The Netscape-friendly hunt for the perfect urban food log.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

About once a year I find myself attending a night meeting in Vacaville. Isn't that the greatest name in the world for a small town? Vacaville. It's about halfway between Oakland and Sacramento, and there is a Budweiser factory nearby.

So I asked a group of 20-something Vacavillians where I should stop for a burrito beforehand. There was initial chaos -- there are a LOT of burrito places in downtown Vacaville! Who knew? -- but gradually a consensus emerged: For a cheap, good burrito, go to Tacos Jalisco (312 Cernan St.)

I went. Two of the 20-somethings met me there. (Could it be because I had promised them free food?) We had a chile verde burrito, a ground beef super burrito and a quesadilla grande ("I'm sorry; I had a burrito for lunch," that dining companion confessed.) It was cheap -- the three of us ate for about $16, including tax and my glass of horchata. It was atmospheric -- those heavy patterned plastic tablecloths I associate with a certain type of Mexican restaurant; calendar art on the walls, and waitresses who appeared to be related to each other and to the chef. It was also not too darn bad -- the first bite of chile verde was as tender as butter, with a serious kick in the follow through. In fact, the only place I can fault Tacos Jalisco is in the chips -- they're like Doritos instead of being made from actual tortillas. It helps if you put some of the high-octane green sauce on them.

The next day, one of the girls at work asked how I liked it. She prefers El Tejaban (871 Merchant St., about three blocks from Tacos Jalisco). Well, something to look forward to next year.


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