Main Street Merced serves as the cultural and economic hub of the downtown area. One is able to get a quick bite, mosey around the shops, and maybe even catch a movie all in the same square. Out of all the places to go to in the city, this section is by far the most bustling.
As far as dining goes, the array of options ranges from American to Italian to Japanese all within a short walking distance of each other. However, with all the eating options to choose from, it seems as though no restaurant around can give quite the bang for your buck like J&R Tacos. This Mexican eatery sits on the same block as the AMC theatre and has been serving hungry locals and college students for nearly ten years.
Upon entering, there is a whiff of freshly cooked carne and a blast of classic rock; a sensory experience to say the least. The place does a fine job of keeping the atmosphere lively and spontaneous without being too overbearing.
The dish that caught my attention was the choriqueso plate. This dish included grilled chorizo topped with melted queso-fresco and, of course, a side of beans and rice. A choice of corn or flour tortilla is also included with the meal, just in case you want to create your own mini-tacos (which I most certainly did).
When served, everything was as delicious as it sounded. The meat wasn’t burnt or overcooked in the slightest, and the newest was just browned enough to give a delectable grill flavor without ruining the natural flavor of the chorizo itself. The queso-fresco melted on top was one of the best things the chef could do with this dish, seamlessly combining the savory quality of the meat with the soothing and creamy cheese. The beans and rice were also good, but nothing special or different from what you could find in any other Mexican restaurant.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the meal. The folks at J&R Tacos know how to make a tasty meal that doesn’t empty your wallet as quickly as some of the other local eateries. At a price of $9.50, the choriqueso is as scrumptious as it is financially satisfying. 4 out of 5 stars.
Photo Credit:Matthew Vu