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Restaurants & Bars 3

El Cerrito - Trevino’s – Bay Area’s best gringo taco

rworange | May 19, 200602:24 AM

Recent discussions on the General Board finally pushed me to try this Mexican-American restaurant on San Pablo Road across the street from BART.

It is exactly what it looks like – Mexican food for Americans. I ordered the ‘Once’ (#1) combo plate– taco, enchilada and tamale. It comes with soup, salad, beans, rice, chips and two salsas.

The surprise here was a really excellent taco. The shell was fried to order and filled with juicy pork that was full of flavor. It was topped with iceberg, onions and tomatoes.

Glancing over at other tables, the tacos could be ordered topped with guacamole … lots of guacamole.

The chips were really good too, warm, thin and crisp.

The salsa fresca with finely chopped onion, tomato, tomatillo and, maybe, a touch of jalapeño was good. The red salsa was thin; tomato juice is thicker and has more tomato taste.

A small cup of tomato vegetable soup was fine. I threw a few of the chips in for a scaled-down, make-shift tortilla soup.

Salad was a crisp bowl of iceberg with a slice of beet and topped with shredded carrots. Order the dressing on the side though since the lettuce seems washed to order. There was a little pool of water in the bottom. It might dilute the dressing if ordered with the salad. Or use the thin salsa as the dressing.

It was a standard plate of refried beans topped with shredded American cheese with tamale and enchilada covered in enchilada sauce. The Spanish rice was fresh tasting and not dry like some places. The chunks of tender shredded beef in the enchilada were good and it would have been nice if there was a little spice. The pork in the large tamale wasn’t as good as the taco pork. The tamale was probably from the freezer as it was not thoroughly heated.

The margarita served in a glass with a green cactus stem and a slice of lime on top speared with a small paper Mexican flag. It could have been stronger, but was good. Next time I’ll order it straight and not frozen. The other tables had the straight version.

The place is cheery with Mexican music playing in the background. Good-looking, young Latino waiters are pleasant. Colorful sombrero’s, piñatas and Aztec calendars decorate the wall. Red, green and white flags hang from the ceiling. Large windows look out on San Pablo Avenue. The tables are topped with tiles. The chairs and lamps are the heavy Spanish type.

There is a picture of the chairs below from Dr. Biggles blog. The link below has more pictures and the doctor’s review.

For some reason, I missed the fajitas which I would have ordered. I see them on the take-out menu, but I read the regular menu a number of times and didn’t see them. It was a good thing or I never would have tried the great taco.

Other taco fillings are ground beef, chicken, potato, shredded beef, carne asada, shrimp, crab and fish.

Margarita flavors include strawberry, peach, mango and blue (?). There’s also a cadilac margarita, sangria, pina coladas, tequila sunrises, daiquiris and Mexican coffee. Bottled American and Mexican beer is available.

There are no tortillas with the meal and I didn’t see any bottles of hot sauce. Dessert of flan with whipped cream that is not house-made.

In addition to combo dinners and fajitas there are chimichangas, tosadas, burritos (MONSTER burritos), lots of enchiladas (regular, suiza, verde, entomatada), flautas, sopes, quesadillas, chile rellenos and barquitos (fried tortilla cups with choice of filling). There are American dinners like fried chicken, steak, grilled chicken, fish and burgers

When I first moved to California a few decades back, my first Mexican food was very much like this (though fajitas weren’t popular yet). I felt so cool to be eating authentic Mexican food. Little did I know my future would involve pozole, tortas, taco trucks and a year working in Mexico City.

Trevino’s does what it does with care. It is enjoyable for what it is. The parking lot is usually full.

The prices are low, but it might be better to order a la carte since the soup, salad, beans and rice are mostly to fill up on. There is the option of ordering whole beans.

The meals are large and almost everyone took home a Styrofoam carton. I look forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow … with a little tapatio sauce to perk things up.

As Dr. Biggles writes in his review of Trevino’s linked below:

“Keep in mind, this is for a nice lunch during the week. Not something to shout to the world that these people were frying up miracles, lordy.”

I’ll be back for another taco, this time with guacamole … and maybe the blue margarita.

Trevino's Mexican Restaurant
11795 San Pablo Avenue
Richmond, CA

Link: http://www.cyberbilly.com/meathenge/a...

Image: http://www.cyberbilly.com/meathenge/i...

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