El Azteca Taqueria

4006 Foothills Boulevard, Suite 103, Roseville, 916–722-6682, elaztecataqueria.com

Photo by Dante Fontana

On a chilly Tuesday evening, my good friend and I were jonesing for Mexican food (and no, Taco Bell would not suffice!).

While cruising the streets of Roseville, we spotted El Azteca Taqueria. Even before our first bites, we knew we were in for a good meal. The restaurant was jam-packed with couples and families, young and old; charming terra-cotta walls, bright murals, floral décor and multicolored tiles further added to its appeal. After reviewing the 30-plus entrées listed on the front counter’s expansive blackboard, we decided to order Shrimp and Veggie Burritos, a Chile Relleno to split, a side order of guacamole, and large glasses of horchata to wash it all down. (We were not quite adventurous enough to try the brain, tripe and beef tongue!)

As we sat ourselves, a server gave us a heaping basket of fresh-made tortilla chips with salsa and thick, creamy guacamole, which we both quickly inhaled. Fortunately, we gluttons did not have to wait much longer for the rest of our food. Speedy service is definitely one of El Azteca’s strengths!

My friend’s Shrimp Burrito was stuffed to the brim with a colorful assortment of bell peppers, onions, Spanish rice and plump grilled pieces of shrimp. He was so impressed with the dish – going so far as to say “it tasted like something his grandma would make.” My Veggie Burrito, highly recommended by the server, was also fully loaded with rice, crisp shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream and whole pinto beans. However, my favorite part of the meal was the Chile Relleno: battered poblano chiles stuffed with gooey melted cheese, smothered in a rich tomato sauce and topped off with even more cheese. At most restaurants, you literally must swim in the sauce in order to find the chile, but here, the sauce-to-chile ratio was just right.

With its ample portions, great service, and more than reasonable prices, El Azteca Taqueria is definitely worth the trip!

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