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Back in October of 1995, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful week in Mazatlán, Mexico, enjoying the company of another couple, relaxing along the beautiful malecón, sitting under a palapa overlooking the beach, enjoying piña coladas, and watching the sun dip under the beautiful, Pacific Ocean.  By just reading these words, I assure you that I'm evoking an image of a carefree evening dinner at a restaurant, shaded by a thatched roof, and open to the warm ocean breezes.  Oh, such memories!

Left:  Taco Del Mar is located in a small, upscale shopping center at the intersection of Vineyard and Foothills Blvd., in Roseville, CA.  Right:  This guy observes Veronica prepare his lavish order of tacos, enchiladas, and burritos, right before his eyes.  Well, 15 years ago, I could eat like this guy apparently can eat!

Does such a restaurant, or taquería, exist in Roseville, CA that will leave such a feeling implanted into your mind after enjoying an wonderful Mexican meal?  Well, yes, no, and not exactly, but Taco Del Mar comes quite close, as their decor definitely brings to mind a semi-tropical Mexican beach, as the dining room includes palapas, bright colors, and a "faux" mounted swordfish trophy on the wall behind the counter.  As you walk in the door, you immediately notice the contemporary decor, the counter to the left, and the cleanliness of the restaurant.  You'll also receive a friendly smile and a warm welcome from the busy girl behind the counter, Veronica, who at the time of my visit, was operating the restaurant by herself.

Photo:  Note the faux palapa to the left of the photo and the "beach" decor on the wall of the counter, as Veronica prepares my four fish tacos, to go.

I bellied-up to the order station, at the far end of the counter, and waited behind a guy who was in the midst of deciding what he wanted to eat, and was having a somewhat time of making up his mind.  As it was about four in the afternoon on Monday, September 10, 2007, the restaurant wasn't exactly busy, the other guy and I were the only customers in the place, at the time of my visit.  Veronica flashed a smile at me, and said "I'll be with you in a moment," and I replied, "I know you will."  During my short wait, I amused myself by taking out my camera, and snapping a few photos.  

While I was waiting for Veronica to complete the other customer's order, I gazed at their menu, which is posted on the wall, behind the counter.  The menu is compact, but includes burritos, tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, and quesadillas, and if you say "COMBO!..." you'll receive chips and salsa, or rice and beans, and a small drink, for only a couple of bucks more.  The menu also features many side dishes, drinks, and daily specials, and perhaps the best part, a "Two-Fer-Tuesday," where you get two tacos, with meat of your choice, rice and beans, and a small drink, for only $4.99.  Now that's a deal!

Photo:  Veronica at work behind the counter.  The menu is posted on the wall behind you, and she prepares your order, right before your eyes, from fresh ingredients.

When it was my turn, I simply ordered four fish tacos to go, as my wife and I wanted to enjoy our dinner in the comfort of our home.  I had just got off work, having worked a double shift, 16 hours, and all I wanted was to grab the food, go home, down a beer or two, and enjoy a delicious dinner of fish tacos.  If you're in the mood for a beer, look elsewhere, as Taco Del Mar serves only soft drinks, bottled juices, and bottled water.  I ordered four fish tacos for $2.19 each, and an extra $1.00 for guacamole and sour cream, and the bill for four delicious tacos came to well under $10.00, which provided a vena, muy sabroso,  for my wife and I.

You could say that Taco Del Mar is truly fast food, as your dinner is prepared by Veronica, right before your eyes. As I was waiting for Veronica to take my order, I told her that I'm a free lance journalist, web master, and all of that stuff, and that I'm constantly reviewing restaurants in Roseville, and I'd like to take a few photos, yadda, yadda, yadda...  After ordering my fish tacos, Veronica smiled and said, "The fish will take about five minutes," and I said that was ok with me.  She took four pieces of fish out of a refrigerator, and disappeared behind a door into the kitchen, only to reappear behind the counter in less than a minute.  Mind you, this gal is the only person minding the store...

Photo:  Veronica spoons deep fried fish onto corn tortillas, which is the first step in creating a delicious fish taco. Note that she wears disposable, latex gloves, which are required articles for restaurants operating in Placer County.

Veronica makes your tacos before your eyes.  Since my order was to go, she tore off four pieces of aluminum foil and placed them on the stainless steel counter.  Then, she asked me what type of tortilla I preferred, and, naturally, I chose corn tortillas,  although you can choose from corn, flour or whole wheat tortillas.  She peeled off the tortillas from a fresh stack, and placed them in a tortilla warming machine.  Then she disappeared behind the kitchen door, only to reappear holding a small basket, containing four pieces of breaded, baked fish, to be the meat of my fish tacos.  Next, it was to take the warmed tortillas out of the machine, and place each tortilla on a piece of aluminum foil, and put a piece of fish on each tortilla.  After this operation was completed, the fish-laden tortillas were pushed a few feet down the counter, to just in front of the condiment bar.  Oh yes, Veronica wears surgical gloves, as the operation is very sanitary and clean.

With the exception of the fish fillets, the meat entrées, which feature shredded beef, chicken, pork, ground beef, and shrimp,  are prepared in the kitchen, and kept warm in stainless steel vats, next to the condiments. Speaking of condiments, they are housed in a condiment bar, and include all of the favorites, including Pico de gallo, pickled jalapeño peppers, lettuce, cheese, onions, olives, and more...  So after Veronica has "slid" the order of tacos down to the condiment bar, she asks you what you want on it, and in my case, it was con todo, or basically, everything.  She sets the tacos on the counter, asks you what sauce you want, (hot, medium, or mild,) adds the requested ingredients, and rolls them up, assembly line-style, and just by watching her, I could tell that this girl knows what she's doing.  Since I'd ordered sour cream and guacamole as extra garnishes, she added those condiments just before she rolled my order of tacos.  

Photo:  Delicious fish tacos are created, not born, as Veronica creates delicious fish tacos for our enjoyment.

As I mentioned before, Taco Del Mar serves fast food, but not in the sense of the famous MacBurger joint, or any of the copycats, as Taco Del Mar operates with a staff of one, prepares your delicious meal right before your eyes, in real time; they're charges are very reasonable, and if you don't stop to chit-chat with the hostess, like I like to do, you will be on you on your way, and enjoying your meal in less than five minutes.  Taco Del Mar features fast, friendly service, reasonable prices, with food prepared from fresh ingredients.  

Photo:  My order of two fish tacos, complete with optional guacamole and sour cream, all decked out with grated Mexican cheese, diced cabbage, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.  These tacos are delicious!

Taco Del Mar is highly recommended!  Check them out and enjoy fine, fresh tacos, and more!

Taco Del Mar
3031 Foothill Blvd.  Suite 115
Roseville, CA 9574
916 772-3474

Copyright(D) 2007 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. This site has been on the web since December 22, 2002.