Wednesday, June 12, 2013

El Mejor Mexican Deli (San Jose, CA): Nachos with Carnitas

I came across El Mejor Mexican Deli on a bike ride down Capitol Expressway during one of my lunch hours.  I checked it out on Yelp and saw 4½ stars, making me look forward to my "Nacho Tuesdays" visit the next week.  Alas, this is one case where Yelp didn't provide reviews that corroborated with the quality of food or service.

I walked into the deli to find deserted tables and no one working the cash register.  I woman walked out from the back eventually and started putting together a to go order or something while ignoring me standing at the counter, obviously ready to order.  Eventually she yelled something in Spanish toward the kitchen, which, after 5 minutes or so, caused a friendly-looking, chubby-faced dude to emerge.  I ordered nachos with carnitas, a request that was met with a funny look from the guy, followed by him asking the indifferent lady something in Spanish, to which she answered something else in Spanish.  I got the vibe for a moment that they weren't able to serve me nachos or something, but the man eventually took my $9.52 ($6.50 for the nachos and $2.25 (ouch!) for the soft drink + tax) and I sat down.

After a relatively long wait - especially since there was NO ONE else in the place - my order was delivered to the table...

Just look at these.  Sloppy mess, I say!  The only saving grace in the presentation is the extra sprinkle of cheese on top and the shredded lettuce.  But even the lettuce, which is quite a rarety in the world of nachos (and that I really like, incidentally) didn't add enough charm to these mediocre cheese-covered chips.

Bland, dry, carnitas were the nail in the coffin for this sorry interpretation of my favorite food.

Rating:  3 out of 5

Rating Notes: Nothing more to say, other than the chips were decent and I was only able to get an okay level of overall flavor by dumping my entire bowl of salsa over the plate.

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