#221: Chando’s Tacos

Has it really been 3 weeks?  I guess I’ve been busier than I thought!  Things have been happening here in Roseville.  A few restaurants have opened and a couple have closed.  I’ll be updating all the appropriate pages in the next day or so.  Chandos Tacos opened quietly about a month ago and I didn’t notice until today.  This one has been a long time coming and I was excited to go check it out for dinner.

I’m not sure if the food trucks preceded their permanent locations (of which they now have three in the Sacramento area) or not.  The first (and only) time I had Chando’s was at one of the first food truck events on Vernon a few years ago.  This latest location is situated between Starbucks and Taj Oven on Pleasant Grove near 65.

I headed in at about 5:15PM to a very busy dining room.  Actually there weren’t that many people seated, the line was nearly to the door though.  A lot of people seemed to be getting food to go.  The line made the place feel small, although there was a lot of seating and it definitely opened up a bit when the line was shorter later on.  It fluctuated wildly throughout my visit.  At times there were just a few people, others the line was literally out the door.  More than a few people saw this and decided to go somewhere else.  Making things worse, it moved very slowly.

I had about 15 minutes to go over the menu and decide what I would get.  While in line I watched the kitchen though the glass and saw lots of different meats being cooked over the flame grill and saw a particularly delicious looking reddish meat stacked and spinning slowly on a vertical rotisserie.  The menu is fairly simple and is not much different than their food truck, though the truck only had a few meat choices.  Here they have over double the meats to choose from.  Beer is on the way as soon as they get the license.

Once I got to the register I ordered up a carnitas taco [$1.95], a chicken quesadilla [$6.99] and asked what the spinning meat was and was told it was adobada.  I ordered a tostada [$1.85] with that.  A fountain drink [$1.95] rounded out my order and I signed on the touch screen that was spun around for me.  The cashier was proficient and quick, so I have to assume the reason the line moved so slowly was people asking questions once they got up there.

I grabbed a seat at a spare patio table that was inside near the door and waited only 6 minutes for my name to be shouted out from the pickup side of the kitchen.  I had a feeling I had probably ordered too much.  At first glance when I went to grab my food it didn’t seem to be too much.  Then I picked up the quesadilla.  It was HEAVY.

I started with the small items.  The taco comes with fresh cilantro, diced onions, guacamole and salsa.  The guac looked a little thin but was super creamy and delicious.  The carnitas was flavorful and in good supply underneath the toppings.  It was a simple and tasty taco.

The tostada was a fried corn tortilla loaded with the tender adobada and the same toppings as the taco.  This was also really good, the adobada was rich, coated with the red marinade and had just a slight sweetness from the pineapple they cook it with.  The tostada shell was super crisp.

On to the huge quesadilla.  There were four large pieces of this thing and all of them were packed with creamy melted jack cheese, pico-de-gallo, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.  Damn this was good.  Everything contributed equally, including the juicy chicken which carried with it a little charred flavor from the grill.  You could easily make a meal of this alone.

I was really pleased with my visit to Chando’s.  The line was actually worth it.  I suspect they will be very busy for a long time.  This little shopping center has really filled out nicely with a lot of great and diverse eateries (sushi, wings and cheesesteaks, burgers, Indian, and Brazilian).  It’ll be interesting to see what eventually takes the unique building left by Sonic.

3 thoughts on “#221: Chando’s Tacos

  1. I wrote the owners of sonic and they said they were starting a complete renovation later this month and hoped to open back up soon. I miss tater tots.

  2. I’ve only been to Chando’s in Sacramento, and this location looks a lot safer. I’m glad to hear the food is very good like the original. Thanks for the review.

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