“Eating is really one of your indoor sports. You play three times a day, and it’s well worth while to make the game as pleasant as possible.”
— Dorothy Draper
Taqueria Tepa No. 2 is one of those small, shopping center restaurants that you can walk by and miss. I know, because I did just that. Had it not been for my accompanying Mexican food expert, Russ Salazar, who said, “You missed the door,” I would probably be buying insurance or something else.
Taqueria Tepa No. 2 is located at 4440 Palmer Drive, Suite 8B, in Cameron Park in the Bel Air shopping center. The restaurant has been there for some years, but the present owner has had it for about five years. The other restaurant, No. 1, is located a 501 Main St., Suite D, in Suisun City. Both appear to be mostly family run.
Although most of the business is to-go, from the traffic I observed, it is a full service restaurant with menus and servers. We found that out when we walked up to the counter and were handed menus and told to find a table. We did and a waiter immediately came over, gave us chips and salsa and took our drink order.
They have two kinds of salsa, basically, with and without cilantro. They have hotter ones in the kitchen and will share them if you ask. The chips were fresh and good.
The menu has nachos, flautas, quesadillas, tortas, tacos, burritos and a list of “house specials” such as a carne asada plate, chicken flautas, steak fajitas, chicken fajitas, shrimp, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, chicken chimichanga and a number of side orders. They also serve breakfast, lunch specials and a “today’s special” board.
Meat choices include carne asada (beef), carnitas (pork), pollo (chicken), chorizo, pastor (barbecued pork) and chile verde (pork).
We decided to order something similar to what we had the week before, a carnitas torta and a regular chile verde burrito. The torta came on a very nice bolillo (football shaped) roll and contained a good serving of carnitas, tomato slices, avocado slices, sour cream, cheese, lettuce and jalapeños. The large number of ripe avocado slices really got my attention and made it deliciously moist.
The regular burrito was very large (they also have a super burrito) and full of big hunks of meat, along with rice, beans and salsa, and quite good. I decided it needed a fork to eat it, it was too full of good stuff to eat by hand. Both of us finished everything on our plates.
For drinks you can select from soda (canned, fountain and Mexican), horchata, and imported and domestic beer.
Taqueria Tepa No. 2 is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and can be reached at 530-672-1549. If you follow ratings on the Internet, UrbanSpoon gave them a 90 percent rating.
On Saturday, Aug. 4, Mellowood Vineyards, 2979 Mellowood Drive in Fair Play, will be celebrating its second anniversary with a celebration and dance. Ken Simms and his seven-piece band will be playing from 6 until 9 p.m.
Wine will be available by the glass or bottle. There is limited seating, so bring your own chair.
For more information call 530-306-9454.
The weekend wine and food pairing luncheons at Miraflores Winery are in full swing. Learn how to properly pair wine and food from some of the greatest in the industry.
On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4 and 5, the guest chef will be Lance Carlini, executive chef at Enotria Restaurant in Sacramento. On Aug. 11 and 12, Christian Masse, chef and owner of Allez! Good Food on the Go in El Dorado, is cooking, followed on Aug. 18 and 19 by Damon Barham, chef at Technique Restaurant, California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, and on Aug. 25 and 26 Arturo Moscosos, executive chef at Campo Restaurant in Reno.
September features Gabriel Glasier, executive chef at Maranello Restaurant in Fair Oaks; Masse; Christopher Caul, chef and owner at Christopher’s on Lincoln in Carmel and Duncan Holmes, chef de cuisine at Sons and Daughters Restaurant in San Francisco.
In October will be Karen Holmes, owner and chef at Karen’s Bakery Café in Folsom and Gabriel Glasier.
For more information on these and other events at Miraflores Winery call 530-647-8505.
Shoestring, my favorite burger and hot dog stand, 1320 Broadway in Placerville, will be having its “first Tuesday of the month” car show next Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Bring your hot rod, custom or classic car to show, or just come by to see what others bring. And, have something good to eat (chili-cheese fries — Yum).
For more information call 530-622-7125.
Toogood Winery, 7280 Fairplay Road in Fair Play, will be holding a Summer Sangria Party Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3, 4, 5 and 10, 11, 12 in its cool cave.
For more information call 530-620-1910.
Birthdays to celebrate today: founder of the Gray Panthers Margaret (Maggie) Kuhn (1905); famed WWII correspondent and author Ernest (Ernie) Taylor Pyle (1900); central figure in the famous “Scopes” or “Monkey Trial,” John T. Scopes (1900); singer Tony Bennett (1926); actors Steven Berkoff (1937), John McGinley (1959) and Martin Sheen (1940); mystery novelist P.D. James (1922); lifestyle consultant Martha Stewart (1941) and author Leon Uris (1924). It is also the anniversary of the date in 1492 Christopher Columbus left the port of Palo, Spain in search of a new spice route to “Cathay,” but instead landed at Guanahani on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas.