El Fogoncito's simplicity spices up Mexican options in Tosa
Simple, hearty, delicious, no-nonsense Mexican food is exactly what you can expect to find in Walker's Point. Perhaps less so out along the Mayfair Mall shopping district.
But about a year ago that changed with the opening of El Fogoncito at 10425 W. North Ave., directly across from Mayfair Mall, in a space formerly occupied by Suzy's Cafe and Jake's Cafe.
El Fogoncito has basic menu, printed on a sheet of green paper, hot off the copier. On it are a baker's dozen options. Not a single one is high-falutin' in any way.
Because it opens most days at 10 a.m., there are five egg dishes, in case you yearn for a mid-morning Mexican breakfast: huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo, con jamon, con bistec and con tocino.
Otherwise, you can choose from enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tortas, tostados, chimichangas and quesadillas – and a combo plate – built around chicken, carne asada or carne al pastor (pork).
You can also order sides of rice and beans, though a number of dishes come with those on the side already.
Want something to drink? You can have coffee or a can of soda.
But, the food, despite – or because of – its lack of flash, is basic, elemental, delicious and satisfying.
You can see into the tiny kitchen, so you can watch them make it for you, especially if you sit in one of the 12 counter seats. There are also three two-top tables along the west wall of the tiny space.
I'd like a little more zing – not heat necessarily, but a dash more flavor – in the salsas (green and red), but on my most recent visit, I had three tasty tacos ($2.10 each), trying each of the the options.
The carne asada paired tender steak with chopped onions, the chicken was especially good, with just the right amount of juices to keep the dish moist but not so much that it destroyed the double-tortilla base and the carne al pastor herded a nice spice.
Like the food, the decor is plain. There is no flashy paint job, no bronco-like chili pepper to ride. There are a couple extremely generic framed prints and a Mexican blanket adorning the walls.
You'll come to El Fogoncito for the food. You'll get your food in a flash and with a smile and you'll be hard-pressed to leave having spent more than $10 per person.
El Fogoncito is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. It closes daily from 2 until 4:30 p.m.
Bobby Tanzilo | Jan. 9, 2012 at 9:05 a.m. (report)
For the record, we've written about this place exactly two times. We had a brief about it opening on Jan. 5, 2011. And this article, which ran 366 days later.
I have to agree with Kool Whip on this one. I've been here 3 times and the food is bland and the meat is dry which is the exact opposite of authentic Mexican cuisine. None f the meat seemed to be seasoned at all. The prices are good and you get a good portion for your dollar, but if I didn't live 3 blocks from the place I wouldn't go out of my way. This is like the 2nd or 3rd time they've been written about in the last few months. That does seem a little odd.
I don't get it. You've written about this place over and over again. I've been there a few times and have had bland food every time. The bread for the torta was dry and the meat just doesn't have much flavor. The only thing I can agree with is that this area is hurting for good Mexican food. I'd rather drive a few extra minutes driving to the Southside than wasting my time here.
This place is great. I go there probably once a week. If you live or work on this side of town, it definitely fills a void in authentic Mexican. It's exactly what I love in a lunch, it's filling and sticks to your ribs. For a $6 lunch, you really can't beat this place. It's always quiet, and they have a great horchata you have to try.
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