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Email Eric 

Email Sharlene:  







I consider tacos made and sold on the streets of Mexico some of the finest delicacies that I have ever enjoyed!  But, that's just me, as my tastes are simple, and my wallet is very shallow.  However, in Roseville, California, 525 miles north of the Mexican border, what do you do if you're looking for authentic, Mexican, "street tacos?"  I have a suggestion:  Chando's Tacos.

Photo:  Chando's Tacos is famous for their mobile food trucks, and a store in nearby Sacramento.  The Roseville location has been open for about three months, but somehow, I never got around to paying a visit until today, Thursday, May 14, 2015.  Chando's is located in a small shopping center, that almost seems to be a "foodie" destination in Roseville, as there are other fabulous restaurants located nearby, including the fantastic Indian restaurant, Taj Oven.

Photo:  I arrived shortly after the 10 O'clock opening to a mostly empty dining room.  Note that I prefer to visit restaurants in "quiet" times, so I can actually chit-chat with the staff, and not annoy other diners with my picture taking activities.  The menu, which is hand-scribed on a black board, and the order station is located in the rear of the restaurant, which I felt was a bit odd. There is a counter, facing the open kitchen, which I really liked, as I love to watch the staff in action, and to actually get to chat with them.  The gentleman is waiting for his take-out order at the pick-up area.

Photo:  The menu board is located on the wall, at the rear of the restaurant, near the order station.  I focused on the part that read, "Now!  Serving beer!"  Chando's Tacos has a three taco special, which includes a all-you-can-drink soda, a domestic beer, or a Mexican beer.  Naturally, the prices vary between the three options.  I chose the three tacos and a Mexican beer, si verdad!

Photo:  My friendly cashier, Laura, cheerfully takes my order.  As I placed my order, I told her that I'd be taking photos, asking lots of questions, and posting a write-up on my web site, and she cheerfully embraced my mission. On this Thursday morning, there were two men, and two women working at the restaurant, and everybody was very friendly.  I LOVE friendly staff!

Photo:  The small salsa bar, located at the rear of the restaurant.  Unlike most Mexican restaurants, chips are not included with the meal; if you want tortilla chips, you must pay for a small bag of them for a nominal fee.  Some may find this annoying, but in my case, I really don't care, as I find that chips and salsa mostly distract from a meal.  If you've ever been to Mexico, you'll recall that you pay for water in a restaurant, so I find the parallel quite amusing.  Since I'd ordered everything on my tacos, and I didn't purchase chips, I really didn't need to get anything from the salsa bar.

Photo:  A peek into the open kitchen shows team leader, Miguel, at work, grilling chicken.  Chando's Tacos has the motto of "Deliciously Fresh," and it's true, as the food is made of delicious, fresh, ingredients.  This photo was taken at the pick-up window, and offers a great view into the open kitchen.

Photo:  Here's another view of the open kitchen, from the order window.  Note the marinated meat cooking on the vertical grill, or "trompo," complete with an onion on top to marinate the meat, just like you'd find in Tijuana.  This is not something you expect to fine in your "joe-average" Mexican restaurant in Roseville!  After seeing the trompo, I just HAD to order Tacos Adobada.  By the way, "adobada," in Spanish, means marinated, and it's sort of a "catch-all" phrase for any variety of meat that is cooked over a vertical grill.  


Of course I asked the staff about the meat, and I was told it was pork - which is very common in northern Mexico - and what seasoning they use.  The manager, Miguel, told me it's a company secret, which is OK by me, and that the meat is marinated 24 hours before it is put on to the vertical grill.  Today they were using an onion, but he told me they sometimes use a pineapple slice to top off the grill to baste the meat.  Just like in Tijuana, which works for me!

Photo:  After my name is called, "Eric!" one of the friendly cooks, Augustine, poses with my order of three "Tacos Adobadas."  

Photo:  Thanks, Augustine, for taking my photo, as I smile, and hold my tacos, ready to enjoy...

Photo:  So, where do I start to describe these delicious tacos?  For starters, for most of my readers, these tacos are smaller than you expect in the U.S., as they about DVD sized, which is exactly the format of tacos that are made, and eaten, on the streets of Tijuana.  Each taco has two corn tortillas, your choice of meat filling - adobada for me today - and condiments, including chopped onion, cilantro, and creamy guacamole.  Note that when you place your order, the order person will ask you what you want on your tacos.  In my case, I always order EVERYTHING as more is better, yeah!  Each taco is wrapped in a paper, and the entire basket includes sliced radishes.  


If you're a regular reader of my web pages, you'll know that I've eaten many tacos in the U.S.A., and more importantly, Mexico.  In Mexico, I avoid "fancy fare," as I prefer street vendors, and loncherias.  Without fanfare, I can say that if I closed my eyes, and bit into a Chando's Taco, that I would instantly be transported to downtown Tijuana, Mexico.  When it comes to tacos in Roseville, the aforementioned sentence describes the taco as good as it gets...

Chando's Tacos literally swept me off my feet and blew me 525 miles south to Ave. Frontera, in Tijuana, Mexico, where, after entering Mexico from San Ysidro, CA, you get the first taste of tacos, made on the streets of Mexico. The bottom line is if you're a ""Rosevillian"," you don't have to travel to Tijuana if you crave authentic, Mexican, street tacos.  Just hit Chando's Tacos, and you'll be in "Tijuana Taco Heaven."

Chando's Tacos
943 Pleasant Grove Blvd. Ste. 130
Roseville, CA 95678
916 782-8226

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