I stopped by Taqueria Los Altos today for an early dinner after work. I had both an early and somewhat small lunch so I was pretty hungry. This place has been recommended to me by more than one reader so far and it’s been in the back of my mind lately. It’s located right next door to Sweet Stuff Cakery on Foothills at Vineyard. Notable in the exterior photo is the blue Ford Taurus LX (Lic: 6LJV152) that nearly took my bumper off in the parking lot and then illegally parked in the handicap spot so he could rush into Metro PCS. Nice.
I entered at about 4:30PM to a nearly empty restaurant. There was a guy waiting for takeout and a couple more just about ready to leave further in at a table. It’s a fairly small place but it’s nice inside, nicer than a lot of taquerias. Actually now that I think about it and look closer at the interior design, I would bet money that this used to be a Taco Del Mar at some point. It’s got the hut, surf board table, and the stools and bamboo styling are exactly the same. Anyway, I looked at the menu for a bit while the one guy working waited patiently near the register. The way it’s laid out you have to walk past the register by about 5-10 feet to get a good look at the menu. I bet this can get crowded and awkward when it’s busy. I already knew I was ordering their carnitas plate and mostly just wanted to confirm it was there and see what the description said. Other than saying above that “All plates are served with rice, refried beans, guacamole, cheese, lettuce and tortillas (corn or flour)”, it was a pretty basic menu. The seem to have some items that I don’t usually see elsewhere like lengua (beef tongue), buche (hog maw[stomach, I had to look that up]), tripas(beef tripe) and cabeza(cheek meat), among other things. I think that’s pretty neat, and any other day I probably would have tried a couple tacos, but I was starving, it had been a long day already, and I was ready for some delicious carnitas. They seem to be open breakfast on some days, if not all, though I didn’t think to look at the hours on the way out. They have some breakfast items on the menu and mention menudo being available on weekend mornings.
I ordered the carnitas plus some sour cream and picked a mango flavored Jarritos from the cooler behind the register. This is the first time I ever tried one of these brightly colored fruit flavored drinks. I took a survey recently that focused heavily on Jarritos marketing and it got me interested in them. After paying, I claimed the big, round table near the front. The Jarritos was a lot more carbonated than I was expecting, I guess I wasn’t thinking soda so much as fruit juice. It was really good and pretty refreshing. It was a good choice for one of our warmest days yet this year. I’ll definitely be checking out some of the other flavors next time I see them. Within minutes my food was being brought out to me. He set my plate down and then, seeing that I hadn’t grabbed any, pointed the chips and salsa out to me. They are on opposite ends, the chips down further into the restaurant and the salsa bar up front by the soda fountains. I noticed there was no sour cream on the plate, reminded him about it and he quickly realized he forgot it and delivered it to my table while I was getting my chips and salsa.
I grabbed a little of two different ones. The runny, smokier kind I usually stick with and one more that was thicker but didn’t look to be really heavy with tomatoes, which I tend to avoid. The latter was excellent. It was a lot more flavorful than I expected and had a good little kick to it. The chips were were nothing special. My carnitas plate was steaming hot. The beans were very good and had much more flavor than most of the taquerias I’ve been to so far. The rice was soft and was decent overall. I mixed these together with the crisp shredded lettuce. The guacamole was a little on the runny side but was OK. My corn tortillas, which were wrapped in foil in a separate basket, were very hot and soft. As for the carnitas, there was a lot of it. It was an interesting mix of mostly very tender pieces of meat. Some were crisp aound the edges, which I love. Some were pretty fatty abd were also some of the most flavorful bites. A couple pieces here and there were a little dry. Overall it was a really good plate and I ate every bite.
I spent a bit over $10 for my food and the Jarritos, which is right about on par for this plate most places. The guy (possibly owner) was really nice and struck up a bit of small talk here and there as he worked. I left with a full belly and was generally quite happy. It’s not the best in Roseville, but I think it’s very good.