El Jalapeño Rojo taqueria at 400 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95110
You know when a taco just hits the spot? Yeah, that’s what these tacos do. This place has a small outdoor seating area and a drive through that never stops as cars seems to always be here. And the tacos are delicious.
Earlier on in the making of this blog, my oldest child and I were out on scooters looking at murals when we stopped here. The oldest said this was their new favorite taqueria. We’ve gone back a few times and I have always enjoyed my food.
The flavor is excellent. The juiciness of the ingredients and toastiness of the tortilla are perfect so that the tacos are not falling apart or doughy. The salsa on the tacos is full of flavor. There was nothing not to love about these.
On this day, four of us including two children and two adults sampled veggie tacos, asada and cheese tacos, and carnitas tacos. The comments recorded included:
– Loaded, lots of lettuce, big chunks of tomato, rice beans & cheese. Good salsa. – Pretty good – These tacos hit the spot! So good and exactly what I wanted right now. The tacos were well seasoned, perfectly balanced in meat and toppings, just so good. The green and the red salsa sauce are both delicious. Good flavor. Outdoor seating is nicely shaded with flowers around. A constant stream of cars come by through the drive through. I look forward to coming back. Yum! -I liked my horchata
Metro Balderas Taqueria at 300 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95110
In our ongoing effort to try all the tacos in San Jose, we went as a family to Metro Balderas on Willow Street. The youngest and I have been there before and enjoyed our burritos. A while back we had had a great day walking around the area, looking at art, visiting the library, eating lunch, and hanging out, just the two of us. So on this day, we decided to share the place with the family for the great taco challenge. There were four of us, two adults and two younger ones. Tacos tasted included veggie, asada, and al pastor.
Comments in our rating document included: -The tacos were good. I am sure I will come back again. The salsa at the table was very spicy hot and also a good flavor. I like the outside seating and overall feel of this place. -They messed up my order. (side note- the blog author deserves some credit for the mistake on the order) -The location was lovely, outdoor seating area, breezy, good music. The red salsa was hot and good. Tacos were plain, simple, not too much flavor. I added lime and salsa. There was lots of lettuce, some diced tomatoes. -I was hungry. LoL
Our recorded scores showed that the tacos were good though no one was overly impressed on this particular day. Our previous experience has been more impressive. So, I know I will be going back and trying out more items as I know there is more to enjoy here.
Olla Restaurant at 17 N. San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110
There were three of us, two young ones and an adult who went this day to sample some tacos at Olla on San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. The outdoor seating looked great and so did the interior seating with large open service garage style doors letting the fresh and perfect air into the restaurant. There was art all around and the colors were bright and inviting. There was plenty to look at and to take in.
Types of tacos sampled were birria beef with cheese tacos and fish tacos. Comments included: – Delicious, you will not regret getting the beef. – The beef looked like pulled pork, lol. – The fish was nice and crispy and the tortilla texture was like a good homemade corn tortilla. There were attractive colors in the taco as well as in the art everywhere. Maybe a bit more chili spice would be good but overall, quite satisfying. I also tasted the birria and it was delicious.
The experience was good here. The food was good, the environment was good. Even the thick heavy glasses for water were satisfying to drink from. We had a good time.
Burrito Factory Restaurant at 124 Blossom Hill Rd., Ste A, San Jose, CA 95123
The Burrito Factory has been around for a while and is a pretty good go to for burritos, as you might guess from the name. Well, how about tacos? We went to what I sometimes refer to as the “big burrito factory” meaning the one with more seating. It’s also the one that makes Mexican Coffee during the breakfast hours as they don’t all do so.
Today we sampled al pastor, asada and cheese, and tacos de papa. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside. Here are some of the comments:
– I like the tortillas for my taco, they were a perfect balance between toasty and soft. Food good, salsa has some heat, the ones we chose anyway. The orange sauce here is a hot one. Nice day for sitting outside. – Good tacos. – Outdoor seating was fantastic, nice breeze. Music playing. The tacos de papa, with cabbage, queso y crema were good; not too flavorful. I added a squeeze of lime and tried their orange sauce and their red, both hot and good flavor. – Meh.
Overall we were satisfied with the tacos and the experience. Personally, I can see myself occasionally ordering tacos here though I am far more likely to order burritos, especially chili verde or chorizo breakfast burritos.
La Victoria Taqueria at 140 East San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95112
San Jose has a locally well known thing; orange sauce. Orange sauce is a delicious hot sauce that I have not heard of being a deal anywhere else. No two are the same and you will find many San Jose taquerias with an orange sauce. There is, of course, some argument over who invented the first San Jose orange sauce. The answer, by several authorities, is La Victoria. This does not mean that one should not enjoy all of the orange sauces or that only the first is best. No, the world is wonderful for its variations and innovations and accumulated complications and experiences. However, it is true, that La Victoria has a fantastically delicious orange sauce and one should definitely sample it. In our house it is a special treat to come home with a bottle of the orange sauce from La Vic (the common nick name for La Victoria) and then to eat it on everything from eggs to pizza and burritos to tacos.
This is a post in the series of our impossible quest to try all of the tacos in San Jose. We just can’t talk about this San Jose icon of a taqueria without discussing the orange sauce. It is highly recommended and delicious. Ok, now on to the tacos!
