Like quite a few high-end chefs these days, Adam Torres turned his back on white table cloths, waiters, sommeliers and all the other fancy accouterments that go along with fine dining.
Instead, he opted to refocus his considerable skills toward something far more casual and carefree — tacos and burritos.
But not just any run-of-the-mill tacos and burritos. We’re talking ones that will leave you swooning.
Then again, that’s not surprising when you consider they’re being made by someone who used to cook on the line at the esteemed Village Pub in Woodside.
Having been a fan of the Sancho’s in Redwood City that opened a few years ago, and the take-out Mexican food window that Torres used to run at La Tiendita Market in East Palo Alto, my husband and I were eager to try the new Sancho’s Taqueria, which opened in downtown Palo Alto late last year.
I almost always end up getting at least one fish taco ($3.95). Super crisp, fried nuggets of flaky fish are mounded high inside two small, soft corn tortillas and topped with cabbage and creamy, house-made chipotle remoulade. Sancho’s has long had a reputation for its fish tacos. After one bite, you’ll not only know why, but want to order seconds.
I also enjoyed an al pastore (barbecue pork) super taco ($3.25), which came dressed with cheese, pico de gallo and salsa. Smoky and tender, the pork, like all of Sancho’s meats, are nicely seasoned.
My husband, aka Meat Boy, ordered his usual — the carnitas (roasted pork) super burrito ($6.95) that was loaded with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and pico de gallo. This is one monster burrito. I don’t know how much it weighs, but you could do bicep curls with this baby. It’s HUGE! As you bite into it, the meat and condiments become one, creating this delicious mash-up of savory flavors.
At Sancho’s, you order at the counter, then wait to pick it up when it’s ready. The small taqueria has a few tables and counter seating inside, as well as a couple of outside tables that can get a little chilly on a cold night. When we were there on a Saturday evening, there was a nonstop stream of people getting food both to eat-in and to-go.
Sancho’s is not fancy by any means. But boy, is it soulfully satisfying.