Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Salsa Caliente


I am doing the A-Z challenge,  focusing on places or entities that can be found within Mendocino County.  I do not intend to imply that the subjects of my writing are the most significant, only that they have personal relevance to me.  Today’s letter is T for taco, as in Taqueria Bravo and Taco Loco.

Salsa Caliente

I know it is a cop-out to go with two different sites for the letter “T.”  All I can say in defense is that these two restaurants, Taqueria Bravo and Taco Loco, feature excellent Mexican food, and they are in two different cities, so there is no conflict of interest, or preference, for that matter.

Taqueria Bravo is in downtown Willits, no more than five minutes’ walk from our apartment.  It has served as a jumping-off point for many a trip to Ukiah.  We stop in, order our taquitos, and less than forty minutes after we walk in the door, we are leaving.  I like the taquitos here, better than the ones at Taco Loco, because they are cooked just a couple minutes shorter, and I like the corn tortillas better if they are not too crisp.

Willits is a funny town in regards to Mexican restaurants.  There are seven in a town of just about five thousand people.  That’s one restaurant for every 742 people.  Now, granted, one of the Mexican “restaurants” is Taco Bell, but I see a lot of cars in the parking lot there, so I guess it must pull in its share of business.  The other establishment that I would put quotation marks around is the one that has been on the scene the longest, and does have the best ambience.  Unfortunately, it has Americanized food, or gringo food, if you will.

Since I have been an enthusiastic partaker in food from south of the border since the early sixties, when my father began hanging out with his fellow workers at the shop during lunch time, I feel that I have earned the right to evaluate the different restaurants, and express an opinion.  Taqueria Bravo and Taco Loco, which is located in Ukiah, in the same shopping center as Star’s Restaurant, have authentic Mexican food.  In fact, one of the characteristics that I like best about Taco Loco, is that they have six different types of salsa, that you serve yourself, and I like them all.  For those who like mild salsa, they have it; for those of us who like to see steam coming out of our ears, they have salsa caliente, or at least that’s what I call it.  

But Taqueria Bravo, being so close to home, is still my favorite.  If by chance, I decide to forgo the taquitos, I can opt for the chile verde, and be just as happy.  The only thing I rarely order from any restaurant, is tamales, because Annie makes the best tamales I have ever tasted, and I would never want to insult her by ordering them from a restaurant.  In fact, Annie not only makes chicken tamales, she also makes veggie ones, with squash, or potatoes, or even eggplant in them, to make a summer meal that can’t be beat.

One of the seven Mexican restaurants in Willits, is the Aztec Grill, located in the Chevron.  Before you snort in derision, I have to admit that I have eaten at several Aztec Grills, and they are more than palatable.  It’s just that the ambiance at the Chevron leaves a bit to be desired.  I will also admit that I have never even eaten at the little restaurant on the south end of town, right across from the Ray’s-er-the Lo-Bucks shopping center.  I am having a hard time adjusting to the new name for Ray’s.

In any case, last Sunday, when Annie suggested that the boys meet us for dinner in Willits, it was unanimous that we meet at Taqueria Bravo.  We had a lively conversation, and the food was delicious, as always.  We even got Lito to give us a ride back to our place, figuring that we might as well take advantage of the taxi service.  Besides, he has a new-to-him Audi, and we had to give it a test-drive.  

So there you have it.  The next time you are in Willits, you will have to join us for lunch at Taqueria Bravo.  If you are lucky, you will get the counter-person who does not speak any English and you’ll get to practice your Spanish.  That’s how we can always tell the food is authentic.

6 comments:

  1. Comida mexicana is my favorite!!! Nothing better in my humble opinion. And now my mouth is watering, thank you very much Mark!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just goes to show, you, Judy; you can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the California out of the girl...

      Delete
  2. Okay! Something tells me I am going to be in Willits more often in the near future! Let's go there one of these times!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have a couple of little Mexican restaurants around here. One is exceptional. Ross loves hot and spicy and Mexican. I can't do any of it. Sometimes I go with him, order mild and enjoy watching Ross "lovin' him some caliente".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was in New Jersey, in 1972, in the service, there were no Mexican food restaurants. After reading your post yesterday, it does not surprise me that Ross likes the spicy salsa. He's just a spicy kind of guy!

      Delete