After my last visit, and my discussion with my bud, Bill Addison, I knew that it was crucial to hit a taqueria this time around. Bill wrote an article reviewing an insane number of taquerias. So armed with his top 20, we all figured that Cactus Taqueria in Oakland was probably the geographically and culinarily-optimal choice. There is a Cactus Taqueria in Berekeley, but according to the article it isn’t as good. We rolled up to Cactus, and it looked a lot like Chipotle. So I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for. I felt certain there would be some disappointment. Well, disaster averted. Cactus came through like a champ.
I ordered a carnitas chile verde taco and a horchata. The pork was tender, moist and delicious. Perfect, tender pinto beans. The chile verde was bright, and then the flavors were heightened with a selection of pineapple habanero and other salsas with a smattering of queso fresco. Man… it was sooo good. The horchata was also excellent – smooth and milky with a perfect hint of cinnamon.
Just to compare I stopped at Andale, a kiosk at SFO. Okay not exactly an optimal comparison, but it was pretty darned ugly. Dry pork, lackluster filling. The horchata tasted like pink bubble gum. Disgusting. I took two sips, decided that I did not need to pay twice, and binned that sucker.