#188: El Charro Taqueria

El Charro Taqueria has been a tough one for me to complete but I finally did it last night.  They are only open from 6pm-2am on Friday and Saturday nights, catering to the bar crowds in Old-Town Roseville.  One time I tried to come here at about 6:30 and they still weren’t open yet.  Last night, my friend Justin and I were coming back from a stand-up show in Sacramento and arrived just after 11PM.  They were open!

The area was busy and parking was somewhat scarce.  We found a spot in the lot between the train tracks and The Boxing Donkey and walked over.  Inside there were a handful of customers, many of which were clearly either in the middle or at the end of their night at the bars.  The dining room is a big rectangular space with tables and chairs on the left and in the middle.  On the right is a bench that runs pretty much the entire length of the taqueria.  To the back is the counter and menus up above.  They offer a very basic selection of tacos, burritos, enchiladas and fries.  If they have other things, they are not clearly advertised.  They have a small chips and salsa bar, though after 10 or 11PM they charge something like $0.75 for it, probably just as a deterrent to drunk groups coming in and demolishing it in seconds.

I ordered the Carne Asada Fries.  Here is the description exactly as it appears on the menu:

Served with fries “Carne Asada” cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole

I didn’t notice the quotations until today as I am writing this.  I wonder what exactly that means….  Is it not real carne asada meat?  Does the lack of a comma after it supposed to mean that the cheddar cheese is “Carne Asada” style (not sure what that would mean anyway)?  I have no idea.  Maybe it’s just a terribly written description, but it made me wonder.  These were $9.98.  We both got a can of soda [$1.00 ea) and took a seat.  I was given a piece of wood with the number 21 drawn on it in sharpie.

We waited for about 6 minutes and the fires were brought out in a styrofoam container with a few napkins and a fork on top.  Earlier, Justin had predicted that the fries would be the crinkle-cut type that you find in the freezer section.  He was dead-on.  The container was nice and full and very hot.  There was a big scoop of sour cream in one corner and guacamole in the other.  Spread over the fries was already very-melted shredded cheese and a small handful of carne asada.  The fries were crisp, pretty plain though and needed all the toppings.  The carne asada was a little tough, decently flavorful though.  The sour cream and guacamole had warmed up considerably from the extremely hot fries (my camera lens completely fogged up at one point when I tried to get an overhead shot) which was a little weird.  I definitely prefer them both cold.

Overall this was OK.  Nothing I’d come seek out on it’s own, but it’s probably pretty good after a night of drinking, which is obviously exactly what they are going for here.  The service is bare bones, it’s basically fast food.  I am surprised, even with probably heavy business late on Friday and Saturday, that they can afford this space with such limited business hours.


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