Stepping into 524 Mexican Restaurant is like entering a sunset—golden walls melt into rich burgundy and orange accents as heat rises from classic Mexican cuisine—slow cooked carnitas, carne asada steaks, and warm enchiladas. Red wall sconces radiate light upward, illuminating waiters who unload starters, such as bean and cheese dip, and pour traditional soup into the mouths of the eatery’s wall-mounted masks.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
Una Mas Mexican Grill entices customers with high-quality, traditional Mexican cooking delivered with a modern flair and appetizing attitude. Incline your eyes to the menu and try a small bowl of tortilla soup with marinated chicken, avocado, cheese, and broth-soaked tortilla shreddings ($2.79 for a small). Margarita salad tantalizes teeth with fresh Romaine lettuce, jicama, cabbage in reds and greens, carrots, radishes, pinto beans, and mexican cheese, all flicked by the flavory fingers of salsa fresca and lime vinaigrette ($6.29). Volunteer your mouth for the task of dismantling a foghead burrito, which wraps chicken in a chili-tomato tortilla and accessorizes with cheese, guacamole, rice, black beans, sour cream, roasted pasilla, corn salsa, and barbecue sauce ($6.59).
When Jim Knudson bit into his first taco during dinner at a friend's house in 1949, he knew he had tasted something special. He added the item?which many diners were pronouncing "tay-co"?to the menu at his restaurant in Grass Valley, California. Determined to introduce the food to as many people as possible, Jim and his wife, Margaret, converted a 16-foot trailer into a kitchen on wheels. They adopted the nickname Jim had earned from one of his longtime customers and drove up to Lake Tahoe, where Jimboy's Tacos found its first permanent home.
Locals, tourists, and even members of the Rat Pack flocked to the tiny taco stand for the uniquely seasoned, parmesan-dusted ground-beef taco, the anchor of a growing menu. The family eventually relocated to Roseville, California, where they set up a small taco stand and began branching out to other locations in and around Sacramento.
Today, Jim Knudson?s daughter Karen, the current president of the company, carries on the legacy of taco obsession at more than 40 locations in northern California and Nevada. Guests who arrive early for breakfast might glimpse the cooks slowly simmering beans, mashing avocados into guacamole, and preparing their signature ground beef with trans-fat-free oil. In addition to classic corn-tortilla tacos, the menu holds the mega-size flour-tortilla El Gordo, golden-fried taquitos, and even a taco burger that fuses Mexican and American culinary traditions.
Following Baja Fresh?s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.
On Friday nights, a mariachi band fills Kico's Mexican Food with the trills of a guitarrista. But Friday nights aren't the only time the restaurant strikes a festive mood. Terra cotta colored walls, glittering ornaments, and pastoral paintings add a touch of brightness every day of the week—a pleasing backdrop for the menu of authentic dishes that the kitchen has honed for more than 30 years. The food draws diners from all over the area who come for classic items, such as homemade tamales and carnitas, made according to family recipes as opposed to instructions on the back of an old comic book.