Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Puesto Mexican Street Food

This past week, I had the good fortune to try the new Mexican Street Food restaurant, Puesto. Puesto is the Spanish word for a market stall, and so the food is designed to be like that one would buy from a street vendor, which includes a variety of soft tacos, salads, and burrito bowls (of course, the low-carb people love this option!). I admit, when we went in, I was expecting another Chipotle-type of knockoff, with gut-buster burritos and thousands of calories. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh, tasty, and healthy (!) options offered by Puesto.

The ordering system could be a bit confusing for first-timers, but I think that it is an excellent option. The customer picks up one of the dry-erase laminated menus, circles what she wants, then shows it to the counter chefs. Easy peasy! This ordering system is not only simple for the customer, it eliminates any misdirection for the counter service. How many times have you had to repeat yourself at any of the sandwich counter places or received an incorrect order because the service couldn’t hear you?

If you’re uncertain about what you want, the menu also has some popular choices, already organized, for the customer to simply circle and show the counter chef. After a bit of discussion, we decided to order three tacos: beef, pork, and shrimp; along with a salmon guisado (burrito bowl), complete with rice, black beans, and cactus! We also chose a few of their delicious salsas on the side.

The tacos were incredible. The cheese is fresh and grilled directly to be nice and melty. The meats were incredibly fresh, as were the tortillas. The pork taco had pineapple salsa, amazing! The shrimp were cooked to the precise temperature, not rubbery at all (it’s so easy to overcook shrimp!), and the cheesy goodness gushed from the beef taco. This was Mexican street food at its best.

The burrito bowl was huge! A big pile of black beans, an enormous pile of brown rice, and some zesty cactus were topped by a very tender filet of salmon. It’s interesting enough that salmon is served (I’ve never had salmon as part of Mexican cuisine), but that the salmon is fresh and flavorful is awesome! So healthy tasting, I would order this again.

I almost forgot to mention the soda bar! Puesto features a delightful array of cane sugar sodas, including Boylan’s diet black cherry and cream soda. Of course, there is the ubiquitous Coke and Diet Coke for the die-hard fans, but the soda selection was a very nice accompaniment to the meal.

Puesto is the kind of place where I could go again and again, mixing and matching to get a different, fresh flavor every time. I will definitely return for some of those yummy tacos, and to try some of their other great tastes. Welcome to La Jolla!
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June 05, 2012 / by / 0 Comments

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