TASTES Taco Tuesday at El Adobe

Two carnitas tacos covered in salsa and toppings.

How fresh, warm, and juicy are the tacos? How do they prepare the meat? Is the salsa spicy? What makes the atmpsopshere genuine? Where is it?


The tacos were good, they weren’t out of this world delicious but for a buck they were absolutely worth it. The tortillas are warms soft and freshly made. The meat is made on a grill outside to ensure customers they are eating fresh meat. There are three meats; pollo, carnitas, or asada. These translate to chicken, pork, or beef. Carnitas and asada pack the most flavor along with juiciness.

Customers order from a waiter and are given a taco card. Hand the taco card to the taco man and order any of the meats available. The taco man cooks the meat outside on a private grill. after the taco man serves you give him a little tip and wink. On a table near the taco man’s grill are six different salsas to choose from ranging in weak to kick yo butt twice hot. I got the hottest one, which wasn’t all that hot to me. But, I am a salsa lover, so just be careful when choosing.

I decided to sit myself down near a window and near the bar. The bar had six different beers on tap and approximately 80 different types of liquor and seemed to have and extra emphasis on tequila. Also the bar had a large television in the center dedicated for sports, especially soccer. The bar and the stools were fully occupied.

The bartender is a genuinely friendly man. He was not young but, the most energetic and happy out of anyone else who worked there. The bartender also talked to his customers as if they were good friends or even family members. The bartender made sure he sent those sitting at the bar with a formal farewell every time. Whether it be a hand shake, hug, or some kind of mix between the two. Which I did see and seemed to be a bit awkward but the point is he is putting huge effort into making the atmosphere much friendlier.

Located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano El Adobe add appreciable amounts of Hispanic authenticity to this small Spanish mission city. El Adobe is on Camino Capistrano and about a five-minute walk from the San Juan Mission. The restaurant has its own parking lot but its quite hidden and hard to park if you are driving anything larger than a sedan. I was driving a truck and decided to park in the shopping lot next to El Adobe after I took a quick circle around their lot. Before entering the restaurant is decorated with desert plants and a few flowers along with some benches either to wait for a table or perhaps just for convenience of resting.

Once I entered through the what, seemed to be hand crafted and hand painted double wood doors my feet landed onto their pretty and well-swept tile floor. There were two hostesses there and neither greeted me nor helped me find a seat but perhaps that is because they both had their back turned to the door. On my way to finding a seat I first noticed their artwork. El Adobe decorates their walls plentiful. The most special artwork pieces were those painted by local artists.

All in all the food is definitely worth the price. In fact you get more than what you pay for. My date and I ordered one beer and six tacos and left paying 12 bucks. We even went down for a nice walk to see the mission and other historic locations of San Juan after dinner to conclude our date. The walk was peaceful and romantic. Check this place out!