On the Spot reviews are exactly that—reviews written on the spot, after eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a restaurant in Redlands.
Redlands’ newest taqueria, Machete, is inspired by the food of Mexico City, giving diners a taste without having to travel south of the border.
In Mexico City, a machete taco is made with a long oval tortilla, which once folded, resembles a machete. In addition to machetes, the menu includes street tacos, lettuce wraps, sopes, and several craft beers (like local favorites Hangar 24 and Escape).
There are several guisados to choose from: tinga (shredded chicken with chipotle marinade), papas con chorizo (Mexican sausage with potatoes), picadillo (spicy ground beef with vegetables), bistek (carne asada, as prepared in southern Mexico), and carne al pastor (grilled pork with citrus marinade, served with pineapple). There are also options for vegetarians — calabaza (squash) and champiñones (mushrooms) — and fresh fresca drinks.
I had to try a machete so I ordered one with carne al pastor, as well as a tinga and champiñones lettuce wrap. My friend went with two street tacos: carne al pastor and bistek. There is a self-serve salsa bar, for those who want to add a little kick to their food.
The machete was solid, with the meat flavorful and the thick homemade tortilla substantial, but my favorite by far was the lettuce wrap. It was topped with queso fresco and crema, and the different flavors and textures combined made for a divine wrap. The one downside is the $5 price tag, which feels steep for something that only lasted a few bites. Even just lopping off a dollar would have made it easier to swallow, and I probably would have ordered a third item. My friend enjoyed her street tacos (at a more reasonably priced $2.50 each), and liked having the option to add her own salsas.
All of the ingredients are extremely fresh, and you can watch your food being prepared inside the kitchen. The cashier was very friendly and answered all of our questions easily — and we had a few, as this was our first time at the restaurant. The inside of Machete is small, with very limited seating, but the patio is spacious and a lovely place to sit.
The lettuce wraps, although on the expensive side, are highly recommended, and the next time I visit, I’d love to try the sample platter of street tacos, with one of each type of guisado. Machete is at 1580 Barton Road, Unit C, Redlands. —Catherine
Posted: Oct. 27, 2019