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Lonchera La Esmeralda | Sonora - Gold Country

Melanie Wong | Jul 11, 201712:26 AM

Two months ago, I braked for the freshly painted taco truck, La Esmeralda, for an afternoon bite on my way out of the forest.

Family-operated, the lonchera's owners said they've been here a little more than a year and are originally from Jalisco.

I ordered and paid for a couple tacos, then they pointed me toward the cooler. Popping open the Coleman ice chest, inside I discovered a salsa bar with many great-looking choices.

Considering that the tacos are only $1.50 apiece, I did not expect to get complimentary chips here. I was glad to have a foil for taste-testing each of the salsas. Each was terrific in its own way and spicy. I definitely needed a cold drink.

Carnitas were fresh and fragrant with deep porkiness but a little dry ... except for the hunk of soft rind that might squig out a different eater. The Carne aside was better yet with subtle seasoning and grill notes. The doubled corn tortillas were fresh and properly sweated. This might be the best food of my mini-vacation.

La Esmeralda has a couple tables under a canopy to eat on site. It also has a parking lot. Definitely worth a stop when you're in the area.

Lonchera La Esmeralda
20117 Hwy 108
Sonora, CA 95370
209) 588-8058
Closed Sundays

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