In Redwood City: Cerveza, por favor!

The challenge seemed easy enough. Jade at Vagabond3 posted that the Week 3 “Travel your own city” activity was to go to a part of your city that you don’t usually visit and find a new restaurant — extra credit if it’s a Mexican restaurant. What could be simpler?

But there I was last week without accomplishing the mission. I hadn’t picked an area, but I knew I was going for the extra credit. I finally decided to stay fairly close to home by visiting downtown Redwood City and a section of Menlo Park, located about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, where there is a large Hispanic community and many Mexican restaurants.

After doing some research on the internet, I met my friend Tami at a restaurant on Broadway in Redwood City called Mexquite. We were the only customers there at noon, but I wasn’t too concerned because it seemed kind of quiet all over town that day. We were greeted warmly and offered seating inside or outside. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, so we opted for outside.

I had a shredded beef taco and cheese enchilada combination and Tami had Enchiladas Verde. The food and service were good, but ordinary. Although it wasn’t the most authentic experience we could have had, it was a great location for sipping my Pacifico beer while enjoying the weather. As we ate our lunch, we planned the next step in our project, which was to explore an area of Menlo Park known for its many taquerias and Mexican markets just a few miles away.

Our goal was to get a feel for the area while finding restaurants for future lunches and a good Mexican bakery. As soon as we walked into Aguililla Market (it’s actually a restaurant with several tables and counter seating), smelled the aromas and checked out the menu, we knew we’d like to eat there sometime. Tami knows some Spanish which was helpful in talking to the very friendly people behind the counter. Since we had just had lunch and really wanted dessert, they told us about nearby places to find Mexican bakeries.

After noting the taquerias along Middlefield Road and browsing in a few shops and markets, we went into Chavez Supermarket (there are seven locations in the Bay Area). It’s a full grocery store with wonderful fresh produce, meats, specialty cheeses and a bakery section. That’s where I picked out an empanada crema, which was delicious, and Tami got Mexican bread. Next door to the supermarket is another restaurant, Las Parrillas, that looked interesting.

The next day I got a great tip about another authentic Mexican restaurant called La Casita Chilanga in Redwood City on El Camino Real and I can’t wait to try it. My exploration of Bay Area Mexican restaurants has only begun!

If you go:

Mexquite Mexican Restaurant
2616 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA
(650) 369-7482 ‎

Aguililla Market
3250 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA
Phone: (650) 361-1965

Chavez Supermarket
3282 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA
Tel: (650) 365-6510

Las Parrillas Mexican Restaurant
3282 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA
Tel: (650) 369-2040

La Casita Chilanga
761 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA
(650) 364-2808

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31 thoughts on “In Redwood City: Cerveza, por favor!

    1. Cathy Post author

      When Jade brought up the subject about exploring local restaurants, I was immediately on board — I do love to eat!

    1. Cathy Post author

      I know that you’d love it, Corinne! And you’d be able to identify all of the wonderfully unusual fruits and vegetables I saw there, too. I’m not so good at that.

  1. Migrationology

    It’s great to explore other neighborhoods and especially to search out the greatest restaurants. That food looks great, as does the bakery! Glad you were also able to locate some new restaurants with great potential. I really want some Mexican food now!

    1. Cathy Post author

      I had a lot of fun exploring the neighborhood. Glad the post made you hungry for Mexican food — I’ll take that as a compliment!

  2. Jeremy B

    Well, that’s not really fair! You have lots of places to choose from and if you are going to suck up to Vagabond3 and choose a Mexican restaurant, I don’t think you could live in a better place for it than this! 🙂

    1. Cathy Post author

      Since I wrote this, I’m finding out about even more restaurants around here that I didn’t know about. Fun learning experience!

    1. Cathy Post author

      You’re so right – lots of good choices here. I just hadn’t tried any new Mexican restaurants in a while. Enjoyed this little project very much.

  3. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    In my opinion, you can’t go wrong sampling Mexican restaurants! Somehow I missed this challenge from Vagabond 3. We just tried out a new restaurant since I had a gift card from my boss and I came away with a glass of wine spilled all over my shirt and pants! 🙂 Have fun exploring!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Oh man! What a bummer about the wine. The restaurant’s fault? I hope you got a complimentary glass of wine out of it at the very least.

  4. Jillian

    I love finding new restaurants. My favorite are the hole in the wall places, possibly because they always exceed your expectations. Are you keeping a count of the cervezas?

  5. Grace

    I love mexican food and also used to live a lot of “mercados” (mexican markets). I’m not sure if you are an adventurous eater but when you see a fruit called cherimoya try it! It’s pretty yummy and sweet.

  6. Jade

    Cathy!!! It sounds like you had such a great experience and I’m so jealous that your exploration lead to so many other Mexican places in the area!! I can’t wait to make our way up there and try some of the ones you listed! And, thanks for doing the challenges- I’m so happy you are discovering new places near you!

    1. Cathy Post author

      It was a very fun experience — thanks for the idea! I’m enjoying your challenges — working on parks this week!

  7. Angela

    Aww the photos look very yummy, I love cheese, literally any kind of cheese. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the Mexican one though, I’m curious to see if it’s similar to the ones we have in Sardinia, looks very familiar. Good exploration you are making, I bet you are enjoying it!

    1. Cathy Post author

      I’m with you about cheese! The Mexican cheeses I’ve had are pretty mild and very delicious. I’m sure the cheese in Sardinia is wonderful!

  8. Jorie Pacli

    Wow! This is so cool! I’m impressed with this travel feature Cathy. I’ve never tried Mexican food but they are sure look delicious! Yum! Yum! And you gave me a brilliant idea of doing some little food trip once in a while to feature on my travel blog. Maybe next time I’ll let you crave for some Asian delicacies. How about that? Hahaha! Cheers! 🙂

  9. Rosemarie John

    The Mexican Breads look so delicious! Would they go well with peanut butter and nutella by any chance? 🙂 We don’t have any good Mexican Restaurants worth going to in JKT. We have amazing Italian one though! 🙂

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  11. Alice D

    Hey Cathy,
    That idea by Vagabond3 sounds great, I’ll see if I can do the same next week. I love to find new places and new restaurants to go to. It seems you had success with it, that food looks great!! 😀

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