Review: Rafa’s Mexican Food

Yelp is a goldmine when it comes to finding gas station taco places. Finding a taco worth reviewing in a city one is not familiar with can be a treacherous proposition, but thanks to some unknown food reviewers on a local review website it can be mitigated.

Rafa’s Mexican Food is housed inside a very nice Shell gas and car wash station in  a strip mall only 5 minutes south on I-5 from the Sacramento Airport.  There is a simple lighted sign reading “Rafa’s Mexican Food” in front and a single bench table inside the gas station market for dine-in eating.

Placing my order I bought a beef, chicken, pork carnitas, and fish taco for carryout.  Stacks of homemade tortilla chips were next to the cash register and I ordered a small back of chips and filled a few containers with salsa and spicy pickled carrots and jalapenos.

Opening up the shredded beef and chicken tacos there it was – cheese and lettuce.  Hmmmm… Nothing ruins a taco like shredded cheese and lettuce.  Taking a bite of each it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated.  The shredded beef and chicken were quite flavorful; however, some simple chopped onions and cilantro would’ve made for better tacos.

Next up the pork carnitas taco was loaded with chunks of pork, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Unfortunately after one bite, I moved on to the fish taco. The meat smelled like sweaty feet and the loads of pico de gallo and guacamole wasn’t helping the situation.

The fish taco was breaded white fish with two slivers of fried fish mixed in with mayo, lettuce, and some house sauce. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that compelling either.

In the end, the shredded beef and chicken options were the best, but I think I’d skip the tacos here and go with a shredded meat torta or burrito.

Gas Station: Shell

Address: 2221 Del Paso Rd, Sacramento, CA 95835

Rating (2 out of 5 oil drops):

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Categories: Reviews

Author:Chris Baccus

Accomplished marketer, home cook and aspirational bass player.


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