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 than 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.
(Click menu images for larger versions)
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.