William and I grabbed lunch today at Taqueria Super Pollo! #2 on the advice of a trusted friend. It's actually the closest Mexican food to our parents' house, yet I'd passed it by several times as looking too gringo-ish to harbor real deliciousness.
I got excited when I saw the Friday special - sliced tri-tip and two pieces of "supreme" chicken on a combo lunch plate - which sounded to me like a fusing of Central Coast ranch cooking with Mexican. However, I was stuck in a time warp...it was a letdown when my brother pointed out to me that it was now Saturday. (vbg) There's a lunch plate special offered each weekday.
Anyway, the thing we were here to eat is the chicken burrito. More specifically, it's called "Wet chicken burrito", $4.75, and came highly recommended. We also ordered a lengua taco, $1.85.
I watched the counterman griddle a big flour tortilla, then add a dab of rice and one of refritos. This kind of surprised me as burritos in this area are often carne only. On top of that was a couple generous ladlefuls of pollo guisado. He quickly wrapped it then spooned some of the juices over, topped it with velveeta-like cheese, and popped it in the microwave. To finish, a handful of tortilla chips were tossed on top.
The whole thing was bigger than the typical Mission-style burrito, weighing maybe 2 lbs. and packed with meat. William added two scoops of green sauce and two of red salsa from the help-yourself condiment area.
We both liked the wet burrito a lot. The grilled chicken meat infused a slight smoky taste to the blend and stayed succulent in the braising liquids. The savory flavors of bell pepper, celery, onions, and other aromatic veggies gave this a delicious homemade taste. The added salsas were both very tame but we liked the extra saucy wetness. William thought it was a good deal and a lot of food for the price, especially if you like chicken (which is not his favorite carne).
The lengua taco was okay. The tongue itself was soft and buttery, but not as flavorful as some. And, it couldn't be helped by the bland-ish salsas. Unusual for me, I added a couple drops of Tapatio hot sauce to perk it up.
The Star Shopping Center is along the route where approaching Salinas from the south on 101 you'd cut over to Hwy 68 to go to Monterey. Instead of turning left on Main St. to head toward Monterey, a right turn onto Main will put you in front of the shopping center.
Taqueria Super Pollo! #2
(Star Shopping Center)
1237 South Main St.
8am to 8pm
Beer and chabelas
(#1 is located at 1070 N. Davis Rd.)