Food Talk Friday: Mexican Food in Sanger, California

sangerI’ve traveled to the small valley town of Sanger several times in the last month or so. Once was for a wedding. Twice was for work. All three times, I had Mexican food. Since Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, I was a happy girl every time I was in Sanger.

First up was Cristal’s, part restaurant, part bakery. You can get delicious cheese enchilada’s to eat there and some Mexican pastries to go. The enchiladas were full of gooey cheese and the rice and beans were delicious. The beans were firm, not mushy, always a good thing. Look up “casual ambiance,” and you’ll find a picture of the Cristal dining area. Formica tables with attached chairs in a room lined with shelves full of pan dulce. Lunch was delicious and I had a place to recommend in Sanger.

Two weeks later we attended a wedding just outside of Sanger that was catered by a Mexican restaurant/taco truck. Ocampos provided the food. The owner is Felipe and he was warm and attentive to everyone in the line. The carne asada was roasted, then carved, then seared on the grill. The tacos were soft and the toppings plentiful. Cabbage, lime, peppers, pico de gallo, guacamole. All available and fresh and delicious. The wait staff was personable and seemed to be having as much fun as the wedding guests.

Earlier this week I traveled to Sanger again and this time my guide took me to Velasco’s. Slightly (very slightly) less casual than Cristal’s (they boast booths as well as tables with moveable chairs,) Velasco’s served excellent food. The first time I try a new Mexican place, I usually order an enchilada and a taco. The taco was a bit greasy, but it had a good crunch without shattering at the first bite. The enchilada sauce was excellent, no metallic after-taste like I sometimes get. The service was attentive and I thought the prices were good. Lunch for three (two drinks) was under $25. Under $30, with the tip.

I’ve talked in the past about my very favorite Mexican place, Javier’s. None of these three will edge Javier’s out just yet. But I’m willing to go back and let them try.

Do you have a favorite cuisine? Where do you go when you need a fix?