5201 Carlson Park Dr., Suite #4
The Norther you go (Fine. More North. Happy?) the crappier Mexican food gets. You know what passes for Mexican Food in Canada? Half of a hamburger patty in a flour tortilla with ketchup. Did you know ketchup tastes different in Canada? It does. But let’s stay on topic.
California is tall. It goes up for a while. I say those things to make cartographers and geographers type “SMH.” The farther away from “Actual Mexico” you get, the farther Mexican food gets from being traditional and fantastic. I say “Actual Mexico” because I grew up in the Central Valley, which is also considered Mexico. It’s part of the reason I didn’t know I was short until college… when I moved to Humboldt; Land of the pasty faced giant Mexican cuisine wreckers.
There was one nugget, one shining palace of traditional Mexican cuisine that made me re-think my “Mexican Food Black Hole” theory about the Lost Coast. Had I been away from Central Valley Mexico too long? Is it only just semi-traditional? I don’t care. It tastes right. This Pepita de oro in Humboldt County was LA BARCA. They have a salsa bar, for godsakes! I had forgotten about that! They ladle horchata out of a giant jar! Remember that from High School? No? Well you must not have grown up in “Mexico” then.
You don’t want to watch Futbol? Too bad. They do. That’s the way traditional Mexican Restaurants rock it. Salsa ranges from “pickled vegetables that will singe your eyebrows” to “dear god I could drink a gallon of this stuff.”
They have this plate that is tortillas, beans, tomatoes, and queso fresco. Sounds simple, right? This thing is what dances in my head at night instead of sugarplums. It’s an awkward dancer.
You might be familiar with the mini truck behind Barcata. The tacos there aren’t just fantastic because you are fantastically drunk. They are fantastic because they are fantastic. That was the worst sentence I have ever written in my life, yet I can’t edit it out because it is true.
Horchata Jars look like this.
8 out of 10 ladles. But only because Futbol.