Taqueria El Carnaval

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Takeout, June 2011

Taqueria Carnaval on Urbanspoon

I don’t believe that fast food or takeout should always mean McDonald’s or Taco Bell.  That’s a sad stereotype.  Fast food could also mean the local deli, taqueria or gourmet food truck.  As much as I like to dine at fine restaurants, I also appreciate cheap and delicious takeout. One of my favorite places is Taqueria El Carnaval, off Missiouri Flat Road in Placerville.  One glance at the menu’s choice of meats and I was hooked:

There aren’t a lot of Mexican restaurants over here that give you the option of tripa, cabeza, buche or lengua.  Try to get past the thought that lengua means tongue, because when cooked correctly, it’s really (really!) tasty. I recommend their lengua tacos, just tell them not to put salsa on the taco because it gets too mushy and you’ll have to eat it with a fork. (This picture was taken with my camera phone, I’ll have to update it with a better one next time I go)

One other menu item of theirs that I absolutely LOVE is the camaron & pulpo tostada (shrimp and octopus). I was craving seafood on a hot day and wasn’t brave enough to try the ceviche, so I opted for this. I might have caught the cook in a generous mood, since the tostada came piled with a big heap of fresh shrimp and octopus.   The acidity was just right (the right amount of lemon or lime juice on seafood is so important) and I felt that I would make Rachel Ray proud for spending only $3.90 on a seafood tostada.

I have to post another picture of that beautiful tostada.  Just looking at this picture makes me want to drive up to Placerville to get one. I’d choose this over a McDonald’s burger any day:


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