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April 12-18, 2006

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5 Things to Love

Good Mexican Restaurants

By Stett Holbrook

SOMEDAY, the rain is going to stop. To get me through the endless days of wet weather, I eat a lot of Mexican food. Mexican food always reminds me of warm weather. If I can't have sunny skies outside, at least I can have it on my plate.

El Farolito This San Francisco-born taqueria invented the Mission-style burrito, the oversized, urban food log that has become a West Coast classic. Taste the original at this San Jose outpost. 3140 Senter St, San Jose. 408.972.2016.

Estrellita A cut above the typical Mexican restaurant, this Los Altos standout serves Mexican classics as well as a changing menu of lesser known, regional specialties. 971 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos. 650.941.8976.

Loncheria Supermercado One of my favorite South Bay taco trucks. Great tortas and tacos. Cash only. 1089 Park Ave, San Jose.

Metro Balderas If I could eat at only one Silicon Valley taqueria, this would be it. Great tacos (especially the outdoor grilled al pastor tacos on weekends), but this downtown area hole-in-the-wall specializes in the street fare of Mexico City with dishes like alambres, tortas and pambazos. 688 Almaden Ave, San Jose. 408.295.4078.

Rico's Mexican Cafe This downtown Campbell newcomer is owned by Arturo Hernandez, a former manager of Andale in Los Gatos. Former Andale cook Noberto Aguirre heads the kitchen. 360 E. Campbell Ave, 408.866.5293.

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