by Alexander Quebec
Rarely does one encounter a situation where a decision has to come down between boba or tacos. In the diverse environment that is San Jose, that tends to be a non-issue because most establishments that sell either one or the other are usually within close proximity of each other.
Still, it would be very interesting to have a place that does both in the same building: Enter Teaqueria.
Away from the usually heavily trafficked areas like a strip mall, I found myself visiting their location inside a quiet, well-to-do neighborhood across the street from Bellarmine High school in San Jose that resembles the midwest rather than one of the various ethnic enclaves in the city. The owner, Frank, is an experienced owner with a few restaurants under his belt. He introduced me to this concept, which was taking some of the best selling menu items from his previous restaurants and combining them with a few taqueria staples and a few rotating specials to keep it new and interesting.
I admit I am not a huge boba person, so my main focus here was to eat. I did try a few of the menu items, but being a newly baptized taco aficionado, the tacos were a must for me here. Here’s my hot take on the items that I ordered.
Chorizo Tacos – By far, the best one. I love the richness of the greasy chorizo, combined with potato and all of the seasonings that come with it. I’m a big fan and would return for these ones for sure. To me, there’s just something about chorizo that is so sinful, yet so delicious. Could it be the seasoning? The spiciness? The texture? I’m convinced that it is all three of those and the greasiness and flavor of the meat getting soaked up by the tortillas or other carbs.
Chicken Tacos – This was good! Chicken can get messed up pretty easily in the wrong hands, but this was a clear winner for me. Juicy and well seasoned, nothing too exciting, but also well done.
Carne Asada Tacos – This was my least favorite. While the seasoning was good, the meat was a bit tough for me. I felt like I had to push through this taco just to finish it off. Not my favorite, but if you like your steak well-done this might be a good one for you.
BBQ Fried Rice Burrito – Do you love carbs? I mean, do you really love them? Are you willing to die for them? If so, this burrito is for you. I actually love carbs myself and I can’t imagine life without them (I’ve tried, it’s never ended well). However, in large amounts, they aren’t good for me, so a burrito like this is a once in a while treat for me. The BBQ meat in this case has a nice, sweet sauce, which gets soaked up by the rice easily, and gives this more of a sweeter flavor than what is expected from a burrito.
Quesadilla – it’s a quesadilla, they are hard to mess up. This one was made with their chorizo and cheese inside a flour tortilla, which is a match made in heaven for me. I can’t really say anything other than if you’re stumped as to what to get, one of these will work fine when you’re craving meat and cheese together in holy matrimony.
Salad – Sounds like a pretty straightforward proposition: Lettuce, vegetables, meat and dressing. I got a chicken one and I was not disappointed, there was a good mix of greens, vegetables and meat all in the bowl. I got their version of the orange sauce to go with it (that’s how you know someone is from San Jose, if they know what the orange sauce is). It reminds me a lot of Chipotle, except without the guy behind the counter reminding you that guac is extra, even though you eat there like several times a week.
One of the things I enjoy about this place is its off the beaten path location. Sometimes, having a place that isn’t a part of the hustle and bustle of a main commercial area can be blessing as the quiet and tranquil environment (relatively speaking) can make for a way more enjoyable dining experience than a busy place filled with people loudly talking on cell phones and parents ignoring their horrible crotch goblins who are crying, screaming, and running all over the place.
I think with regards to coming back, I’ve been actually coming back for those chicken and chorizo tacos. As of this posting (3/9/21), outdoor dining is back and hopefully indoor dining will be a thing soon, and so this place would make an excellent lunch spot for a bit of al fresco dining. In short, while on the road less traveled, this is a charming, little place worth the detour.