Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lunching @ Bull Taco

As I'm finishing up this post it seems we're getting some more rain but hopefully it won't be as bad as last week's storm. In sharp contrast though the weekend weather turned out particularly amazing and I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out Bull Taco in Encinitas..

This taco stand is located in the San Elijo State Campground off the 101 which makes it not exactly the most conveniently located due to their street parking situation, but once there the scenery is such a spectacle that to me it's totally worth a trip just to see the amazing view.

Reminds me in many ways of being at the Torrey Pines Glider Port except that here I do not have to tolerate (sorry to say but the) mediocre food. In fact far from it, Bull Taco has some pretty delightful eats.

A taco here can range from $1.75 to a whopping $10. And yes that is for one smaller TJ style where the higher priced taco spectrum are commanded by the likes of Abalone and Foie Gras. Below was the mid-range Shrimp Curry Taco for $5.

Was filled with a nicely grilled, lightly buttery and mildly sweet curry marinated shrimp that was plimpy-plumpy texture fresh. I really dug this and would've been more than happy to devour another and another but I think I'll have it as a Torta next time which seems like a better deal at $9.

The Pork Taco at $1.75 (priced together with the Carne Asada and Chicken) was the more wallet friendly option this day. The shredded pork was on the lean side and maybe a tad dry but in fairness the brisk winds had cooled it substantially by the time I had gotten to it. Still good and glad because I may need to rely on a couple of these while I splurge on another one of the higher priced next time.

But a Torta (or burrito) is probably the better option for an overall fill. I had the Halibut but Ahi, the earlier mentioned Shrimp, Oyster, and even one with Duck Confit are other $9 options while the Carne Asada, Pork and Chicken are $7.

This sandwich with the few free chips and salsa was the perfect lunch portion for me. I can't help compare it with the ones at El Pescador Fish Market. Bull Taco's was definitely not under seasoned by any means. The bread crispy grilled in a little butter and also spread with a light mayo, mustard and guac. EPFM may have had more fish but not a bad deal. The Halibut was perfectly grilled, flaky and moist.

I'm SO having the (curry) Shrimp Torta next time. :)

Tacos below were King Crab ($5), Duck Confit ($2.50), and an LBC (lobster, bacon, chorizo - $5).

The very moist duck also had a little guilty fattiness to it as well as some crispy bits that made me enjoy it even more. The taste of the duck itself was straightforward where the overall flavor of the taco still relied on the onions, cilantro, salsa, and a bit of cotija cheese. Made me fascinate over a Chinese five spiced duck version but these were still pretty good.

And pretty reasonable. The giant Torta version would have to wait for when I have enough courage to tackle one.. ;)
The LBC was the most hefty of the $5 tacos I've tried so far..

Had a decent amount of fresh grilled lobster but most of the flavor were from the well rendered crispy bacon and chorizo. Overall on the salty side but for me a delight in its own (crispy bacon and chorizo) way. The full lobster version for the same price may be the way to go if the shellfish is what one is after. I volunteer in the tortuous task of trying next time and will report back..

I really enjoyed the King Crab taco as well. If I were to nitpick I thought maybe a teensy bit of clarified butter would've simultaneously moisten and enhance the crab flavor while a little more of the crab meat itself would've made me a lifelong friend.. ;)

Bull Taco's online menu can be found here (not fully updated at the moment). The food does take a little time, averaging at least 15 mins. So it's not a grab-n-go spot but I think the lack of convenient parking almost weeds these patrons out while for the folks who are here the breathtaking scenery is an easy distraction during the wait. Also the times I've been the crowd was very moderate despite the peak lunch hour time.

I have to tip my hat to the people at Bull Taco who are trying to offer a nice range of tasty eats in price and choice. I'll certainly be back with friends and the cool people BT are run by I'm sure they wouldn't mind me taking my next meal down to the beach (promising to return the green basket..). :)

Bull Taco is located just North of Los Olas and Chesterfield Drive. I'm totally going to camp here one day!

Bull Taco, 2050 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA, 92007


Anonymous said...

Love all those shots with the waves in the background! Those tacos look so good! I've been on a taco & enchilada crave lately so this post isn't helping. ;-)

Mike said...

I've heard good things about Bull Taco and have been meaning to check it out. Those tacos all look great, and you can't beat that view.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

What a view! That's why those tacos are so expensive. Some of those combinations sound really interesting.

Dennis K. said...

Hi CAB! Thanks I had fun.. Those storks or whatever birds they were were as big as a moderate sized dog! and they gracefully flew right by you..
Please let me know any good enchiladas you find, I'm always in the mood for those.. :)

Hi Mike! The good food really completes the experience here.

Hi WC! I hear the owners were from Pasadena, or at least ran a restaurant there. Anway I'm so going to camp here one of these days.. :)

anita said...

Pictures are worth a thousand words! Tastes even better... Simply the best tacos ever! Beautiful View! Favorite place to have lunch, the Best carne asada I've had. Thanks!

Michael said...

I crave those Duck confit tacos all the time. great photos. I just might have to make a run over there today.

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Anita! I'm definitely going to have to try the carne asada next time.. :)

Hi Michael! Thanks.. I enjoyed the duck confit tacos too. If you go, don't forget your camera! ;)

Sawyer said...

i love that picture of the tacos and ocean in the background...what kind of camera do you use? this place looks really interesting that they offer a variety of tacos...seems gourmet no foie gras taco for you dennis? =p haha. do they serve raw oysters too?

Dennis K. said...

Hi Sawyer! They had raw oysters as well as steamed mussels. There's a specials menu that changes often too. I've had my Canon SD1000 for a couple years now and it's been good (I especially like Canon's processing software where the Colors seem to come out more natural than my previous casio). I've been wanting to upgrade to a S90 so I can take better pictures in dim lighting. As much as I think DSLR's are bomb they can be kinda cumbersome and it sort of defeats the purpose for me if I can't always have it on me.. (Lomo golden rule 1 and 3!) But it could be I'm just jealous of people who own dslr's.. haha

Masa Assassin said...

The tacos look great awesome pictures Dennis. Im going to put this place on my San Diego List.

Dennis K. said...

Hi MA!! Hope you've been well! I can't afford everything on their menu but I'm happy to see a place trying new things. I like their spirit and well, the view here doesn't hurt, he he.