On Arden Way, a few minutes east of Del Paso Blvd., Lisandro Madrigal has created a street food stand based on a Madrigal family dream.
From Chando’s Tacos website: “Our father dreamt and built his Tortillera, ‘Familia Madrigal’ in Tijuana, Mexico during the 1990′s. We worked hard to craft an authentic corn tortilla. Tortillas are the shell of a good taco. Chando’s Tacos uses the same quality ingredients to create your ‘authentic taco’ experience.“
And while the tortillas are special, they are only part of the experience. It’s the meats, marinades and grilling techniques that set Chando’s food apart.
First: the set-up. Walk to the window. Order your food. Then find one of the picnic tables on the side of the stand or in the tented area in the back while you wait for the friendly window attendant to call your name.
It’s as informal as it gets. And delicious. And affordable.
Tacos are $1.75 each. Mulitas $2.50. The rest (tortas, quesadillas and burritos) are $5.50. There are seven fillings. Pick one. Pick a tortilla type to contain it. Enjoy.
The carne asada is steak marinated in spices and citrus. Birria (commonly made with goat meat) is a spicy beef stew in “Mom’s Multi-Chile Pod Sauce.” The chicken is marinated in achiote spices. There also is adobada, carnitas and fish (citrus-marinated tilapia, grilled not fried).
All the options are mild and full-flavored. Ask for the spicy salsa if you need to climb further up the Scoville heat scale.
Rather than describing each one, I’d recommend you try them all. That’s what we did. My favorites are the tacos and mulitas filled with chicken or adobada.
It won’t take you many return trips to figure out what Chando’s regulars know by heart: these are not your father’s tacos, though they may have been Madrigal’s father’s.