Road Trip Hit: Taqueria Cuernavaca (Ventura, CA)
Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 1, 2015
While the beautiful city of Cuernavaca, Mexico is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, the much more geographically friendly Taqueria Cuernavaca (1117 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura, California 93001 (805) 653-8052) should be known as the “Restaurant of Eternal Yum”. Located on “The Avenue” in the old section of town, it is a nice departure from the tourist-rich Main Street district of revitalized downtown Ventura. While there are two other locations (Santa Barbara and Oxnard), this one screams of a quaint south-of-the-border hole-in-the-wall.
Though, many patrons opt for take-out, there are still 11 tables available for full wait-service. One of the first things you’ll notice is the self-serve salsa bar, loaded with 4 varieties of the Latin sauce plus several types of hispanic condiments like marinated carrots, seared Serrano peppers, onions, cilantro, etc. Also eye-catching is the cold case filled with a wide array of domestic and Mexican beer and soft drinks … including my favorite Jarrtios Mandarin.
Of course, the menu is filled with the usual tacos, burritos, and the like. Taqueria Cuernavaca also offers a breakfast menu (served all day) featuring the customary Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs on fried totillas), Huevos con Chorizo (egss with Mexican sausage), and breakfast burritos. However, once you see the Chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with eggs and green sauce), sopas (tostada meets a sandwich), tortas (Mexican sandwich), Alambres (grilled meats, bell pepper, onion, and melted cheese, served with corn tortillas), and Pozole (a staple Cuernavacan soup), you realize this is not your usual Mexican fare.
On a recent visit to Taqueria Cuernavaca with the Caveboy and his Grandpa, I opted for the Alambre known as El Fortachon – usually served with Carne Asada (steak), Al Pastor (marinated pork), Chorizo, Jamon (ham), melted cheese, onion, bell peppers a generous portion of sliced fresh avocado on top, and a wad of fresh corn tortillas. Though, I asked for no ham (extra Pastor) and no bell peppers. Meanwhile, my Father-in-law went for the same platter with no changes, and the Caveboy chose his favorite as of late: bean and cheese burrito.
When the grub arrived, I quickly grabbed one of the warm tortillas and loaded it up with the grilled meat and cheese mixture, topped it with a slice of avo, and drizzled some of the spicy rojo salsa over it all. The first bite was bursting with flavor heaven, as was each mouthful that followed. My father-in-law eagerly agreed … it was “amazing”! My bean and cheese burrito expert readily exclaimed that it was the best one he’d ever had (and he’s had quite a few over the last year). On a previous visit the Cavewoman and Cavegirl had the potato tacos and cheese enchiladas, and both had similar reactions.
Needless to say, Taqueria Cuernavaca has become one of our favorite spots to munch when we are in the Ventura area. We’ve also tried the new location in Oxnard. However, while we found the food to be equally phenomenal, it just doesn’t have that “dive” ambiance of the original location and does not offer full wait-service. We plan on visiting the Santa Barbara location soon. If you find yourself near any of these locations, and you are in the mood for something deliciously different from our neighbors to the South, do yourself a favor and give Cuernavaca a go!
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