April 25, 2014

Albany: Talavera Cocina Mexicana; restaurant review

80 North

Talavera Cocina Mexicana  

1561 Solano Ave./Peralta St., (510) 525-7425.  B-L-D daily; $.  No reservations. 

interior of Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Albany, California
interior of Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Albany, California

Decorated with a riot of colorful tiles and featuring high ceilings, this small counter-service spot dispenses tasty Mexican fare.  Specialties at Talavera Cocina Mexicana include both big burritos with an array of fillings and also two types of mole—poblano (dark chilies, spices, and chocolate) and guajillo (pumpkin seeds, guajillo chilies, and spices).  You can combine the specialties in the form of a chicken or pork mole burrito.  Choose also from tamales, enchiladas (the chicken with red sauce are excellent), flautas, tacos (made with two layered small soft corn tortillas; I like the tasty al pastor best), an enormous steak torta sandwich, and exceptional tortilla soup.  Among the breakfast items are a burrito, chilaquiles, and a cactus scramble.  Housemade aguas frescas are worthwhile.  Take your bowl of corn chips to the salsa bar stocked with four tasty options, and pick up some iced radishes and pickled veggies while you’re there.  Additional seating is available outside.

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