Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I get a few emails per week from readers, but sometimes they say merely "You should go ___ ," with no explanation why nor what to get. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing from people no matter how brief, but I am less likely to try a place for the first time with no idea why I should go there or what their specialty is.
Stephen's email, however, went into nice detail about the specialty of Taco Treat, a fried burrito. I was intrigued and I made plans to visit with a friend, but we both had something come up that day and could not go. I moved Taco Treat to the back of my mind.
The other day, however, I was at my parents' house and talking to my dad about the best pizza he'd ever had (he decided it was a place on Foothill in Arcadia or Monrovia that has not existed for decades). We talked for a couple minutes about places in the area that no longer exist and places that have been around for a long time. I showed him a picture of Taco Treat and asked if he'd ever eaten there.
"Your mother loves that place," he said. "Back when she was first starting her career, she taught in El Monte and would go there. In fact, we just went there a couple months ago because she had a craving for one of their burritos."
That settled it. That afternoon, while Elizabeth and I were on one of our lazy Sunday afternoon drives, I suggested we stop by for some food. It took me a couple minutes to study the menu; when the lady behind the window realized it was my first time at Taco Treat, she informed me that she would be giving me a fried burrito for free. That was just fine by me.
Taco Treat's tacos are $2.00 each. Up until a couple weeks ago, Taco Lita's tacos were $1.60 or so, but my dad just informed me that they (he still goes there every Friday night without fail) are $1.90 now.
People throw around the term "Americanized" when describing food like this as if it is some kind of pejorative. I do not care. In my world, the "authenticity" of a cuisine always takes a backseat to the taste, and this tasted great.
"Once I started eating, I realized I was hungrier than I thought," she said.
"We can always get more food," I said.
The lady had come outside and asked us how we liked it. I said very much. She mentioned the other fried burritos they sell, including one with ground beef and diced jalapenos. It took me less than five seconds to decide to order one.
I decided to get a fried burrito and take it by my parents' house as a surprise for my mom. She was thrilled when she saw it... until she bit into it. Apparently her favorite is the ground beef version; she doesn't like beans either. Oops.
So, obviously, I like Taco Treat a lot. But not as much as Taco Lita. But that's not a fair comparison; there is no way Taco Treat could overcome my history with Taco Lita. Trying to take that out of the equation - which is impossible but I will still try - I would say that I still like Taco Lita slightly more... that hot sauce is just too damn good.
But Taco Treat is still a great find, and they're even open on Sundays (which Taco Lita is not).
Posted by JustinM at 10:08 AM