Thursday, January 24, 2013

Structurally Sound Food at Taco Adobe

Taco Adobe
121 N. Lemon St. 
Orange CA 92866

Now that the holidays are over we can all get back into our normal routines. I do not hide my distaste for the holidays. All of that running around, all the spending of money, and all the pressure to find that perfect gift, makes this one of the worst times of the year for me. Sorry to sound like Scrooge, but one of my favorite times of the year is when everyone goes back to work, school, and back to their humdrum routines.

My cousin Chris was getting back into his everyday schedule by taking a winter course at Chapman University. I could not be happier about this. Not because he was going to be inundated with homework, but because this gave me an excuse to meet up with him for lunch. I had a place in mind for awhile now that I have been wanting to try near the historic Downtown Orange area, so I waited for Chris to get out of class and we headed to Taco Adobe.

Taco Adobe is kind of off to itself in this downtown area. A few streets over from the Plaza in Orange, this tiny restaurant is located on a street that houses numerous auto service spots. This restaurant really has a homey feel to it. Not a big restaurant, they maybe have 12 tables, with a few tables outside. It is very easy to imagine that this building could have been someones house not too long ago.

We got to the restaurant near noon, and did not have to wait for a table, which was good because I was very hungry. I had already looked at the menu on-line, so it did not take me long to figure out what I was going to have. We ordered pretty quick, and the food came out fairly speedy as well.  This is what came out of the kitchen for us.

Before we get to our lunches, a quick look at the chips and salsas that came out beforehand. I liked the chips, but I thought the salsa was a little on the runny side. I kind of like a more chunky salsa. The flavor on this one was good and mellow, but could not compare to the habanero salsa that you have to ask for. I had learned about this habanero salsa from one of my favorite writers at OC Weekly, Gustavo Arellano. Thanks for the insiders tip Gustavo. This salsa really woke up my taste buds. It went very well with everything we were about to eat. I was a little worried when I saw the small amount that was in the bottle, but a little of this definitely goes a long way.

When Chris's Chicken Enchiladas ($9.95) were sat down in front of him, I was struck by the presentation that they had here. Visually this was a very striking plate, and according to Chris the beauty extended to the taste as well. These two enchiladas started with a good tortilla, were not overly stuffed with seasoned chicken, but had plenty of flavor. He was also a fan of the rice here, which he thought had a nice, subtle sweetness to it.

I told you I was hungry when we sat down , so I had to try two items here. Once again, I got the Pacifico Deep Fried Fish Taco ($3.00) thanks to Gustavo Arellano's recommendation. They use Mahi Mahi for their fried fish tacos here. Along with the fish, the taco comes with a blend of cheeses, a special cream sauce, cotija cheese, and a citrus cabbage mix. This was a great fish taco. The fish was fried perfectly, not too greasy, and I detected the hint of the beer this was battered in. The fish was flaky and flavorful. The condiments on this taco were all very fresh, and really enhanced this taco. The Carnitas Burrito ($7.49) was prepared simply with shredded tender pork, rice, beans, cilantro, onions, and cheese, all wrapped in a giant flour tortilla. I only had one complaint about this burrito, the carnitas were too finely chopped. I would have liked bigger pieces in this burrito. Other than that this was a good burrito. Large in size, and big in the taste, this burrito piqued my interest in their carnitas plate, which I will get on my next visit here.

I really enjoyed my visit to Taco Adobe. All of the items we had were prepared very simply, but with quality ingredients. These guys really know what they are doing. I will not hesitate to come back here to explore more of their menu. The service when we were here was good and unobtrusive. I thought the prices were good for the amount of food and quality that we received. I'm glad the holidays are over, but even more happy that I had this opportunity to meet up with my cousin Chris and finally get the chance to eat at Taco Adobe.

Out of five bricks, (because buildings made of adobe are made of many adobe bricks), five being best to zero being worst, Taco Adobe gets 3.5 bricks.

To find out more about Taco Adobe, click here:!

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