Taquería Los Dos Gallos, Oakland CA
Looking online for reliable restaurant information in Oakland is limited. Searching for “taquería oakland” gave us literally nothing in our neighborhood within 4 miles. But driving around Oakland, one can find many restaurants, sometimes almost a dozen on a single block. A lack of an online presence seems untrustworthy nowadays, as we rely so much on that fallible resource, yet taking a shot in the dark can prove fruitful. On a whim around lunch time, we pulled into the back parking lot of Taquería Los Dos Gallos at 5901 International Blvd, and we don’t regret it in the slightest.
Almost half of the menu here has breakfast items, with a mix of Mexican dishes, omelettes, and even waffles and pancakes. We were well past craving breakfast for ourselves, being a late lunch as it was, but we got the chilaquiles rojos so that we could try something off the expansive breakfast selection and write about it here. Essentially tortilla chips, eggs, cheese, and salsa, it’s a scramble with bright flavors and many layers of texture. The red sauce was very bold with chilies, garlic, and onion. It melded with the crispy chips, gooey cheese, and velvety eggs. With sides of sour cream, rice, beans, and freshly chopped onions and avocado, this is part of a complete, savory, and international breakfast.
The word torta changes meaning depending on where you are and who you’re talking with. For Mexico, torta is a delicious sandwich with fresh vegetables, mayonnaise, avocado, and your choice of meat. Carnitas are little fried bits of pork, and here they were riquísimas in this torta with a grilled and buttery soft roll. Tender, rich, and flavor-packed, carnitas has always been one of our favorite styles of Mexican meat preparation. Thick tomato, crispy lettuce, and creamy avocado added to the enjoyment.
We got three types of tacos; there were enough different kinds of meat, we had to try a few. Each one was loaded with fresh meat, cilantro, and white onion. One was al pastor which is a style of pork you can find most places. The meat was grilled and crispy, and only mildly spicy with a tiny bit of tanginess from the pineapple with which it was roasted. Because we’re adventurous, we also tried one cabeza and one lengua (that’s head and tongue, respectively). The cabeza was nice and tender with a mild marinade so the flavor of the meat was the star. The tongue was just as tender with more of a gamey flavor, but it was mild and pleasant. While the two meats came from the same region of the body, the tastes were very different.
Don’t get sucked into limiting yourself to restaurants with an online presence, focusing on the stars given by someone who doesn’t know good food. There are restaurants which have yet to be discovered, and it only takes a hint of courage to break away from the chatter on the ‘Net and try somewhere new.