For a lot of years, I resisted going to any of the Taqueria El Grullenses in the Redwood City area. My rationale was that chains of any restaurant generally suck, and with the abundance of Mexican choices in Redwood City, why risk it? Recently, I was pressed for time and one of the Tacos El Gs was close, so I said whatever, might as well risk it. I am so happy that I did.
The first thing I noticed about this place is that it is not a fast food restaurant: it is a real taqueria, with a huge selection of meats and plates. Lengua, tripas(the most tender I've ever had!), cabeza, carnitas... they had all my favorites, and the more mundane things like carne asada, pollo, al pastor, carne molida, etc. As for the dishes, their selection is extensive. Camarones al diablo, milanesa, chile rellenos, almost every Mexican dish I would expect to find at not just a taqueria, but regular Mexican restaurants as well.
The second thing I noticed is the authenticity of this place. Unlike Chevy's or Celia's or any of the other sit-down Mexican chains, this place does not have weird, Americanized garbage. Yes, they have burritos, which were invented in America, but they have authentic, explosively flavored sauces, delicious, freshly cooked meats, crisp vegetables, flavorful and tender rice, and moist, well-seasoned beans. All the things I hate about Mexican food in America are absent here. There's none of the blandness, none of the hasty preparations, and most of all, none of the stereotypical junk that infest 90% of the Mexican places in the Bay Area.
As someone who has been eating Mexican food in the Bay Area for over 20 years, I almost feel as though I owe Taqueria El Grullense an apology. I stood by my favorite places, La Azteca and Sancho's, for so long, that I almost became one of the scared, unadventurous losers that I hate so much. I'm glad I broke out of my comfort zone and tried this chain, because they are absolutely delicious, the service is fast and friendly, and with so many locations, they are convenient too. Add to that credit card acceptance (Visa and Mastercard), and you have a true gem in the Redwood City area.
I only go here when I am in the mood for a really good carne asada taco. They have the best around. I haven't tried anything else from there besides that and Jamaica. Both were very very good!! I recommend going there for tacos!
Don't go here if' you're on a diet! The green-wet pork burrito is a very guilty favorite - tummy complains a little afterwards, but I can't help myself. Open late into the night. Often can't hear anyone over the blaring TV. Recommend it nevertheless.