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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taqueria El Chilito - Tustin

15852 Pasadena Ave
Tustin 92780-5414

I drove by Taqueria El Chilito the other day and I was immediately excited. Looking at the shabby exterior of the restaurant made me think, “I bet they have great Mexican food!” Unfortunately, I had just eaten lunch so I made a mental note to return later to try it out. The next day my wife felt like Mexican food. She felt like having nachos from Alberta’s. I told her about this new place I passed the day before and she agreed to try it. I drove out to Taqueria El Chilito and thought to myself, “I might be discovering our next favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint!

I pulled into a parking space and walked through the door. There were a couple coolers of Mexican ice cream bars. They sounded good since it was such a hot day, but I passed them up.

There were a few guys in the place watching soccer on a small television. I approached the counter and saw some steam trays of simmering meat.

I looked over their menu board. Oddly, there were no prices posted anywhere. I was ordering for 5 people and this is what I ended up ordering.

(Carne Asada Nachos)

(Meatless Nachos)

(Pork Tamale)

(Carne Asada Taco, Al Pastor Taco)

(2 Chicharron Tacos, I ordered one but got two, I wonder how many I paid for)

(Lengua Taco, Chorizo Taco)

(Chicken Enchiladas)

(I also ordered a Carne Asada Burrito, not pictured.)

Like I said, there were no prices posted, so I don’t know what each item cost. All I know is I paid about $32.00 for all the food. I took the food to go and distributed it at home. We all looked at our food and noticed how bad it looked. “Oh well” we thought, “maybe it tastes better than it looks.” It didn’t.

First off, the two people that got nachos were very disappointed. Now I know there really isn't such a thing as “authentic” Mexican nachos, but there is what I call “Mexican style.” To me, Mexican style nachos are chips covered with shredded melted cheese and toppings. This is the kind of nachos I would expect to get at any really good Mexican place. Instead what we got was chips covered in extremely watery liquid cheese sauce. The carne asada version had a light sprinkling of meat on them. They were horrible. Not only was the cheese watered down, but so were the beans. Everything tasted like water.

The tacos were equally as bad. The carne asada tasted like pieces of dry salt, the chorizo just tasted like grease, the lengua was dry, bland and chewy, the al pastor was so bad I blocked it out of my mind, the chicharron, usually my favorite, may have been the worst of them all. The tacos were all very, very dry as well. Now I’m a strong believer of “A taco is like sex, even if it’s really bad, it's still pretty good.” I’ve always eaten up my tacos, good or bad. This time I just couldn’t though. I took one bite of each taco, and then threw all of them away and went to look for something to eat in the fridge.

I also took a bite of the tamale. It was so hard and dry that it was hard to cut. I don’t know what possessed me to still try and eat it, but I did. I almost choked on it. It was like eating a piece of styrofoam, but much drier and much more bland.

S didn’t really like her enchiladas either. I tried a bite. It tasted like bland chicken, wrapped in a bland tortilla and topped with red water. The rice and beans also tasted just like water. C said his burrito didn’t taste like anything either.

I don’t understand. How is it possible to make food so incredibly bad? No one could even finish their food. Everyone took a bite or two and ended up throwing their food away. Taqueria El Chilito hands down has the worst Mexican food I have ever had in North America. The only time I have ever had worse Mexican food was at this little place in Paris, and everyone knows the French can’t make Mexican food….

El Chilito on Urbanspoon


ChristianZ said...

Sounds like it stands in stark contrast to the place you covered in your prior post.

Diamond Dog said...

Thank you for saving me from going to this place. Have passed it a few times and have been curious to try.

I wonder how the Menudo is at the place next door? Best Menudo I have found is from El Matade Market on E. Chapman in Orange.

Griffin said...

Diamond Dog-Thanks for the menduo recommendation. The Menudo sign in the picture belongs to El Chilito. There is no way I would go back to El Chilito to try it

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