Cozy Neighborhood Taqueria Serves Up Authentic Mexican Fare
By Cynthia Bournellis
There are a lot of local taqueria’s in my neck of the woods, but Adelita’s Taqueria & Restaurant is one of my favorites. The shrimp taco with roasted chili Salsa Fresca is undoubtedly my go-to dish. Unlike the more bite-sized tacos with modest trimmings one would get from a taco truck, Adelita’s tacos are much bigger and are a fusion of either meat or fish with cilantro, onions, avocado slices and fresh salsa.
Adelita’s is family-owned: Husband and wife team Felipe and Patricia Morales opened the taqueria in 1998. Today, it has expanded into a restaurant that serves a variety of breakfast plates, including traditional huevos rancheros, as well as seafood dishes, sirloin steak (Bistec a la Mexicana), tortas (Mexican sandwiches), Bistech A Lo Povre (steak with fried eggs), tomato broth soup (Sopa Azteca), menudo, flautas and more. There’s even a children’s menu.
Adelita’s specializes in making sauces from scratch. There’s a mole-like sauce made from soaked dried chilies combined with chocolate and cinnamon. The green sauce is made from fresh tomatillos and Serano chilies. The Chile Relleno is also homemade.
Given Patricia’s Chilean upbringing, Adelita’s also serves a stew called “estofado” for its Chilean clientele. Yet, the fish tacos are one of the most popular items on the menu, next to the Chile Verde, enchilada and torta dishes.
Wash down this tasty fare with your choice of drinks — including those made from fresh fruits, ice tea, Jarritos (Mexican soft drinks), domestic and Mexican beers, wine, margaritas, mojitos and Adelita’s famous Super Chavela (beer of your choice with lemon juice and a shot of agave). There’s something on the menu for everyone.
In addition to enjoying authentic Mexican food, customers can also partake in Karaoke on Saturday nights, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
Adelita’s philosophy is simple: serve authentic, tasty taqueria fare, making sure no one leaves hungry. This belief stems from Felipe’s passion for cooking and Patricia’s passion for being what she says in an “entrepreneur at heart.”
Felipe came to the United States as a young adult from Central Mexico with a dream of owning his own taqueria. He began his career working as a dishwasher for a small restaurant in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. He eventually became chef, learning and perfecting the recipes. He ultimately created a fusion of flavors that he believed would appeal to American tastes.
The couple met in the United States and eventually married. Patricia recalls: “Two years later [after we married], I began selling furniture at the flea market and Felipe was cooking at home. I told him that he was a good cook and that we should have a small restaurant.”
The name of the restaurant was Patricia’s idea and was inspired by an “Adelita,” a woman soldier who not only cooked and cared for the wounded fighting in the Mexican Revolution but actually fought herself in battles against Mexican government forces. Adelita derives from “La Adelita”, which was a famous folk song to come out of the Mexican Revolution and later became an archetype of a woman warrior.
Adelita’s Taqueria & Restaurant is located at 896 Curtner Ave in San Jose, Calif. Adelita’s is open Sunday–Wednesday, 9 a.m.– 9:30 p.m.; and Thursday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Happy hour is daily, 3 p.m.–5 p.m. For more information, call (408) 369-9905 or go to Adelitastaqueria.com