Friday, April 20, 2007

Gomez's Snap-E Tacos

I've been driving by this taco joint now for over 12 years and it always perplexed me as to why it was still open. Every time I passed by, it always looked practically desered, but one day, I suddenly found myself needing a taco fix and with Snap-E Taco being close to work, I decided to pop in for lunch.

Since I had no expectations, I was ready for anything. So after perusing the menu, which included everything from burgers to tacos and burritos to even Teriyaki choices, I settled on a three taco combo that came with rice and beans and with a medium horchata came to around $7.60. With it being a beautiful day, I sat down on one of the benches to enjoy my meal.

When I opened the Styrofoam container, I have to say that the tacos looked pretty good. I started off with a bite of the Mexican rice, which was a bit dry, but not as dry as it could have been. Then I dug into the tortilla chips and the re-fried beans. I have to say that I'm not always a re-fried bean fan. I've had it at places where the consistency seems almost chalky. What was nice about these re-fried beans is that cheese was melted into it, which gave the beans moisture and a little bit of a creamy texture. My tortilla chips were quite happy or maybe, that was just me.

Now on to the main event. What I liked about all the tacos is that the tomatoes, cilantro and onions tasted really fresh. The tomatoes were firm, the onions still had a bite to them and the fillings were substantial. There was nothing skimpy about those tacos. I also liked the lightness of the tortillas. They weren't heavy or dense.

The first taco I tried was the carne asada. The meat looked like and tasted like it was marinated the night before. That marinade gave the beef a good flavor and the meat itself was relatively tender. I didn't find myself battling with the carne asada in the taco as I took bites out of it. The only thing I really found lacking was that I would have liked the carne asada to be more juicy, but then perhaps it's just a preference since I prefer my meat cooked medium as opposed to medium well or well done.

Then I went on to the chicken. Like the carne asada, I think the chicken was also marinated which gave a mild lemony or citrusy flavor to the meat. With the use of dark meat as opposed to white, the chicken was moist and had lots of flavor. Even when I tasted a little bit of the chicken without all the sauces, it stood alone just fine.

So far, I've been having a good taco day, but it wasn't until I had a bite of the carnitas taco that I found out that I actually had a fabulous taco day. The carnitas meat for my taco was amazing! Can I say it again? AMAZING! Just one bite and I would have sold my soul to the devil for another one. I'm certainly no taco aficionado, but I was just blown away.

The carnitas were moist, tender and the marinade it was soaked in gave the meat an intense citrusy, mildly tart flavor. I just couldn't believe how good the carnitas tacos were. They were so good that I came back the next day and did the three taco combo again, but all with just carnitas tacos. I think I'm going to need a 12-step Snap-E Carnitas Taco program soon because I just might make my way back there again on Monday.

The interesting thing I observed while having eaten there both times is that this little taco joint is actually quite busy. There was a stream of people coming in and out, but instead of eating there, most of them were ordering their tacos to go and since they were pretty quick in the kitchen, there weren't any long waits. Appearances can definitely be deceiving.

Overall, I'm very happy to find such a delicious alternative to the many fast-food burger joints that surround the area where I work and although I've only been there twice, I already consider myself to be a long-standing customer.

To see pics, go to:

Gomez's Snap-E Tacos
205 N Vincent Ave
Covina, CA 91722
(626) 337-3119

Snap-E-Taco on Urbanspoon

No comments: