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Mexican Food Pilgrimage: Redwood City

Sara Deseran | January 16, 2014 | Food & Drink Story Eat and Drink

Redwood City might just be the epicenter of Mexican everything. The roots of this Peninsula town trace back to the ’40s, when field workers from Mexico settled here. Today, a stretch of Middlefield Road is still known as Little Michoacán, but it’s worth venturing off this beaten path to discover even more.

1. The many El Grullense taquerias in this area are reportedly owned by the same family. Head to the original, relatively genteel El Grullense (1280 El Camino Real, near Jefferson Ave.). Start your tour with a spoonful of swaggering red chili salsa topping a taco filled with crunchy tripitas.

2. Regulars order the enchiladas michoacanas and the bony, deep-fried quail at Taqueria el Tulense (2391 Spring St., near Kaynyne St.), where the rice and beans get the same attention as the tiny, handmade tortillas. If it’s Thursday, go for the satiny posole, which features a pork knuckle peeking out of a crimson broth.

3. At La Viga (1772 Broadway St., near Maple St.) chef-owner Manuel Martinez comes with a pedigree that includes Left Bank Brasserie. While some of his Cal-Mex dishes can be too prettified, the caldo de mariscos—a mound of mussels, prawns, and snapper rising out of a lake of orange broth—is the thing to get.

Read More:
Our Big, Hot (Sometimes Fancy, Sometimes Not) Mexican Moment
The 22 Best Mexican Restaurants in the Bay Area
The Best Mexican Food in Redwood City
Richmond Is the New Fruitvale
Try Today's Four Coolest Mezcal Cocktails
Where to Find the Best Food Trucks Right Now
Classic Mexican Restaurants
The Secret Burrito Cravings of the Bay's Top Chefs

The No Cooking Solution for Your Next Diner Party

Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco.

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