushi Monster, where it is prepared a bit drier than at some of the other places. He skips the chile oil–based red sauce, and goes for the tomatillo instead.

Panaderia Michoacan 4 is a combo mercado and bakery, with a comfortable place to eat. The lengua is memorable for a slight cumin/curry background note, while the mild red salsa is better than the hot here. (Note: This is the branch on El Camino Real, not the one on Middlefield Road itself.)

kareng1972 says that the El Camino Real branch of La Casita Chilanga is one of the best Mexican places in all of Redwood City: “It has the best tortas ever!” Sushi Monster agrees, adding that the suaperro (beef rib) is delicious in a taco. There is also barbacoa de borrego available on Sundays, says wally.

Sushi Monster points out that you won’t be getting Michoacán specialties at most of these places, except for maybe the quail at Rincon Tarasco. “Most of the best restaurants in Little Michoacán are focused on providing basic Mexican food to their immediate neighborhood clientele,” he says. “The regional specialties are not what you’re going to find in almost any of the taquerias … The best of Little Michoacán is really the best of a half-dozen Mexican states.”

If you really want to try authentic Michoacán specialties, Sushi Monster recommends that you head to one of the full-service, sit-down places such as La Pachanga or Las Parrillas. But he also thinks that anyone looking for “flat-out great food” should stick to the taquerias.

Rincon Tarasco [Peninsula]
3200 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park

Taqueria Apatzingan [Peninsula]
3305 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park

Panaderia Michoacan 4 [Peninsula]
2561 El Camino Real, Redwood City

La Casita Chilanga [Peninsula]
761 El Camino Real, Redwood City

La Pachanga [Peninsula]
3102 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

Las Parrillas [Peninsula]
3284 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park

Board Link: Michoacano in Redwood City?

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