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We've been attending Denio's flea market on a regular basis, since we've been living in Roseville, Ca for the last ten years, and we've always noticed a somewhat run-down Mexican restaurant just north of the corner of Church and Atkinson Streets, that goes by the name of Mariscos Colima.  I had always wanted to sample their cuisine, but I'd never had the chance, due to my weird work schedule, and their somewhat erratic hours.  I had some spare time on my hands, on Friday, July 13, 2007, and I decided to sample lunch at Mariscos Colima.

Left:  Mariscos Colima is located in a shabby buliding on Atkinson St., in Roseville.  Right:  Our chief cook and bottlewasher is working in the kitchen, as she has placed a prepared marisco on the counter.

Mariscos Colima is located in a somewhat rundown and shabby building located near Roseville's icon, Denios's Farmers Market, which has drawn tourists, bargain seekers, and lots of regular people to Roseville for over a half century.  Mariscos Colima isn't a high-tech restaurant, as the interior decor is very plain, but quite comfortable, and the building is cooled by a swamp cooler, located on the roof the restaurant.  If it wasn't for the digital cash register, you'd flashback to the year 1967 when you enter the restaurant, as it's pure 1960's vintage, California-Mexican restaurant decor, whatever that means.

Service is minimal, as during my visit, there was one girl who cooks, waits tables, cashiers, busses tables, cleans the floor; you get the idea, she's the chief cook and bottlewasher.  There is no posted menu above the kitchen, so you just grab one of their printed menus from the counter, seat yourself, and ponder what you want to eat.  If you're thirsty, like I always am, you just go the walk-up refrigerator, slide a glass door aside, and grab the drink of your choice from their well-stocked of soft drinks, and Mexican beer.  If you grab a Mexican beer, you'll have to head over to the counter, and pop the top from your beer using a church key, as in the style of Mexico.  I've been to Mexico many times, so I know the drill.  Then, you sit yourself down at your table of choice, sip on your beer, and make your selection from the printed menu.  I grabbed a Pacifico beer, popped the top, and seated myself at a table to check out the menu.

True to the name, Mariscos Colima specializes in Mexican seafood dishes, which I love, but they also offer a menu full of numerous tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas, with meat normally available in California.  The most exotic tacos their menu featured was tacos de lengua, as tripas, cesos, ubres and the more interesting cuts of meat are usually non-existent in the politically-correct state of California.  Actually, I was in the mood for a carne asada torta, and when I didn't see one on the menu, I asked the girl, and she said that they didn't serve tortas. What?  A Mexican restaurant that doesn't offer any kind of  tortas?  Strike one.  After pondering the menu, I walked up to the counter, and while the girl was preparing mariscos for another group of diners, I ordered two chicken tacos, con todo...

Photo:  I asked a friendly patron to snap my photo, as I enjoy a couple of fish tacos, and a cold Pacifico beer.  This photo illustrates the plain, yet comfortable decor that the restaurant offers.

Within two minutes from placing my order, the busy girl brought a bowl of corn tortilla chips and a dish of salsa to my table, for me to munch on before my meal arrived.  The salsa was like that watery stuff that you purchase at the grocery store, that comes in a half gallon plastic container, that when you check the small print on the label, is really made in New York City.  The tortilla chips were stale, Mariscos Colima, must be in-cahoots with the Green Team, as these chips were definitely recycled, as they were stale, tasteless, and cold as King Tut's tomb.  Strike two.

Maybe five minutes after I'd been served my dubious chips and salsa, my lunch arrived, consisting of two chicken tacos, placed on a nice plate, with a couple of key limes to complete the authentic Mexican presentation.  The diced chicken was placed on two corn tortillas, and garnished with cilantro, diced white onions, and salsa.  The meat was moist, delicious, and mildly spiced.  All in all, Mariscos Colima served two very delicious chicken tacos.

It was quite interesting to note that the girl who operated the place, working alone, was able to provide friendly, moderately fast service, to myself, and a couple of tables of other diners who were enjoying lunch at Mariscos Colima.  The girl clearly preferred Spanish, as she spoke to me in a mixture of English and Spanish, so I just switched over to Spanish, as she seemed most comfortable in speaking Spanish.  That's ok with me, as I'm accustomed to speaking Spanish in the sort of Mexican restaurants that I like to haunt.

My price of admission for two delicious chicken tacos, and a cold Pacifico beer was $6.97, including the tax that the State of California levies on all restaurants.  Not bad for a delicious, and, frankly, quite an interesting lunch. Since Colima's doesn't publish their hours of operation, when the sole operator wasn't busy, I asked her about their hours of operation.  She said that they are open Wednesday through Sunday, (closed on Monday and Tuesday) and operate from 11 in the morning, until 8 in the evening, but they can open or close at any time, due to factors such as a slow business day, fatigue, lack of ingredients, or, whatever...  So finding Mariscos Colima open for business can be a hit or miss affair...

Left:  Our chief cook and bottlewasher, not to mention waitress, takes an order from a very friendly local family. The guy to the extreme right of this photo was gacious enough to snap my photo.  Note the refrigerator of drinks to the extreme left of the photo, where you can help yourself, in true Mexican style.  Right:  My lunch of two delicious chicken tacos, with the appetizer of stale tortilla chips, and very lackluster salsa.

Oh, I only found two strikes against Mariscos Colima, so if you can appreciates the caveats that I offer, you can erase the strikes...

With the exception of the absolutely lousy salsa and stale chips, I found Mariscos Colima to be a interesting, Roseville, Mexican dining experience.  If you're interested in a no-frills Mexican restaurant, and you speak a bit of Spanish, Mariscos Colima should be on your Roseville dining list.

Mariscos Colima
100 Atkinson St.
Roseville, CA 95678
916 289-0523

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