What are the signs of an authentic Mexican restaurant? For years, I graded them exclusively on their chips and salsa. If the chips were stale or mass-produced and thus bleh, the eatery got a low grade. Similarly, if it didn’t have a decent hot sauce (and I mean “hot” not “mild hot sauce,” which is an oxymoron), then it failed the test.
But now that I can’t eat hot hot sauce (because I got old and my stomach turns with the fire), I have to look at other factors. Socorro’s Restaurant has the other factors. They make their tortillas by hand. The cheese on the enchiladas stretches three feet. They have frescos (or refrescos) of fruit in the clear plastic buckets. The menu above the cash register is ONLY in Spanish. Yeah, that’s real.
Oh man, this is authentic. The green one is spinach and pineapple juice. Mixed with lots of sugar, it’s very delicious — and somewhat healthy. It’s actually the eatery’s most popular drink.
Recently, I had a buddy from West Virginia over. In West Virginia, the waitresses in the “Mexican” restaurants don’t know what horchata is. The hot sauce is about as hot as ketchup. My friends, and their kids, were absolutely entusiasmados to savor the flavor.
I was pretty pumped too. I had to get my favorite, cheesy cheese enchiladas. Forgive me for the redundancy, but they were redundant with cheese. If you are a cheese addict, I suggest you go no further. There was more cheese in those enchiladas than in a lasagna.
One of my sons ordered the carne asada, which he rated highly. My other son got flautas. Our friends got tacos, quesadillas. The rice and beans are very good. The vegetables and lettuce were fresh and crisp.
Man, those are big tortillas, patted out by hand by a lady in the back and cooked over a comal. It doesn’t get more authentic.
I just love the hole in the wall restaurants that serve good food under the radar from the snooty foodies.
The birriria wasn’t my favorite though.
And of course, the kids loved it.
By the way, you can tell the authenticity of the Mexican food by the amount of sugar in the refrescos. There’s a lot. They’re sweet. Enjoy!
14853 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91405
The author sells 10-inch bamboo steamers on Amazon to broaden your culinary cooking experience. They are great for vegetables, fish and especially Chinese buns and dumplings that can be picked up frozen in specialty food markets and warmed perfection, almost as good as the restaurant.
The chicken and beef enchiladas were also outstanding.