My search never ends for a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican tacos, and today, I found a restaurant in the Sierra foothills, that serves tacos that rival tacos served on the streets of Tijuana or Mexicali. What restaurant you ask? It's Maria's Mexican Tacos, located in the beautiful town of Auburn.
As with all of my reviews, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Maria's Mexican Tacos is located in the Sierra foothill community of Auburn, near the east end of town. The restaurant is located just of Interstate 80, so if you're heading from the Bay area to Reno, and beyond, Maria's makes an excellent place to stop to get your "taco fix." Today is a very sunny, late morning, and the date is September 30, 2016, and I'm ready to enjoy TACOS!
Photo: The dining room is long and narrow, and features lots of wide-open space. The entrance is to the extreme left of the photo. The order counter is at the center rear of the photo and the kitchen is in the extreme rear. I arrived shortly after the 10 A.M. opening time, and when this photo was taken, I was the only customer, but the restaurant quickly gained customers as the morning unfolded. I love the decorations hanging from the ceiling, especially the faux Mexican beer cans and bottles.
Photo: Maria's is like most taquerias, you walk up to the order counter, make your choice from the menu, pay for your order, and you're given a number, and your order will be brought to your table.
Maria's does not have a printed menu, as the menu is posted on an old-school blackboard behind the counter. I noted some of the more exotic choices in tacos, especially catfish, salmon and octopus tacos. I couldn't resist ordering two catfish tacos, and one tripa taco, just for old times sake.
The girl behind the counter, Irene, was very friendly, but very photo shy, so like the gentleman I am, I didn't snap her photo, as per her request. When I ordered the tripa taco, she exclaimed, "Oh, good choice!" I can't stay away from tacos de tripa, and order them every chance I get.
The drink menu - beer - and the beer on tap is located to the left of the order counter, and is not in the photo. I chose to go with a bottled Tecate beer priced at $2.50, which was over a dollar below any other Mexican beer on tap.
Photo: The kitchen is located in the extreme rear of the restaurant, with much of it to the right, behind a wall. I could have leaned over the stainless steel serving counter to snap a photo of Irene, and the owner, Maria at work, but my manners overcame my desires. I love the cardboard cutouts!
Photo: The chip and salsa bar. There were only two varieties of salsa - red and green - and my assumption is, since it was just after the restaurant opened, that other varieties were being made, as the owner, Maria, was very busy in the kitchen.
Photo: What a great way to wait for my order to arrive, with delicious chips, salsa, and a Tecate beer. Even though there were only two varieties of salsa, the red salsa was "to die for," and I went back for seconds, and later thirds. The chips were quite thick, crunchy and amazingly delicious, and were some of the best tortilla chips that I've had the pleasure to enjoy for a long time.
Photo: I'm sitting at my table as I photograph camera-shy Irene helping another customer. The colorful wall of the kitchen is in the rear of the photo; don't you love the cardboard cutout of the guy toasting us with a beer? From this photo, he looks like a real person! The cooler to the left of the photo holds a wide variety of bottled Mexican soft drinks, including Jarritos, Mexican Coke, and Mexican Pepsi, in a glass bottle! The big white thing in the center of the photo is an ice chest, filled with ice, and lots of vegetables that I assume will be used to restock the salsa bar.
Photo: My friendly server, Irene, was all too happy to snap my photo, but she didn't want her photo taken, so I didn't do it. She suggested that I snap Maria's photo, as I requested that Maria bring my order to my table, but that didn't happen, as Maria was busy in the kitchen. Maria was so busy that I only had the chance to lean over the counter, and tell her how much I enjoyed the food, and Irene's friendly company.
Photo: I have never enjoyed, nor have I ever heard of catfish tacos, so two of them were a "must order" for me, along with a tripa taco. I ordered "everything" to be piled on my tacos, and I got it all...
Each taco is based on two DVD-sized corn tortillas, which is standard for tacos served on the streets of Mexican cities. Each taco starts with the meat, then has veggies piled on top of it, and pieces of lime are provided for juice. Catfish and tripas tacos differ in their choice of condiments, as the catfish includes lettuce, onion, cilantro and salsa cruda, while the tripa taco had pepper, cilantro, onion, and red salsa from the salsa bar. Either way, it's a winner! The catfish was pan-fried, and I'm not really sure how the tripa - tripe - was cooked, but it didn't matter, as I loved it all.
As the photo shows, each taco was covered with a mountain of veggies, and as I bit into each taco, the veggies fell to the plate; good thing a fork was included, or I would have resorted to using my fingers! By the time I'd devoured all three tacos, I had lots of veggies on my plate, so I just went from fork to mouth to take care of them. At Maria's Mexican Tacos, they certainly provide your allotment of fresh vegetables for the day!
Photo: Close-up photo of a tripa taco, in all of its glory, showing the beautiful presentation, and the quality ingredients. This one was different than any tripas taco that I've eaten, as I expected the tripas to be cut into small pieces and fried, but these tripas were shredded, mushy, and I wasn't sure how they'd been cooked. No worries, as I'm always willing to try something new when it comes to tacos.
Delicious Mexican cuisine in the Placer County foothills! Whether you're a local, tourist to California's Gold Country, a trucker, or a traveler on Interstate 80, if you're in the mood for delicious, authentic Mexican tacos, Maria's Mexican Tacos is for you.
Maria's Mexican Tacos
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