4159 Summer Ave.
We have been to a lot of Mexican restaurants in town. When I hear someone say that so-and-so is the best and it is somewhere I haven't been, I usually want to see if they are right. A friend of mine has been going on and on about Taqueria Garibaldi. We went in its earlier incarnation as El Torito and really liked it, but something about the name, Taqueria Garibaldi, made me hesitate. When I hear Garibaldi, I think pizza, not tacos.
Regardless, we finally went, and I was impressed. Jiro (age 6) was at a sleepover, so we had Satchel's (age 8) friend, Will (age 10) stand in. In my preliminary interrogation with Will, I discovered that his family usually eats Mexican food at Los Compadres, which is a fine restaurant, but it's no taqueria. I think its more of a margarita place than anything else. I then learned that Will's standard order is a cheese quesadilla. Part of me wanted to talk him into ordering something more exciting, but the other part of me decided to just let him get the kid's meal with a quesadilla because it was cheap ($3.50).
While Warren, Satchel, and I made our final decisions, we started in on the chips and dip. I love it when they bring multiple salsas. And the old guacamole-like traditional tomatillo salsa from El Torito was still one of the freebies. It's super yum.
I ordered some cheese dip for Satchel and Will to share. (Cheese dip was absent from the El Torito menu). I love watching the trail of cheese drops that develops between the bowl and Satchel's mouth. (When he isn't sharing, I usually let him scoot it right up under his mouth to avoid the drippage.)
Our food came out very quickly, and I was thrilled with the way my steak burrito looked and tasted. It was filled with lettuce, tomato, cheese sauce, and pickled jalapenos. The meat, which is grilled behind the counter but in view, was fantastically crispy and flavorful. This is definitely the best burrito I've had in town.
Warren was similarly impressed with the quality of the meat in his tacos. He got his usual spicy pork, carnitas, tongue, and one other weird meat I must purposely forget. (Tripa, or intestines, I believe.) I also noticed that they are doing the radish garnish thing. This must mean something, or at least denote a certain faction of Mexican cuisine.
Okay, I just Googled the radish thing and a savvy Chowhounder has this to say:
It's a way to cut through the grease. Carniceria-type salsa can be really greasy, and of course the meat can be greasy... so this is a way to cleanse your mouth.
I don't add them to tacos, I just eat them separately.
They also hypothesize that radishes are a more available substitute for jicama.
Okay, on to Satchel's tacos. He ordered three, plain--spicy pork, carnitas, and tripa?? Again, I can't let myself remember for a reason.
The tacos are really stuffed with meat and he got full after just one, which was okay since you can clearly see Will's fingers digging in here. He loved the meat. I didn't tell him what it was.
We had no leftovers, which is saying something. There are many other things on the menu that I want to try. Of note, they have charro beans (almost like bean soup), breakfast, a lunch special, fried ice cream, and a few dishes with pork and pineapple. (Not sure what the deal is with the pineapples, but I remember them from El Torito.) The prices are very cheap and the service is good. I didn't go into the bathrooms, but I will warn you that there's candy for sale near the counter.
Candy they prob won't eat. (At least these guys didn't.)