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Restaurants & Bars 1

El Metate Cafe - Pasadena

WildSwede | Apr 7, 200503:17 PM

Have driven by several times and decided to give it a try for lunch yesterday. This is the place that used to be called something like Espresso and Tacos. They have 2 storefronts made into one restaurant. You enter to a counter at which you place your order. You get your drink, salsa from the salsa bar (3 good salsas, and some other condiments) and they bring you your food when it is ready.

Extensive menu including the usuals as well as some items that are new to me: tacos $1.50/ea (Lengua, Cabeza, Asada, Carnitas, Al Pastor, Pollo, Buche), Burritos (Verde, Colorado, Carne Asada, Huevos/Chorizo, Chile Relleno, Trozitos de Steak), Tostadas, Enchiladas (Verde, Rojas o Rancheras), Flautas, Taquitos, Ensalada de Pollo, Taco Salad, Carne Asada Plate, Carnes al Molcajete (carne, Pollo Chipotle, Carnitas, Carne a la Tampiquena, Lengua en Salsa Verde, Molcajete El Metate – Nopales, Carne Asada, Chorizo, Pollo & Queso, Tacos Sudados. Seafood: Camarones (A la Diabla, A la Mantequilla, Rancheros, Al Mojo de Ajo, Mexicanos, Costa Azul), Fajitas de Camaron, Mojarra al Gusto, Filete de Pescado el Arriero, Molcajete. Cockteles (Camaron, Camarones Ahogados, Campechanas, Tostadas de Camaron, Tostadas de Ceviche, Caldo de Camaron, Siete Mares, Caldo de Pescado, Their “especial” Taco de Pescado. Caldos: Sopa de Tortilla, Albondigas, Carne, Pollo, Pozole y Menudo (on weekends only).

It is a very nice space. Tables and chairs and then in the back there are two couches with a coffee table. This being my first time there, I stuck to the basics. Ordered 1/each of 3 tacos – Al Pastor, Carnitas and Carne Asada. You get chips with a house salsa which was very good. As I am not a Carnitas aficionado, I can say I thought it was good. The Al Pastor had good flavor (although I still like Las Ruinas and La Estrella better) which I would definitely order again. Carne Asada was good as well. Sweet owners who really care if you like the food or not – wife came out three times to make sure I was okay. You can tell they take pride in what they do.

I would recommend this place. 12 N Mentor Avenue. 626.229.0706. Nice and convenient just north of Colorado Blvd. south of the Ice House. Hours: M-Th 8-9; F-Sat 8-11; Sun 8-4. Oh yeah, they cater, too.

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