Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chalateco--Mountain View, CA

Having moved into our current home less than eight months ago, for dinner tonight we explored our neighborhood. A few minutes from our house we found Chalateco, a restaurant featuring Salvadoran and Mexican cuisine.

With the exotic brain tacos on the menu, I couldn't wait to order one and was deeply satisfied. The brain, pictured below, had the rich flavor and soft texture of crab brain. It had a the taste of slightly salted egg yolk and the feel of a creamy mashed potato.

With Chalateco advertising itself as featuring pupusas, I requested one of those with pork. The pupusa was delightful. The pastry was crisp yet after a short time in the mouth was soft and chewy, a perfect complement to the tender pork.

The kids went with the chicken quesadilla and a pork and cheese pupusa, which they both finished. My wife had a mushroom pupusa. Although the tortilla for all three pupusas enveloped the filling, I couldn't find a seam in any of them. The kids and I wondered, "Just how did the meat get in there?"

Just to make sure we wouldn't leave hungry, we also ordered the asada torta, a titanic beef sandwich that alone could very well have fed all of us. The sandwich came loaded with meat and layered with avocado and cheese.

Whether Chalateco had a restroom wasn't apparent, but they did have a standalone sink for customers to use to wash their hands. This was very convenient for us, having two boys who don't mind getting dirty.

I left Chalateco with a giddy feeling, even giving my wife a spontaneous hug as soon as we got home. No, the dinner we had probably wasn't good for us physically, but it made me a very happy man and, at less than $25 before tip, was the quintessential bargain.

The Chalateco we tried tonight is in Mountain View. There are five other locations.

823 E El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 969-3026