Cali Eats: El Toro Taqueria
Date Visited: Late Lunch on Sunday Apr 14, 2014
Company: Walk-in for 5
After a long walk to Twin Peaks, we ventured back to the Mission District where we started to find a spot for an early afternoon lunch. There were tons of Mexican places we passed by when we were walking around the area so it wasn't difficult to find a place to eat. El Toro seemed like it was a fairly busy cafeteria style place right on the corner of Valencia and 17th, it was very welcoming with colourful signage and windows to look in. It looked like it wouldn't take us long to get food and had a table to sit, so it was exactly what we were looking for... and also some fish tacos for us to try!
Their menu was pretty simple but with lots of options, the foods are all there in front of you to awe at while the servers make your delicious plate of food. I decided to order a Super Prawn Taco Dinner, which ended up being around $8. The taco was only $3.50 itself but I wanted to add all the fixings! They also give you free nachos (which probably never get eaten after having that huge plate) and there's a salsa bar off to the side for you to try their different homemade salsas.
The plate looked delicious and packed with colourful foods, they let you choose the type of beans you want, either black or re-fried, I choose re-fried but I don't really like beans anyway. They topped it off with some shredded cheese and layer it a bit with your rice. There was nothing too special about the rice and beans, very average and just filled you up. There was a salad on the side with an excessive amount ranch dressing which was pretty okay, added some veggies to your meal. Now the taco on the other hand, was definitely the highlight of the meal... there were so many prawns, you could really taste a nice grilled, spiced flavour. They double tortilla'd it so it wouldn't fall apart which really helped but the tortilla was already pretty thick to begin with. It was a gloriously messy taco but was delicious with very fresh ingredients. Their guacamole was packed with zesty flavour and was nice to have with the nachos too. They also give you tortilla with the dinner meal but I didn't want mine.
Food: 3/5 - Prawn Taco was amazing, everything else was mediocre.
Decor: 3/5 - Quite clean and nice place to sit inside for a bit on a hot day and still enjoy the sun.
Service: 2.5/5 - Fast to clean tables, free ice water, few misunderstandings with my order, and busy line-up though.
Willingness to go back: 3/5 - Tons of taco joints to check out in the area, wouldn't necessarily go back to this one but I wouldn't complain either, cheap and easy.