I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Finding a decent meal in Sunnyvale has always been a challenge and always will be. But, when I dig deep enough and keep my eyes firmly peeled, I have actually been able to find a few local gems.
On this particular day, I took a mile-long walk down a suburban road I’d never been down before stumbling onto something intriguing. For the majority of the walk, I saw nothing worth a second glance, but then I spotted it. It shined in the distance like a shining beat-up beacon of hope. The sign read Taqueria Latina.
As I stepped inside, I found myself confronted by the wonderfully comforting scents I expect to find in any taqueria worth its salt. Simultaneously, I was exposed to the almost obnoxiously loud, echoing cacophonous assault of multiple games of soccer being played aloud on the TVs overhead. A quick look around the cavernous space and I saw other familiar taqueria sights such as brightly painted walls, a gigantic menu chalkboard overhead, and of course a gigantic Jesus and Mary mural painted onto the biggest wall in the place. Madre de Dios!
So, I stepped up to the register and decided that a Chorizo Super Burrito was exactly what I needed to properly eat my feelings that day. I grabbed a seat in the practically empty dining area and wondered how this thing would stack up against the gold standard chorizo burrito I’ve come to love at El Farolito in the Mission. I tried to keep my expectations low since I was still in Sunnyvale, but at only $6, how bad could it be?
Soon enough, I found myself with a hefty foil-wrapped behemoth in hand. My excitement shot through the roof as I peeled back the layer of silver and chomped into the beast to find what was inside. Awesomely meaty, moist, crumbly, and flavorful chorizo – that’s what. The chorizo was balanced by a large portion of well-seasoned rice, salsa, avocado, beans, and slaw and a contained nicely by the stretchy, pliable tortilla wrapper.
This thing was actually outstanding. It was well-filled, full of flavor, massive, and stupid cheap. To be honest, the chorizo was nearly on par with the insanely incredible stuff I’ve become obsessed with at El Farolito. Now that’s high praise!
On a subsequent visit, I checked out their taco offerings as well. Also stupidly cheap ($1.50 per taco for most meats and $1.75 for chorizo), I went for a trio of Chorizo, Chivo (Goat), and Al Pastor Tacos. The chorizo was just as glorious in this format as in the burrito and the al pastor was great, but it was that super-tender, gamey, pulled goat meat that really impressed me the most. I bet it would be awesome inside one of those burritos too – or maybe if I’m feeling extra crazy Chivo and Chorizo in a single burrito!
And for another unusual, but extremely delicious dish involving goat, try the Birria de Chivo. You don’t find this iconic Jaliscan goat soup in many places, but it’s something you definitely don’t want to miss if you have the opportunity to try it. This brothy soup has a complex combination of bold, spicy, savory, and sour flavors punctuated by the large portion of super-tender shredded goat meat. It makes for a really soothing, satisfying meal and even comes with freshly steamed tortillas – not that you really need them.
So, even though there’s always going to be that ever-present struggle to find a decent meal in Silicon Valley, especially in Sunnyvale, Taqueria Latina has proven that some good spots are still left to uncovered. I just have to look a little harder to find them – and I will. Cheers to another great Silicon Valley cheap-eats find!
Got another awesome, authentic lunch spot in Sunnyvale I need to check out? Let me know in the comments below.
195 E. Maude Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94085