Colleagues and I took the Gold Line out to East Los Angeles to try the burritos. We ended up finding that there is a lot more than burritos and ordered a wide sampling of the menu, including bean and cheese burritos, meat/bean/green chile/cheese burritos, meat/bean/red chile sauce/cheese burritos, fried beef tacos, fried taquitos with guacamole, and even a chile dog. You sit at a stool at the counter, look at the menu which is on an oldschool type board and then place the order from the owner who will come up to you and ask what you want.
1). A green chile burrito with beans and cheese, which I think is called a green chile special. It is made as you watch by placing a huge flour tortilla on the flat-top griddle, and then slathered with beans, chunks of tender beef, pieces of roasted or stewed green chile and shredded cheese and then folded. It is left on the griddle for a minute or so to heat the tortilla and melt the cheese. The burrito is wrapped in paper and you are given a fork, as it is very saucy and might end up needing the utensil to finish it off. I liked the burrito a lot, but maybe next time no cheese.
2). Fried Taco. Ground beef in a corn tottilla, fried. Lettuce, yellow cheese and a thin spicy red sauce is added. About two minutes from the time you order to the time its served. Crispy taco that is basic and good.
3). Fried Taquitos. Two to an order, thin guacamole sauce, with a dab of the thin red chile sauce on top. Fried when ordered.
4). Root beer soda with crushed ice.
1). Bean and Cheese Burrito, plain.
2). Bean and Cheese Burrito with Red Chile Sauce. Same as above, but spicy.
3). Chili Dog. Sliced lengthwise, put on the griddle, warm soft pliable bun with mustard, relish and onions and chili. Good meaty dog.
While there I noticed other presumably long time customers ordering a number of items that seemed off the menu or a bit different--some of them being a burrito with sliced hot dogs, a four fingered dog which was two sliced hot dogs, grilled and put into a hamburger bun. It seems as if you can go off menu and make various combinations by adding the green or red chile to any item , putting hot dogs into anything or making various combinations. I will be back to try the red chile burrito with chicharron as I once had something along these lines in somewhere that was good.
The food is neither authentic Mexican as it won't be found in some little town in Sonora nor is it nouveau trendy. It is good food made by someone who has dedicated her life to delivering a limited menu of Mexican American and Los Angeles specialties. So for those of you who strictly and only eat food with the official authentic seal of approval or those of you who are trend horrors, you wont like this place and it isnt for you. For those of you looking for basic good tasting food at a place with history, ambiance and with an A rating from the health department to boot, please venture and enjoy. Everyone in our party enjoyed the food and the talk with the owner, who might seem a bit rough at first but warms up quickly especially if you take an interest in the food and history of the place.
A few logistics: Our office is downtown and we took the Red Line to Union Station and transferred to the Gold Line. We got off at the East LA Civic Center stop, but you can actually get off one stop earlier at the Maravilla station and walk one block east as the stand is in between both stops. Bring cash.