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Because Missing Out Is Never Fun!

El Chalateco Salvadorian

"Awning" must be Spanish for "awesome".

El Chalateco Salvadorian
280 N. Capitol Avenue
San Jose, CA

Sometimes I rely on my good old GPS to steer me towards the nearest taqueria.

I noticed two things about this place, right away: first of all, it's LOUD. Festive, but LOUD.  Like...Tijuana at night during Spring Break LOUD.

Second, the menu is huge.  Literally.  The server handed me a wire-bound collection of 16"x12" laminated pages displaying full-color photos of damn near everything they offer.  I'm pretty sure I read it for at least fifteen minutes before I gave up and ordered my default favorite, fish tacos.

One word: fantastic!  Perfectly juicy, grilled fish atop soft corn tortillas with the standard toppings of crunchy cabbage and fresh pico de gallo.  Later, I kicked myself for not ordering anything with their mole sauce since those photos looked pretty phenomenal.

I grabbed their "Menu-To-Go" and found they have multiple locations throughout the San Jose area.  I'll be back, hunting down mole with the help of my GPS.

Trader Vic's

Liver, you're about to do WORK!

Trader Vic's
9 Anchor Drive
Emeryville, CA
Trader Vic's on Urbanspoon

At first, I balked at the nearly-$10 cocktail, legend or not.

Four sips in, the knock-me-on-my-ass concoction that is the Original Mai Tai seemed (a) like a sheer bargain and (b) like a potential nightmare for my lightweight innards unless I got to some food, STAT.  I perused a lengthy menu of Polynesian treats, trying to ignore a particular tiki mask on a distant wall which reminded me of the Hawaiian vacation episodes of The Brady Bunch.

Crispy Duck Tacos did the trick, oozing with plum sauce inside fried won ton shells which also held julienned vegetables I was too ravenous to identify before devouring them.  The Mahi Mahi Sliders' buns provided some much-needed absorbent carbs, and slaw dripped sloppily from my jowls.

So into this meal was I that I hadn't noticed several elderly couples had arrived, with matching shirts to boot.  Is this what my future holds?  Aloha, indeed.

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