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April 23, 2008 - 7:24pm

Street tacos found in Batavia

posted by Howard B. Owens in tacos, restaurants, dining, margarita's, mexican food.

During our years as residents in San Diego, my wife and I developed a strong preference for "street tacos".

You might say, street tacos are a Tijuana delicacy. If you visit any town immediately south of the San Diego border, you can buy street tacos.

Where you do you get street tacos?  On the street, of course. In New York, you find hot dog stands on many corners.  In Tijuana, there are taco stands.  What they serve mainly are grilled steak (spiced and called carne asada), tomato, white onion and cilantro piled on two small corn tortillas -- adding anything else to a street taco is like making a martini with vodka instead of gin ... it's just not as good, not as pure (and absolutely forget chocolate or apple).

A lime on the side is nice, but not required.

Of course, throughout most of California you can find many restaurants and taco stands that serve street tacos.  In New York, not so much.

The closest thing we've found so far (after much searching in the Rochester area) is at Margarita's on Jackson.  Printed on Margarita's menu is an item called tacos de asada.  When ordered, you receive two or three (I've been there twice -- got two once, three the first time) tacos -- double corn tortillas piled with carne asada.  The tomatoes and onions are served on the side with green sauce.  To get a true street taco, you must carefully fork out the onion and tomato, leaving the green sauce behind.  There is no cilantro. :-(

That said, I'm very happy I found Margarita's.

Here's one of the great things about Batavia (among many we've found so far) -- lots of family owned, non-chain restaurants. We've been to three of them so far (Margarita's, Jackson Street Grill and Central BBQ) and they've all been a treat.

There's nothing particularly wrong with chains, of course. They have their place and serve their purpose, but nothing beats a good meal at an independent restaurant.  Here's to hoping the city leaders act responsibly to protect Batavia's family restaurants.  They are important to a community's identity and help give it it's own flavor.

Leave your restaurant recommendations in the comments. I want to try them all.

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