The tacos were delicious and were enjoyed by all. Tacos ordered today included veggie tacos and asada tacos ordered as they come and ordered as plain meat and cheese. There were four of us sitting in the old victorian house turned restaurant next to San Jose State University. To my knowledge, this is the original location and the first place to bring San Jose orange sauce to the public.
Notes from todays tasting included: – So delicious. Veggie tacos were loaded. Like big, full, a bit sloppy. The orange sauce on top was great and we got an extra bottle to take home. – Pretty good but bigger than I thought they’d be – Good tacos, good meat. Very big tacos. One taco would have been enough. Agua fresca was soooo delicious. The orange sauce is also great. Food is good and everything about the place is good. We bought a bottle of orange sauce to take home. Yum! – Good tacos.
El Amigo Restaurant at 7090 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose, CA 95139
This taco experience was enjoyed by two adults and two children, as well as the company of friends who ordered other items from the menu. While there is an indoor dining area to this well decorated restaurant, the outdoor area is so inviting with roof covered sections, shaded sections, and sunny sections, that I think it would be difficult to pass on the outdoor eating experience here. Tacos ordered on this day were asada con queso, tacos de papa, hard shell tacos with chicken and cheese, and fish tacos.
Notes from this taco tasting included: – Delicious!!!! – Good. Simple papa lettuce & tomato. Served with rice & beans. Some salsa adds lots of flavor. – Not bad. – Great outdoor eating, friendly people working here, and I’ve eaten many things here over the years and they were good. The fish tacos today did not impress me as much as other food here has, though I still ate all of my tacos. Also, from experience, I can say their asada tacos here are great.
Las Cazuelas Restaurant at 55 Race St., San Jose , CA 95126
Two children and two adults tried tacos including vegetarian, plain carne asada, and al pastor.
We were with several friends for this adventure who all chose burritos for their meals so they did not get to chime in on the taco score. This restaurant is near many murals and art studios and we had a great day exploring and listening to live music on The Alameda for this Second Saturday. Second Saturday is a movement on The Alameda to open up the art galleries and host artist talks, musicians, and hands on art opportunities for all who come. We had a great time trying our hands at several art and poetry projects, listening to Mighty Mike McGee, famous local poet, be interviewed in the School of Visual Philosophy. Then we walked around the wonderful Recycle Bookstore before walking over to Las Cazuelas restaurant.
I have to say that the patio and friends as part of a great day went superbly with my tacos that came out great. An excellent day of living.
Taco notes included: – Outdoor patio so nice and comfortable. Tacos are delicious! – It was good. – Ehhhhh😐 – Our friend joined us and loved his veggie burrito, adding hot salsa, saying “Sauce is so good, it’s so hot, I’m dying.”
La Playita Restaurant at 1169 Redmond Ave, San Jose, CA 95120
For this day we had two adults and one child with us and ordered al pastor, asada con queso, and veggie tacos. One child was off on a different adventure so didn’t get to eat with us this time. I have a fond space in my heart for this place as I used to eat here regularly many years ago and the family that runs the place have always been very kind. In fact, some of my earliest memories of my children eating at restaurants as toddlers are from this restaurant. This is where my youngest used to eat the salsa as a toddler until their mouth would burn, drink water, pause for a minute, and then go right back to eating chips and salsa as if nothing had happened. My ratings of the experience here are certain to be skewed by happy memories, and also, the meat in my tacos was excellent!
Comments included: – Very good. I like the patio and all of the plants, also. – Good. – Good. Delicious. Basic veggie taco.
Combined taco score for La Playita Restaurant = 🌮🌮🌮
In our impossible goal to sample all of the tacos available in San Jose, my family has begun tracking our taco tastings. This is the first in our series of taco tasting adventures and the first use of our new taco rating system.
🌮🌮🌮🌮 = We like these tacos and we want to come back soon 🌮🌮🌮 = We like these tacos and will happily eat them again 🌮🌮 = We would eat these tacos if we were hungry at a party 🌮 = We are not going to eat these tacos again
Our taco score will be a composite of our individual scores for the tacos we ate during that visit, though we are each eating different tacos and not necessarily the same kinds from restaurant to restaurant. In other words, this is very unscientific, not necessarily representative of what any one of us actually thought of our own tacos on a particular visit, not necessarily representative of the restaurant in general, and not a good indicator for comparisons.
Basically, we are looking for a fun taco adventure and you should go and try them all yourself. We just decided to make up this whole system to go along with our experience.
So here we go- Tacos!:
Mezcal restaurant at 25 W San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95113
Mezcal restaurant is a perfect example of how our scale system is not likely to help you decide if you should try a restaurant or not. Mezcal is not a taqueria; it is a fancy dining restaurant with art everywhere and a cool vibe. There are very few tacos on the menu and a lot of other great looking items. What I mean to say is, if you were trying to judge this restaurant, you probably wouldn’t have only had a couple of tacos. However, that is what we were there for. Tacos!
What you see here are vegetarian tacos and tacos filled with asada and cheese. On this day there were two adults and two children recording their taco thoughts that included: –Salsa and beans are very delightful😁 -I didn’t like the cheese here, the meat was good but the cheese wasn’t. -Pickled onion delicious. Salsa & chips amazing. Avocado salsa & green salsa amazing. Mezcalrita for drink was new, interesting, good flavor. -Good salsa, tasty black beans. I imagine lots of the food here is very good. The pickled onion and salsitas for the tacos were very good. Overall, an upscale place where the tacos are not the main thing. I would like to come back to try more items.