Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
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dining_losgalloshpGallos means rooster in Spanish and at Taqueria los Gallos, you will find portraits and statues of the colorful fowl. Now with a second Scotts Valley location on Mt. Herman Road, their well-flavored Mexican family specialties including tortas, fajitas and vegetarian preparations are more attainable than ever.

The aroma of chilies and masa swirled from the container holding an Enchilada ($2.50). The 5-inch corn tortilla covered with a classic bright red sauce and a generous amount of melted cheese held finely shredded chicken.

By the time I got home, the cardboard box was greedily absorbing the sauce of an egg-battered Chile Relleno ($4.25). The meaty, sweet, cheese-stuffed fresh poblano chili was topped with a purée of green chilies and fresh tomatoes.

The foil-wrapped fish taco ($3.99) was so stuffed and juicy it eluded any attempt to pick it up. Tender cubes of grilled fish were tossed with green pepper-laced salsa.

The Chile Verde Burrito ($6), a filling one and a half-pounder, was loaded with succulent chunks of pork braised in a flavorful tomatillo-green chili sauce, plump pinto beans and rice.

I can't even fathom the heft of a Jumbo Burrito ($7.25), as the al Pastor Super Burrito ($6.99) weighed in at almost two pounds. Minced barbecue Pork was mixed with rice and plump pinto beans with a taste of both guacamole and sour cream.

Four salsas were available at the condiment bar, each unique. The pico de gallo included fresh diced tomato, white onion, cilantro and sweet chilies. The thinner brown-hued sauce was tart and piquant while the thin reddish orange one was sweet and spicy. The thicker tomato puree was smoky and searing, perfect for the al Pastor.

On Crazy Mondays, the specials include tacos ($1), fish or shrimp tacos ($2) and Corona beer ($3).  |KP

Taqueria los Gallos, 18 Victor Square (439-9803); and 243 Mt. Herman Rd. (439-9507), Scotts Valley. Beer and wine. Open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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