In the event of a carnitas craving, it’s always good to know where you can find some decent Mexican food. Taqueria El Festival is a new addition to 906 J St. in downtown Sacramento, a spot formerly occupied by another Mexican restaurant, Antonios. This is El Festival’s second location, the first one is in Folsom, and they are hoping to have better luck here than their predecessor.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to catering services, the interior is humble to say the least. While not many stay and eat, there were a handful of people milling about, waiting for their to-go orders and taking advantage of the wide selections at the free salsa bar.
El Festival’s menu boasts a wide selection, with your basic tacos, tortas, burritos and quesadillas as well as vegetarian variations, soups, seafood, and dessert offerings. Most burritos cost between five and six dollars, while regular tacos are as cheap as a dollar seventy-five. With enough choices to satisfy an entire family, El Fiesta easily makes a great take-out spot for quick dinners.
Prices are standard if not cheap. The nine dollar and sixty-nine cent plates are huge and come with rice, beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and tortillas to accompany your entrée. Beverage wise they have aguas frescas ($1.71) and fresh orange and carrot juices ($3.50) in addition to standard fountain drinks. This location doesn’t serve alcohol, but if you make the trip to Folsom they serve beer.
The meat selection for the tacos and burritos has nothing less than twelve choices, with everything from the tame pollo asado,(grilled chicken), to the traditional lengua (cow tongue) tripas, tripe, and cabeza (beef head).
I personally didn’t venture away from the familiar. Although I was tempted by the enchiladas (choice of chicken cheese, or beef with red or green sauce, $9.69) before settling on the super burrito with pastor- marinated pork ($5.69).
Roughly a third of the size of Chipotle’s monster burritos, the super burrito contains meat, rice, beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream and supposedly guacamole, though I was pressed to taste any. The tortilla was soft and not dried out and the sour cream and salsa made the whole thing a little juicy.
What really wrapped the burrito up was the marinated pork. It was flavorful, tinged with orange grease, and would be perfect after a rough night out. There is just as much meat as rice and beans, which unfortunately isn’t the case with every taqueria. Even without the guacamole, this was a pretty good burrito.
Taqueria El Festival
906 J St. 443-5303