Once in a while when a couple of us here at BIOTF get some free time on a nice day during the week we like to head out to one of California’s many beautiful beaches. Last week John and I headed up Hwy 1 to San Gregario beach just north of Pescadero. A while back we had stopped at Duarte’s Tavern to check out the artichoke soup, which was decent but pricey, so on the way out we stopped at the gas station across the street to fill ‘er up with some tacos. Pretty much what you would expect a gas station/taqueria to be. If I recall correctly the tacos ran about $2 a piece and came with a decent amount of meat for small tacos. The people behind the counter were friendly and the service was good. The meat is always pretty tasty, but the salsa in the salsa bar is seriously lacking. The Pico de Gallo seemed a little old as the vegetables in it were almost completely white from the juices having run out of them. The chipotle salsa was just ok; nothing special. All of the bottles of hot sauce also happened to be empty, which was kind of disappointing but not a deal breaker for me.
Zach: I ordered al Pastor and Chile Verde pork tacos. The Chile Verde was nice and tender and had a good flavor. The al Pastor was nice and crispy and had a bold flavor that I really liked. I’d recommend getting some tacos to go from here and taking them to the beach right down the road for a nice beach front dining experience.
Lesley: I found out about this taco joint from a New York Times article entitled, ” Chasing the Perfect Taco Up the California Coast” by Cindy Price. So we drove over one day and got some good tacos. Later on I did a workshop over at the beaches near Pescadero and took students to de Amigos. A couple of my adult students just loved it and emailed about a year later asking for the name and location again. I think it is pretty tasty!
John: As always, I’m the last to comment on these things. At de Amigos I had the Lengua, al Pastor and Carnitas tacos. I must admit that the Lengua, or tongue for those who are unfamiliar, was actually some of the best that I’ve had. My hypothesis is that the “strange” (to us gringos) meats sit longer at taquerias and therefore are served beyond their “serve by” dates. Hence, at de Amigos the Lengua may actually get eaten enough that it is more fresh than at taco joints in Santa Cruz. All the meat was made well and tasted great, but I must agree with Zach about the salsas. Perhaps mid-week, well after the lunch rush, they are not too concerned with the quality of the salsa, but “fresh” vegetables drained of all color does not a delicious salsa make.